The wife and I will be in the Netherlands in April, 2022. I've been to Amsterdam before, so I know the sites we want to see and to revisit.
The issue is that we want to visit a niece who studying at a private school in Maastricht. (two hours by car, three hours by train) and my wife wants to visit Giethoorn (North East of Amsterdam) and then we both want to visit the 2022 Floridae in Almere. (1 hr N/E of Amsterdam)
Rather than three separate day trips by train, I think I should rent a car.
The itinerary would be:
Day 1: Drive to Maastricht from Amsterdam airport (rent a car at Schipol to avoid having to drive in Amsterdam) , visit our niece at her private school for the day and then drive to Giethoorn (2hrs), stay at a hotel.
Day 2: Visit Giethoorn the next morning/afternoon, and then drive to Almere ( 1hr). Stay at hotel near city center or near the exposition area. (A Hotel with paid or free guest parking)
Day 3: spend the next full day visiting the Floridae before driving back in the early evening to Schipol to return the car and then train into Amsterdam to check into a hotel near Amsterdam Central. Or spend an extra night in Almere and drive back to Schipol the next morning.
So, is there a better way to do this? Can this be done without renting a car? My wife was hesitant to rent a car, because she said the road signs would be in Dutch, and we don't speak Dutch. But I will learn the European road sign markers and with Google Maps, Apple Maps and a GPS, I will be on major highways/tollways? and don't anticipate I will get lost. I am more afraid of the inner city driving and driving into areas where cars are prohibited and I don't realize it. Or how to park in the city center, if you need to put a pass in your windshield, etc. etc. Will I need a vignette or pass to drive in certain areas or motorways? in tollways, how does one pay for tolls? Is there an E-Z pass (electronic) device, I should get as part of the car rental? Is there something peculiar or special to driving in the Netherlands that I am missing? Yes, I will have an IDP. (International driving permit)
Thanks for any advice or recommendations in advance.