Traveling to any destination without a financial implications tab would be reckless, risky and, in some cases, deeply inconvenient. And being stranded thousands of miles from your home country is never a pleasant feeling. Of course, travel cost is only one aspect of a travel plan. For those traveling to the Netherlands, a basic idea of what to expect is crucial. This includes culture, climatic conditions, places to visit, English proficiency (especially for those from English-speaking countries), type of food, best time to visit, and public etiquette, among other considerations.
It may sound too mundane, but travelers to the Netherlands should know that Holland is different from the Netherlands and there are people who will cringe at the indiscriminate use of these terms. But first, exactly how much money should someone save for a trip to flat tulip country?
Travel costs in the Netherlands
Here is the truth. While other expenses like food and accommodation can be significant, travel costs usually make up the bulk of a traveler’s budget. To effectively budget travel costs, travel time is crucial and could swing the budget pendulum significantly. For example, the end of June is a bad time to travel to the Netherlands from the United States. The cheapest flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Amsterdam will cost you around $570. Now compare that to a mid-January flight that cost as little as $323. That’s a decent saving of $247 or a whopping 43%. And that’s just to compare economy class tickets. The savings on second class or first class flights can be even greater. Again, travelers should use sites like Kayak or Expedia to compare some of the cheapest flight costs available.
It sounds like a trivial thing, but the day of the week you travel – or book a flight – is just as important as the month you travel. According to a flight research firm Hopper support, Tuesdays are the best to leave and Wednesdays are the best to return. Therefore, choosing a flight on a Tuesday could save up to $30. Don’t make a mistake. This is roughly the amount one is likely to pay for a cheap hostel in the Netherlands. On the other hand, Saturday flights will cause the biggest dent in a traveller’s wallet. When it comes to booking a flight to the Netherlands, the best time for dollars is Thursday. Travelers should also remember to book ahead, preferably three weeks in advance.
For luxury travel, flight costs can vary between $1,100 and $3,000 for first class.
Budget for food and accommodation in the Netherlands
Unfortunately, Amsterdam or any other Dutch city is not known for cheap street food like, say, Mexico. And accommodation in the Netherlands will depend on what a traveler can afford. Travelers on a strict budget should be prepared to pay around $15 for the cheapest hostel with minimal facilities. Check Hostelworld to compare rates. Also remember to read the reviews. For those looking for a bit of comfort, hotels, vacation rentals, and Airbnb are great options. For a 4 or 5 star hotel, travelers should plan to shell out between $100 and $300. For 2 or 3 star hotels, $50 turns out to be the minimum on average. Vacation rentals are 2 to 3 times more expensive.
For vacation rentals, AmsterdamSTAY is a useful site. The cost of Airbnb is in the same range as a standard hotel. When choosing a place to stay, travelers should consider the distance from the city center, as this can sometimes increase the overall cost of accommodation. Facilities far from the city may seem cheap, but can turn out to be expensive, if you add the trifles and travel trinkets. And for vacation rentals or Airbnb, travelers should be wary of what seems like a perfect deal. Due to the housing crisis in the Netherlands, there is a minefield of scams that will need to be avoided. Watch out for some identifiable scam red flags. Some legitimate sites to check out are HomeToGo; Vakantiehuizen; or Belville.
For food, a full meal with drinks should cost between $35 and $60 depending on the city, the specific restaurant and, of course, what one will be ordering. In the city centers, drinks are generally more expensive. Of course, a pizza – lasagna or other sandwiches – from a cheap supermarket like Lidl can save someone several dollars. A pizza costs around $6. For someone who has their own space in an Airbnb or vacation rental, cooking is much cheaper. With a $15 rice cooker, someone can have an impressive variety of meals to prepare. Then there’s Thuisgekookt.nl, an exciting platform where neighbors cook food to order for those staying nearby. Food prices on the platform are generally affordable and worth the experience. When everything is factored in, travelers should budget between $40 and $80 for food, local travel, and sightseeing expenses per day. However, a budget traveler with their ears and nose to the ground can get by on $20-40 a day.
So that’s it. Whether a traveler wants to visit Rotterdam, Utrecht or Amsterdam, the cycling capital of the world, a cost guide should be a reliable companion.
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