Lines everywhere and corrupt taxi-drivers – you just might need this guide to Schiphol in order to survive at this national hub
Gone are the days of travel when people would put on their Sunday best and head to the airport, ready for an adventure. When smoking was allowed on flights, security let you leave everything in your hand luggage and each flight allowed for 2 bags per person. We are now in the times of less leg room, full body cavity searches (well almost…) and the ever-present security, armed with weapons ready to pounce on you should you leave your bag unattended for 1 minute.
Now traveling requires creative packing, extra time and unfortunately a larger wallet, but I am here to tell you there are ways that you can manage the chaos of travel while still keeping your sanity and some of your hard-earned euros.
Guide to Schiphol: 10 Tips and Tricks for surviving Schiphol
#1 Schiphol has showers!
So if you need to freshen up after a long flight or before you take off, you can. This is a great help if you have hours to kill before your flight and rolled up to the check in from your night of partying! check it out here!
#2 Do you need some peace and quiet in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of the airport? Check out the meditation center near the F gates. Here you can meditate, attend a church service (Sundays only) or read in the library…it’s a great way to channel your inner peace before you join cram yourself into the teeny tiny seats on your flight.
#3 Guide to Schiphol: The Schiphol app.
I cannot tell you how many times this has come in handy for me when I have been traveling or picking up friends and family. It allows you to save a specific flight and will send you notifications if the flight is delayed or canceled. It will app you when it’s time to board, in case you tend to wander while waiting and it will also let you know which arrivals hall you will be landing at and which luggage carousel you can find you bags on…great for saving time!
#4 Are you just passing through?
Perhaps you have a long layover and want to spend the day wandering around Amsterdam? Schiphol has great lockers that can hold even the largest of suitcases and will allow you to enjoy a day of sightseeing without having to lug your bags with you.
#5 What if you don’t feel like leaving the airport but would kill for a quiet place to nap?
Check out the hotels located inside the airport which allow you to rent by the hour. Sleep, nap and just relax before you take that next flight. This is a great option for families as they have a family room which is great! Yotel has a variety of options.
#6 Cheap train tickets to Schiphol
Spoordeel winkel-hotel and train deals-If you are like us and frequently have very early flights and live more than an hour and a half away from Schiphol, this is a great way to alleviate some stress before travel. They have deals that last throughout the year for train and hotel accommodations starting at €49 per person. Which means you can sleep close by, avoid parking costs and be at the airport early.
#7 Try flying out of alternative airports-like Eelde in Groningen and Eindhoven.
For some the commute may be slightly longer but the stress associated with Schiphol is gone. Eelde offers a variety of destination to choose from and parking is as low as €4,50 per day if reserved in advance!! Eindhoven boasts 75 destinations which means there are plenty of options for your next trip!
#8 Guide to Schiphol: Traveling with Kids
Traveling with kids? Schiphol has a few fun things set up to help your kids burn of some steam before they board the fight. From being able to watch the luggage belt to an outdoor park, there is something for every little traveler.
One fun pre-departure area is the panorama deck located in Departure hall 2. From there you can step outside and watch the planes take off. There is a play area and restaurant, perfect for killing time. Check out the full list of kid friendly activities here
The Airport Park is open 24 hours a day and offers bean bags, exercise bikes that charge your phone while you pedal and pre-recorded bird sounds to calm you and your little ones. Plenty of space to keep your kids busy while you wait.
Surviving Schiphol: Actually Planning Your Trip
Still need to plan that trip? With what seems like a million options out there it can be difficult to know if you are getting the best deal possible. It seems as though travel is getting more and more expensive so finding a bargain is key to enjoying your trip. This first tip I actually got from friend and fellow blogger The Traveling Island Girl:
#9 Google Flights.
This search engine allows you to search for flights to your desired destination, give you a selection of available flights and then allows you to track the price without having to lift a finger. You will be emailed every time the prices goes up or down, making it easy to keep an eye out for the best deals. This is a game changer when planning for your next adventure
10. Last minute stuff!
Are you more of a spontaneous traveler, do you like to fly by the seat of your pants so to speak? Then TUI last minute deals are what you are looking for. They have some great last minute deals that include flights and hotel, taking the leg work out of booking your dream trip. Want to leave tomorrow? No problem! They even have a desk at Schiphol, Departures terminal 3, that can book you a trip at a moment’s notice!
Do you have any tips to surviving Schiphol that need to be in this guide to Schiphol? Leave them in the comments section!
Don’t drink the coffee at Schiphol. It’s horrible and there’s only 1 brand for sale (Douwe Egberts, vile stuff).
Whenever we are at Schiphol, we buy our breakfast (or lunch, or dinner) at the grocery store. It’s always fresh and the prices are right.