Portugal is a great place to travel with children, the Portuguese people are warm and friendly, and the country has an enormous range of new experiences that your children will love. The Algarve offers beaches aplenty, zoos, water parks, horse riding, boat trips and plenty of other child friendly sports and activities, however, you don’t have to spend all your family time at the beaches, glorious as they are, because there are also plenty of family activities in the towns and cities.
In Lisbon for example, you can ride the trams or take a horse-drawn carriage, visit a puppet show, an aquarium or a toy museum. The castles, palaces and parks of Portugal are exciting places for children to explore and develop an understanding of this wonderful country and its rich cultural heritage. With so much to see and do it’s easy to let your budget run away with you, so here are some tips to help you ensure that a family trip to Portugal doesn’t break the bank.
Eat like a local
If you and your family eat at restaurants close to tourist attractions, you are likely to pay twice as much as you need and possibly get an inferior meal into the bargain. Be prepared to find places which are away from the main tourist areas. Look for restaurants which are full of locals, it’s a good indicator that you are going to get good food at a good price as well as a memorable and authentic experience.
Finding such places takes a little forward planning, don’t wait until everyone is ravenous, suss out in advance your likely spot. Ask locals where they eat and get them to show you on a map. You might even want to check out the location before you go and eat there.
Book transport in advance
Not only does this avoid stress and possible disappointment, but it is also likely to prove a lot cheaper, especially when it comes to car hire.
Book holiday activities in advance
Booking activities in advance enables you to take advantage of online discount codes and to pick times which are the least expensive and most convenient. Queueing for an activity which then turns out to be fully booked or which would have been much cheaper online just puts everyone in a bad mood.
Plan activities which don’t cost anything
By packing a picnic and plenty of water you can have a great day out and hardly spend anything. Do your research beforehand so that you have a walking tour that will keep the children entertained. Parks, markets, beaches, churches, ancient streets and spectacular views can all be enjoyed for free. Build-in plenty of rest stops and if it’s mid-summer, don’t attempt too much.
Compare your accommodation options
If you are planning to stay in one area for a few days or more, it’s well worth considering booking self-catering rental accommodation rather than staying in a hotel. Rental accommodation will give you more space, more privacy and may work out considerably cheaper.