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Travel Tips

 

 

TRAVEL TIPS FOR THE NETHERLANDS | Everything You Need to Know Before You GO!

 

 

VISA AND PASSPORTS

  • Please check the expiry date on your passport: Travel outside of the United States requires a passport valid for at least the next six months.
  • US citizens may enter the Netherlands for up to 90 days for tourist purposes without a visa. A US citizen must possess a valid US passport.

 

CONSULAR INFORMATION
The US State Department provides Country Specific Information sheets for every country in the world as well as Travel Alerts and Warnings. For this information, call 888 407 4747 or 202 501 4444 or visit travel.state.gov.

 

HEALTH

  • Plan to visit your doctor or local travel clinic at least 4-6 weeks before departure to allow time for any vaccinations to take effect or to fill any prescriptions.
  • Dial 112 for emergency medical assistance.
  • Pharmacies (“Apotheek”) are widely available and can assist with emergency prescription needs. Some common medications are not available in the Netherlands without a prescription, and some prescription drugs cannot be imported into the country.
  • Carry an adequate supply of prescription drugs in their original container in your carry-on luggage. Please carry a letter from your pharmacist or medical doctor with you, as some drugs are subject to confiscation by local customs agents.
  • If you are traveling with any pre-existing medical condition, bring a letter from your physician that describes your medical condition and any prescription medications, including the generic name of any prescribed drugs.
  • Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the US. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO), which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
  • If you received any vaccinations in preparation for your journey, pack your vaccination certificates in your personal carry-on baggage in case you are asked to show them on arrival.
  • Special meals and allergies: If you require special meals for health or dietary reasons, please let your Da'at tour operator know at least 60 days prior to your departure.

 

TRAVEL INSURANCE
 We strongly recommend that you purchase your own travel insurance. Please discuss land, air, and health insurance options with your insurance provider or contact Travel Insured at 1-800-344-6226, ext. 257. Some insurance programs provide more comprehensive coverage when the policy is purchased in close proximity to the initial trip deposit. We therefore recommend that you secure insurance within 14 days of your initial deposit payment date.

 

CURRENCY AND BANK INFORMATION

  • In 2002, the Netherlands adopted the Euro as its currency. Euro is used in many European countries and the banknotes are similar everywhere.
  • Click here to obtain the most current exchange rates.
  • While traveling in the Netherlands, we suggest you have some US money that can be exchanged, if needed, for local currency and at least two major credit cards.
  • Geldautomaatsor “money machines” are everywhere and most payments are made with chip and PIN technology or contactless touch-and-go cards.
  • We recommend that you find a card that allows you to show without paying extra for the foreign transactions and ATM fees.
  • A travel-friendly debitcard allows you to withdraw cash for all ATMs in the Netherlands, without carrying a lot on you at once. Because you’re spending your own money, you’ll avoid interest charges. Save money by finding a bank that waives the fee for international ATM withdrawals and doesn’t charge a monthly account keeping fee.
  • Credit cards give you the most purchasing power on expensive items like hotels and flights when traveling in the Netherlands. Find yourself a credit card that waives foreign transaction fees. Carrying a credit card gives you the added benefit of travel insurance and discounts, depending on your provider. For added savings, take advantage of the interest-free period by paying your balance in full each month.
  • Cards that offer travel perks and waive fees often charge an annual fee, so make sure the fee is worth it before you bring it along on your travels. If you’re ever in a jam, credit cards also offer cash advances, though we don’t recommend it. You’ll pay high fees and interest rates apply the moment you get your money.
  • In general, it’s best to use ATMs owned by Dutch banks as they don’t charge a fee for use of their ATMs (most also have the added plus of offering an English-language menu). However, regardless of Dutch rules, your home bank may charge anyhow. Avoid “independent” ATMs in the Netherlands by looking for Plus, Cirrus, and other major ATM names. Independently-owned ATMs will charge exorbitant fees.
  • One of the downsides of Dutch ATMs, however, is that they won’t tell you what the exchange rate is. You won’t know until after the transaction or until you return home. Regardless, the good news is that tourists have reported that they received good or excellent exchange rates at Dutch ATMs.
  • While traveling abroad, be on the lookout for pickpockets looking to take advantage of tourists. As soon as you enter the airport, you’ll see signs warning you of petty theft. Use ATMs in public place and be careful to protect your PIN. Secure the rest of your money in a safe location on your pe
  • For more information about money in the Netherlands, click here.

 

ELECTRICITY

  • In the Netherlands, the standard voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. Most hotels provide hairdryers.
  • Electric shavers, traveling irons, phone rechargers, and other small appliances may require adaptors and/or converters, which you can purchase prior to your departure or at the airport.
  • For more information, visit worldstandards.eu.

 

TIME ZONE
The Netherlands (UTC+2) is six hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, US. To determine current time in major cities around the world, visit timeanddate.com.


CELL PHONES
 Tips to avoid international roaming charges:

  • Use your existing plan – contact your local carrier to find out plans and prices for data roaming.
  • Rent a device – rent a phone, download your information, and use the borrowed device as if it were your own.
  • Get a local SIM card – Make sure your phone is "unlocked" before purchasing a local SIM card in your destination and using your phone on the local network.
  • Wi-Fi only – Turn off your cellular data, switch your phone to airplane mode, and enable a Wi-Fi connection to access Internet hotspots in your destination.

 

INTERNATIONAL CALLS
Because of the time difference between the United States and the Netherlands some advance planning is in order so you can call at a convenient time and when calling charges are lowest.
 

For international calls from the Netherlands to US:
Dial 00 + 1 + the area code and phone number.
For example, to dial a number in Atlanta, Georgia, you would dial 00 + 1 +404 (Atlanta area code) + your party’s phone number.

 

CUISINE
Traditionally Dutch cuisine is simple and straightforward with many vegetables and little meat. The diet contains many dairy products and is best described as rustic. Here’s a recommended restaurant list to help you decide which of Amsterdam's many restaurants might suit you best.

 

FACILITIES FOR THE DISABLED

  • Holland offers many options for disabled persons. The historic city centers may be somewhat complicated to visit, but many tourist attractions, hotels, and restaurants are very accessible.
  • You can board buses and trains in a wheelchair. Many canals fit their ships with platform lifts.
  • When making dinner plans, your hotel will be able to recommend restaurants that can accommodate your needs.
  • Should you require handicapped facilities, please contact our office.

 

LANGUAGE
The official language in the Netherlands is Dutch, spoken by almost everyone. Dutch is the world’s third most widely spoken German language. It is always worthwhile to speak a little of the local lingo, so we recommend you click here for some useful Dutch words and phrases.

 

WEATHER
The Netherlands have a temperate maritime climate influence by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean with cool summers and moderate winters. Since the country is small, there is little variation in climate from region to region.

 

Average high/low temperature in Amsterdam

 

MONTHLY AVERAGES

 AVERAGE TEMPERATURES  
 FAHRENHEIT

 AVERAGE TEMPERATURES   

 CELSIUS

 AVERAGE
 PRECIPITATIONS

 LOW

HIGH

LOW

HIGH

IN MILLIMETERS

JANUARY

33°

40°

69

FEBRUARY

31°

46°

-0°

39

MARCH

27°

48°

78

APRIL

39°

54°

12°

36

MAY

46°

62°

17°

45

JUNE

51°

66°

11°

19°

69

JULY

55°

70°

13°

21°

63

AUGUST

55°

70°

13°

21°

54

SEPTEMBER

51°

65°

11°

18°

75

OCTOBER

47°

58°

15°

84

NOVEMBER

40°

48°

90

DECEMBER

37°

43°

69

 

 

WHAT TO PACK
Click here for our suggested packing checklist.

 

BAGGAGE
Confirm baggage limitations with your international carrier before packing. Remember that airlines can change their baggage restrictions at any time.

 

FLIGHTS AND AIRPORTS

  • Be sure to reconfirm your international flights with your airline 24 hours prior to your departure.
  • Passengers must check in for international flights from the US/Canada at least three hours prior to departure time.

Airport Security
Security checks are carried out routinely for your protection and safety. Expect to be asked about the contents of your luggage, about who packed it, whether anyone asked you to transport items for them, and whether your luggage remained with you before you arrived at the airport. Do not take any mail, packages, or unknown items from anyone either before or after arriving at the airport.

 

ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE TRANSFERS

  • If your package includes arrival and departure transfers, this will be detailed in your travel documents which will be e-mailed to you up to one week prior to your trip.
  • If you deviate from the arrival and/or departure dates and time as specified in your travel documents, you will need to arrange your own transfers. Alternatively, you may request a transfer service up to three working days prior to your arrival and the cost of the transfer service will be added to your invoice.
  • When requesting a transfer service, please provide us with your flight information. Your arrival transfer is guaranteed for up to one hour from your scheduled arrival time in order to compensate for minor delays.
  • Da'at or the transfer company will not be responsible for delays, for any reason, beyond one hour from your originally scheduled arrival time. In case of a delay, it will be your responsibility to contact Da'at directly and/or to make other transfer arrangements, such as by taxi.
  • Transfer costs are not refundable and any additional expenses will be your responsibility.

 

CHECKING IN AT YOUR HOTEL
If you arrive at your hotel before the customary 3:00 p.m. check-in time, your room may not be available. Store your luggage with the concierge and take the time to walk around and get a feel for your new city.

 

PROTECTING VALUABLE ITEMS

  • Hotel safes are usually provided and can be used to protect valuables such as passports, medications, jewelry, money, and electronics. If you must carry valuables, keep them on your person at all times, be mindful of your surroundings, and take extra caution in crowds.
  • We recommend photocopying the personal information pages of your passport and leaving one copy with a family member or friend and packing another in a place separate from the passport itself. You can also scan your passport and email a copy to yourself for easy online access. This will help you to secure a replacement quickly should the need arise.

 

SHOPPING
Where and whether to shop while traveling with Da'at is a personal choice and shopping is never compulsory. If at any point during your journey you feel pressured to shop or make purchases, please discuss the matter immediately with your tour educator.

 

TIPPING GUIDELINES
 We recommend the following for tipping (amounts in US dollars):

  • Groups of 20 participants or more:
    Da’at tour educator $8, local guide $5, and driver $3 per participant per day
  • Groups of 10-19 participants:
    Da’at tour educator $10, local guide $6, and driver $3 per participant per day
  • Hostess (when included):
    $4 per participant per day or a minimum of $100 per group per day
  • Security guard and/or a youth counselor (when included):
    $1 per participant per day to each security guard or youth counselor
  • Recommended restaurant tipping when lunch or dinner is on your own:
    10%-15% depending on your satisfaction.
  • Porter:
    Included in your package.

 

 

IMPORTANT CONTACT DETAILS

 

EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE IN THE NETHERLANDS
 
112 is the Dutch equivalent of American 911.

Police | 112

Ambulance | 112

Fire Brigade | 112

 

DA'AT EMERGENCY INFORMATION

Da'at – Israel
19 Washington Street, P.O. Box 71047, Jerusalem, 91710 Israel
972-2-621-3333

Da'at – USA
500 7th Ave., 8th Floor, New York, NY 10018
Toll-free number: 888-811-2812

 

 

USEFUL WEBSITES
Center for Disease Control
Electricity & Plugs
Foreign Exchange Rates
Weather
U.S. Customs & Border Protection
Transportation Security Administration
Consular Affairs: Passport Information
Dates of Holidays in the Netherlands

 

RESOURCES
Useful Dutch Words and Phrases
The Netherlands Timeline
Books about The Netherlands
Netherlands Through Film
Playlist
Recommended Restaurants in Amsterdam
Packing Checklist