When the economic news is grim, travelers have a couple options – either skip the trip altogether or find ways of making it less costly to go. (I don’t know about you, but I think one of those isn’t really a viable option.) When the destination you have in mind isn’t thought of as a cheap one – like Amsterdam – finding ways to make a trip budget-friendly are even more important.
Some of the things that budget travelers and backpackers have been doing for decades to make their money go further are well-known – yes, the hostels in Amsterdam will cost you less than the hotels, and getting a Eurail pass to travel throughout Europe is usually a huge money-saver. But what if you’re not the hostelling type? There’s a pretty big gulf between hostels and 5-star hotels, and there are plenty of options in between. The various star-levels of hotels may not be comparable to similar star-level hotels you’re used to in other countries, but you probably have a good idea of what to expect at the various levels.
Hotels and hostels aren’t your only accommodation options in Amsterdam, however. If you’ll be in the city for more than a few days, you might consider renting an apartment – especially if you’re with a family or another kind of group. Renting an apartment can be a great way to save money when you travel, not just because it’s cheaper on a per-night basis (again, especially if you’re splitting the cost) but also because when you have access to a kitchen you can make some of your own meals. Cooking even a few meals instead of eating out can save a bundle, and shopping in the local markets also happens to be a fun way to get into the culture. Not sure what a certain vegetable or meat/fish is? Ask the vendor for cooking tips – they’re usually happy to offer advice.
While you’ll see lots of people riding bikes in The Netherlands, renting a bike in Amsterdam isn’t usually worth it for short-term visits – it’s a compact enough city center that you don’t really need a bike, and you’re just as likely to get in the way of busy Dutch bike traffic during commuter hours. If you’re renting an apartment, however, you might not be in the city center, so be sure you know the location of the apartment in relation to the things you want to do and see in the city. If you’re far enough away and public transportation isn’t an option, then renting a bike for the duration of your stay is definitely worth considering.
>> What are your favorite money-saving tips for Amsterdam?
– by Jessica of BootsnAll
photo by keepwaddling1