It was a trip that couldn’t be had.
Three dogs from Texas got to fly in style as their humans embarked on a $100,000 round-the-world trip in a private jet.
26-year-old Melanie and 27-year-old Albert Demy have long dreamed of traveling with their three dogs – a 15-year-old golden retriever, a 6-year-old dachshund mix and a 2-year-old Great Dane.
Speaking to the South West News Service, Melanie said the idea to take the dogs across the lake came to the couple in May 2020, at which point they began saving aggressively.
They said that before jetting off, they saved $45,000 over almost two years by selling all their possessions — including their car.
“Bringing the dogs from the US to Europe took so much planning, but we couldn’t leave them at home – we want to see the world with them,” said Melanie. “We saved about $45,000 over two years and sold everything we had to afford it.”
The couple will come to learn—the hard way—the unique nuances of traveling with pets.
After driving from Texas to New York, the Demis family was told that their Great Dane was too large to travel in the cargo hold of a boat and that the only cruise line that accepted pets did not accept the breed.
Forced to seek alternative means of travel, the duo tried to book a private flight to Portugal or England, but were unable to fly on the dates provided.
Fortunately, they didn’t have to ruff it alone. Melanie explained that they ended up finding 10 other people on social media – all traveling with their pets – to share the cost of a private flight.
“We planned our own charter trip and managed to find 10 other people heading to Europe with their dogs,” explained Melanie. “It took three months of planning and cost $11,000 per person and over $100,000 for the entire flight.”
Melanie compared the stress of traveling to that of a full-time job. “I knew how much work would go into finding people who wanted to do the same…I’m a very busy person with two full-time jobs,” she said. “In order to book the flight, we had to ask people to send the money, and that’s a lot of money to ask someone to send when you’ve only talked on Facebook.”
The group managed to land in France with their young in tow. “To sit at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and see them rolling on the grass, or at the Christmas markets where they had lots of pets, or running on the beach in Edinburgh, it’s all just amazing,” recalls Melanie.
The Demmies said they couldn’t have done this if they weren’t able to work remotely.
The couple said they usually work from late afternoon to late evening, so they can spend the mornings exploring with their dogs.
“Being able to travel in general is something I’m very grateful for, but doing it with the dogs makes me feel very lucky,” Melanie said.
According to Melanie, several people have asked her why she and her husband don’t just leave their dogs at home.
“I think it’s important for them to see more than their backyard or their couch,” she said.
“I think it’s amazing for people to see the world with their dogs by their side. It was fun taking my traveling zoo on a world tour,” continued Melanie. “We’re making it work with Great Danes — it doesn’t have to be just small dogs.”
Demi said traveling with three dogs and luggage was very difficult, so she came up with a way to donate clothes the couple didn’t need.
“Moving from place to place with the dogs made me realize that we have too much stuff to get on a train, for example,” Demi explained. “We try to donate clothes as we go – I gave a suitcase full to a friend.”
The family has been to six countries so far: France, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, England and is currently exploring Scotland. The plan is to go to the French Riviera and then to the Italian wine country.
The couple will also visit relatives in Albania before heading to Germany for Oktoberfest, their last stop before returning to the States.
“There’s so much to look at,” Demi said.
“There’s something so amazing about getting a rental car and driving from country to country.”