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How to pack for April trip to Holland & Belgium?

How to pack for April trip to Holland & Belgium?

Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 11:08 AM
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How to pack for April trip to Holland & Belgium?

My husband and I will be taking a 3-week trip to Netherlands/Belgium, possibly Luxembourg beginning April 7. I would normally pack for chilly weather (40s, 50s), but I have been surprised the last few times I went to Europe at this time. Record heat waves! This time we will be traveling by train, so we can't take a lot of things. How do we deal with heavier things, like coats, shoes, etc. I hope to fit it all into 2 small-ish bags. I live in Northern California and it has been cold (40s and 50s), so do I take what I'm wearing now or will it be warmer? Thanks for any advice!!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:08 PM
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may well be in my lengthy experience of being in Low Countries at that time just like No Cal except much wetter. One year in summer it rained on each and very day for six weeks - never a downpour but a constant drizzle - unlikely to happen but possible. There is a reason trees in Holland are green with moss.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:18 PM
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I have traveled at this time in the Benelux countries. I don't take heavy, bulky items but work in layers. A T-shirt under a shirt/blouse, topped with a lightweight sweater, light jacket and pashmina should prepare you for everything. Your husband can change the pashmina for a scarf. Lightweight cashmere or silk/cotton blends are great for comfort. I use tropical weight wool pants. Worn over tights for warmth of with sox for less cool times. All fits well in wheeled carry-on bag.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:25 PM
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Ditto, dress in layers. Mornings will be chilly but it warms up in the afternoon. Buy your umbrella when you get there. Bring a water resistant windbreaker and wear rubber soled shoes.

Pity that you will miss Queen's Day, http://tinyurl.com/yln3hrp, but you should have good opportunities to visit Keukenhof, http://tinyurl.com/y8hltjl.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:45 PM
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April can be absolutely lovely - warm, sunny days, cool nights, or it can be cold and damp and miserable. The Dutch say April does what it will - meaning it is completely unpredictable. Sometimes we have a heat wave, usually it is a mixture of showers, sun, and cool days.
Night time temperatures can still be below freezing if it is clear, and day time highs can be up in the high 60s.

A waterproof jacket/coat and some layers are the way to go. Maybe a pair of gloves if you are particularly sensitive to the cold.

I hope you bring your usual heatwave with you - even though I'll be in the UK then .
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:46 PM
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Oh I meant to add that Belgium will probably be warmer, depending on where you are going, and Luxembourg warmer still, but all three countries can be wet.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 01:48 PM
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It will be sunny and warm after the 15th. (I made weather reservations)
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Old Feb 23rd, 2011, 02:02 PM
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I agree with all that say it is unpredictable. In general, I would say similar to your NorCal temps. You could be lucky and have a few warmer days but be prepared to see cooler ones. Layers are the key and maybe throw in some gloves or mittens (wish I'd had packed those.)

I went at the end of April. The week prior to my trip it was in the high 70s, low 80s. So I packed a trench coat (no lining) and some sweaters but no heavy coat. Well, as hetismij says, the weather changed its mind and it was in the high 30s at night with a high of low 50s. Overcast, rainy the entire time. But it didn't diminish the trip at all. It is one of my favorite spots in Europe.

It was memorable in that I laugh every time I see my photos - I was literally wearing ALL my tops under the trench and it looked like I had gained 30 lbs, lol!
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 07:21 AM
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Thanks all, it's good advice. We looked up the latitude of Amsterdam in April (53); its equivalency here is Vancouver Canada! Quite a bit colder than our home town. So, I'll take advantage of some winter sales now and get some cashmere sweaters, thin turtlenecks and top it off with a trench coat. I'm a hat person, so I have plenty of those. The only problem is getting it all stuffed in our suitcases!

I remember reading Anne Frank's diary and was surprised that they were getting heat waves in the spring, which of course was more miserable for them because they couldn't open windows. I visited the website of their house where they hid in Amsterdam--it's a terrific website, btw.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 10:56 AM
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We looked up the latitude of Amsterdam in April (53); its equivalency here is Vancouver Canada! Quite a bit colder than our home town.

The latitude has little to do with the temperature because Amsterdam is coastal. Plus it takes advantage of the Gulf Stream. I live in Michigan at latitude 44. The winters are much colder and the summers are hotter than Amsterdam.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 01:23 PM
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You may find yourself too warm with cashmere sweaters and the like. Do take some less warm clothing too. It could well be warm - the long term prediction is for a cold March and a warm April. Of course we all know how good those predictions are, but please don't pack as if you are visiting somewhere cold.
Lightweight layers are best. The daytime average for April is low to mid 50s, but it can be a lot warmer. Only occasionally is it much colder.

Amsterdam btw is 52.22 North. Vancouver is further south at 49.16 North. Labrador City is closer in latitude to Ams.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 01:34 PM
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In spite of the difference in latitude, the climate in Vancouver in April is fairly similar, a tiny bit colder. It has about twice the participation, but thanks to being further South, actually sees slightly more sunshine than Amsterdam.

"We looked up the latitude of Amsterdam in April (53)"

It has a different latitude in other months?
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 01:41 PM
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Here's another way to compare. Search on www.wonderground.com. It has a feature on the tool bar called something like "travel planner". You can search you dates for historic weather in your hometown. It provides details like temperature, precipitation, humidity, dew point, etc. Then make the same search for your destination and compare. This also works if you know other US cities that might be more comparable to your destination than your own. So if you are in SF but you know well the feeling of the weather in Boston or Chicago you could use one of those cities instead of your hometown.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 02:07 PM
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When I relocated to Holland the get acquainted department told us that the climate was very similar to that in Seattle, latitude about 48. Coming from southern California that didn't mean much to me. We referred to Zandvoort, the Dutch beach city just west of Amsterdam, as *Newport Beach North.*

Pay attention to hetismij. Otherwise you'll be packing and hauling around stuff you don't need. Don't worry about the temperature. Be prepared for the drizzle, and maybe some rain and wind.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 04:53 PM
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April is tulip time in Holland and i wouldn't expect winter weather. You can have warmer or coolers spring days - and I would have a light jacket with a couple of layers underneath if necessary.

Most important are a sturdy folding umbrella and comfy waterproof walking shoes.

If yo haul heavy winter clothes with you I think you will be way too warm.
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Old Feb 26th, 2011, 02:58 AM
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laurie_ann, do you mean http://www.wunderground.com/ ? My browser won't let me connect to the website you mentioned, saying it is malicious. But Weather Underground does have a lot of good information.
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Old Feb 26th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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Yes, wunderground.com
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Old Apr 1st, 2011, 11:47 AM
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I, too, am leaving in two days for three weeks in the Netherlands and have been spending time there each year for the past 28 years. The temperature, in April, can vary from very cool (low high 30's to low 40's) in the evenings with rainy and cool days to sometimes 80° and sunny. Then, it changes back again to somewhere in the middle.

I always take a Gore-Tex jacket or parka. It's light, packable and keeps the wet out. A scarf is a must have in Holland. Forget the umbrella and pick up a Gore-Tex hat (Outdoor Research- OR makes a fine one) If you have any Windstopper® apparel, take that, too. I realize that you have only six days before you leave but these items can be found at your local sporting goods store and will last you forever. If you purchase them over there ,they will be very expensive (although they do have a much better selection at their sporting goods stores.) Have a great trip!
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Old Apr 1st, 2011, 11:56 AM
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It's going to be 22C tomorrow, but goes then cools off to around 14C for a couple days, Thursday is another 22C day, the rest around 16/17C and showery for the next two weeks.
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Old Apr 1st, 2011, 05:02 PM
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Perfect cycling weather, thanks!
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