Overnight stay rate hike to 25 euros per Friend
As of 1 January 2023, the price for an overnight stay at a Vrienden op de Fiets guest address will become 25 euros. Friends pay 14 euros per overnight stay for children below 13 years of age. As usual, this price will also include breakfast. The new prices will, in principle, apply up to and including 31 December 2024. The following is an explanation of the setting of these new prices.
How are the prices for an overnight stay set?
In setting the new price, the board and management carefully considered several factors. We estimated the costs of an overnight stay, including breakfast, laundry, a shower and any additional heating costs. Not included are the investment of time and effort, depreciation and mortgage costs. This is a conscious choice since our guest addresses are private individuals who open their home as a favour, not to make a profit.
We know that it is difficult to calculate the right expenses for all the very different guest addresses. However, according to our careful assessment it is possible to offer a simple overnight stay and an energising breakfast for 25 euros. This includes an overnight stay for 1 guest and, in most cases, also a stay in a separate space like a garden house.
The rate for an overnight stay was last adjusted by us in 2019. That rate (22.50 euros) proved more than enough to cover the costs and was therefore maintained for the last few years. During that period, the impact of inflation long remained negligible at circa 2%. Till today, most guest addresses are only left with a token sum for opening up their homes.
What is the proper overnight rate now that prices increase so rapidly?
For the first time in years, we now face a new situation with rapidly increasing prices. At the moment, it is not possible to predict how the rate of inflation will develop. Even so, we do need to set a rate, which -based on all the presently known factors- feels like an acceptable rate. Not too high, for the rate needs to reflect the simple overnight stays that we promise. And certainly not so low that our guest addresses are left out of pocket. We’d of course like to ensure that our guest addresses can continue to welcome Friends. Including those Friends without fat wallets, who have recently seen their disposable income shrink. In short, we aim for a rate that is just right for everyone. A challenging task indeed.
The basis for and details of the rate setting
As the starting point for the inflation adjustment we turned to objective data from Statistics Netherlands (CBS). This organisation publishes the official consumer price index (CPI) that measures the overall price rises and drops of all products and services in a “shopping basket” that is considered representative of average consumer spending. This yields an annual price index that helped us calculate the current rate for an overnight stay. Since it is unclear whether the inflation will continue to rise at today’s rapid pace, we will maintain the rate of 25 euros for the coming two years - and not for the customary four years.
Instead of decimal places, we opted to use a round amount as this is easier to remember. Nor do we intend to annually index the price, like companies do. For this reason, we included a margin that should be adequate until at least the end of 2024. Thus we intend to avoid ambiguity and disputes.
It is also important to underline once more that the new rate is the same for everyone and everything, regardless of the number of guests or the luxury offered by the guest address. In this way, Vrienden op de Fiets can remain the unique, not-for-profit initiative that is valued by so many.
The rate for children below 13 years of age is derived from the full rate. In combination with an adult who pays the full rate, this amount should also suffice to cover the costs. This reduced rate serves to make it even more attractive to bring (grand)children along on your biking or hiking trip. They are, after all, our future Friends and guest addresses!
Voorhout, September 2022