Posts

Pet first aid: Pet care on the road

Pet First Aid: Pet Care on the Road

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

For all you animal lovers out there, we think you’ll agree that there is nothing quite like traveling the globe in a VW Bus with your furry friend on board.

It’s heart-warming to see all the lovely photos you share as part of the Buslifers community with your pets, exploring, adventuring, and, most importantly, having fun!

Traveling on the road with your pet is a wonderful experience but as all responsible pet owners know, caring for an animal is not always plain sailing. When you least expect it, your pet could become sick or injured, and it’s best to be prepared.

We have compiled the ultimate guide to pet care on the road for anyone out there thinking about hopping in their VW Bus with their pet. Have a read and, you’ll be riding off into the sunset in no time, for an adventure like no other while caring for your pet on the road.

Before you leave: Vet care abroad and pet insurance 

Don’t leave your pet care on the road to chance. Ensuring you have pet insurance in place and a plan for locating a veterinary surgery is vital before you, and your pet set off on your Buslifer adventure.  

Get started by checking out your current pet insurance plan to see if your pet is covered when traveling abroad. You might be able to include this as part of your policy. Or, if you need to purchase some additional insurance for your pet, it’s always worth shopping around for the best deal. For the worldwide leader in pet insurance, visit Petplan.

We would also highly recommend using a price comparison site and here are just a few sites to get you started.

UK pet insurance price comparison

Australian pet insurance price comparison

Columbian pet insurance price comparison

US pet insurance price comparison

If you’ve spent some time mapping out your road trip, it’s worth researching in advance recommended veterinary surgeries in the areas you are visiting.

For extra peace of mind, to ensure your pet’s health and happiness throughout your Buslife adventure, you may also want to consider signing up for an online vet advice service. There’s a wide range of affordable options, including sites such as PetCoachPawSquad, and JustAnswer.

 Onboard your VW Bus: Essential pet first aid kit

Just as you would for yourself, carrying a first aid kit designed for animals is the best way to ensure you are ready for any eventually while traveling with your pet.

The Blue Cross recommend including the following essentials in your pet first aid kit:

Other items that may come in useful include:

Pet first aid kits are readily available online, and you’ll find a wide range of affordable options, from all-in-one kits to compact travel packs. Some of our favorites including this Wild Barkers Cat and Dog First Aid Kit and this mini travel version.

On the road: Checking your pet for symptoms of an illness or injury

Pet owners know when something’s not quite right with their fluffy friend. But it’s not always so simple to work out what’s causing their discomfort.

Spotting symptoms of illness or injury early in your pet could prevent their condition from worsening and save you a lot of worries. Getting your pet to a vet sooner, if needed, could also save you some serious cash when it comes to costly vet bills!

Here are some typical symptoms to keep an eye out for and help you with pet care on the road.

  • Sickness & Diarrhoea
  • Refusing to eat
  • Increased tiredness
  • Swollen gums
  • Excessive scratching & flaking skin
  • Runny nose and eyes
  • Excessive drinking
  • Frequent or difficulty urinating

If you notice your pet experiencing any of these symptoms, they should be monitored. If they persist for longer than 24 hours, contact a vet

When your pet has been injured, they may also display one or more of these symptoms:

  • Howling or growling
  • Signs of aggression
  • Excessive licking
  • Lack of mobility
  • Restlessness and changes in their usual eating and sleeping patterns
  • Sudden trembling
  • Increased panting

On the road: Treating your pet for an injury 

Hopefully, nothing bad will ever happen to your much-loved furry friend. However, if your pet is injured while you’re on the road, here are a few easy-to-follow handling tips.

  1. Don’t assume your pet will never try to bite or scratch you. If your pet has been injured, they could lash out due to pain or fear.
  2. Calmly examine your pet to establish whether their injury is something you can treat yourself or if you need to take them to a vet.
  3. If you need to transport your pet, you may want to wrap them in a towel and ensure they are kept in a confined space to avoid the risk of further injury.

If your pet’s injury is minor, how you treat them will depend on their injury. We would recommend familiarising yourself with an essential pet first aid guide and keeping a copy onboard your VW Bus in case of an emergency. This free booklet can also be downloaded via the RSPCA.  

What to do: Lost and stray pets

Finding a lost pet or a stray can be a distressing experience, particularly if you are on the road in an unfamiliar country. One thing to bear in mind is that there are countries worldwide where stray dogs and cats are prevalent. However, these simple tips could help you reunite a lost pet with its owner or help a stray in need.

Lost pets

  • Is the animal wearing a collar? If yes, they are likely to be someone’s pet, and if there is an identity tag, great! You should have a phone number to ring. If not, check the vicinity to see if anyone can ask who may know the pet’s owner. Failing this, locate the nearest vets or animal warden.
  • Many countries have sites dedicated to helping reunite owners with their lost pets. For example, LostFoundPets is the US national lost and found pet database, while PetsReunited helps owners in the UK. When trying to find the best site for the country you are visiting, search keywords, including ‘lost pet database,’ ‘missing pet,’ and include the relevant country name.

Strays

  • If you encounter a stray dog or cat in a different country, although it is tempting to pet and feed them, this isn’t advised. Primarily because most will not have been vaccinated and may carry diseases, you will also encourage the animal to beg for scraps.  
  • There are animal charities around the world that support stray cats and dogs. If you find an animal that you believe to be suffering, you could look to contact them. For example, Animal Lefkada rescues animals in need on the Greek Island of Lefkada.
  • You can help support stray animals in the country you are traveling to by donating or volunteering with a recognized animal charity.

Top buys: Keep your pet happy and healthy on the road 

We Buslifers know how vital handy, portable gadgets are for life on the road. That’s why we’ve compiled a small selection of additional first aid essentials to help you with pet care on the road.

Wound care – An antimicrobial spray that will help to keep wounds clean and heal quickly.

Ear cleaner – An easy-to-use cleaning solution that helps reduce ear wax build-up and reduce the risk of infection.  

Waterproof dog boots – Help protect your pet’s paws and allow wounds to heal quickly without infection.

Teeth cleaner – Easy to apply dental gel helps break down plaque, ensuring your pet’s oral hygiene on your travels. 

Cooling pet vest – Keep your pet cool and avoid heatstroke with this washable jacket.

Flea and worming treatment – Stock up on flea and worming treatment to keep your pet covered throughout your trip.  

We hope our guide to pet care on the road has been helpful. If you want even more tips on traveling with your pet, you will want to read our article, Bringing Your Dog on the road.

If you’re looking for plenty more content about life on the road, why not have a browse of our other stories? We have written about helpful topics, including ‘How to Stay Hygienic on the Road’ and the ‘Top 12 Travel Essentials’.

A Christmas gift list for BusLifers

A Christmas Gift List for Buslifers

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

If your loved one is a Buslifer, we bet you’ll have heard all about the importance of lightweight gadgets and endless space-saving tips. This is precisely why choosing the perfect Christmas gift for a Buslifer can sometimes be a little tricky…

The good news is your present hunt is finally over! We’ve put in the hours compiling a Christmas gift list for Buslifers for some of the very best gift ideas for your loved one.

Read on to discover some pretty snazzy gift recommendations and some hot tips for delivering to Buslifers while they’re on the road.

Are you a Buslifer? Welcome to the club! You will also want to read this very festive Christmas article we wrote about Christmas On The Road: What You Can And Can’t Do.

Our top ultimate Christmas gift list for Buslifers

For tech masters

Power bankThis is probably one of the most useful gadgets any Buslifer can have on the road. This reasonably priced power bank from Poweradd has great reviews and can charge most devices from phones to tablets.

Mini projectorWho says you can’t enjoy a movie on the big screen while traveling? This portable projector from Artlii connects to your phone and can be charged by a power bank.

Drone cameraThis is one of the best drones out there and a valuable asset for anyone who wants to post on social media or become a youtuber. What’s even better is that it’s foldable for Buslifers who are short on space.  

 

For the sustainably conscious

Natural soap barsThe sustainable brand Ethique Soap has created this great selection of ideal travel bars for the sustainably conscious Buslifer.

Gift a treeHelp to plant more trees when you gift one with Treedom! The ideal green Christmas gift, choose from different species and countries too.

Zero waste gift boxThe ideal starter kit for Buslifers looking to live a sustainable life. Featuring beeswax food wraps, a mesh shopping bag, and much more.

Foldable solar panelEfficiency and portability combined. This folding solar panel features USB charging technology and is compatible with solar generators.

 

For budding chefs                

Hand blenderAn absolute must-have compact kitchen gadget for all Buslifers. The Braun MultiQuick is a handy blender, mixer, and whisk, making it the ideal companion for cooking fabulous recipes on board a VW Bus.

Recipe cardsOne of the best bits about traveling is sampling plenty of tasty treats. Which is why these recipe cards and storage box are ideal for those Buslifers who love experimenting with local ingredients in their VW Bus kitchen.

Spiralizer –  With a selection of different blades, foodies can create culinary delights from veggie curly fries and chips in no time. This is great for perking up a salad or making raw vegan spaghetti! 

 

For bookworms

Drives of a LifetimeThe 2nd edition of the National Geographic Drives of a Lifetime is newly released, featuring 500 of the world’s most breathtaking drives. The perfect book for those who are on the hunt for some travel inspiration this Christmas.

Spiritual PlacesWritten by travel journalist Sarah Baxter, this is a beautiful book of some of the world’s most spiritual destinations. A soothing collection that we would all love to experience.

Vanlife DiariesThis beautiful book packed with breathtaking photography is the perfect feel-good read that celebrates the Vanlife and Buslife community.

The VW Bus History of a PassionA concise history for all the hardcore Buslifers out there who live and breathe their VW Bus.

 

Stocking fillers

Travel mapIdeal for Buslifers with the travel bug. A travel map, they can scratch off the destinations they visit as they go.

VW Bus SocksNo Christmas stocking is complete without socks, and with these VW Bus socks, you can’t go wrong.

Driving glassesThese polarized sunglasses are the must-have VW Bus driving companion for all Buslifers. Helping to reduce sun glare and making driving at night safer.   

 

The creative’s guide to homemade Buslifer Christmas gifts

We all know how wonderful it is to receive a personal, homemade gift. So, if you’re a dab hand when it comes to crafts, why not consider making a little something to surprise your Buslifer.

The ideas are endless but here is just a small selection of some homemade gifts with how-to guides to help you create them in no time.

 

Knitted hand warmersThese are a must for the cold winter months. Download the

free pattern via the link and order your yarn in a range of colors too.

DreamcatcherA beautiful addition to any VW Bus, and who knew they were so easy to make!?

Patchwork quiltA truly personal gift, and with this easy-to-follow tutorial, even beginners to quilting will master this craft.

Christmas cards – Send your Buslifer a festive greetings card they will want to keep forever.

Scented candle These scented candles will help your loved one feel at home. Even if they are halfway around the world.

Macrame keychainNo Buslifer should be without one of these to adorn their precious VW Bus keys.

Photo magnetsA cute and inexpensive personalized gift to surround your Buslifer with their loved ones this Christmas.

VW PotholderWhat VW Bus owner doesn’t want their very own knitted version?

BuntingDesign and create your own bunting that will brighten up any VW Bus.

Travel journal  – This tutorial to make a tea-stained journal is great fun. You will also be creating the most unique travel journal out there. 

How and when to deliver gifts to Buslifers on the road

When it comes to getting your Christmas gift to a Buslifer in time for the big day, we say, send it early!

You will need to check specific ‘last Christmas posting dates’ for the country you live in. But to give you an idea, if you are posting from the UK, Royal Mail states that standard international packages need to be sent as early as the 4th of December.  If you are posting from the US, The United States Postal Service lists the 7th December for their priority mail express international service for some countries.*

*These dates are relevant for the year 2020.

Having a parcel delivered to someone living life on the road is easier than you think! One of the easiest and most secure ways to get your Christmas gift to your No.1 Buslifer is to use the service poste restante (general delivery). How it works is that you send your parcel to a post office in a particular location, and they hold it until the recipient can collect it.

To make things even easier, Wikipedia has a helpful entry that lists details of the poste restante services in countries worldwide. Check it out here. 

We do hope that this Christmas gift list for Buslifers has put you in a festive mood! If you’re looking for even more tips to bring some cheer into your VW Bus this Christmas, take a look at our story How To Decorate Your VW Bus For The Christmas Holidays.

Reduce your waste on the road

How To Reduce Your Waste On The Road

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

For those of us who love adventure, living on the road in a VW Bus is an opportunity. It’s a chance to escape the humdrum of everyday life. However, this doesn’t make us exempt from living a more sustainable lifestyle. A big part of the Buslifers dream is feeling closer to nature. However, with that, there is a responsibility when it comes to how to reduce your waste on the road. Today 99% of everything we purchase is disposed of within six months, and over two billion tons of waste is produced worldwide every year.

With this shocking statistic in mind, it emphasizes that individually, we are tiny cogs in the wheel. However, imagine the significant difference Buslifers could make if we all strive towards living a low-waste life on the road.

Here are our four simple steps for how to reduce your waste on the road.

No To Single-Use

Avoiding single-use items is a pretty self-explanatory waste reduction tip. However, when we start to incorporate reusable products in our lives, it doesn’t take long to discover how much of what we use is disposable.

Carrier bags are an obvious example. Most of us are guilty of having reached for one whilst picking up essentials at the store. However, did you know that the inventor of the plastic carrier bag never intended for them to be single-use? It’s sad to think of plastic bags clogging up our planet, especially when it’s so simple to stop their invasion. A foldable shopping bag is ideal for keeping onboard your VW Bus, as are mesh produce bags for trips to a local market.

Other single-use culprits that you will be familiar with include, plastic dinnerware and straws. As well as cotton buds, face masks, takeaway coffee cups and sanitary products. The good news is that there are plenty of reusable alternatives available on the market, including these VW Bus enamel mugs that we love!

If you’re looking at ways to incorporate reusable products into your everyday Buslife, you will also want to check out our article on how to stay hygienic on the road.

Recycle & Repurpose

When you become a Buslifer, one thing you quickly discover is how to make do and mend.

Recycling your waste is your quickest and easiest place to get started and you could even consider composting your food waste with this compact folding food waste bin. Disposing of your recycling may require some prior planning, but most campsites do offer disposal facilities.

Repurposing is another excellent way to ensure everything you purchase enjoys a second life. Storage is always a talking point for Buslifers, so why not try turning an old shampoo bottle into a phone charger holder. You can also repurpose old clothes that would otherwise end up in the bin when you turn them into cleaning rags.

Avoid Packaging

If you’re striving to enjoy a low-waste life on the road, then like us, unnecessary packaging is going to make your blood boil.

Buying produce without packaging won’t always be possible, depending on where you travel to. However, choosing products that aren’t wrapped in plastic and switching to those that are zero-impact, such as Dr. Bronners can help us make a big difference in the long run.

Whilst on the road, look out for local farmers markets. Eco stores that offer unpackaged food and larger stores that stock fresh loose produce are great too. Don’t forget to take the reusable shopping bags we mentioned earlier!

Make & Grow

We know space is tight as a Buslifer. But, there are some easy ways to cut down on your waste by making and growing produce onboard your VW Bus.

Health and beauty products are an ideal place to start with many of the ingredients being store cupboard staples and easily attainable. If you’re also an avid forager, why not try some of the simple recipes in this bestseller, The Hedgerow Apothecary, that will help you blend your own plant-based natural remedies wherever you’re staying.

A vegetable garden is out of the question as a Buslifer, but fresh produce with zero food miles is possible! Keep it small by growing your own selection of herbs and micro veg on the road. You can also put supermarket food cartons through their paces when you reuse them as growing containers.

Are you feeling fired up for a fight against the enormous environmental impact waste has? The first step as a Buslifer is to commit to reduce your waste on the road. There is no doubt that it takes time to implement a sustainable routine, but by instilling habits that are kinder to the planet, the more positive our impact.

Looking for more top Buslifer tips? Check out our article featuring the Top 12 Travel Essentials.

Live a sustainable VW life

Live a Sustainable VW Buslife

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

 

With more of us striving towards an environmentally friendly lifestyle, a question for many Buslifers is… How sustainable is my VW Bus? Now, driving across the globe is going to hurt our planet. However, in comparison to living a luxurious lifestyle in an average home, your chance of achieving a smaller carbon footprint is easily within reach. It’s time to live a sustainable VW Buslife!

Here are just a few ways you can work towards enjoying the Buslifer dream, while living sustainably, on the road.

Choose Sustainable Materials

If you’re taking the plunge and doing some DIY to your VW Bus, be sure to consider the materials you use. If it’s wood you’re after, visit a salvage yard and for soft furnishings, see what you can pick up second hand. By repurposing where possible, you’re helping to keep items out of landfill. It’s also a thrifty way to give your VW Bus a quirky look. For more renovation tips and tricks, click here.

VW bus interior

Go Solar

Looking to go off-grid in your VW Bus? You’re going to want to get some solar panels fitted. There are plenty of options out there to suit your requirements. Choose from installing panels on the roof to portable, fold-out panels. Solar panels will allow you to power personal electronics. But for power-hungry appliances such as fridges, it’s worth connecting to a power bank that will act as a generator or adding a leisure battery, which will store the energy from the solar panels. In addition to the leisure battery, you will need an inverter to plug in the fridge. There is an initial investment to consider when switching to solar power. However, it’s cost-effective in the long run with the added benefit of avoiding non-renewable energy.

Save Water

Without the luxury of running water, being cautious about over-consumption is something that’s on the mind of all VW Bus owners. However, saving water is easier said than done, and it’s worth taking some time to devise a water-saving system. It could be as simple as having a bottle to save any remaining water when you do the dishes. Or go one step further and install a manual water pump.

Being mindful about water consumption is incredibly important when you’re on the road, but so is staying clean and healthy. If you’re new to the Buslife, read our advice for staying hygienic while on the road.

Live The Slow Life

As we mentioned, the most significant element that is going to let a VW Bus owner down when it comes to sustainability is fuel consumption. Get used to living life in the slow lane to save fuel and plan your route to avoid any long detours. Also, rather than travelling far and wide, sit back and enjoy the view for just that bit longer. For a happy and positive wellbeing, it’s all about slow living.

If you find yourself staying an extra night somewhere, check out our article on how to find an overnight parking spot.

VW bus drivers seat

Be A Conscious Consumer

Although it’s great to try and buy less, there are times when we need to get our wallets out. Price is an essential element when making any purchase. However, instead of prioritising the best deals, be a conscious consumer and consider the longevity of a product, the materials used and a brands ethics. For a little extra help when it comes to shopping ethically, check out the rankings of some of the world’s leading brands via The Good Shopping Guide.

Leave No Trace 

Leaving no trace is a crucial Buslife motto. Remember to dispose of waste correctly and leave areas free of rubbish. Respect wildlife and leave any artefacts that you find for others to enjoy too. Visit the Center for Outdoor Ethics for more information on protecting our natural environments.

By following these simple rules, you and your beloved VW Bus are well on your way to becoming eco-warriors.

If you’d like to do even more to help our planet in your quest to live a sustainable VW Buslife, you could also consider offsetting your carbon footprint for every tonne of CO2 you emit while driving. Other lifestyle changes include shopping locally (which most of us do anyway while living on the road) and reducing the number of animal products you consume by making the switch to a vegetarian/vegan diet.

 

Are You Ready For A Sustainable Buslife?

Yes you are! We all are and being sustainable isn’t about being perfect, but taking the steps we can with the tools we have. Do you have any other sustainability tips for Buslife you would include here? Let us know in the comments.