Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Bikes & Bread *Driving in The Netherlands


I'm so stinking excited that in just a couple short weeks, my family and I are off to Europe for our Summer vacation. We will be off to Germany and the Netherlands to start, then we'll be taking day trips and long weekends to some of our favorite cities in Central Europe, and hopefully some new ones that the children and I have yet to visit. We will finish with a week or so down in Austria, visiting my in-laws and connecting with friends and family.


Our main hub while staying in Europe will be in the very south of the Netherlands. We will be staying in our apartment in a little city which is situated between Germany and Belgium {how cool is that...3 countries in a matter of minutes?} Since my hubby will be working during part of the time we're vacationing, I'm planning some day trips without him, which means I will be driving in areas that I'm unfamiliar and on the German and Dutch Autobahn; which at times can be quite scary. Even though I've driven within both countries in the past, I have taken it upon myself to study up on the laws and traffic system within these countries.

I thought it would be fun to share some of what I've discovered so that if anyone else is planning a trip overseas this summer season, they'll know what's up and can stay safe on the road.

Here are a few things to remember while driving within the Netherlands:


Like most parts of Europe, driving on the Autobahn means driving in the right lane and passing/overtaking on the left. This rule is taken very seriously and should be followed. The right lane is the slower, safe lane to be in while everyone else zooms by. If you are caught cruising in the left lane and a car comes up on you, don't be surprised if they flash their lights at you.

Legal driving age is 18, 16 for mopeds

Helmets must be worn while riding motorcycles and trikes

Busses have the priority when pulling out

Seatbelts must be worn

No cell phones unless hands free

Children must be in an EU approved car seat or booster, whether in the front or back seat of a car. This is up until 4.4 feet tall.

Here are some fun facts and things you might experience while visiting and driving through the Netherlands:


Bikes, bikes, everywhere! No really... everywhere. I swear I have never seen so many bikes in one place before. The bike lanes are unreal there, practically as wide as the lanes on which the cars drive. They take riding bikes to a whole new level. Please always look for riders while driving and walking.
  
Be prepared with a camera because you will see the coolest and most beautiful windmills on the side of country roads. They are so big and detailed, and well, Dutch! 

The Dutch love to pack up and travel. You can always count on seeing a caravan of motorhomes and trailers with Dutch licence plates while driving through Europe.

You must stop and eat at one of the many quaint Dutch eateries or city bakeries. Dutch bread and rolls are by far my favorite in Europe. Oh, and the pastries aren't so bad either. 

If you're looking to add a bit of history to your vacation, look for a hotel that was once a castle. You can find them all over Europe and they are so fun {and romantic}! If you are a history buff such as I, then this will be a real treat. 

If you're getting ready for a trip to Europe or are already there and in need of info about the traffic and driving rules in the country you are visiting, visit The Travellers Guide to Driving Etiquette.


I look forward to sharing my adventure, travel tips and fun abroad with you in the coming weeks. 


Thank you Travellers Guide to Driving Etiquette for sponsoring this post. 





24 comments:

  1. I have always wanted to visit the Netherlands - but was just thinking I would like to buy a bike also!

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    1. Ha yes to the bike! I need a bike, too!

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  2. This is awesome, I'd love to visit the netherlands!

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  3. What a dream journey! Absolutely gorgeous photos.

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  4. I am desperate to travel around Europe - and as I am from England, it shouldn't really be too tough!

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    1. I would love to go to England... I'm always bugging my hubs if we can take a side trip to London or Bath. I've had many lay overs in LHR and visited London, but would love to really explore the country. Have fun exploring when you do!!

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  5. How awesome! I've always wanted to go to the Netherlands! We are heading over to Germany in September... it will be MG's first time to Europe, can't wait to see how our toddler does on a flight eeeek!

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    1. How fun, Claire! What part of Germany are you going to visit?? I love Germany! I'm sure she'll do great! I'm nervous about my little guy because he loves to scream, ugh, and I'm traveling with out my husband. Should be interesting lol! Have a blast, I can't wait to see pictures on IG!!

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  6. That sounds like a fantastic trip! And I went cycling around that area once, so I'm not surprised about all the bikes! Have a great time :)

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    1. You have?! Isn't great? Have a wonderful weekend!

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  7. Great shots! Looks like quite an adventure. :)

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  8. How neat!! I've always wanted to go and visit The Netherlands--I'll have to keep all of this in mind when I eventually go thanks!

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  9. What fun! I would love to take such trips when my little ones are a bit older. So nice that there are resources about the different drving expectations as you move from one country to the next!

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  10. Hi Asleigh,

    It's nice to read about The Netherlands from a foreigner's point of view. The bikes, yes, what would we do without them? And we do have have good bread, mmm. Will you be going to Maastricht? Have lots of fun!!

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    1. Yes! Our place is in the city center of Maastricht! Do you live near? And thank you!!

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  11. Oooh how exciting! Have fun! My family and I live in Amsterdam, accessing just about anywhere is so easy...good luck driving. I haven't been in a car or on a freeway in over a year now, we just train it or ride our bikes everywhere...so much easier for us (especially since we'd have to take the driving test all over again plus cars are taxed over here when you purchase one.) Have such a wonderful time...looking forward to following your adventure! :)

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    1. Thank you Kate! Lol we will see how my driving goes. I drove from Switzerland to Groningen, NL once and that wasn't so bad... the autobahn scares me a bit though. I figure if you can survive the freeways around Los Angeles, you can survive anywhere. I love your site and all your travels around NL. Have a great weekend!!

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  12. I enjoyed this post so much. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop. xo

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  13. I would love to travel to the Netherlands! Thanks for sharing this post to the bloggers brags pinterest party! Pinned! Btw your post about the washi-taped letters was featured to my blog at the party!

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  14. You always have such great pictures! I can't wait to hear all about your trip!!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

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  15. Biking through the Netherlands would be AMAZING! Thank you for sharing your trip at the #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup!

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  16. How exciting! I would love to stay in an old castle. What a neat experience. Also thinking one of the rooms in my home needs to have a Dutch windmill theme. Can't wait to hear all about your trip. Safe travels! #MommyMeetUpMondays

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