5 ways to spend your holiday allowance

5 ways to spend your holiday allowance

If you're working in the Netherlands, you may have noticed some extra money in your bank account with your May salary. You may have even jumped for joy about your Dutch holiday pay!

Spend your holiday allowance on a trip

So the question is: what are you going to spend it on? New clothes? A new technology device? Or are you going to save it for the future? Why not take a trip away? Whatever your budget is, we have trip tips for you. Here are five ways to treat yourself, at five different price points:

1. If you have up to 50 euros to spend: A day out at a Dutch museum

A museum day, coupled with going out to lunch is a nice way to spend some extra cash. If you’re in or near Amsterdam, why not check out the Van Gogh Museum? While you’re at it, the Stedelijk Museum and Rijksmuseum are just next door!

For a museum trip farther afield, the Kröller-Müller Museum in the Veluwe National Park has some true gems on display by Van Gogh, Monet, Mondriaan, Picasso, Braque, Seurat and Rodin. This museum is beautifully integrated with nature, meaning that part of your visit includes a tree-filled sculpture garden.

Since the weather should be getting warmer as summer approaches, this is just the right time of year for a trip to this outstanding museum in one of the most famous Dutch national parks.

Also worth checking out are the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, Teylers Museum in Haarlem, which is the oldest museum in the Netherlands, Centraal Museum in Utrecht and the Escher Museum in The Hague! There are too many to list them all out, but check out our list of museums in the Netherlands for inspiration for your museum day trip. Rijksmuseum, Museumplein, Amsterdam

2. If you have 50 to 100 euros to spend: A relaxing spa day

Dutch spas are an absolute treat and if you’ve lived in the Netherlands for any length of time, it’s something you’ve got to try. Many spas are made up of multiple facilities: the range of saunas can include Finnish saunas, infrared saunas, Himalayan salt saunas, relaxing music saunas and more. The wider facilities in many spas are outstanding, with massive varieties of swimming pools, steam rooms, jacuzzis, and plunge pools.

It may alarm some people to know that a day at the spa in the Netherlands means being stark naked in front of everyone, but there are some special spa days perfect for “swimsuit only” customers at spas across the country. Each visitor gets issued with flip-flops and a bathrobe, or you can bring your own. You can even enjoy a glass of wine or some snacks (or even a full meal) in your bathrobe.

Have a staycation in the truest sense of the word when you go down the convenient route of going to your nearest spa! On the other hand, you may decide to attend one far away from home to avoid seeing your colleague or gym instructor.

Some recommended spas include Spa Zuiver in Amsterdam, Thermae 2000 in Valkenburg, Thermen Soesterberg in the province of Utrecht, Thermen La Mer in Almere, Thermen Holiday in Schiedam and Sanadome Hotel & Spa in Nijmegen.

Couple in a sauna in white towels with eyes closed

3. If you have 100 to 200 euros to spend: A music festival

Lowlands, Awakenings, Down the Rabbit Hole, Mysteryland - you name it - the Netherlands is famous for its wide offering of festivals! In fact, summer in the Netherlands means it's time for some of the best music festivals in Europe. These high-quality events feature everything from big names in the electronic scene to hip-hop heavyweights and legends of classic rock.

Go for a day ticket for Pinkpop in Limburg for 135 euros or, for a more indoor affair, get yourself to the world-class North Sea Jazz at the massive Ahoy, with 13 different performance stages over different floors in Rotterdam.

Get your summer festival tickets before they sell out, then sit back and enjoy the music!

Lowlands Music Festival Netherlands

4. If you have 200 to 300 euros to spend: A weekend train trip to a neighbouring country

Getting to Germany and Belgium by train is simple with the ICE high-speed train and the Thalys, respectively. The sooner you book, the cheaper your ticket - this is really useful, because you can book up to 180 days in advance.

The ICE train, which departs from Amsterdam, Utrecht and Arnhem, brings you to 12 German cities and one city in Switzerland. Meanwhile, the Thalys takes you from Amsterdam and Rotterdam to the Belgian cities of Antwerp and Brussels. You can also take the Thalys train directly to Paris!

Switch to another train to go even further, to German cities like Berlin, Munich or Hamburg, Belgian cities like Ghent and Bruges or the French cities of Lyon or Marseille! Or you could swap your train journey for a quick flight from Schiphol, though you’ll have less legroom and more queuing. Whether you go down the hotel route or book a cosy Airbnb, you’re sure to have a delightful stay!

ICE international high-speed train Germany

5. If you have 500+ euros to spend: Splash out on island-hopping in the sunny Mediterranean

When you live in the Netherlands, that feeling of lack of sunlight becomes all too apparent as the winter turns to spring so that’s why it’s important to catch a few rays and get a good dose of vitamin D. If you have children, the school holidays will be a great opportunity to whisk the whole family away.

What’s more, some of you may be finding the Netherlands rather flat and lacking in substantial hills for hiking. Many expats may even be craving delicious food from abroad! So, if you have a generous amount of holiday money this May, why not spend it on some island hopping in Greece, head to Cyprus, or bask in the sunny islands of France, Spain or Italy?

Choose from popular Greek islands like Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos and Zakynthos, or check out the Balearic islands of Majorca, Menorca, Formentera or Ibiza. If Italy is more your style, try Sardinia or Sicily. Or you might enjoy the French island of Corsica, or any of the gleaming coasts in the south of France. After sorting out your travel insurance and spending money on flights from Schiphol or Eindhoven, you can choose whether to splurge on luxurious accommodation or go the budget route with Airbnb.

Blue skies and crystal clear sea water view from a boat

Enjoy your holiday

No matter where you decide to go or what you spend your holiday allowance on, this little extra in your bank account is one of the many exciting perks of this time of year! 

What are you spending your holiday allowance on? Let us know in the comments!

Rachel Deloughry


Rachel Deloughry

Rachel is a writer, editor and digital content creator, passionate about the arts, culture and lifestyle.

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