Op vakantie! Going on vacation – the Dutch way
Mid-summer has arrived and so have the school vacations. Dutch families, friends, couples and solo travellers are preparing to take off on their vacation. Now, there’s several ways the Dutch like to spend their vacation. Or, differently put: there’s different kind of Dutch holiday makers. For your overview, we’ve kindly categorized them. Which one are you?
Camping life is not exactly glam life, but the Dutch are tough regarding their holidays and do everything it takes to see some rays of sunshine when waking up on vacation. If that involves taking days to pack their car with camping life essentials – they’ll do it cheerfully. So, in case you pass through a typical Dutch family street and were wondering if everybody is happily moving out of their house: it just means people are about to take off on a kampeervakantie (camping vacation)! Any Dutchie that remembers their camping vacation, also remember the broodjes voor onderweg (sandwiches for the road), filled with Dutch cheese (duh) and pindakaas met hagelslag (peanutbutter with chocolate sprinkles). The Dutch essentials that will be missed when abroad!
Clichés exist for a reason: because they tend to be true. This also applies to the Dutch and biking. Truly: they love to bike. They love it so much, that many Dutch people choose to go on fietsvakantie (bike vacation). What that means? The camping stuff will not be moved by car, but by bike. A tent, gas stove and other essentials will be placed on the bike – and off they go. Entire Dutch families, but mostly couples choose for this type of holiday, generally referred to as the ANWB koppel (ANWB couple). ANWB directly refers to the eponymous main Dutch road assistance company. Not only do they sell car insurances, also do they sell practical, not exactly flattering but with the emphasis on practical clothing to go on holiday with. Off they go!
The Dutch love anything free – it is undeniably part of what they’re known for. Where to find free stuff while on vacation? Yep, that’s right: an all-inclusive resort. So off they go, excited Dutch travellers on the cheapest flight they could find, to Turkey, the heaven of all-inclusive resorts. And then what? As soon as the sun shows its first rays of sunshine, and the pool boy opens the gates to the swimming pool, the Dutch will lay down their towel for the most desirable sunbathing spot. Getting served unlimited cocktails while enjoying a free buffet all day long? Sign the Dutch up! The obvious presence of Dutch vacationers is proven by the fact that most of the vendors on the Turkish streets speak a small word of Dutch: ‘Kijken kijken niet kopen’ (looking without buying) is the typical phrase thrown at the Dutch at market places, and blames their so-called stingy nature.
- Oost West, thuis best
There’s no place like home, right? And so think (some of!) the Dutch. The Dutch saying Oost West, thuis best (East West, home best) underlines that thought. For some it is because they cannot leave their home, such as the farmers. After all, cows need to be milked and tulips must be sown – vacation or no vacation. Fortunately, the Netherlands disposes of wide beaches alongside the Noordzee (North Sea), lots of campsites and of the popular Waddeneilanden (West Frisian Islands) above the North of the country. Texel, the biggest of them islands, is a popular vacation destination amongst the Dutch.
That quite summarizes the Dutch vacationers. Which one are you? Let us know in the comments! And, last but not least: fijne vakantie! (happy vacation!)