How To Save Money On Your Dutch Vacation
Although going Dutch is a common practice among family and friends when going out to eat, do not think that Netherlands will pay half of your travel bills. Although it is an expensive country to travel to, there are some ways you can save money while enjoying your holiday.
Just like all other things in the market, airfare is high in the peak season and vice versa. To save money, book your tickets in the off-season – fall or winter. However, be sure not to travel in the days around Christmas as it will be the holiday season all over.
Live like the locals
Although you would like to indulge while on vacation, it is best to focus more on outdoor fun rather than luxurious suites with expensive champagne and desserts being delivered to you. You will find that the hotels in Amsterdam are too expensive for the services they offer. A five-star hotel in Amsterdam will resemble a four-star hotel in New York. Consider reasonable and affordable options such as apartments, homes by the canal-side or houseboats in which you can enjoy the starry night sky while having a delicious dinner.
Adopt the local habits
Rent a bike and ride that to move around the city. That way you can get to see the local attractions as well as get some exercise. Those who do not have the stamina for riding a bike or just don’t feel like it can take public transportation. You can get an OV-chipkaart, which is refillable, if you are going to ride a lot.
Have your own H2O!
For a country that is filled with water, getting a glass of it should not be a big deal, one would think. However, it is a big deal. When in restaurants, ask specifically for tap water, locally called glassje kraanwater, if you want to avoid paying an extra two or more euros for a bottle of mineral water. Some restaurants might refuse such a demand in which case it is best to carry your own bottle of water while you are on the move.
You can purchase an I Amsterdam Card which is electronic, and will provide you with free access or discounted access to many of the city’s museums. In addition, it will provide you with a free canal cruise, free use of public transport, and a 25% discount on various restaurants and attractions. Arrivals Hall 2 of the Schiphol Airport, and the Centraal Station have branches of the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions from where you can purchase this card. It is also available at various spots of the City Transport Company, some museums and hotels, as well as online at www.iamsterdamcard.com. The cost of a one-day pass is 40 euros, two-day pass is 50 euros and three-day pass is 60 euros. Tickets for the ballet, comedy clubs, symphony, opera and theatre can be bought at a discount of 50% from the Last Minute Ticket Shop. You must purchase the tickets from the office on the day of the performance; however, you can get a preview of the daily selection at www.lastminuteticketshop.nl. The tickets start selling at noon.
If you are a frequent visitor to the Netherlands or plan to visit multiple museums during a year, you are advised to invest in a museum card – museumkaart. It can be purchased for 44.95 euros (for people under the age of 25, it costs 22.50 euros) from museums or from the website at www.museumkaart.nl. This card will give you free access, any day of the year, to more than four hundred and forty museums of the Netherlands.