TRAVEL


ON THIS PAGE:
 
USEFUL SITES
  AIR TICKETS ONLINE
  AIR TICKET COMPARISON SITES
  BUSES ' INTERNATIONAL
  HITCHING
  HOLIDAY INFO

  MOVING HOUSE / COUNTRY
  TRAVEL INSURANCE


          USEFUL SITES

Dutch railways http://www.ns.nl/domestic/index.cgi including travel planner

Dutch tourist offices http://vvv.pagina.nl/ sorted into the different provinces

foreign embassies in NL http://ambassade.pagina.nl/ list of foreign embassies in the Netherlands for your visas when travelling onward ('Buitenlandse ambassades in Nederland'), and of Dutch embassies in other countries ('Nederlandse ambassades in het buitenland')

KLM http://en.nederland.klm.com/

QANTAS http://www.qantas.com.au/

Netherlands Board of Tourism http://www.holland.com/ official site (with a nice panoramic opening)

Schiphol airport http://www.schiphol.nl/ flight info etc

time http://www.worldtimeserver.com/ for all over the world

time (some more) and also public holidays, travel warnings http://www.weltzeituhr.com/start_e.shtml for countries all over the world

working holidays if you're thinking about moving on from the Netherlands, or staying away for a short break, and want to work elsewhere, check out the section 'AND FOR WHEN YOU LEAVE' on the employment page for some tips on where it's legal, the conditions, and some job ads

YHA  http://www.yha.org.au/ Youth Hostels Australia (useful for members). 

          CHEAP AIR TICKETS ONLINE

Don't forget to also search for tickets to airports other than Amsterdam's Schiphol airport.  For example, Rotterdam airport often have cheap flights to holiday destinations, as well as to the UK, and it has the advantage of being small, hence easier to access by car.  Eindhoven airport has Ryanair, which may end up as a cheaper trip, even though it may not be as close you as Schiphol, and you'll have to pay for the train as well.  Most airlines are pretty easy to find

Easyjet http://www.easyjet.com/en/ no frills cheap tickets ' but somewhat better in all respects than Ryanair

Jet2 http://www.jet2.com/  new super cheap airline based in Leeds

lastminute.pagina http://lastminute.pagina.nl/ list of last minute holiday links (NL)

Ryanair http://www.ryanair.com/ Irish airline, offer amazing deals (I flew London-Sweden for '1.50) but prepared for the comfort, convenience, and punctuality of a rush hour tram.  They also have a rather imaginative idea of where their airports are, e.g. Brussels=Charlerois,  Hamburg=L'beck,  etc.

vliegtickets.pagina http://vliegtickets.pagina.nl/ list of air ticket links (NL)


          AIR TICKET PRICE COMPARISON SITES

These sites are all in Dutch only, but are pretty easy to use.  Just enter your places and dates of destination (naar or aankomst), sometimes also of departure (van or vertrek) and it will show you comparative prices with different airlines and/or travel agencies

El Cheapo http://elcheapo.nl/display_vliegen.html (NL)

WaarheenWaarvoor http://www.waarheenwaarvoor.nl/ (NL)


          BUSES - INTERNATIONAL

Buses are not as comfortable and not nearly as fast as planes or trains, but they're generally much, much cheaper.

Eurolines  http://www.eurolines.nl/index_en.html destinations all over Europe (even including some of the bits round the edges)

The Bus Station  http://www.busstation.net/main/busnth.htm  Bus Station is a useful website about buses all over the world.  This page for NL mainly has national lines.


          HITCHING

Hitch hiking is legal in many European countries, although there are sometimes restrictions on where you can do it; freeways are a no-no for obvious reasons, unless it's at a petrol station.  On the whole, it is quite easy to get a lift, however, as it is everywhere in the world, hitching is an 'at your own risk' activity!  A number of organisations have sprung up to at least keep the caught-for-hours-in-the-rain risk at bay.  In most cases you are expected to pay your share of the petrol ' this amount is stated in advance.:

hitchhikers.org http://www.hitchhikers.org/index.cgi'lang=en drivers leave messages of where they are going to and from, and how many seats are available.  Use of the website info is free.  This is the area of the site with rides to and from NL.  The worldwide site http://www.hitchhikers.org/ gives you many more countries as options.

Car Pool http://www.car-pool.co.uk UK site, but you can enter your country of departure and when you'd like to end up

Austria - Mitfahrzentrale   http://www.mitfahrzentrale.at - same as for germany (see below) but for Austria

 

FRANCE ' Allostop http://pcb.ecritel.fr/allostop/welcome.html in French only, but supposedly very useful.

FRANCE ' Ecotraject http://www.ecotrajet.com/ also French only

FRANCE ' fruitful hitching points in France http://membres.lycos.fr/bpierret/hitchike.htm this privately kept site hints at an English version, but it's all French.  On the other hand it's not too hard to see what he means.

GERMANY - Mitfahrzentrale  http://www.mitfahrzentrale.de/ - in German only. I'm afraid, but if you're going to be travelling in or through Germany ten your lucky that they have the best system for this in Europe. Almost every town has one or mare branches and lifts are mostly available to other major places. Awfully well organized.

 

GERMANY ' She-Drives http://www.she-drives.de/ same German organisation as Mitfahrzentrale, but for women drivers & passengers only.

LITHUANIA ' Autostop http://www.autostop.lt/main.php Haven't you always wanted to go to Vilnius'

UK ' Freewheelers http://www.freewheelers.co.uk/ UK site, mainly for within the UK

SAFETY TIPS http://www.hostels.com/transport/hitchhike.html useful tips on how to minimise your risks.


          HOLIDAY INFO

         
Perfect holiday addresses! :  www.boerenbuiten.nl  BoerenBuiten is an organisation that promotes countryside-tourism in Holland. BoerenBuiten has the disposal of various holiday addresses. On this website you can find B&B-addresses, minicampsites, holiday cottages, apartments and several other forms of accommodation for the tourist.

cheap hotels worldwide http://www.twinroom.com/

hostels in Europe (independent) http://www.hostelseurope.com/ i.e. not the Youth Hostel ones (see their details below)

house swapping http://homeexchange.com/ swap your flat/house for one in Paris, New York, or even Boskoop for a couple of weeks ' free!  You don't need to be a member to check the listings or to send members a message and make an offer, but you do if you want to place your own listing (US$30).  Go forth and explore Europe!

International Youth Hostel Federation (IYHF) http://www.iyhf.org/home_gb.html all of the locations, online booking, up to date info (e.g. which are closed), special offers (e.g. ski packages)

KidsWorld http://www.kidsworld.to/ specialise in holidays for families ' they have their own resorts in Crete and Turkey, with trained (Dutch) staff to mind and entertain the kids so the parents can have fun alone if they want. (NL)

Lonely Planet http://www.lonelyplanet.com/ not just full details of all of their books, also a comprehensive message board (Thorn Tree) with the latest travel tips, and lots of other useful info .  You can also subscribe to their online newsletter.

pet to go with you on holidays' http://www.hotdogholidays.com/ the Hot Dog Holidays site tells you about which hotels welcome dogs in Benelux, France, Portugal and Spain.

Rough Guide http://www.roughguides.com/ Lonely Planet's main competition in travel guides (or at least I think so!)  Their guides don't have as many details, and don't cover as many locations per country, but they have a lot more in depth info about each country, including literature, music and art.  They also have a newsletter, and a message board (Travel Talk).

specialist book shop for travel http://www.himalaya.nl/ location: Amsterdam (NH)

WWOOF around the world http://www.wwoof.com.au/WWOOFing_aound_the_world.html what' You still don't know what WWOOF is'  Check the Australian WWOOF site for details: http://www.wwoof.com.au/

DutchNomads have the ultimate way to get to know Holland!  We have the most lovely and nostalgic campers for rent. We offer these campers including all trips and tips to Holland. Details: http://www.dutchnomads.com/

 

and more See also details in the section ' Nice Things in the Netherlands'.


          MOVING HOUSE / COUNTRY

verhuis.pagina http://verhuis.pagina.nl/ list of links for removalists (sorted per province), self storage facilities, for buying boxes, and more (NL)

boxes for moving   getting good quality boxes that are all the same size can save you a stack when moving overseas.  If you are shipping in a container, then you are charged for the volume, not the weight.  Good boxes will stack neatly with no gaps, and are less likely to break or sag, so your goods will also be less likely to be damaged.  Most removal companies have them, but you can also get them from other companies if you are doing the rest of the move yourself.  Try http://www.verhuisdoos.nl (NL) for a good range, deliverable through the post to your house. Cheap boxes are available at http://www.verhuisdozenwinkel.nl/ and they deliver FREE to most of NL, but they are not actually real moving boxes (this can matter!) (NL)

Verhuisdozen Express : http://www.verhuisdozen.info We own a professional webshop on which we sell moving boxes an other gear for a successful move. Our moving boxes are of reliable quality and have a so-called autolock bottom. We distribute all over the Netherlands and Belgium for free, no matter the amount of the purchase. info@verhuisdozen.info  in Dutch but it has some interesting links to other movers.

 

Australian customs http://www.customs.gov.au/bizlink/TRAVEL/know.htm don't forget to check here before you pack the container for home

 

Australian import regulations http://www.excess-baggage.com/customs/australia.asp what you can and can't take back with you, and what docs you need to do it

Dutch Customs office http://www.belastingdienst.nl/9229237/v/e-index.htm

Dutch import regulations http://www.excess-baggage.com/customs/netherlands.asp what you can and can't bring over here, and what docs you need to do it

import duty for emigrants ' a warning!
One thing many emigrants aren't aware of is that there is a time limit on when you can bring your stuff over with you without having to pay import duty.  It is more or less the same on all countries ' and most definitely in Australia and the Netherlands.  Both allow you to bring in personal belongings (including clothing, furniture, electrical goods, etc) within 12 months of entering the country for settlement.  This means that you don't have everything with you on the plane ' you can send some over as sea freight (e.g. by container) or even as parcels by normal post.
If you're only bringing over a few parcels, then you'll probably have minimum hassles ' especially if it's just used clothing, books, etc.  But if it's a container load, or in any way valuable, or could be construed as items that could be sold, then get your documentation ready (visa, registration of abode etc.)  It is also reason for suspicion if you have lots of brand new things amongst your belongings ' some countries insist that you have had the items for a minimum of 12 months prior to shipment.
They don't always check for proof, but if they do, and you don't qualify, then it is a hefty percentage of the total value (and they get to do the calculations).
The same will apply when you go back to Australia ' you don't get to bring things into the country for years after leaving


          TRAVEL INSURANCE

If you are insured in NL and are only traveling away from here for a short while, then of course you can get local travel insurance. 


If you are NOT insured in the Netherlands, and want to get it now, then you have limited options.  No Dutch travel insurance will cover you ' even if you just 'pretend', pay the premium and get away with it, you may not actually get any sort of compensation if and when the time comes. Nor will most of the Australian travel insurance companies cover you, not unless you the policy starts when you are still in Australia.  And needless to say, NO insurance company anywhere, ever, backdate a policy for you!

Nevertheless, there are a few companies that are willing to insure Australians already overseas.  Below are two that I tracked down for a friend.  World Nomads was by far the cheaper of the two. I didn't see any major difference in the policies of the two companies ' in fact at a first glance, World Nomads seemed to be offering a better deal as well as a better price, but that was only after a quick scan of it ' check it in detail and see if it is better for you.

North Travel Insurance - CHI http://www.northtravelinsurance.com.au/ Has a Residents Returning Travel Plan for Australians who are already overseas. Worldwide emergency assistance provided by Mondial Assistance, and policies underwritten by Allianz.

World Nomads  http://www.worldnomads.com.au/  You can download the complete policy (5 pages).

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