Traveling to any destination without a tab on the financial implication would be reckless, risky, and in some instances, deeply inconveniencing. And being stranded thousands of miles from one’s home country is never a pleasant feeling. Of course, the cost of travel is only one aspect of a travel plan. For those traveling to the Netherlands, a rudimentary idea of what to expect is crucial. This includes the culture, climatic conditions, places to visit, English proficiency (especially for those from English-speaking countries), the type of food, the best time to visit, and public etiquette, among other considerations.This may look overly mundane but travelers to the Netherlands should know that Holland is different from the Netherlands and that there are people who’ll cringe at the indiscriminate usage of those terms. But first, exactly how much money should someone save up— for a trip to the flat land of tulips?


Travel Costs To The Netherlands

Here’s the truth. While other expenses like food and accommodation might be significant, traveling costs usually make up the bulk of a traveler’s budget. To effectively budget for travel costs, the time of travel is crucial—and could swing the budget pendulum considerably. For instance, late June is a bad time to travel to the Netherlands from the United States. The cheapest flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Amsterdam will set you back by about $570. Now compare this to a flight in mid-January that goes for as low as $323. That’s a decent $247 saved or a massive 43%. And that’s just comparing economy class tickets. Savings on second-class or first-class flights can even be bigger. Then again, travelers should use sites like Kayak or Expedia to compare some of the cheapest flight costs available.

It looks like something inconsequential but the day of the week that you travel—or book a flight—is just as important as the month one travels. According to flight research firm Hopper Media, Tuesdays are best to fly out and Wednesdays are the best to get back in. Consequently, selecting a flight on a Tuesday could save someone up to about $30. Make no mistake. That’s about the amount one is likely to pay for a low-cost hostel in the Netherlands. On the flip side, Saturday flights will cause the severest dent in a traveler’s wallet. When it comes to booking a flight to the Netherlands, the best time for the dollar is Thursday. Travelers should also remember to book in advance, preferably three weeks out.

For a luxury trip, flight costs could range anywhere between $1,100 to $3,000 for first class.

Related: 10 Unforgettable Things To Do In Amsterdam

Budgeting For Food And Accommodation In The Netherlands

Unfortunately, Amsterdam or any other Dutch city is not known for cheap street foods like, say, Mexico. And accommodation in the Netherlands will depend on what a traveler will be able to pay. Travelers on a strict budget should prepare to pay about $15 for the cheapest hostel with bare minimum facilities. Check out Hostelworld to compare rates. Remember also to read reviews. For those looking for some comfort, hotels, vacation rentals and Airbnb are worthwhile options. For a 4 or 5-star hotel, travelers should plan to pay between $100 to $300. For 2 or 3-star hotels, $50 turns out to be the minimum on average. Vacation rentals are 2-3 times more costly.

For vacation rentals, AmsterdamSTAY is one helpful site. The cost of Airbnb is in the same range as a standard hotel. When choosing a place to stay, travelers should factor in the distance from the city center as this can sometimes add to the overall cost of accommodation. Facilities far out of the city may appear cheap—but may turn out to be expensive— if you add the travel trifles and trinkets. And for vacation rentals or Airbnb, travelers should be wary about what appears to be a perfect deal. Due to the housing crisis in the Netherlands, there’s a minefield of scams that one will need to avoid. Look out for certain identifiable scamming red flags. Some legitimate sites to check out are HomeToGo; Vakantiehuizen; or Belvilla.

Related: Going Dutch: 10 Attractions In The Netherlands That Prove It’s Europe’s Most Underrated Country

For food, a full meal with drinks should cost between $35 to $60 dollars depending on the town, the specific restaurant, and of course, what one will order. In the city centers, drinks are usually more expensive. Of course, a pizza— lasagne, or other sandwiches— from a cheap supermarket like Lidl can save someone several dollars. A pizza goes for about $6. For someone who has his own space in an Airbnb or a vacation rental, cooking is way cheaper. With a $15 rice cooker, someone can have an impressive variety of meals to prepare. Then there’s, an exciting platform where neighbors prepare food on order for those staying nearby. Food prices on the platform are generally affordable and the experience worthwhile. When all things are factored in, travelers should plan with $40-$80 for food, local travel, and sightseeing expenses per day. However, a budget traveler who has his ears and nose on the ground can make do with $20 to $40 per day.

So that’s it. Whether a traveler wants to visit Rotterdam, Utrecht, or Amsterdam, the biking capital of the world, a cost guide should be a reliable companion.