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7 Tips for Renting a 9-Seater van and surviving a family vacation in Portugal with kids!

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Thinking of renting a 9-seater van, gathering the family and kids, and heading off for a vacation in Portugal?

Then this article is for you. Learn how and where to rent the right vehicle for family travel, what details to keep in mind, and some tips for a smooth trip with the kids.

Also, discover activities to keep the little ones entertained and happy (and tantrum-free).

Advantages of Renting a 9-Seater Van

Car rental services in Portugal have become an integral part of vacation planning for families, just like booking accommodation, activities, or flights.

One of the main advantages is giving your personal vehicle a rest and avoiding wear and tear. Plus, you can choose a model that offers more comfort.

Additionally, if you want to combine vacation with other family members or friends, instead of taking two cars, everyone can join in the same van and share the costs.

In other words, vacation become more affordable, and kids have more fun with extra company!

Tips for Renting a 9-Seater Van and Having a Dream Vacation with Kids

1. Book the Van in Advance

Plan your vacation in Portugal ahead of time and arrange the rental of the 9-seater van at least a few weeks or even months in advance.

Remember that the demand for these types of vehicles increases during peak season, and availability becomes limited.

Additionally, booking early allows you to evaluate car rental prices, choose options, and add extras.

For example, if you need car seats for the kids, make sure to mention this when booking so they are available when you pick up the vehicle.

2. Find the Perfect Model for Your Trip

A 9-seater van offers enough space to accommodate all family members, ensuring a comfortable and roomy journey.

Generally, 9-seater vans fall under the minivan category of car rentals.

In a modern fleet, these models come with advanced safety features, comfort, and ease of driving, such as:

  • Light suspension;
  • Collision alert;
  • Ergonomic seats;
  • Assisted braking system;
  • Entertainment gadgets.

Undoubtedly, choosing the right vehicle will make the journey and travel during the vacation more comfortable for everyone.

3. Check the Rental Conditions of the Van

Before booking the 9-seater van, read the general service terms and ask for clarifications from rental professionals if you have any doubts.

Pay special attention to the main factors that influence car rental prices:

  • Additional fees;
  • Insurance conditions;
  • Fuel policies;
  • Mileage restrictions.

Analyzing these details prevents unexpected costs at the end of the rental period.


4. Ensure Extra Protection with Additional Coverage

Generally, vehicle rentals include basic coverage such as third-party liability insurance and collision damage coverage.

However, for your vacation in Portugal with kids, it's advisable to have more comprehensive protection that includes other coverages such as:

  • Extended roadside assistance;
  • Personal accident coverage;
  • Damage and glass breakage coverage;
  • Coverage for minor dents and scratches.

Although it represents an extra cost, this investment can prove highly advantageous in unforeseen situations, both in terms of savings and passenger safety.


Now that we've covered the main details of renting a 9-seater van, the following tips relate to your trip and the kids.

5. Prepare an Emergency and Entertainment Kit for the Kids

We know that long car journeys with kids often mean nausea, hunger, thirst, or just some boredom, leading to discomfort, crying, or tantrums.


The best way to handle these situations is to prevent them!

Gather some essential items in a bag and keep it handy to use whenever necessary.



6. Make Stops Along the Way

While touring through villages and towns, it's easy to find a place to rest and restaurants to grab a bite with the kids.

However, if your vacation route in Portugal includes highways, it’s better to identify service areas and manage distances to handle kids' emergencies like bathroom breaks!

These stops are also great for stretching your legs, grabbing snacks, buying water, and letting the little ones burn off some energy.

7. Plan a Fun Itinerary with the Kids in Mind

Involve the kids and teenagers in vacation decisions and include fun activities for everyone in the itinerary.


Here are some ideas to help:

Visit Museums, Monuments, and Castles

Kids love time-traveling, discovering stories of kings and queens, and imagining life in those times.

And Portugal’s nearly 900 years of history have left a vast heritage worth visiting:

  • Guimarães Castle - the birthplace of Portugal;
  • Castle and Town of Óbidos - ancient medieval town;
  • Convent of Christ, Tomar - Templar hideout;
  • Monastery of Alcobaça - royal pantheon of the Portuguese monarchy;
  • Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira, Sintra - fairy tale setting;
  • Planetarium, Lisbon - a journey to the universe of planets;
  • Earthquake Museum, Lisbon - simulation of the 1755 earthquake;
  • Coach Museum, Lisbon - a magnificent collection from the 17th to 19th centuries.

TIP: Take advantage of your vacation in Portugal to discover Portuguese traditions. Summer is very lively, with festivals and fairs happening from north to south of the country, offering activities and entertainment for the whole family.

Explore Nature on Walking Trails

Portugal has many trails with well-marked and safe routes to explore with the family and promote contact with nature.


Here are some options:

  • Waterfall trail of bridges and the Contador pond, Gerês;
  • Mata da Albergaria trail, Gerês;
  • Paiva Walkways, Arouca;
  • Mata do Bussaco trail, Luso;
  • Schist Path of Pedrógão Pequeno, Sertã;
  • Marvão Trails, Alto Alentejo.

Spend a Day at a Water Park

This idea will undoubtedly guarantee the best vacation in Portugal for your kids and not only because water parks are perfect for kids and adults alike.

Our suggestions from the center to the south of the country:

  • Lagoa do Falcão Water Park, Torres Vedras: a space in nature offering various activities from canoeing, climbing, archery, inflatables, to simple swimming in the lagoon.

  • Slide & Splash, Lagoa: the largest water park in the Algarve, with a variety of exciting slides and dedicated children's areas for an unforgettable day.

  • Aquashow Park, Quarteira: this water park, besides common attractions like slides and relaxation areas, includes wave pools.

  • Zoomarine, Guia: combines water fun with marine animal shows, providing an educational and exciting experience for the whole family.

Discover River Beaches

The river beaches we selected have extensive sand or grassy areas for playing, surveillance, leisure spaces, and sanitary facilities.

These beaches always offer a surrounding natural landscape and cool shade to withstand the heat.


Afternoons spent here will never be forgotten:

  • Rabaçal Beach, Valpaços - northern region;
  • Castanheira River Beach, Zêzere - central region;
  • Cardigos River Beach, Mação - central region;
  • Bostelim River Beach, Vila de Rei - central region;
  • Alamal Beach, Gavião - southern region.

Get to Know Wildlife

Wild animals, marine creatures, and even extinct species spark kids’ curiosity.

So, take advantage of your vacation in Portugal with the kids to see and learn about different species:

  • Dino Park in Lourinhã - the Portuguese Jurassic park;
  • Oceanarium, Lisbon - one of the largest aquariums in the world;
  • Lisbon Zoo - species conservation center;
  • Badoca Park, Santiago do Cacém - a real safari in the Alentejo;
  • Pedagogical Farms - a life in the countryside experience (found from north to south of the country).

Get Ready for Your Family Vacation in Portugal!


Kids have infectious energy, and vacations spent with family are fun but sometimes exhausting, with tantrums and little incidents along the way!

Therefore, prepare a good dose of patience, an emergency kit, and fun activities, and the vacation will be a dream.


As for renting a 9-seater van for your vacation in Portugal, rely on Drivalia. With a simple and transparent booking process, we offer a diverse fleet that allows you to choose the most suitable vehicle for your needs.

Got everything ready? We believe these vacations will be unforgettable for the little ones!

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