We love traveling and always look for great tools and solutions that can elevate our experience.
And now we want to share with you one of our recent discoveries. This one was brought to us by Nick, our community member, right from Amsterdam. He visited it this month and learned a few lessons and life hacks he’d like to share.
“I went to Amsterdam with my wife and ex-colleagues for a week. This was the vacation I had been waiting for a long time.
I am an entrepreneur and freelance designer. Sometimes I feel that life is part of my work, not vice versa.That’s why two days of the vacation I had to devote to working with a client.
In any case, I was glad that we finally managed to escape everyday routine and headed for Amsterdam. We visited many museums, rode bicycles, walked along the narrow streets, did some shopping and tried the famous local “specialties”.
My wife bought an SIM-card to have access to the Internet whenever she needed it. When you are traveling it is very handy to see nearby cafes with reviews in FourSquare app, use a map, call Uber, google some questions and to call via Skype to your friends if you’ve lost each other. The SIM-card costs 35 euro which I think is too much for only 2 Gb of the Internet. Moreover, I can’t change my SIM-card because I have my email, 3D-secure, and online-banking connected to the phone number.
If I take out the SIM-card, I will not only be unable to make payments, but I may also lose it just as my wife did.
Immediate access to the Internet is an issue in Amsterdam. Yes, I had it in the hotel but in the evening it was too slow and sometimes it disconnected, which is very inconvenient when you are having Skype call with your client. And well, you aren’t planning to spend evenings in a hotel when you are in Amsterdam.
To access Wi-Fi in local cafes you have to ask for a password and after that: 1) make an order, wait for it and pay, which takes too much time, if you need the Internet just to load a map or find an address; 2) log in your Facebook account, follow the page of the cafe and share a post that you are in this café – and what if I go to several cafes during one day? My friends told me about Tep WIFI device. This is a portable device for the wireless Internet connection that can be used by up to 5 gadgets at the same time – your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. There are two options – you either rent it or buy it. I decided to buy it because I didn’t want to lose time giving it back and it is very convenient to have Wi-Fi with me during my next trips whichever country I go to. So on Monday evening I went to their website /link/ and made an order. On Wednesday I already had a Tep with me.
My friends told me about Tep WIFI device. This is a portable device for the wireless Internet connection that can be used by up to 5 gadgets at the same time – your phone, tablet, laptop, etc. There are two options – you either rent it or buy it. I decided to buy it because I didn’t want to lose time giving it back and it is very convenient to have Wi-Fi with me during my next trips whichever country I go to. So on Monday evening I went to their website /link/ and made an order. On Wednesday I already had a Tep with me.
It is easy to use – you just push Activate button on Tep device and connect to it for 24 hours with a password. And that’s it, you put a Tep in a bag and go wherever you want to have access to unlimited Internet.
I was happy to request their additional service – virtual travel concierge service. This is local person who answers to your questions online and is available for restaurant recommendations and reservations, calling a taxi, advising on local attractions, nearby places and hacks on visiting the city. Well, actually it’s not just someone. Those guys introduce themselves, ask about your interests, so they are more like your friends who live in this city but can’t be by your side all the time.
The local concierge actually helped us many times. The first time was when my wife fell ill. I needed to find a pharmacy so I went to the hotel reception where I was told the address of the nearest one. It appeared to be a small closed pharmacy in a supermarket. Then I asked my virtual concierge who recommended an open pharmacy nearby where I bought all the medicine I needed.
My concierge was really helpful in advising local attractions according to our personal interests. The local told us about the most interesting places taking into consideration our preferences and shared their addresses. This released us from reading endless Top-15, Top-20, must-see and must-do lists of places to visit.
There were many situations when our local concierge saved us: from advising local food delivery services to telling where to buy tickets for canal tours or rent a bicycle nearby.
I’m convinced that no trip to Amsterdam can go without any funny and weird situations. But we all know that just like with Vegas, what happens in Amsterdam stays in Amsterdam. However, I can tell you one of them.
When in Amsterdam, ride a bike – this is a way to feel like a local. So we rented two bikes and headed for a museum quite far from the city center. These were nice bikes with big leather seats. It was raining that day so when we arrived at the museum we realized that our jeans on the bottoms were absolutely wet. You know it’s quite uncomfortable and not very nice visually to walk in wet jeans, so we had to go to the toilet to put some paper inside the jeans. But at least now we know that if you see bikers putting a plastic bag on their seats, don’t ask but just follow their example.
Amsterdam is an amazingly vibrant city that offers different attractions and activities in line with your interests. I’m sure I will come here again. I learned the lessons of this trip, so next time I will keep them in mind.”
We thank Nick for sharing his story and lifehacks. One of the goals we have in MeetnGreetMe is to make your travel safe, carefree and full of impressions. Follow this link and use the discount code “meetngreetme” link to have 10% off your Tep device cost. Stay connected and enjoy personalized approach around the world.
And, of course, to make sure you have enough time to travel and enjoy Netherlands during your visit, book some great and convenient accommodation for you. Need help with choosing one? Ask our locals in Amsterdam