Useful Travel Information: Basics

There is now only 10 days left in the countdown and some of you may be getting ready to fly out. Here are some useful tips and information before you fly. This information is repeated from the Out of Town Guests section.

TIME ZONE

Amsterdam is in the Central European Time Zone (GMT +1:00). This is a +6 hour difference from New York City. Here are some tips to recover from jet lag quickly: http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/excessive-sleepiness-10/jet-lag-remedies.

LANGUAGE

The native language is Dutch, but almost everyone speaks English.

CURRENCY & TAX

The Netherlands is part of the European Union, and use the Euro (€). Currency Converter

Sales tax (VAT) is 21% and is already included in the listed price. If you’re interested in tax-free shopping (only available at certain stores), check out the Global Blue Program.

ATMs are only available at banks. Please check with your local bank about withdrawal/currency exchange fees abroad, and notify them of your trip before travelling. You can also choose to exchange your money before you leave. Compare your options to find the most cost effective method.

Visa and Mastercards are accepted in most places (they usually charge 3% foreign transaction fee), but it is better and easier to use cash.

NOTE: Please notify your bank of your trip if you plan on bringing your credit card/ATM card because they may block your transactions.

CHARGING ELECTRONIC DEVICES

The Euro plug is used in the Netherlands, check out this website for more information: http://www.adaptelec.com/index.php?main_page=document_general_info&products_id=171.

A plug adapter will need to be used for US power plugs.

The voltage is usually 220-240 volts which is greater than the US voltage of 110-120. Check your electronic device to confirm if it can handle the voltage. Most laptops,  cameras and tablets do not have this problem. Otherwise, you will need a voltage converter.

MOBILE ROAMING CHARGES

If you use your mobile phone in the Netherlands, there may be roaming charges. Please check with your mobile service provider prior to leaving regarding rates (these tend to be ridiculous, eg $1 per minute). My advice is to keep your mobile phone in airplane mode during your trip to avoid unnecessary charges.

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