What to pack for The Netherlands? As a Dutch woman I know exactly how to dress for the four seasons we have in The Netherlands. However, it can be frustrating for foreigners to figure this out and how to blend in. Besides clothes, there are many other things you need to take with you whenever you are traveling. That’s why I thought of helping you out with the general packing list of The Netherlands for women.
This means you will find out how to dress like a Dutch woman, what kind of luggage is needed, a travel toiletries list for when you are traveling to The Netherlands and much more. As every season is different it requires other items, so at the bottom of this article you will find things you should add or leave out in the different seasons. So, have a look below to get ready for your travels to The Netherlands with this all-season travel packing list for women.
Keep in mind that this trip packing list is specifically for The Netherlands. You will not get a Europe packing checklist, although many items could be worn in other countries, they don’t always make you blend in. For instance, in Italy and Spain they wear dresses and skirts way more often than shorts. In The Netherlands you will see the opposite.
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When you are traveling to The Netherlands you will soon see that basics are everywhere. Those are some of the items of your list that you should pack when you travel to The Netherlands (also called Holland sometimes which is technically incorrect). We like to be comfortable, casual, but also look put together. You won’t see people in yoga pants unless they are headed to or are coming from the gym. Every now and then you will see some people in Adidas pants or something similar like that, however athleisure is not what we generally wear. So, if you want to blend in when you’re traveling to The Netherlands, leave those pants in your bag or at home. We generally see clothes like that as sloppy and you will definitely get a few side eyes when you are entering a store, cafe or restaurant like that.
Now, I know. You want to be comfortable. I personally find jeans extremely comfortable, however I know that many foreigners do not find them comfy at all. Don’t you worry, pants exist in many wonderful and comfortable combinations. Another important fact is to make sure your clothes have enough layering options. The weather changes rapidly in The Netherlands, so be prepared. Have a look below to see which basic items and clothing I think you should bring when you’re packing for different seasons in The Netherlands.
Packing list, The Netherlands for women
Taking the right luggage on your trip to The Netherlands and maybe another part of Europe will be something you will always be thankful for. In The Netherlands we have many cobblestones and tall, but small, buildings. These buildings in general don’t have elevators, so if you are coming to The Netherlands and want to stay in one of the most beautiful houses, but are bringing a 20kg suitcase… You will be wishing that you didn’t take that suitcase.
What I prefer when I’m traveling for a longer amount of time is a backpack. It depends on how long you’re traveling, but in general I love the Osprey bags.
Osprey Farpoint 40 L: This 40 L Farpoint is the best for a shorter trip of a month or two, only if you pack light of course. Otherwise the 40 L are good for a few weeks of traveling through The Netherlands or anywhere else. Check here to see the current prices: Osprey 40 L Farpoint. The best part of this backpack is that it is the maximum size that is allowed as carryon luggage in most European airlines, even budget airlines. Although you should always look up the current sizes as Ryanair likes to change it up, I know for certain that Transavia allows this backpack on board. So, if you are a budget traveller this backpack is one of your travel essentials of your Amsterdam checklist.
Osprey Aura 65 L: Another favourite backpack is a bigger size. This backpack is from Osprey as well and has 65 L to stuff. I wouldn’t use this backpack for less than a year traveling with different seasons. Also, don’t try to completely fill your backpack. The reason for that is because I think you should still be able at least be able to carry it, buy some souvenirs (cheese, stroopwafels) and maybe buy some cute clothes. Click here to see the current prices: Osprey 65 L Aura.
Tip: Always make sure the backpacks have rain covers. That’s another reason to love these Osprey bags. Free (well, you kind of paid for it anyway) rain covers.
When it comes to what suitcases you should bring to The Netherlands for a weekend trip, city trip or shorter trip, I prefer a small hard case carryon suitcase. For me personally I prefer these kinds of suitcases on my packing list for a citytrip because when you are traveling within Europe on budget airlines you will see that your carry-on luggage is often placed in the hold of an airplane. Your luggage isn’t being treated like it is having a relaxing spa day. That is also the reason that I prefer to get more durable products like this carry-on for instance from Delsey Paris. The sizing is perfect for the budget airlines within Europe.
You can also think of taking a wheeled back pack, so you can carry these on the stairs in the tall buildings in The Netherlands, but also give your back a break on the streets. Here again, I prefer the Osprey backpacks. Besides having a great quality, Osprey also gives you a lifelong warranty. So, if your zipper breaks, they repair it for free. None of these paragraphs are sponsored by the way, I just absolutely love their stuff and wouldn’t include something that I hate.
Herschel daypacks: Bringing a daypack on your trip to The Netherlands is very useful and I think a daypack should always be on a travel packing list. Some of my most favourite packs are from the brand Herschel. They are comfortable and look very stylish as well. Find one of my favourite daypacks that should be on your international travel check list here.
Luggage tags: Last, but not least in the luggage department that should be part of your packing list for The Netherlands, luggage tags. I recommend using any luggage tag that you can find, but one that is of good quality. You don’t want to know how your bag or suitcase is treated. So, make sure to buy one that stays in place, like these luggage tags for instance.
2) Packing cubes
I cannot stress the use of packing cubes enough. These babies should be on every vacation or holiday checklist. They save stressing out and keep all your clothes, shoes, etc. separated so you know exactly where everything is. Convinced already? That’s what I thought. Packing cubes are perfect to use when you travel and pack for a holiday in The Netherlands.
Packing cubes come in all colours and sizes, so it depends what you are looking for. My favourite brand for packing cubes is Eagle Creek and I prefer cubes that have a colour and aren’t black. Click here for the Packing cubes.
3) Clothes, shoes and accessories
This is the problem area for most people who are traveling, including myself. However, because I’m Dutch I know exactly what Dutch women wear so you can blend in, and still be comfortable. It is hard to specify exactly what you should wear in Amsterdam in March, June, August or December; however, I hope this gives you enough information and inspiration. The way Dutch people dress is, like I mentioned above, casual and comfortable but put together. You won’t see anyone wearing yoga pants, work-out shirts or work-out trainers/sneakers. We do wear sneakers, just not the ones you work out in. At least now you know what not to wear in Amsterdam and the rest of The Netherlands.
What Dutch women wear is a combination of many things, but we are always using layers. The reason for this is because our weather changes very quick. Dutch women, in general, like to combine current Dutch fashion trends such as flared pants, with basic styles. There is a general clothing style for the cities in The Netherlands. On the countryside people will dress even more basic. At the bottom of this article I have made four sections where you can find what you need to add or remove from this travel packing list depending on the season you are visiting The Netherlands.
1x Long-sleeved shirt: Just one shirt that can be worn when it is a little colder, but that still can be worn alone. Something like this striped shirt.
3 x Blouses: I like to take blouses that stand out a little, this way it is easy to create a more special outfit. Think, leopard or a popping colour. I prefer to take three blouses with me. One leopard or snake skin, one basic white blouse and one of a popping colour. It depends on the season that you are arriving in The Netherlands, because during winter we tend to wear thinker blouses, or combine the thin blouses with blazers or sweaters. You will see this often when you look at Dutch street fashion. Also, I know white is a devious colour to wear when traveling, but I’m a mega klutz with food and spill quite often something and my white blouses and shirts still look okay. I want the food to get into my mouth as fast as possible. Just don’t take white pants with you. Those are truly made by the devil.
1 x Suit (1 x Blazer & 1 x Pants): The reason for adding a suit is that this makes combining clothes during warmer and cooler weather a lot easier. You don’t have to buy a suit of hundreds of euros. Just a pair of black, nice trousers and a black blazer will do. Or a printed blazer and the same printed trousers. It makes an outfit a whole lot more special and put together. Have a look at a great example for a beautiful suit here.
1 x Sweater/ jumper/ cardigan: You should think in the layering options again, for instance during autumn and winter take a turtleneck that can go under a blouse or a jumper, so the blouses can go under the jumper. The item or items that you take need to be wearable on its own as well. Take an extra item during the colder seasons. It’s all about combining the modern Dutch clothing style with your own little touch.
2 x Cute tops: Depending on the weather, what kind of cute tops. During summer they can be whatever you want, such as this cute top. In the winter season, you would want something that is a little bit warmer, for instance, this top.
1 or 2 x Pants: The amount of pants depends on how comfortable you find jeans. If you prefer pants, then I would take two or maybe even three pairs of pants. One basic pair of pants, one with a pattern or stripe and another one with a flare or something else that stands out for instance.
2 x Jeans: Personally, I find jeans very comfortable, so I prefer one pair of black skinny jeans and a mom jean. For example this black skinny and this mom jean. If you want to dress like a Dutch girl, this is what you should bring and write down on your travel list.
3 x Shoes: During spring and summer in The Netherlands you should bring a pair sneakers like these Nike ones (check the prices here), flip-flops for in the hostel or hotel shower and nice looking sandals. Don’t wear the flip-flops on the street. It looks sloppy. When you’re looking for more options on the best sandals, travel boots and other shoes to bring to Europe, check a great article I wrote here.
During autumn and winter, you would want to bring a pair of sneakers as well (depending on how early in autumn you arrive), flip-flops for in the shower and warm, rainproof boots or shoes with a good profile. Don’t bring rain boots, that looks ridiculous. It’s not like you’re going to jump into mud pools all day.
If you like to work-out, then I’d suggest you take a good work-out pair of shoes with you. For instance, this Nike pair is perfect, look for the prices here. But you won’t wear those on the streets if you want to blend in, because they are too much work-out gear.
1 x Coat: During the end of spring and summer I, and many Dutch women, wear jeans jackets like these ones. We also tend to wear our (fake) leather jackets from the middle of spring until mid-autumn. During the rest of autumn and the entire winter you can see us wearing beautiful, long and basic coats (something like this one), but also parkas and sometimes nice-looking raincoats. When you’re traveling I understand that you don’t want to bring a lot of coats, so therefore I think you should really compromise for what item comes on your vacation checklist.
If you are traveling during mid-autumn and/or winter, you are going to get rain and/or snow. Depending on your other destinations, if you have them, you can sort out your coat. During autumn I would suggest a raincoat/ windbreaker (2 in 1), and to wear layers under that coat. A raincoat like the ones from the brand Rains will be perfect. They are not cheap, however, they work great. Check them out here.
I prefer a thick, long coat in winter and actually never wear a raincoat at that time of year because they are simply too thin. But it honestly depends on you. A raincoat isn’t as thick as a winter coat, so you would need to wear even more layers under that specific coat.
1 x Belt: You don’t want your pants or jeans to fall down. You need to be comfortable at all times when traveling.
1 x Dress: I personally hate dresses; however, many Dutch women do wear dresses in every type of weather. During autumn and winter, turtleneck dress is comfortable, warm and look great. During summer maxi dresses, or wrap dresses are beautiful. Here’s an example.
1 x Jumpsuit: During spring and summer, jumpsuits are wonderful and then you should definitely bring a colourful jumpsuit, that is also comfortable. Leave it at home during autumn and winter, unless they are made of a very thick material. For instance, a dark jeans jumpsuits with long legs.
1 x Skirt: If you are a person that loves wearing skirts, then you can wear a skirt during all seasons here. However, during winter you need to add thick tights. What kind of skirts you ask me? For instance, a (fake) leather skirts or pencil skirts in prints or basic colours.
2 x Shorts: During summer I would take two pair of shorts; one jeans short and one cotton, flowy one. During the first month of spring, unless it is after the 20th of April, I wouldn’t take any short with me. If you are visiting The Netherlands after the 20th of April I would take one pair of shorts. If you are traveling to my country before the end of September, then I’d suggest you take one pair of shorts as well. Any date after that, don’t even think of bringing them and scratch them from your holiday packing list.
2 x Singlets: These singlets need to be on your packing list for Northern Europe. The reason for that is again, layers. I wear them under a sweater, blouse, etc. Take one black and one white singlet.
1 x Tights: If you wear dresses or skirts, tights should always be on your Netherlands packing checklist. You can easily buy new ones here, so don’t worry about that.
2/3 bras & 7/14 panties, Underwear: This also depends on how long you are traveling for. If you’re traveling for a month or more I recommend you take a week, sometimes two weeks, worth of panties. Underwear is small, so you can fit loads of them in every space you have left. I like to take two bras with me and a bralette. I know not everyone can wear bralettes, so in that case I would opt to take one more bra with you.
If you are going for a shorter amount than a month, but more than one week, I would take one week of panties with me and three bras as well. Anything less than a week means one pair of underwear for every day and two bras.
7 x Socks: Again, this is depending on how long you are traveling for. However, you can easily wash socks in the sink. I like to take one week worth of socks with me. If you are traveling in winter add two extra pair of wool socks for very cold days.
1 x Pyjamas/ sleepwear: I only sleep in a shirt and if I’m traveling somewhere for a week or two, I will only take one shirt with me. I can easily wash it. If you have full on pyjamas you can also easily wash them. It depends whether you want to do some washing or not.
1 x Workout clothes: When you’re working out on your travels, all you need is one pair of workout clothes. One sports legging or sports short. One sports tee or singlet. And one sports bra. You would need to wash it immediately anyway unless you want your luggage or room to smell.
1 x Swimsuit: If you are in The Netherlands during spring or summer, you want and have to go for a swim. Only if you can swim of course. During autumn and winter, I don’t see any reason for bringing them, unless you are going to bikini days that they have in spas. But in spas I find that it’s best to go butt-naked.
1 x Sunglasses + a case: For that one time that the sun shines in The Netherlands.
Jewellery: Don’t take too much of this. You can only lose it. If you want to take jewellery take the basics with you. Think of a watch, some cute necklaces and a bracelet. Organize them in a cube or something, you don’t want to get to The Netherlands and have your jewellery all tangled up.
1 x Sarong: This thing is a lifesaver. You can use a sarong as a towel, as a skirt, an extra sheet or even a dress. It is light and has endless possibilities. Make sure you take one that isn’t see-through though.
4) Toiletries & Medicine
When you are packing your travel, toiletries list you need to make sure you won’t forget to write down some important parts. With toiletries I find that I always used to forget at least one thing. Let’s hope that this won’t happen again with me writing this packing list for Northern and Western Europe and the rest of the world (you can always change it up for the new destination as every country differs).
If you are only using carry-on while traveling, keep in mind that you cannot carry more than 100 ml containers in a one litre see-through, plastic bag.
Silicone Bottles: These ones are a lifesaver for a shorter trip. You can put some shampoo, soap and conditioner in these silicone bottles that are leak proof. Also, these bottles have suction cups. So, if you are in a hostel, camping or just in a hotel room, you can stick them to the wall instead of falling over them. Check them out here.
- R. Liggest Bar Shampoo, Virgin Coconut Aragan Oil: This is a shampoo bar that will rock your world. It is honestly working miracles, and it takes you ages before you need to buy a new one. Which means that it will save you money in the end. Besides that, you are not using any plastic. So, your hair will love you and so will the earth. Have a look here to see what they are like.
Conditioner: It makes life so much easier. The conditioner bars of Lush don’t work that well unfortunately, because I have long and thick hair. Therefore, I’m still looking for the best one. If you have tips, let me know please!
Dr Bronner’s Pure-Castile bar Almond soap: This is a shampoo bar, face wash and laundry soap in one. That means you don’t need to add an extra detergent in your suitcase or backpack. So, if you want to carry even less products, then this one will work its magic. Check out these bars here. Or you can use the tea tree ones, they both are insane. Click here to see these bad boys.
Hair products: You might have beautiful curly hair that needs a little bit more work, or very dry hair. In that case, don’t forget your favourite hair product.
Hair brush Tangle Teezer: The best hairbrush that you will ever find, even for long and think hair like mine. Look here for the current prices.
Hair ties: I prefer hair ties without metal because metal damages hair.
Bobby pins: If you have shorter parts of hair that you want to fit in a ponytail, or a braid, then you need to have these bad boys. They’re a life saver.
Dr. Bronners Toothpaste (without fluoride): You can find this great toothpaste over here, click here for the current prices.
Toothbrush (bamboo): Either you are using an electric toothbrush, or if you use a ‘normal’ toothbrush I would suggest you give in to the hype and get these bamboo toothbrushes. Good for your mouth and for the environment. Check these bad boys out here.
Floss: You know those moments that the skin of an apple is stuck between your teeth at the first bite? No, just me? Anyway, it will be useful.
Mouthwash: I personally never use mouthwash, but I know some people that cannot live without mouthwash.
Deodorant: You can buy this everywhere, just like many other things listed above and below, however I prefer to take one that I know really removes my smell. This one is unscented and aluminium free from Underarmed (clever name). It works, and it doesn’t make you smell like those air fresheners in your toilet. Check them out here.
Lip balm with or without SPF: Purol is my lifesaver. But please, buy it in The Netherlands in the supermarket or drugstore. I have seen prices online that are out of this world, in a bad way. At first, I needed to get used to the smell, because it’s weird. However, my lips have never been better. During the warm and cold weather, you are going to need Purol, but it takes ages for a package to finish. I have one package for at least three years already and it’s still not finished.
Lena Menstrual cup: Lifesaver alert. Tampons and pads can be useful sometimes but are not my preferred product anymore. This cup, or every other cup, will in general last between 8-12 hours. That means, no more running to the bathroom because you suddenly sneezed. I have to admit, you need to give it a few tries to be comfortable using it. Have a look at the cup here.
Panty liners: If you don’t have time to wash your underwear often, these can come in handy. This way you don’t have to wash your undies as often. And while it might sound disgusting to some, it is actually not as your underwear stays clean because of the panty liners.
Other feminine hygiene products you might use.
Contacts, extra contacts, solution and contact cases: You want to be able to enjoy your destination. And see things.
Glasses and Sunglasses: Again. If you have the privilege to somewhat see, then you better make the most of it. Use those glasses and don’t forget them.
Perfume or Cologne: I prefer to take a few small, twist-up, refillable atomizers. Super easy to fill and to take with you when you travel. Have a look at them here.
A small mirror: Whether it is a mirror that is in your hairbrush, or one that fits in your makeup bag. You need one. That doesn’t mean you should always be aware of how you look, but if there’s a big zit on my face that is about to pop, I prefer to know this.
Razors: You can always buy them in store as well, however some brands might be more expensive than were you came from. I use conditioner as my shaving cream.
Hand sanitizer: I don’t take it with me, but some cannot live without it. So, if you’re one of those people, don’t forget this.
Toilet paper: I know. Hostels in general have this. However, it can be shitty (pun intended) when you find out it is not there, and you have some business to take care of.
Nail clippers and tweezers: Keep in mind that, in general, these bad boys need to be in your checked luggage.
Dental braces: I have these kinds of braces that I need to wear during the night. I often forget them, and when I feel my teeth moving closer to each other I start using my braces again. So, they are pretty useful.
When it comes to cleaning my face I’m in need of something that is quick and that cleans my face very deep. I do not have the time, nor patience, to stand in a bathroom for 30 minutes. I clean my face in the morning and evening. So, for me this is something I shouldn’t forget to write down on my international travel checklist.
Facewash (Skyn Iceland): Facewash is always important. This has been a lifesaver. I know, they are not that cheap, however my face has never looked and felt so great. And this product last ages, because you don’t need a lot. Check the product out here.
Day cream (Skyn Cooling lotion, I use it at a day cream): Moisterize, treat your skin well and love it. Your skin will love you back in return. The Skyn Cooling lotion really gives your face a fresh and cooling sensation, I’m not going to lie. For this you don’t need to use a lot of product either. Look at the current prices here.
Night cream (Skyn Night Oxygen Infusion Cream): Your face needs a different product at night, so don’t forget a night cream. The name sounds really fancy and it makes your face glow, so I guess that is the fancy part about this Skyn product. Again, you need just a little bit of cream. Have a look at the product here.
This routine takes literally less than five minutes.
Eye wipes + eye cream (Skyn): Sometimes you can be a little lazy, that even five minutes is too long. In that case I use these wipes that are meant for the eyes only, however I prefer to use them over my entire face as they are not hard on your face and their face wipes can be a little irritating. The eye cream is also very useful. Look at the prices here.
Skyn Blemish Dots: If you have a zit forming on your face, you need to stick one of these dots on your face. The zit will magically disappear after two days of use. Getting zits is a quite easy task, especially when traveling because it sometimes stresses me out. And my face feels that straight away. You can find them here.
Skyn Detox Package: If you have never tried Skyn before or are going on a trip that lasts 1 or 1,5 months at most, then I can recommend you this detox package. It has eye cream, the cooling lotion, night cream and facewash in small versions. So, you can take all of it with you in your carry-on or test the product to see if it works for you or not. Look at the package here.
I’m starting to think I’m a saleswoman instead, but I promise you I am not. I just know how well the products are and work wonders for a sensitive skin like mine. Although, Skyn, if you want to send me some products… My mailbox is always open. So is my room. My parents’ house. The garden. You get my point.
After the skin cleaning process, you might want to use your make-up. I rarely use make-up, however that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear anything. The important thing is that you like wearing it and wear it for you, not how other people might see you.
Make-up: I take an eyelash curler, mascara, primer and eyebrow gel with me. However, I know some cannot live without foundation, so that means you shouldn’t forget your beauty blender. Others prefer to take a bb cream, a lipstick (which you can often also use as blush) or highlighter. Take whatever you want, but just don’t forget it.
Sunscreen: This is a very important part and your face and body will be thankful you brought it with you. For the people who do not know this important information yet, most sunscreens are actually very bad for the oceans, seas and lakes. Often you see this oily layer on top of the water when the weather is good. This is the sunscreen from many people, which damages the life in the oceans, lakes and rivers. Luckily nowadays there are many ocean friendly sunscreens that won’t damage the environment, nor your body.
I would use this product from Sun Bum for the body with a spf of 30, check them here. For my face I use a higher factor and a different product. This product from Manda Organic has an SPF of 50 and is a wonderful product. The product is quite hard, so you would have to keep it a little warm before you put it on your face and neck. For instance, keep it in your pocket and once you scoop some of it out, warm it up in your hands before spreading this product. Check the prices here.
Pill: The pill. The one against pregnancy and menstruation. It is something you need to remember when reading along your online packing list.
Prescription medication: All the prescript medication that you use, including the script and label.
First aid kit: I’m going to be honest here. I never take a first aid kit with me. I take some band aids that I already cut, special blister band aids and moleskin. Every now and then I will take a small bottle of Sterilon, which has the same effect as iodine but is a clear liquid that disinfects.
Vaccinations: Not needed. Honestly, no need for a Hepatitis A/B or Rabies shot if you visit The Netherlands. We don’t get our water from our own wells, nor are living remote enough to not have access to water (which makes me very lucky, I know that). I know many people who live more ‘remote’ than I do and trust me, everyone has a connection to the water system. Even if you are walking through woods (camping is forbidden in almost all of them), the chance you will see bats, is very small. The chance you will see a bat with rabies is even smaller. The chance that you will be bit by a bat with rabies in The Netherlands is incredibly small. If you see a dead bat on the ground, don’t touch it. But that’s about it. I don’t know why some governments tell their people that they should think about getting it. Talk about scaremongering…
Thermometer: You can take a small travel thermometer to check your temperature when you’re ill. It can be useful and is only small, so it’s not a nightmare to carry along.
Allergy medicines: I want you to enjoy The Netherlands as much as possible and forgetting hay-fever medicines or the ones for your peanut allergy won’t make your visit a pleasant one. Please. Don’t forget this.
Multivitamins: I never take these and have never taken them in my life. However, some people swear by these things.
Motion sickness pills: Just in case. Anything is better than puking all over yourself and your seat. And your neighbours…
Eye drops: They can be very useful for when it is hot, cold or windy (which is often). The weather in The Netherlands makes your eyes very dry sometimes, so it’s not a luxury to have these with you.
Sleeping medicines: If you don’t have to take them, don’t, because they are still medicines. However, if you have to. Don’t forget these.
ORS (oral rehydration solution): If you have diarrhoea or a dehydrated, these things work like a champ.
Cold medicines and throat lozenges: I’m one person who refuses to take cold medicines as I think a cold goes away when your defence system of your body can handle it again and that it is a natural thing. However, for some people it can be dangerous to not have it with them, and some just never want to get a cold. So, keep it in your mind to take them.
Sunburn relief: You can also buy it when you arrive here, so you don’t have to take it with you.
Sting reliever: Sometimes there are not so friendly wasps or mosquitos that are after your blood. I personally don’t think you need to take insect repellent on your trip to The Netherlands.
Other creams or medicine you need to carry.
Portable charger/ Power bank: Useful. No matter where you are, a portable charger can help your big time. Look at the one I use here.
Universal adapter/ power plug: This way you can charge your phone, power bank, headphones, camera and much more. You will hate yourself for not bringing one along. In Netherlands we have power sockets of type C and F, you can also use type E. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50Hz.
Small waterproof flashlight: The reason for this is safety. It is possible, no matter where you are on this earth, that there is a person who doesn’t have something good on his or her mind. Blinding that person with a small flashlight can be helpful. I will be honest with you, I have been living in The Netherlands all my life (24 years) and have never felt the need to carry anything. However, if it gives you a safer feeling, then go ahead. Keep in mind that carrying pepper spray, Tasers, knives, knuckledusters, etc. in The Netherlands is considered a felony and very illegal. Only police officers are allowed to carry this, and that is something I’m very happy about.
Bluetooth Bose noise- cancelling headphones: Long bus ride ahead of you? Bose noise- cancelling headphones. Loud people in the hostel? Bose noise-cancelling headphones. Honestly, when you think of all the pros, the only con will disappear pretty quick. Pricewise, this one is a shocker. Solution wise, this one is on top of the world. Check them out here.
Your phone + charger: For the obvious reasons. And something you shouldn’t forget to check off your international travel packing list.
Camera + Batteries + Charger + SD-cards + Filters + Cleaning stuff + Lenses: If you shoot photos with a camera and not just your phone. If you do take a camera on your travels through The Netherlands, remember these essentials.
Laptop + charger + hard disk: Maybe you’re working during your trip. I don’t know. Just, if you need it, don’t forget it.
Other electronics: For instance, a kindle.
6) Travel documents & Money options
Passport and your visa: Entering and leaving The Netherlands will be difficult without them. As soon as you book your flight, check when your passport expires. Often, you need to have 6 months left on your passport when you are leaving the country you travelled to.
Student card/ International student card: Museums and stores in The Netherlands sometimes offer discounts for students.
Frequent flyer cards and other loyalty program card numbers
Credit cards + cash: Keep in mind that credit cards or debit cards that are from a credit card company are not accepted everywhere in The Netherlands. We, Dutch people, don’t use credit cards so don’t have the system for it. However, you can now use cards on busses, trams, train stations, etc. Most public transport doesn’t take cash anymore. A lot of supermarkets don’t accept them. Small shops in big cities don’t take credit cards. In most smaller cities, credit cards aren’t taken at all. So always have some cash with you. Keep in mind that you should call your credit card company before you are traveling to The Netherlands. Otherwise they might see your spending’s as fraud.
Health insurance cards + documents: Keep the documents online. No one wants to start carrying 20 kg of paper with them.
Travel insurance information: Online. Again.
(Hotel/ Tour) Reservations, itineraries and contact information: Often people print these, however I always make screenshots on my phone and save them somewhere in my email as well. Printing can be useful for when your phone gets stolen.
Transport: Tickets for the plane, train, reservation for your car, etc. Keep in mind that in The Netherlands you only need a reservation for the Thalys train and ICE international. No need to reserve for intercity or sprinter trains.
Download offline maps for your destination: Use Google Maps or Maps.me for instance, it can be a lifesaver.
Guidebooks: Now I personally think this is not useful unless you bring your e-reader. No one wants to carry several guidebooks. It is extra weight, and you can find the useful information online as well.
Emergency contacts: This can always be useful.
Copies: Email yourself a copy of your passport, medical cards, itinerary and driver’s license to be sure. This will be really useful when you do lose one of these items. This way you can easily get a new passport at the embassy.
7) Other necessary items
Locks: Very important to always have with you are locks. A padlock for your hostel locker and smaller locks for your daypack and other luggage.
Water bottle: You won’t need a filter as our tap water in The Netherlands is really good and drinkable. However, the bottle can be used to be more environmental friendly. This way you can use the bottle to fill it with water wherever you go. Look for this bottle here.
Ear plugs (Noise-cancelling): If you don’t want to have another electronic pair of headphones with you, these earplugs will be your lifesaver that you shouldn’t forget to pack. Have a look at them here.
Eye mask: For when you have a long bus ride, or flight. But also, when your jetlag has killed you once you arrived in The Netherlands and you want to go to bed early.
Neck pillow: For the flight, the bus ride or long car ride.
Laundry bag/ trash bags for dirty laundry: Trash bags are what I always use as it is cheap, however you can also buy a special laundry bag.
Pillowcase: Yes. Hear me out. I prefer to have my own, clean pillowcase okay? It just sleeps better, and it definitely clean.
Stain remover: It can and will be useful. Don’t forget: blood goes out of clothes with cold water, not warm.
Scissors: For when something happened to your clothes, or when you need to cut new band aids. Keep it in your checked luggage.
Travel towel: Sometimes you get towels when you enter a hostel, sometimes you don’t. In general, hotels and apartments always have them. It’s also useful to bring for when you are going to have a picnic, going for a swim, etc. Look at them here.
Clothing care kit: Some like to take a sewing kit with them while traveling. If you are one of those people, bless your heart because I’m too lazy for that, don’t forget this.
Clothesline: Now this is pretty useful. This way you don’t have to place it on a couch, over a chair, or find other solutions for your clean laundry. This clothesline stretches out to more than 3 meters, which is pretty good in my opinion. Check them out here.
Hand wipes: For when you want to have, you know, clean hands.
Coin purse/ small wallet: Something that needs to be placed on your packing list for The Netherlands is a coin purse or a small wallet. Reason being, with the euro come coins. Coins from 5 cents until 2 euros. And you can and will lose it if you don’t organize it. Have a look at a coin purse here.
Rubber door stopper: This might sound paranoid, however if you are alone in your hotel room or apartment it is extra security for us women. This will stop people from opening your door without your permission. Like I said before, I feel very safe in The Netherlands, but that doesn’t mean bad things don’t happen. Unfortunately for us, they happen in every country on this world. Have a look at a door stopper here. You do have to keep in mind that it is not uncommon in Europe for doors to open to the outside, instead of inside. So, in that case this wouldn’t help.
You might ask yourself, but what about an umbrella? I have heard that I have to take one with me when I travel to The Netherlands because it rains a lot. The problem here is our weather, again. It’s always the weather. In fact, we hate small talk unless it’s about how bad or good the weather is. Anyway, moving on. There is a lot of wind in The Netherlands during autumn, winter and the beginning of spring. In general, it is a little less in summer. This means, that if you expect to casually walk around Amsterdam with an umbrella during autumn rainy weather, it often breaks straight away. I would suggest you buy a good rain jacket instead, that is also a wind breaker at the same time. Usually umbrellas have this label that says ‘windproof’. Well, they are not The Netherlands windproof.
What to wear in The Netherlands in Spring/ Summer
Jeans: Remove a pair of jeans. Summer in The Netherlands means that you will have temperatures anywhere from 15 degrees until 30 degrees Celsius. Add a pair of culottes instead. These pants are very flowy and comfortable, make a great outfit and aren’t warm. Add another pair of shorts as well. Spring weather is still tricky. In early spring you cannot wear shorts at all, mid-spring and late-spring you can wear them.
Shoes: White sneakers are fine. I don’t know who made up the myth that we don’t wear those. We don’t wear the real workout shoes. We do wear these kind of shoes: think Birkenstocks, sneakers (Vans, Superga, Adidas Stan Smith, Converse, Nike), wedges, cute sandals and a little block heel. Have a look at a full guide for the best travel shoes, sandals, sneakers and boots for Europe here.
Coat: Spring will be colder than summer, with especially the mornings and evenings that cool down really fast. Early spring visitors (beginning of April) will want to have a warm coat with them. For instance, a rain jacket/wind breaker with at least one sweater to wear under it. The end of April you can cut down on the very warm coats.
Shorts: During summer I would take two pair of shorts; one jeans short and one cotton, flowy one. During the first month of spring, unless it is after the 20th of April, I wouldn’t take any short with me. If you are visiting The Netherlands after the 20th of April, but still during spring, then I would take one pair of shorts.
What to wear in The Netherlands in Autumn/ Winter
Trousers/pants: If you are visiting The Netherlands during autumn your packing list changes only a little bit. Keep in mind that when you wear pants during autumn that these are long enough and cover your ankles. During autumn and winter, we have a strong and cold wind, quite some rain and some snow. You will regret taking pants or jeans that do not get down to it, at least, your ankles.
Also make sure that your pants or trousers are thick enough for these two seasons. You do not want to freeze to death, so when you are getting into a shop or order some clothes online, remember this.
Shoes: The shoes differ a lot as well. During the beginning of autumn, it is still fine to wear sneakers, but the more into the season you are the more rain that is coming your way. So, leather or vegan leather shoes are your way to go. Otherwise your feet will be soaked more than once, and you will get blisters. Make sure your shoes have a good profile. If you are walking during the rainy or snowy weather, the last thing you want is to fall flat on your face (almost been there and done that). I know some ankle booties with a heel look beautiful, but I prefer Doc Martens for instance.
Think: Chelsea boots, ankle boots, Timberland, Doc Martens.
Singlets: Take two extra singlets so you will be keeping warm with the wind.
Coats: Take a warm coat and make sure the wind is not able to get through it.
Sweaters/ jumpers: Take an extra jumper for the autumn/winter season. You will be thankful.
Shorts: Autumn until the end of September means that it can be useful to take one pair of shorts. Any date after that, remove the shorts of your list.
Dresses/ Jumpsuit/Skirts: Check whether your dresses, jumpsuit or skirts are warm enough for the weather and not made of incredibly thin material. You will hate yourself if you do bring very thin clothes.
Scarf: A scarf is a necessity from mid-autumn to winter in The Netherlands. I won’t leave the house without wearing a scarf in those seasons. Not a thin scarf either. Use one that is made of wool or acrylic.
Gloves: They are needed during winter.
Hat: A warm hat. I don’t mean a fedora hat. I mean a hat that will be useful during winter and doesn’t fly off your head.
Thick and long socks: Don’t wear ankle socks. The reason for that is the fact that it gets cold and ankle socks keep only a small part a little warm. They are also that thick as the longer socks that you definitely need.
Tights: If you brought dresses or skirts, don’t forget to bring these. Or you can walk into the Hema store and buy some really good ones as well.
if you are not used to windy, rainy and cold weather you need to pack extra clothing. Pack insulated clothing, socks and long johns (you can find them here).
Unfortunately, I cannot predict the weather, however in general autumn and winter are chilly. Sometimes the end of September can be lovely, sometimes it cannot. From October until the end of March it will be cold, rainy, snowy and windy. With snow most likely happening anywhere between the end of December and the end of March.
Also, ALWAYS check the temperatures before you are going. Keep in mind that the wind makes everything feel colder, no matter what time of the year it is.
Extra tip: What not to wear in Amsterdam or in The Netherlands in general?
High heels. We don’t wear stilettos or high heels in general. Unless you want to break your ankles. The comfortable heels, such as little block heels, kitten heels and wedges, are worn. Keep in mind that we, in general, do not wear heels or fancy dresses when we go out to a club. Jeans and a blouse/shirt will do. With sneakers of course. There are only very few clubs that have a dress code.
Very short shorts. You can bring and wear shorts, just don’t have your entire butt cheeks falling out. That doesn’t mean we are prude, not at all. In general, we prefer a more put together and classy look. That means wear shorts that at most show a tiny bit of your under-butt cheek (is that even a word?!).
Short dresses. We just prefer not to have our underwear on the show. Like I said before, a little classier goes a long way.
Extra extra tip: What to wear in Amsterdam or The Netherlands at night?
When we go out to a club or bar in The Netherlands we don’t dress up the way some people are used to. You will see people wearing sneakers, nice jeans or pants and a nice blouse or shirt. Like I mentioned before, on your packing list for The Netherlands there should be comfortable items. Very rarely you will come across a bar or club that has a dress code and if you spot one, they specify those rules online and offline. When it’s summer you will see some women wearing dresses (casual chic) or skirts, but shorts are also worn a lot. You should remove stiletto heels from your Amsterdam checklist and your packinglist for The Netherlands because you don’t want to break your ankles.
What next? First, pin and share this article so you always know what to pack when you are traveling to The Netherlands. So share this post! Second, is there anything you’re missing in this list? If so, please let me know. Share this post!
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