Portugal is just a short hop from the UK, but it offers the climate and rich cultural diversity that one would expect from a long-haul destination. For most tourists, Portugal means the Algarve, but wonderful as those beaches are there’s a whole other Portugal to be discovered to the north.
Perhaps the most important element of any successful holiday is getting the accommodation right. You book your holiday in haste because you’re busy and you just want to get away, and then three days into your hotel stay you realise that you don’t want to be in one location for two weeks or that you’re so far from the beach it takes an hour to get there. Research is everything. If you research thoroughly, you’ll have a much better idea of how to structure your holiday. When you’ve decided where you want to go and what you want to do you can then start to book your accommodation.
- How do you intend to use your accommodation?
Do you literally just need somewhere to sleep or are you intending to spend time relaxing at the accommodation? If you are single and you just need a bed for the night then a cheap hotel room, Airbnb or even couch surfing may well serve your needs. If your accommodation is going to be part of your holiday experience, somewhere to relax, do some cooking, catch up on your reading, then you should be looking at self-catering accommodation.
- The exact location is important
You’ve found somewhere that’s really cheap and seems to be in the right place but actually it’s an hour from where you want to be, there are no facilities in the vicinity and you are going to need a taxi to get where you want to be. You might save money on accommodation, but you’ll be spending it on transport and more significantly it will put you in a bad mood.
- Travel out of season and stay longer
The best accommodation deals are always to be had out of season and during off-peak times longer stays will often result in cheaper per night prices.
- Use comparison sites
Booking directly with a hotel! might seem like the best way to get the best deal but unless you are a regular guest it’s unlikely to be the case. Comparison sites will usually get you the best price and they’ll give you more flexibility if you need to cancel or change your arrangements.
- The more the merrier
Renting a large self-catering property with a group of friends, particularly out of season, will mean that you can enjoy luxurious accommodation at a fraction of the cost that you would as a single person.
- Book early
Yes, there are some great last-minute deals to be had but Portugal is a popular tourist destination and last-minute deals are likely to be the most unsatisfactory accommodation that no-one else wanted. Do your research, book early and get the best deal on exactly what you want.