Going on holiday is always an exciting thing to think about – but for some people the packing can be the worst, most difficult and time-consuming part. Knowing what to bring to a country where you can have four seasons in one day is difficult, and while you can just buy anything that you forget, I always like to have products or things that I’m familiar with. Plus, it will save you some cash when you get here, and some time – because who wants to go shopping for a plug convertor when you could be sat in a cafe enjoying the sun?
Whenever I go home, I always just take carry-on luggage (it’s much cheaper for me) which means I have to conserve as much space as possible, and only take the real essentials. However, even if you have checked-in luggage, you’ll want to save some space for some of the goodies that you’ll inevitably want to take home with you. Here’s my list of the things you absolutely need to bring with you to Amsterdam.
Convertor: This is something that without fail, I always forget. It’s a real pain when you realise that you can’t charge up your laptop/tablet/iPhone because you don’t have the right plug.
Raincoat or good umbrella: In Amsterdam rain is never too far away. There is nothing worse than getting a really good soaking, rushing to the nearest shop to try and find an umbrella, and realising that they have completely sold out in the space of 5 minutes. It is ALWAYS a good idea to carry a waterproof or an umbrella. That way, as soon as you feel the first spots of rain, you will be ahead of the crowd, and significantly drier than some of your fellow visitors.
Earplugs: This is one of those things that depending on where you are staying, you may, or may not need them. I live in a neighbourhood where people think it’s acceptable to chat outside my bedroom window loudly between the hours of 3-5am, so they are absolutely essential for me (as is a good understanding of how to say ‘Please can you be quiet?’ in Dutch), but that’s in my apartment. If you’re in a hotel that’s fairly central there is always the chance that there will be unwanted noise – tram bells, cyclists, or even drunk people. This certainly isn’t the case for all hotels, but earplugs are something that I always carry just in case.
Flat or comfortable shoes: Let me be the first to tell you that when they built Amsterdam, they were definitely not thinking about high heels. With all of the cobbled streets, uneven pavements and opportunities for falling over, walking around Amsterdam in anything more than trainers or pumps is a hazard. I only ever wear high heels on a night out, and even then, if I think I can get away with ballet pumps, I’ll do it. Who wants achey feet after a day of walking around in heels?
Camera: I can’t go anywhere without my camera. I love taking pictures, and I could spend an afternoon sifting through old photographs. Amsterdam is so beautiful that there will be plenty of opportunities to take pictures. Don’t firget your memory cards and battery chargers!
Then I take underwear, socks, 2 of pairs of jeans, 1 dress, 1 pair of leggings and 2 tops. This still leaves me room to throw in my laptop (which is not an essential item if you’re on holiday, but it is for me when I go home.) and sometimes a book.
What are your packing essentials for Amsterdam?