Mevrouw T and I can stay in any one of thousands of B&Bs for a maximum price of 19euros (USD26) each. I can assure you that’s a serious mates’ rate, especially in the larger cities.
The only condition is that we have to get there by cycling, walking, canoeing, skating or skeeling* (I have no idea what that is either, but apparently energetic people in Friesland enjoy getting around that way).
We’re members of a Dutch organisation called ‘Vrienden op de Fiets’ (Friends on the Bike), that promotes active travel. Membership is open to anyone who forks out a paltry 8 euros a year**. For this we get a book with over 3600 B&B addresses in the Netherlands, as well as several hundred in Belgium, Germany and France, and a number in other European countries. There are even a few in Peru, Australia, Israel and the US.
[As my correspondent Arie pointed out to me in the comments box, most hosts are not running fully professional B&Bs and trying to make lots of money; they’re just families with a spare room who enjoy taking in like-minded cycling guests.]
Once you have the book, you ring your hosts to make a reservation, and if they’re able to accommodate you, get there in some athletic way. Walking from the car to the B&B front door doesn’t count, even if you’ve had to park around the corner and are lugging a heavy suitcase.
The website of this worthy enterprise is www.vriendenopdefiets.nl . The home page is in Dutch, but fear not, there is an English or German translation available too.
*I’ve googled it now; it’s ‘roller-blading’.
**To have the Vrienden op de Fiets book mailed to an address outside the Netherlands costs 2 euros for Europe and 8 euros for all other countries.