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Car & phone in Netherlands

I plan on being in the Netherlands in May. T-Mobile advises that as long as I am on Wi-Fi , I can use phone, text and GPS for no additional charges. I had originally planned on renting a car to travel to a timeshare in the eastern part of the country to be able to take day trips to Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium. I feel like GPS is necessary.
Has anyone used their phone and this supplier to ensure that it works and the price is right? Am I wasting money by renting a car instead of using public transportation?

Posted by
12040 posts

"Am I wasting money by renting a car instead of using public transportation?" That depends on where you're staying. Although in much of western Europe you can reach just about anywhere via public transportation, that doesn't mean this is always the most time-efficient use of your travel time. In general, if you're staying in a city and primarily visiting other cities, a car is probably not necessary. But if staying a small town or in rural areas, relying on regional trains and buses may not be very convenient.

If you do decide on a rental, realize that many rentals come equipped standard with a GPS with no influence on the overall cost (the model of the car is usually the determinate). You may not need your phone for navigating.

Posted by
1005 posts

With T-Mobile's Simple Choice plan, international data roaming is free (but slow). So you can get turn-by-turn directions from Google Maps or the Apple Maps apps on your smartphone and not pay for data roaming. There are also ways to download maps to your smartphone and save them for use when you are not data roaming. The maps will still show your location (because your smartphone has a GPS function independent of the cellular network or Wi-Fi), but they will not give your turn-by-turn directions. However, I always buy maps and review my routes in advance (Michelin are best), because directions from apps can be wrong.

The Netherlands public transportation is great, but if you are going to isolated places such as WWII battle sites, a car would be better. Use the 9292.nl website to check public transportation in the Netherlands; it is fabulous.

Posted by
4 posts

Driving in Europe, we have loved having the off-line maps of the app "Co-Pilot", which I found much less expensive than renting one for the rental car, and obviously less bulky than taking a GPS device separately from the smart phone or tablet. Then I found out I can use it for walking directions, too! Love it, and expect to use it again in Netherlands and France later this and next month, and plan to use it on a bike, too! I have ended up getting the Western Europe edition, since I've needed more than just France which I started with a couple of years ago...

Posted by
47 posts

I just completed my Amsterdam trip in May and used my T-Mobile Simple Choice cell service for the first time. Internationally, there is no better carrier. Even if you cannot access Wi-Fi for free international calls, you can make local calls in Amsterdam or call any country including the U.S. for only $0.20 per minute. I called my neighbor in the U.S. while in Amsterdam and she said I sounded as though I was right next door. I also telephoned several businesses and restaurants in Amsterdam to ask questions or make reservations. All texting is free. The only weak point is that while data is free as well, it is only at 3G speeds so accessing a web page for information can be really slow. 3G data service is better in some areas than others. But to have a direct line of voice communication to my family and neighbors back in the U.S. and having them being able to contact me by just dialing my cell phone number gave us peace mind in case there were any problems back home.

Posted by
2 posts

I too just returned from the Netherlands. T-Mobile was perfect. We traveled into Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg and had no problems. The rental car cost us a lot but because we had a time share near Vaals which was a great stop and wonderful location; it would have been difficult to explore the area without a car. It got us to the public transportation where like everywhere else in Europe is a tremendous asset. I only wish we had this convenience in central Florida! We used bus #50 three different times. The metro pass in Amsterdam was another good investment.