I’m excited to reveal that we’ve just booked a 4 week stay in the Netherlands for our (now) annual “Working From Holiday” summer getaway. Can we combine the 2 kids, 2 jobs, and the harsh Dutch summer sun? Who knows, but it’ll be fun doing it.
Avid readers will recall that we booked a month-long working holiday last year in the Netherlands. The plan was to go somewhere accessible by ferry (from Newcastle/Hull) and stay in a house for a month and try working (since the Lady is a full-time wage slave) and entertaining the kids (since I’m freelance/flexible).
If you work from home then why not make your home on holiday?
Although, with kids, it’s less digital nomad and more digital mum and dad – so getting it right for the kids is important and a decent desk, and WiFi is all we need.
It’s now all booked, and we’re looking forward to it – a nice long break before the Little Lady goes to school and the start of that new phase in our lives.
Once again, it’s a proving ground for our options to move abroad – we’ll get a taste for life overseas, and what better time than the middle of the summer?
It’s a flat – we didn’t want to spend too much, but it’s spacious, practical and unlike what you get in the UK – it was built for people to live in (and not as an investment purchase for rentiers). It’s in the town, so there’s a lot of nice cafés, restaurants, bakeries, supermarkets nearby. There’s also an ice-cream shop a stone’s throw away – so the kids will be happy!
Booking somewhere for a month isn’t much more than for 2 weeks, and if you can combine working with a holiday – it’s an inexpensive way to travel.
We did have to search high and low to find somewhere acceptable without it bursting the budget.
Economics / Costings
We paid about £2,600 for the house through AirBnB for 28 nights – £650 a week. However, I used TopCashBack* to buy £2600 of vouchers for AirBnB and got a 7.2% cashback. That might not sound much, but it’s over £180, meaning the trip only cost about £2,400 – a saving of over £180! That’ll pay for a few frikadellen!
The ferry will cost about £800 for an overnight return trip. Again, there’s some cashback to be bad – in this case, 10%.
Travelling costs will be about £200 I’d reckon. That includes petrol for the car, travel insurance and overpriced service station sandwiches, and watery boiling hot coffee from a burgundy themed swill seller.
Total Holiday Cost = £3,400 (not including eating, drinking, touristy things… of course that will be extra)
The same in the UK is can’t be done – I’d like to be proven wrong or even be shown a Father Ted style caravan for the same price.
Where We Are Going
We’ll be staying between The Hague and Amsterdam in a pretty town called Waasenaar. I know it as a suburb, popular with prosperous ex-pats and the closest thing to Nappy Valley the low-lying Clog-folk have. It is near a big CentreParcs style holiday and theme park (Duinrell) and our house (not in the park) is 5 mins cycle from the vast Dutch dune dessert. There are regular, cheap, clean and fast buses (200m) and trains (5km cycle away) that go to The Hague, Leiden and the rest of NL. Door to Doobie, Amsterdam is just over an hour away.
Why Are We Going?
First of all, I really like the Netherlands – there’s so much going for it. The kids can cycle safely on the roads there, and I even feel safer driving on their well-built and maintained roads driving a right hand drive car than I do driving on the dilapidated potholed roads on the UK. The weather’s nice and there’s so much to do for the kids.
The Lady and I have been in our house for 7 years now, and we are getting that 7-year itch. Spending a month abroad is great – better than 2 weeks, which leaves you more tired than when you left – and it’s better to get to know somewhere by staying local and not in a tourist prison.
The ulterior motive is that we can get an idea of what life is like elsewhere. Ok, going to Holland two years in a row doesn’t give us that much more information. But as much as we like where we live in Scotland – the quality of life in the UK is unlikely to keep up with our European enemies. Plus, I’m a EU (and UK) passport holder – so no Brexit is going to keep me on the sinking SS Britannia.
What Will We Do There?
As I said, there’s so much to do. Top of our list are:
- Archeon – open air historical archealogical museum for the whole family
- Cycling in the dunes and playing on the beach
- Eating yummy food like Indonesian and vlaamse frieten
- Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden, a Science Museum with real dinosaur bones!
- Linneashof – Europe’s largest children’s playground
- The National Railway Museum in Utrecht – better than anything we’ve seen in the UK, including York https://www.spoorwegmuseum.nl/en/
Working From Holiday
I’m lucky that both the Lady and I can pack our bags and work from holiday for a month – and that we can give the kids a huge number of new experiences. We can also enjoy the fantastic public services that Europe has to offer without having to pay the taxes for it.
This year will be a bit different as we are in a more built-up area than last year. But I reckon we’ll be ok. Who knows what we’ll do for 2024? Maybe the kids will be too old for just us and will want to go somewhere with a kids’ club and swimming pool? All that can wait is that 2023 is the focus now.
*Feel free to sign up to my TopCashBack referral link. We’ll both get something out of it and you too could save £200 on your next holiday too!
Fantastic that you can do this working from holiday!
I don’t think I would get something like this approved, for a few days perhaps but not for an entire month. It’s possible that it does go on for certain personnel but if it does, it’s kept quiet as they wouldn’t want to set any precedents.
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Funnily enough, at a recent meeting there was discussion of having radically different working rotas for people.
4 days a week,
9-3 (school kids)
Term time only
It seems that there’s flexibility in the job market for some.
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My wife’s rule is that a holiday should either be a week or shorter, or three weeks or longer. A fortnight is a bad idea.
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I reckon that’s a good rule.
Considering you spend a day each side travelling, it’s better to keep it short or make it long