What to do with your holiday allowance as an expat in the Netherlands

What to do with your holiday allowance as an expat in the Netherlands

What to do with your holiday allowance as an expat in the Netherlands

For new expat arrivals in the Netherlands, the concept of holiday allowances may seem strange but very welcome as it allows seeing more of the country without raiding their savings.

With every welcome windfall comes a dilemma – what to do with the extra cash. Fortunately for working expatriates who’ve received this blessing, there’s plenty to see, do and enjoy over the holiday period, whatever the available budget. For those with between zero and 50 euros, a day exploring a museum together with lunch at a favourite restaurant is one choice, especially if you’re living in or around Amsterdam. The city’s Van Gogh Museum now has a fine selection of the master’s paintings on display, including several which went missing for 14 years. The magnificent Rijksmuseum is nearby, with its current exhibition of Rembrandt’s superb masterworks depicting life as it was.

For just 50 to 100 euros, an entire day of pampering at a Dutch spa is a great way to spend it, as spas in this country are a total treat for the senses and the body. Incorporating everything from saunas of various types through to jacuzzis, plunge pools, swimming pools, thermal waters, steam rooms and much more, the experience will clear away the remnants of work-related stress. There’s only one problem for expats – nakedness is the order of the day in Dutch spas!

For expatriates with between 100 and 200 euros burning a hole in their pockets, the Netherlands is world-famous for its music festivals, all of which are high quality events offering everything from hip-hop to classic rock through appearances by big names in the world of electronic music. Whether you’re camping under the summer stars on Vuiland island, listening to your favourites at Flevoland or loving every minute of the world-class indoor North Sea Jazz festival with its 113 stages, you’ll get true value for your money.

For those lucky enough to have received between 200 and 300 euros, taking a long-weekend train trip to Germany, Switzerland or Belgium via the ICE high-speed train is worth every euro you spend. Departing from Utrecht, Arnhem and Amsterdam, the train calls at 12 cities in Germany and one in Switzerland, giving views of the Dutch countryside along the way. If you’ve time to travel further, connections take you to the historic Belgian cities of Bruges and Ghent, with plenty of choice as regards hotels or even Airbnb accommodation.

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