We all want to get great value for money, so I’d like to show you where I find the best Portugal travel deals for hotels, car rental, flights or tours. Whenever I start planning a trip, whether it’s within Portugal or to other countries, there are certain ‘go to’ sites that I always consult.
I’ve also negotiated special discounts for you with certain local tour companies so look for the discount codes below.
I keep this page as up to date as possible so it’s always worth checking back for new deals and special offers.
Last update: 10th January 2021
Online booking platforms for hotels, villas and apartmentsI’ve been using Booking.com for over 10 years and it’s still my first port of call when it comes to finding accommodation. I haven’t had a problem with a booking in all that time and get great ‘Genius’ discounts.
The reviews are from verified guests and therefore more reliable than on some other sites. I also find it easy to compare facilities between places on my shortlist. Most accommodations allow you to cancel or change your booking for free so you can plan ahead without commitment.
I’m also impressed by their efforts to make it easy for you to check the health and safety measures in listed properties in relation to Covid-19 – read about that here.
Accommodation rented by owners
AirBnB can be a good option for those wanting to stay a month or more to scope out a possible place to live as there may be a discount for longer stays.
If you’re not already familiar with Vrbo, it stands for Vacation Rentals By Owner so in many ways there are similarities between this and AirBnB. Use the website to filter your search for unique homes and apartments rented out by individuals rather than chains.
Vrbo is actually part of the HomeAway family but some of you may be more familiar with this branding, depending on which part of the world you live in. This website is easier to filter for specific amenities such as balconies and barbecues than AirBnB. It also includes a checkbox for long-term rentals which may be of interest to people considering relocating to Portugal.
Interesting alternatives to traditional accommodation offers
Although housesitting doesn’t necessarily involve looking after animals, that’s the most common reason for people wanting others to stay in their homes while they’re away. I’ve used Trusted Housesitters, which matches sitters with homeowners.
Housesitting can be a fantastic way of getting free accommodation, especially if you’re interested in staying in Portugal for an extended period to decide whether or not you want to live here.
It’s worth considering if you want to immerse yourself in a language you’re trying to learn, too.
You never know what might happen to ruin your trip so it’s a good idea to take out travel insurance before you leave home. There are many companies and policies to choose from so it pays to compare the cover to make sure it suits your specific needs.
Note that many insurance companies are no longer covering Covid-related claims so check the fine print before you take out a policy to see what’s actually included.
Yonder currently serves North American clients but is planning to expand to cover European customers next year. Through their site, you can search through numerous reputable insurance providers to find the most appropriate cover for your particular needs, including ones with Covid coverage under their ‘cancel for any reason’ policies. Note that there are time restrictions on this aspect of the cover – see Yonder’s coronavirus section for more on that.
World Nomads is a reliable international travel insurance company – see a detailed review here. They cover travellers for trip cancellation, medical emergencies way beyond the EHIC card (for EU citizens) and your belongings. While they won’t cover you for cancellations due to fear of coronavirus, they do cover other aspects of pandemic related claims, e.g. medical treatment. Try the quote simulator below:
If you live in the UK or EU, you could consider Globelink. I’ve had to make a claim through them under very unusual circumstances and they were flexible enough to pay out so I continue to use them. They also cover a lot of pre-existing medical conditions, which is helpful, and are now covering Covid-related claims.
One of the things I love about the Rentalcars.com car rental search and booking engine is that you can see which car hire company you would be using.
The booking is made through Rentalcars.com and the car is supplied by your preferred rental company at your chosen location.
Although you pay up front, there is usually free cancellation so you can book ahead to get the best prices (check the terms and conditions to make sure).
I have yet to use this car pooling service but it’s been around for a few years. Bla Bla Car is a platform for connecting drivers who want company and/or to spilt costs with travellers looking for an economical or more entertaining way of getting to the same destination.
You can filter your searches for women only or levels of chattiness so if there’s no point talking to you before your third cup of coffee, opt for a less talkative driver. Or use the ride share as an opportunity to practice your language skills.
They’ve also started offering bicycle and motorbike rentals in some locations.
Tours and transfers
Whether you need airport transfers, a Lisbon Card, hop-on hop-off bus tours, food tours, boat trips, private experiences or workshops, Get Your Guide has a whole range of activities and services to choose from.
The good thing is that they offer free cancellation (check the conditions) so you can book ahead with confidence.
I like that you can check reviews and they also show which tour company actually provides the service, unlike other tour booking sites.
Viator is another popular tour booking platform and is part of TripAdvisor. If you can’t find what you’re looking for on Get Your Guide, it’s worth taking a peek at what Viator have to offer.
The booking system is simple to use and they issue refunds promptly if you cancel within the terms. The only thing I dislike is not knowing which tour company is supplying the tour until you’ve paid.
Exclusive reader discount codes for Portugal tours
Some of the tour operators I’ve had the pleasure of working with offer my readers a 5% discount on their tours. Note: You must mention the specific codes below when you make a booking.
Culinary Backstreets offer food-related walking tours in various cities around the world, including Lisbon.
5% discount code:
5% discount code:
Portugal guide books
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