Thank you to so many of you who gave me great advice and helped along the way with the planning of this trip! I promised a trip report but I'll post it in stages and just as a warning, I tend to be pretty wordy (my degrees are in English, I can't help it). I'll have to post this in multiple comments. Please feel free to post any follow-up questions and I hope this is helpful/interesting! :)
Some context/random possibly helpful things to know:
- We are 29 & 30 years old and new to European travel. This was a three week trip for our honeymoon that I had been planning since December 2016! We definitely made some first-timer mistakes which I may post a separate thread about, but we learned as we went. ☺
- We are not big on art or museums, so our trip reports may look a bit different and be missing some of the typical “must-sees.” We are leisurely travelers and we stuck with the attitude that we will be back one day and didn’t feel the need to pack our days full.
- Husband wore the money belt with both passports, 200 euro back-up cash and a back-up credit & debit card
- I carried a Baggalini brand crossbody bag and kept my wallet attached to the little carabiner style clip it came with. I usually walked with my arm/hand resting over the bag naturally, but would make sure to do so when we were in crowded areas or on public transportation. I never had an issue or felt unsafe. On our travel days when we would be using public transportation or taking trains or flying, I put my purse inside my Herschel backpack (so my wallet was clipped inside my zipped purse which was inside my zipped backpack). Again, we were aware of our surroundings but didn’t overthink anything and tried not to get paranoid, and had no issues with pickpockets.
- We both have Verizon cell service and we decided beforehand that I would keep my phone on airplane mode and just use when we had WiFi access, and we would use my husband’s phone whenever we needed to access it using data. We opted to just use the Verizon Travel Pass, which allows you to use your regular data plan for $10/day (24 hrs). For the convenience factor and with this being our first trip, we thought it was 100% worth it. As we got more comfortable, we ended up not needing to even use the phone every day, so our total extra cost for cell phone usage ended up being $140.
Our IcelandAir flight departed from Seattle around 4pm with no issues at all. We were seated in an exit row, which was great for the extra legroom, and service on the flight was excellent. As usual, I wasn’t able to sleep (even after taking two Ambien) which was frustrating but not unexpected as I’ve never once managed to actually sleep on a red eye flight. Our layover at Keflavik was uneventful and we landed at Schipol right on schedule, around 1pm.
After landing at Schipol International Airport, we made our way to the main area of the airport and followed the signs to find the train into the city. We managed to purchase tickets without any trouble using a kiosk, and the train ride to Amsterdam Centraal was super easy and took about 20 minutes. Once there, we walked for 10-15 minutes to our bed & breakfast. We stayed at Bees B&B, which is in a lovely area on the Leliegracht, just bordering the Jordaan. We did break one cardinal rule of European travel and took a nap when we arrived, but we made sure to keep it short (probably about 45 minutes) and got ourselves up and out quickly afterward. We did have some trouble with jetlag while we were in Amsterdam, so I’m not sure if that nap really did have an impact, but I honestly don’t know if we would have functioned for the rest of the day without it as I really did not sleep at all on the flight (and my husband’s sleep was pretty minimal as well).