While the vast majority of travelers still book hotels or hostels when they travel, more people every year opt for renting an apartment or a house instead. Even in a city like Amsterdam, there are all kinds of vacation rentals available.
Renting a vacation home or apartment for a trip to Amsterdam does mean you’ll need to think about things that you wouldn’t necessarily have to consider if you were staying in a hotel, however, and you might experience a little sticker shock when you first look at how much vacation rentals cost. But staying in a vacation rental can actually be cheaper than a typical hotel or even a hostel, depending on a few things – so let’s look at why you might want to rent a vacation apartment in Amsterdam as well as some of the things you need to think about when you’re selecting the right vacation rental for your trip.
Why Stay in a Vacation Rental in Amsterdam
Perhaps you’ve got some as-yet-unnamed phobia of hotels. Maybe you just like to live out a fantasy every time you travel that you actually live in that city and are in some witness protection program. Whatever the case, there are countless reasons for choosing a vacation rental over a hotel or a hostel when you visit Amsterdam, and many of them are going to be quite personal to you.
Having said that, there are also lots of reasons why people stay in vacation rentals instead of hotels, and things like saving money and having increased personal freedom are only two of them. I wrote a whole separate post about why you should book a vacation rental in Amsterdam, with seven reasons for your consideration.
Where to Find Vacation Rentals in Amsterdam
You can sometimes find listings for vacation rentals on the Amsterdam Craigslist or Elynx (an English resource site for teh Netherlands), but those tend to be for more long-term rentals as opposed to relatively short trips – even a month-long stay is a short trip if you compare it with someone who’ll be renting an apartment in Amsterdam for a year.
So for vacation rentals that are geared more toward travelers as opposed to expats, the best thing to do is look up Amsterdam vacation rentals specifically as opposed to apartment rentals.
What to Look For in a Vacation Rental in Amsterdam
Renting an apartment or a home in Amsterdam – or anywhere you travel, for that matter – is by nature different than renting a room in a hotel or a bunk in a hostel. And as with any category of accommodation, it makes sense to know what features you need to pay attention to when you’re researching where to stay.
Here are some things to remember to look at when you’re considering Amsterdam vacation rentals:
- Location – Where is it in the city? Is it close enough to the places you want to go and things you want to see? Is it located over a noisy club or next door to a church that will ring its bells too early in the morning? Is it near a park so the kids can run around? Is it on the 5th floor of a building with no elevator?
- Size – When the property listing says it “sleeps 4,” does that mean two are on the folding couch in the living room, or are there enough beds for everyone? Does the dining table have enough chairs for the number of people in your traveling group?
- Transportation – Will you be close enough to the city’s attractions to walk pretty much everywhere? Or will you have to factor in the cost of taking public transit to get into the center? Are you staying long enough that you’ll want to take day trips? If so, how far is it from Amsterdam’s train station?
- What’s Included – Does the property come fully stocked with all the linens and towels you’ll need for your stay, even if you’re planning to be there a couple of weeks and through a change of sheets or two? Is the kitchen equipped with everything you’ll need to whip up fabulous meals, or is there only a microwave and no oven? If an internet connection is required, is it high-speed WiFi or mediocre-speed and one short cable nowhere near a place to sit down and actually use a computer?
- Cleaning – Is cleaning included in the rental fee? Will you be responsible for doing any cleaning or laundry before you leave? Do you need to pay extra or leave a tip for a cleaning crew? Will cleaners come regularly throughout your stay, or only upon your departure?
- Support – What if something goes wrong? Is there someone around you can call with questions or in an emergency? Is the property owner your point of contact, or is there a management agency?
Also remember that since you’re talking about a rental property and not a hotel with a reception desk, you’ll need to be fairly specific with your arrival time. Not only that, you’ll really need to stick to your arrival time! Why? Because someone is going to need to make a special trip to meet you at the door, give you your keys, and get you settled. If you’re going to be late, make sure to call them – but do your best to give them an accurate time when you’ll be arriving.
photo by Sue Elias