McLaughlin's men take on reigning champions Leinster in an all-Irish affair at Twickenham a week on Saturday and the 56-year-old believes being away from all the pressures surrounding the season's showpiece will bring out the best in his tournament under dogs.
"We're going to Portugal to change the environment and get a lot of hard work done and have a bit of fun as well," said McLaughlin.
"There's huge hype in Belfast and Northern Ireland at the moment - which is fantastic - so it's just a matter of getting out of that environment for a short amount of time and getting our feet back on the ground.
"There's a lot of things going on. There's a lot of sponsorship and media requirements and it's just a case of getting the guys away for a few days to make sure the focus is on the right place, which is Twickenham in two weeks' time.
"We're under no illusions - we've got to play Leinster who are the top side in Europe. They're going for three Heineken Cups in four years and we want to make sure we do our damndest to use our true potential and turn up on the day."