Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Here we come Amsterdam...and on a budget to boot!

We will be in the Netherlands in 5 days! This post will cover the pre-trip portion of the trip (aka financial package and payment perk options). See our Travel Review coming up next!

This is our first time making use of an bundle package. In the past, we've booked hotel rooms using Expedia, but never a we are here to give you an honest review.

Perks and Points? We love POINTS, and Expedia offers these! Prior to our Amsterdam escapade package, we had only used Expedia once, for a single night hotel stay. The points are only redeemable once you've finished your stay.... so to date we have enough points to get us about 
$2.56 towards a rental car service! 

A serious perk? We could book Flight, Hotel AND Recreation in one transaction...and we did.

The Dealio:  With the guidance of Rick Steves, we selected Amsterdam as the best option for the 5-days of travel time we had in our schedules! We (Lenni) impulsively booked this trip back in February of 2017. It was a deal too good to pass up: 4-nights at a 4-star hotel and DIRECT airfare (which is important to Lenni because she is THE WORST flyer ever) on Delta for two came to a total of $1257.16 (+$88 for taxes and fees). 

We also each 
purchased a 96-hour City Card through Expedia, which totaled $185.40 for two. This card will give us access into pretty much ALL the museums in Amsterdam, public transportation, and other touristy attractions like city and canal tours. We PRE- purchased tickets for the Anne Frank House  ($10.55/ea) and Rijksmuseum ($21/ea), which are not included in our city card, but are absolute must dos.

So before food, drinks and shopping, we are looking at $796.83 per traveler for flights, hotels, recreation and additional transportation.

How do you get out of baggage fees? This is a tricky one because we are flying Jet Blue to and from a wedding in Virginia the day before we leave for Amsterdam, but not leaving the airport between the two trips. This obviously means we require packing wedding appropriate attire and extras that will stay with us through Amsterdam... but when it came down to it, it was not worth it to pay baggage fee for 4-flights. So we just had to make it work.                                                                Image result for baggage fee images

Both Jet Blue and Delta have the same baggage policy: 1 carry-on  (approximately 22" x 14" x 9" or 56 x 35 x  23 cm) and 1 personal item (backpack, purse, computer bag, etc.)

BUT HOW CAN YOU FIT STUFF? Determining what we REALLY needed for Amsterdam was a puzzle, 
but fortunately with it being winter, there was no need to pack cute outfits that would never been seen anyway. In this tiny TSA approved carry-on suitcase, Lenni fit:
1 semi cute winter dress that no one will see
4 pairs of Disney themed PJs
Plenty of underwear and winter socks 
5 sweaters
2 pairs of jeans
5 tanks and undershirts 
1 full length wedding guest dress
Fancy shoes. 

This list doesn't include a travel outfit: an extra sweatshirt, sweatpants, winter jacket, gloves hat and scarf. 

This means only ONE pair of shoes (in addition to the fancy shoes), but thats a small price to pay for saving hundreds between baggage fees for the both of us.
We will each be able to take an additional "personal-item," which gives us the opportunity to each bring these really fashionable back-packs jammed with our toiletries, chargers, travel books and maybe some extra socks. We are being very careful to LEAVE EXTRA ROOM in these, because we will inevitably come home with more than we left with ;-)

What next? Well, you can expect a full report on Lenni's first time experiencing"turkish coffee," Amsterdam do's and don'ts, hidden jems and our Expedia flight, hotel and city card reviews!

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