Summer Vacation Alternative – A Family’s Road Trip Through Southern Portugal

after 3 months in lockdown a road trip through southern Portugal is just what this family needs!

Bébé Voyage Spain Ambassador Daniela Kemeny and husband Sergio live with their two young children in Madrid. Pre-Covid, they had planned a month traveling in Africa this summer. All that is on hold for now. Despite having endured one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, the spirit of adventure is alive and well with Daniela’s family. Discover their Plan B and their plan to “Make Lemonade out of Lemons” this summer with a road trip through southern Portugal.   


Bébé Voyage Disclaimer: The following article and all others related to travel during the Covid-19 pandemic are based on the experiences and views of the persons interviewed at the time of publication.  As with any travel article published in Bébé Voyage, these views are published for informative purposes only. Bébé Voyage declines all responsibility related to actions taken by the Bébé Voyage community after reading the said articles. It is the reader’s responsibility to undertake travel plans that are in accordance with governmental mandates at the time of travel.


Please tell us about you and your family.

My husband Sergio and I are from Chile. I’m a teacher and he’s an engineer. We live in Madrid with our almost five-year-old son and almost two-year-old daughter.  


Did you have plans for this summer that you had to cancel or reschedule because of Covid-19?

We had plans but fortunately we hadn’t gotten around to purchasing any tickets or making any bookings. We wanted to spend a month traveling in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania in Africa. 


How has your locality dealt with Covid-19 and what restrictions are you currently facing?

We experienced one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe. We spent three whole months without leaving our house except for groceries. As kids could not go shopping with us, they didn’t even leave the house for that. It was very tough on them. We don’t have a backyard, nor do we have a balcony of any sort. They literally did not get any fresh air or sunshine for three entire months. 

We are currently still in a state of alert, but each week restrictions are being incrementally lifted. Up until last week, we could only go out from 10:00AM-12:00PM and 5:00PM-9:00PM. As of this week, there are no more time-imposed restrictions, but we can only go as far as one kilometer from our home. 

Although schools are still closed, bar terraces have been open for two weeks already in Madrid and for longer than that in other areas. Needless to say, this has caused a lot of controversy here. Some people are going back to work, but working from home is still encouraged. Many families, especially women, are having a huge issue with how to deal with childcare which has caused a huge debate.

In our case, both my husband and I are still working from home while trying to homeschool my almost five-year-old son which has NOT been easy. 


At this stage, have you been able to come up with any alternative vacation plans? 

Of course, we completely changed our plans and are now looking into more regional travel options. We were planning on driving down to the south of Spain to Cadiz. However, most of the hotels and Airbnbs that we’ve found there are super expensive! When we read in the news that Portugal was opening its borders to Spain on June 21, we started also exploring the option of driving to the south of the country, which is much, much less expensive. We are thinking of staying in and around Faro and Lagos in southern Portugal’s Algarve region. It’s beautiful there. Although we’ve been to Portugal before, we never went to that area. So, we are really looking forward to it! 

We are also currently debating whether we should rent a caravan (camper trailer). We have never been on that kind of holiday. Let’s say we are more “urban” travelers. At this point, we are a bit nervous about staying in hotel rooms or Airbnb’s when of course we don’t know exactly how sanitized the spaces are and where we will be in contact with a lot more people and therefore at a higher risk. Also of course, there’s the added bonus that the caravan option could be super exciting for our kids, who have never done something like that before. Most importantly, it would allow us to be IN nature, which after months of lockdown, is something I am really in need of. 

We are still deciding and will also look into Airbnb’s as they are a better way to isolate a bit more from others than hotels.

Please tell us about any plans you may have for a multigenerational vacation.

Well, next year is my mother’s 60th birthday. I hope she never reads this but my siblings and I are looking into the option of meeting somewhere in Europe to surprise her. I have five siblings and we all live in different parts of the world. As the last time we were all together was in April 2018, this would be an opportunity for siblings, cousins, and grandchildren to meet!


This is the seventh in a series of Bébé Voyage articles on Summer 2020 Plan B, also known “Making Lemonade out of Lemons.”  The BBV team wants to hear from you about your summer plans–whether it’s a staycation, a summer house rental, a road trip, or even  chartering your own boat.  Have you been thinking of a multigenerational vacation? What about farming your kids out to your parents?

Let your plans be an inspiration for our community. Please contact


You may also like these articles from the Bébé Voyage blog:

How To Safely Take A Family Road Trip This Summer


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