Affected badly by the planned NS strike, with no place to go, we’ve mobilized ourselves to find a fast solution for our situation. We tried to find a car rental service, but being located in Nunspeet, there were no car rental services nearby. Public transport was not a solution as it would take too much time. Our option was to find accommodation.
No Airbnb were available nearby, but luckily for us, we found a hotel located 20 minutes away by walking, which is also pet friendly, and so we booked it. NH Veluwe Sparrenhorst is part of the NH Hotel Group and located right on the border of the Veluwe forest, which I told you about in my previous post. We’ve booked the hotel for one night and went to sleep.
Some of you might wonder why we did not stay one more night in our current Airbnb, and so I want to clarify this point for you. We were tired, and a little stressed, but we did WhatsApp our host and asked for a quote for one more night. He let us know that the property was available, however the price he has given us was more expensive than on Airbnb website. Our Israeli monkey mind immediately assumed he is trying to fool us and use our situation to extract more money, so we’ve ignored this option. Later, after the hotel was already booked, we’ve realized that the price you see on Airbnb search page and the final price, are not the same. What we saw was the price on the search page, but once you try to book it, the price goes up and matches what our host offered us in WhatsApp.
After staying for one night in the hotel and working from there, we’ve hoped on a train and took the trip to our next destination.
The city of Alkmaar
Our next city, Alkmaar is almost the complete opposite of Nunspeet. It’s a big city, with around 110k population. It’s located about 30 km north of Amsterdam. We were staying in a classical, 3 story, Dutch apartment / house in a quiet neighborhood, a couple of minutes away from a ferry that takes you to the old and beautiful city center.
In Alkmaar our life was more “normal”. We were shopping at Albert Heijn for groceries, worked and traveled around the city. We even were able to, accidentally, find our selves in Alkmaar’s cheese market. Apparently, Alkmaar is popular for its cheese.
The road home
3 days before our flight, NS once again announced a nationwide strike. We wanted to go to Delft and The Hague one day before leaving, but now with the announced strike - it became a bit complicated. We were also afraid that we might not be able to get to the airport due to the possibility that the strike might extend to more than one day, or any other logistic problems due to the consequences of the strike, as our flight was leaving in the morning.
This time we’ve decided to rent a car for one day and return it in the airport. We’ve rented a car from Sixt and drove to Delft and then to The Hague to visit some friends. The next day, we’ve returned the car in the Airport and boarded our flight home.
This concludes our first experience as Digital Nomads in a beautiful country of The Netherlands.
The idea of this part is to help you understand how much you can expect to pay for common things like accommodation and groceries, therefor I’m not going to include in this section things like flight tickets (which are personal to you depending on your flight route) or any personal spending we’ve had.
The house in Nunspeet costed us approximately 2400 EUR. In Alkmaar, we’ve paid approximately 850 EUR. We did pay another 145 EUR for the hotel.
The total expense for accommodations were approximately - 3395 EUR.
We bought our groceries mainly in Albert Heijn, with occasional visits to Lidl or Jumbo. We found AH to be better quality. I’m not going to include restaurants here, as this might differ from person to person and has little to do with the estimation of cost of living. I will note that 90% of the time we cooked at home, and only when we were away from home, such as in a different city or traveling, we were eating out.
Our total expense for groceries was - 774.78 EUR.
We’ve paid 352.9 EUR for trains, 10 EUR for a taxi from the hotel to the train station, and another 5 EUR for bus tickets. A rental car for one day costed us 161 EUR and 26.77 EUR for extra kilometers range. The fuel costed 27.25 EUR. Two rental bicycles for two weeks costed us 270 EUR and another 20 EUR for one pannier.
The total cost of transportation, was 872.92 EUR.
Note: after the trip ended, I’ve learned that you can get an anonymous OV-chipkaart that costs 7.5 EUR.
The benefit of an anonymous travel card is that every time you buy a paper ticket, in addition to the ticket price, you also pay 1 EUR for the single-use chipkaart inside the ticket. This could save you some money if you travel a lot using trains.
We’ve paid 77 EUR for dog food as well as 55 EUR for tick removal. The co-working I’ve mentioned in previous part costed us 62 EUR.