Couple books $100K private jet to fly their dogs across the world
"We couldn’t leave them at home - we want to see the world with them."
By Jake Meeus-Jones via SWNS
Meet the couple who chartered a $100k private jet to fly their three dogs across the world.
Melanie Demi, 26, and her husband, Albert, 27, an account executive, dreamed of traveling Europe with their three dogs - Great Dane Lucas, two, Golden Retriever, Cooper, 15, and Dachshund mix, Brooklyn, 6.
The couple saved $45k over two years to turn their dream into a reality - selling all of their belongings including their car to fund their adventure.
After forking out for their private jet - alongside fellow pet lovers who all chipped in - from Austin, Texas, to Paris, France, in September.
The pair and their dogs have visited six countries so far - including France, Germany, Austria, Czechia, England and Scotland. Once in Europe, they hired cars and traveled by train from country to country.
The jet setters work remotely and have been on the road for four months - staying at dog-friendly AirBnBs and plan to keep going until November 2023 before heading back home to Austin.
Melanie, a media marketing consultant and content creator, from Austin, Texas, said: "Getting the dogs from the U.S. to Europe took so much planning, but we couldn’t leave them at home - we want to see the world with them.
"We planned our own charter trip and managed to find 10 other people heading to Europe with their dogs.
"It took three months of planning and cost $11k per person and over $100k for the whole flight.
"We saved around $45k over two years and sold everything we had to be able to afford it.
"But now the dogs have seen Paris, Prague, and Vienna, and we're planning to drive around the Scottish Highlands.
"I think the dogs really enjoy it. People on social media ask why we don’t leave them at home.
"The dogs might not know where they are, but they love exploring new places and it's about having them with us and making memories.
"Sitting at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and seeing them roll on the grass, or at the Christmas markets where they got a lot of pets or running on the beach in Edinburgh, it's all just incredible."
Melanie and Albert decided to take their dogs on the transatlantic adventure in May 2020 and started saving and planning their trip.
They drove 3,000 miles across America - from Texas to New York - and with cargo hold or cruise liners not an option, the pair and their canine companions then boarded a specially charted private jet from New York to Paris, France.
Great Dane Lucas was deemed too heavy to travel in cargo and the only pet-friendly cruise liner didn't accept his breed.
The couple looked into boarding other private planes flying to Portugal or London, England, but none of the dates worked for them.
Eventually, they took the plunge and chartered their own private jet for other people traveling with dogs - costing $102k in total.
Melanie said: "I knew how much work was going to go into finding people who wanted to do the same thing and I’m a very busy person with essentially two full-time jobs.
"In order to book the flight, we had to ask people to send the money over and that’s a lot of money to ask someone to send when you’ve only spoken over Facebook."
After touching down in France, the couple and their pooches now spend their days exploring and adventuring - working remotely in the evenings.
Melanie said: "Being able to travel in general is something I'm very grateful for but doing it with the dogs makes me feel very lucky.
"There are times when I catch them just staring and it seems like they’re just taking everything in.
"I have a video of my Great Dane just resting his head on the Charles Bridge in Prague and it looks like he’s just taking it all in.
"I think they’re happy wherever we go.
"We have a rule of two big adventures a week with the dogs - like taking them to the beach.
"All I care about is them living their best life.
"We still work American hours from 4 pm to 11 pm and it's been working out really well with the dogs in the morning."
Melanie says they have been asked why they don’t just leave their dogs at home.
She said: "You don’t have to leave them at home, but you also don’t need to take them with you all the time.
“I think it’s important for them to see more than their backyard or couch.
“There are ways to travel with dogs responsibly and one of the biggest things I do in my content is show people how to do it.
“We’re making it work with a Great Dane - it doesn’t have to just be little dogs.
"I think it’s amazing for people to see the world with their dogs by their side. Taking my traveling zoo on a world tour has been fun.”
Melanie admitted traveling with dogs and their extra luggage can be difficult, and they've been trying to donate items they don't need as they go.
She said: "Moving from place to place with the dogs has made me realize we have too much stuff to get on a train for example.
"We've been trying to donate clothes as we go - I gave a full suitcase to a friend.
"We've had to take two cars before for dogs and luggage."
Melanie and Albert are currently in Edinburgh, Scotland, and have a jam-packed year of sightseeing before they return home to the United States.
They plan to head to the French Riviera before moving on to Italian wine country - stopping in Florence.
It’s then on to Croatia and Kosovo, with a stop in Albania to visit Albert's relatives.
Finally, they'll go to Oktoberfest in Germany and the Rugby World Cup back in France.
"There’s just so much to see,” Melanie said.
"There's something just so amazing about getting a rental car and driving from country to country."
Where they've visited:
- Florida keys
- New York City
- Los Angeles
- Grand Canyon
- Las Vegas
Where they plan to go next:
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