Holland on a Budget

You might think it would be easy to see the best of Holland on a shoestring budget because the country is small – think again. There is so much to do and see in this charming European country that it is easier to lose track of your spending than anything. From museums to shops, bars and restaurants, the choices can be overwhelming. So if you want to enjoy your trip and come back feeling richer for it, do some planning in advance and consider the following tips from seasoned travelers:

Lodging. There are cheaper alternatives to hotels such as hostels, inns and B&B’s. Average rates for a hostel would be from €15 for a dorm or €20in a private room. In Holland, you do not need to worry about the safety of such accommodations – they are quite popular with backpackers and are practical options especially if you plan to be out and about most of the day and just need a place to rest in. Most hostels and inns also offer free breakfast and Wifi connection which already saves you money. If you are a student, try and secure a discount card such as the International Student Card as this will go a long way in getting you discounted rates for things such as transportation, entrance to museums and lodging fees. Another discount card you might want to check is the Hostelling International card which is accepted in a lot of hostels around Europe.

Getting around. Exploring Holland via train or bus is quite easy as the network is extensive and well-planned. For the trains you will need an OV-chip card which can be purchased at the ticket offices. It would be wise though, to check out for special offers and discounted rates – visit the website at www.ns.nl or ask at the station. Another good way to get around would be to ride a bike – Holland is generally flat with excellent cycling paths and infrastructure so consider this healthy and practical alternative to getting around.

Sightseeing. Not to be missed are Holland’s world class museums, but the entrance fees can eat up on your budget! This is where a little planning and research can help – check out the museums and their schedules. They would regularly have days where entrance is free or admission rate is discounted. In Amsterdam for instance, there is an event held every April called the “museum weekend” where a number of museums offer free entrance. There is also the “Museum Night” in November where the museums are open after regular hours and guests can party with free flowing drinks and music.