March 14th, 2018

How to Travel Portugal With Kids

How to Travel Portugal With Kids

Portugal is a great place for a family vacation. It is currently experiencing a tourism boom, and the Portuguese adore children. Here’s the lowdown on visiting this hotspot with little ones.

So, you’re planning a trip to Portugal with the whole family! Super exciting. Portugal as a travel destination has been burning hot for a few years now. Situated on the Iberian Peninsula with a temperate climate, gorgeous beaches, and a very kid-friendly culture, it’s an awesome choice for travel with little ones. Here’s the lowdown on what to do in Portugal with kids in tow.

Visit at the right time of year.

If you want to travel to Portugal with children, and without losing your mind, there are a series of steps you can make to guarantee smooth sailing. First of all, you’ll want to choose the right time of year for your trip. Spring and autumn are considered the most favorable times to visit Portugal, since the summers are very hot and the winters are cold and rainy. If you have older kids, and spring or autumn travel conflicts with their school schedule, prepare for hot weather, and book early to get better deals on flights and accomodations during this peak time.

Pack effectively.

When packing for European family trip, you’ll want to pack smart. Get your gang travel-ready with color-coded packing organizers to ensure everyone’s items stay organized and stashed. For the ultimate in big-family organization, outfit every member of your tribe with the Excursion Gear Kit. From shoes to snacks to daily outfits, this kit has you covered! No matter what bag you go with, packing cubes are an absolute must for managing the chaos that is traveling with kids!

Adjust their bedtime before you leave.

In terms of learning about Portuguese culture, know that they are very kid-friendly. The family is important to the Portuguese, and little ones are accommodated at even the nicest restaurants. Know, however, that in Portugal dinner is usually not served until after 7 p.m. and it goes on for hours. It is not uncommon for Portuguese children to be up until midnight. If your children have an earlier bedtime, you may want to gradually adjust it leading up to your trip.

Pick the right mix of coastal, historic, and urban fun.

When planning your itinerary, your choices of family-friend activities are nearly endless. Lisbon, the capital, is full of historic treasures from the Age of Discovery. You should note that many city walls and castles do not have rails, so keep curious kiddos away from the edges! A great way to explore the city is by tuk-tuk—a fun, three-wheeled, motorized rickshaw—which children tend to love. Sintra is another notable city, full of gorgeous medieval castles. The gardens of the Quinta da Regaleira are a standout, with fabulous winding paths and a hidden waterfall.

Meanwhile, Comporta is the Hamptons of Portugal, a laid-back beach town with a decidedly cosmopolitan air. The beaches have lifeguards, so you can swim safely. Be sure to keep all heads—but especially little ones—covered with a hat between the hours of 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and do not skimp on the sunblock. The Portuguese sun can be brutal. For a day trip that offers a respite from the beaches and city exploration, take the kids to Bussaco forest in Luso, Central Portugal. Bring a picnic and spend the day hiking with your kids and exploring the majestic trees. There’s no shortage of things to do wherever you go.

Now that you are ready for your family trip to Portugal, reader, what are you planning to do there? Let us know in the comments below!

Related Links (from Eagle Creek blog):

How to Go Glamping in Europe

6 Tips for Hiking With School-Age Kids

Travel Tips for Nursing Mothers

by Shannon ODonnell

Shannon O'Donnell is a long-term traveler who has been on the road since 2008; she travels slowly and supports grassroots tourism along the way. She is an acclaimed travel speaker and works with universities and businesses all over the U.S. to talk about supporting developing countries.