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2017 Trip

So, recently I have decided to travel to the Netherlands to visit some of my family that lives over there. I am currently a sophomore in college and have asked three of my friends to go with me, and they are around 75% sure that they will go. As of right now, our traveling expenses (tickets, parking, gas, misc.) is around $1,100 (per person). I was just curious about how much spending money we all should bring. As far as I know, we will be staying with one of my family members while we are down there. So, that gets rid of the hotel costs. I'm also pretty sure that we won't be going out every night and getting food as we might have family dinner, so that also cuts from the costs. I was thinking that I would take $1,000-1,500 spending cash with me, but I'm not sure if that is too much or too little, because I'm not sure what my family would have planned out for us. Any input would be fantastic, thanks!

Posted by
533 posts

How long are you going for, and what do you want to do while you're there (e.g., visit museums, take train trips to other cities, etc.)?

Posted by
2788 posts

Is this your first trip to Europe? If it is, I would strongly suggest that you get a copy of RS "Europe thru the Back Door" and also his "Amsterdam" guide book. If you have neither, you can purchase both elsewhere on this web site. I have gone to Europe for 13 of the last 14 years and have always found his guide books most helpful in planning my trips.

Posted by
6 posts

I went like 8 years ago when I was in 8th grade, but this will be first time going without my family. And to be honest, it's all dependent on what my family would be willing to do, but I have talked to them and they said since I hardly go down there, they'd make sure we had a great vacation. So, I'm sure they'll take us out to eat, shop and visit some museums and stuff like that. They also mentioned railroading.

Posted by
6 posts

Also, my main thing there is just to visit family, but I can't disappoint my friends that are coming along as well.

Posted by
25583 posts

I see you mention gas and parking.

Is there a reason you need to drive in the Netherlands?

The train, bus, and treintaxi networks are really well integrated and work really well together. Most places, especially if you hire bikes in certain places, are super easy that way.

Driving is slow, (even most of the fastest roads are are limited to 100 or 120 kph), traffic is very heavy, parking is nearly impossible in Amsterdam - and exceedingly expensive - very difficult and expensive in Haarlem, den Haag and Rotterdam (says the voice of experience), but possible (unlikely to be free unless it is a clock area) in some of the smaller towns.

Trains are frequent, fast, cheap, and go between town and city centres.

The speed camera was invented in the Netherlands, and is always being refined. Dutch drivers are the guinea pigs....

Posted by
6 posts

Sorry, I guess I wasn't clear on the part. I'm driving from Columbus, Ohio to Toronto's airport.

Posted by
2487 posts

Where are you staying? How long will your stay? What are you - and your friends - interested in? It's difficult to give you some input without some information.

Posted by
5906 posts

Andrew, you and three friends sounds like quite a burden on your family to feed and entertain. Are you sure they are on board with your plan? If it were me, I would expect to pay them something for their hotel and guide services.

You do need to spend some time reading the Travel Tips here (upper left corner of this page) regarding money etc. But the guidebooks will probably give you a much better overview than piecemeal questions answered here. It is hard to give advice on one question when you want to answer the question not asked.

Posted by
6 posts

Well, based off of my last trip there, one of my family members owns some sort of hotel business so I think we might stay in there. So, we could go and buy groceries and probably have family dinners with a bunch of my family on different days. But like I said, it's in 2017, so not everything is planned as of right now.