I never meant to say kennels were bad, Nev. Though it depends very much on the kennel and I remember when I checked the local ones, I was not at all impressed with the services they offered. I remember things like having to pay extra for your dog to get an hour of play in the exercise yard totally put me off from sending my dog there. (And they are already very expensive down here) I am sure that most sociable dogs would love a good kennel where they are allowed to socialise a lot. But imagine leaving your dog in a kennel for 3 weeks and coming back to discover he had been miserable there for that long? If they wanted to use a kennel, they should've trialled it for a weekend before the big trip of course. And now I've said that, I might actually do that with Banjo next time we go away for the weekend. Though the closest one that I liked from their description and comments from others is an hour drive from here.