Flying to Dubrovnik Airport With a Small Dog
Flying to Dubrovnik airport with a small dog is a breeze. It’s small. Why do I love small airports, Dear Reader? I just do. I know I’ve said it before and I guess it hasn’t changed because, once again, I was so happy to be dealing with smaller airports—this time in Croatia. Zagreb airport is relatively small—more on that later—but the airport for Dubrovnik? It’s wonderfully small. And so modern too! Check out this little beauty … does it not remind you of the ever so cool and retro Airstream Trailers?
Actually, now that I think of it, that look fits. The Airstream resemblance, I mean. After all, Dubrovnik Airport was opened in 1962. Before that, you had to go to Gruda Airfield, a military airport that opened to commercial flights in 1936. And those commercial flights were only a summer thing. I’m glad that the region got things going as tourism grew and finally got this little beauty up and running. This modern 1960s retro vibe is such a fun contrast to the city of Dubrovnik proper. It’s … it’s … a bit old James Bond!
The best part? I could walk anywhere I wanted, so long as I was on leash! And as for green spaces for canines to relieve themselves after a flight—no problem! There is a strip of grass just across the way where the bus waits to pickup folks going to either Dubrovnik or Cavtat.
The odd thing about this tiny airport is that it is the most modern passenger terminal in the country. Yep! Since the completion of the 2010 New Additions and Refurbishment Project, this tiny little airport can actually accommodate about two million passengers a year. And indeed, we found things to be very efficient. We got off the plane and easily found the exit (we travel with only carry-on, so no carousel waiting), a bank machine to get some cash (Croatia was still on the Kuna at the time of our trip), a happy-to-assist information desk, and the shuttle bus to Dubrovnik. All of it right there. No long walks, no long corridors, no long waits—all of it pretty darn easy to figure out.
Note: Whether you can take the bus with a pet is up to the driver. Because I was in a carrier and well-behaved, and because the bus was not full, the driver said we could ride on the bus. But do be prepared to have to cab it into town should the bus not work out. The bus for the two bipeds (no cost for me) was about twelve Kuna.
And hey, we even got to see the lost and found for Dubrovnik airport. That doesn’t happen very often! You see Mom had a moment of forgetfulness. Yep. It happens. Even to super-organized, check-everything-twice Mom! She left her backpack-purse on the plane! The little Louis Vuitton backpack-purse she has traveled with all over the world! This was devastating news.
To make things worse, passports for both bipeds were inside Mom’s backpack as well as the iPhone (also our camera) and Mom’s wallet. It was time to FREAK OUT! When Mom noticed the missing backpack, we were in the process of boarding the bus to Dubrovnik. Mom shouted the problem to Dad and took off! Dad took me and watched in alarm as Mom rushed off to the info desk. Dad, in the meantime, figured we would likely miss the bus so started to take our carry-on bags off the bus. Meanwhile, Mom found the little lost and found office and popped her head in—heart racing—only to see a young woman holding Mom’s bag up, describing it to someone on the phone! Mom waved frantically and got the woman’s attention. The young woman opened the bag, took out the wallet, checked Mom’s ID and saw Mom was the person in the ID, and handed everything over to Mom. That was it. No paperwork. No fuss. Mom hugged the young woman quickly and ran back to the bus, shouting, “I HAVE IT!” Dad put the bags back on the bus, we boarded, and … took a deeeeeeep breath. For the rest of our Croatia trip, Mom was a bit paranoid about the backpack and our stuff, and she still managed to lose her favourite sunglasses in Split. *sigh* It was just not Mom’s trip!
Anyway, the bus ride was warm because the bus had been sitting in the sun with no AC, but we were happy to be nearly there. To really start our vacation. Just as Mom was getting worried about me being overheated, the bus slowed down a bit, Mom looked out the window, and …. there was Dubrovnik.
Mom wet me down with some water and we made it—hot and all that, but we made it. The drive from the airport to Dubrovnik is about 45 minutes, depending on traffic once you hit the Old Town area. It can take longer. We were unceremoniously dropped off at the Pile Gate. Dad grabbed our carry-ons, Mom pulled out the instructions to our apartment, and we set off over the Dubrovnik drawbridge.
Possible heat stroke on the bus aside, all went well. Everything was so easy. Why? Because good things come in small packages, Dear Reader! I should know. 😉
In review: Flying to Dubrovnik airport with a small dog is super easy! It’s a delightful, highly efficient and pet-friendly little airport. Staff were helpful and the space airy and bright. No long lineups.