Portugal is a beautiful country and it is a wonderful place for a vacation. In fact there is so much to see and there are so many things to do; that a visitor does require transportation. Portugal does have its own public transportation but its a far better idea to have your own car. I rented a car and had the opportunity to see more places and to really experience the destination.
When to travel to Portugal
Portugal has a wonderful climate but the best time to travel is from May to September. Most of the sightseeing options are open and the weather is not at its hottest peak. You can travel in Spring and Fall as well as the weather is good and tourists are light.
Things you need to know before booking a car
Just like any other country, renting a car is easy in Portugal. The major criteria for booking or renting a car are as follows:
1. You can be a maximum driving age of 75 to rent a car. In some cases, you may have to demonstrate an International Driving License or IDL or IDP. This may be required in addition to your driver’s license. In case you do not have an IDL or IDP, you can get the license online through the AAA website for $15 or so.
2. Please watch out for peak tourist season from May to September. You will get a car but the rush may result in you not getting the car you really want. If possible, book your rental a month in advance.
3. Most rental cars comes with AC and run on diesel which makes them hardy. The diesel use also results in cars that have a lot more mileage as compared to other cars. If you have another driver, you may have to pay an extra surcharge for the driver.
4. Rates for car rentals will vary depending on the season and the car. For example, rates in Lisbon will average about $70 per day. This will come down to about $120 for three days at a bulk rate. You may have to pay higher for week long and weekend rates. Please note that VAT is applicable and comes to about 23% of the entire charge. Some users have pointed out that Algarve has the highest rates due to a higher car rental demand.
5. For everyone who is deciding to travel with rent-a-car please consider getting collision insurance from the car rental company. Most personal auto insurance policies do cover rental cars and they do offer coverage on those cars as well. However, it pays to read the find print.
The roads in Portugal
Portugal’s roads are in excellent condition and even a novice driver will have no problem using the roads. However, some of the inner roads may be in bad condition. Please check a map before setting out on a trip. Major highways are called as autoestradas and they link all major cities through highway systems.
As you can see, traveling in Portugal is great if you have a car and you can easily enjoy your vacation. All you have to do is book your car and your hotel room well in advance. It would also help if you have an itinerary ready for the entire plan. By planning well in advance, you and your family and your family can enjoy your vacation at leisure.