Packing for Winter, Amsterdam
Luggage and bags:
Pare your crap down & pack light! I work for an airline loading freight & luggage & have found a travel-type backpack to be the best of all worlds. Travel-type packs have the option of protecting the straps & sholder harness behind a zippered cover. Check out LL BEAN, or REI.com or any outdoor store. Trust me, strapes & loose gear get torn off ALL the time in my business. It just breaks my heart to see somebodys stuff (& vacation plans) fall apart due to loose items. Conveyor belts just EAT THEM UP! Travel packs also have a shoulder strap & handles for when it's all zippered up that makes it look more like a suitcase. Use it as a backpack when on the move & you want your hands free, a suitcase when checking into airport or hotel. Sometimes "backpack" conveys "hippie-type". This is more incognito.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Be prepared for wet & cold with high-tech thermal underwear & a scarf. I can not say enough good things about these two items. I've had my travel pack missplaced by the airline for 48 hours but because I ALWAYS keep these essentials in my carry on bag, I was reasonably comfortable & warm in January with just my best travel suit. CABELAS.com has quality wet & cold weather stuff. Hell, they even sell "Nomex" fire-proof underwear should you be prone to nod off while puffing sweet slpiffs! ("Dude, I flaked"..!)Polartec scarfs are heavenly-soft, light weight, & WARM. Also a good pair of light weight hikeing shoes/ mocs are ideal over wet cobblestones. Another item that REALLY helps beat the cold:...those dry chemical hand warmer packets used by skiers. These things RULE! Most sporting good stores stock them. Just cut open the plastic cover & shake the thing around a little. Pretty soon the thing starts pumping out the heat like crazy for up to 8 hours! Two a day in real raw weather should cover you.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Excedrin. 250mg each. The BIG Guns, for headaches & the morning after. I swear by them. Pop one BEFORE hitting the town & drink water. Drink LOT's of water! The tap water in town is really fresh & cold. Have a couple of glasses when you arrive from your flight, before you go out, when you (finally) stumble in at all hours of the morning & again when you wake up in the night. Honest! It works wonders toward making you feel your best so you can drive on & hit every coffeeshop on your list. "
"To finish 1st, FIRST you have to finish"
REMEMBER: Hot showers & cold drinking water are your FREINDS!
Photo Equipment: Photo Equipment. Hmmm...
When committing questionable acts while away from home, be sure to hide your face so that family & friends back home don't catch you on some web-cam. RELAX! I'm just kidding! ("You're not getting paranoid on me, are you.."?)
Miscellaneous: A visit to AMS has a way of making you, er, what's that word, FORGET stuff...! My pocket-sized journal takes notes & observations on places I've been to, events, ideas, resturants, memoriers, ect. So often a cool song plays that really makes that moment perfect & the vibe ideal & I'd like to remember it. Months later I'll hear the song again & can almost picture myself back in AMS, tucked away in some cozy coffeshop, sipping on a Heineken & their best bud, Aahhhhh, freedom.....! It really makes me laugh, though, as I re-read my notes, on how neat & orderly everything starts out on page 1, then slowly disintigrates over time as the beer & the buds work their magic, night turning into the next day, day to night, my printing gradually getting larger and more scrawlled, until by day 4, when I'm practically spray-painting across the pages the kalidascope of events & things I've seen in a kind of Dennis Hopper or Hunter S. Thompson "Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas" type journalism, complete with a massive spliff.
Luggage and bags:
In the winter time, it is cold here. It is freezing! But when you walk in doors its really hot so layer up. Bring scarfs and gloves too.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: I brought my uugs which kept me really warm but if it rained they would get wet. So make sure you wear comfortable,weather resistant shoes. I had some leather boots but they had a heel on them and I was afraid I would fall. Alot of people though were running around town with some nice high heeled boots. They looked really stylish. If you dont have any they have plenty of stores all over the place that sell nice boots.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: bring lots of moisturizer for your face and sunscreen. Even when its cold your face can get burned from the freezing cold air.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Make sure to bring an umbrella, they also sell light rain gear around town.
Miscellaneous: If you forget anything dont worry, they sell everything in Amsterdam
I do not recommend any open-toed shoes, but not for any reason pertaining to fashion. Its colder there, and you certainly wouldnt want your little piggies to be cold.
Miscellaneous: Include a windbreaker, some sweaters/hoodies/zip-ups and do not underestimate the power of jeans and khakis. The mornings and nights are cold and even during the day on a sunny day near the canals can be cold. I went in the end of July and was surprised. I had shorts with me but I seldom wore them. Better to not be caught off guard.
And of course, an umbrella is a must. The smaller it is, the better, so you can put it in your jacket or bag. Even if its not raining, its good to have it with you if you're not planning on being out for the day.
Don't be discouraged, Amsterdam's weather for the most part is very pleasant, just not particularly warm.
Luggage and bags:
Luggage with wheels is always a good idea, wherever you are travelling
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: ~ A cap/hat that covers your head and neck.
~ Comfortable sandals and tackies/trainers/sneakers. Depending on what time of year you go, dress for that season. See what the local weather is doing prior to leaving home!
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: ~ sun screen if its summer, yes, I got burnt going on the canals for hours!
~ headache tablets (they go everywhere with me. It?s difficult getting medicine in foreign countries sometimes.. even if you DO understand the language
~ otherwise, just the usuals needed. No added things needed? you aint going on safari! haha
Photo Equipment: Your camera, with charger, and a EUROPEAN plug extension.
Very NB, or else how are you going to write your important VT tips? haha
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: n/a
Miscellaneous: Have a map handy at all times.
Rainy season: There is no special rainy season
Avg. Temp. in Spring: max.: 8 – 16°C ( 47 - 60°F ); min: 2 - 7°C ( 36 - 45°F )
Avg. Temp. in Summer: max.: 18 – 21°C ( 64 - 70°F ); min: 11 - 12°C ( 51 - 53°F )
Avg. Temp. in Autumn: max.: 8 – 17°C ( 47 - 63°F); min: 3 - 10°C ( 38 – 50°F )
Avg. Temp. in Winter: max.: 5 – 6°C ( 41 - 43°F); min: 0 - 2°C ( 32 - 36°F )
Miscellaneous: The last time I was in Amsterdam was in March of 1992. Winter was still around, although there was no snow on the ground. You do need very warm clothing.