Bed and breakfasts, more commonly known as B&Bs, can be wonderfully cozy and romantic. These are small inns, often run out of a single-family home, so the owners/proprietors live on site.
The size, type and location of bed and breakfast inns are varied. Some might have just one or two guest rooms, with or without private baths, or up to a dozen guest rooms or more. A bed and breakfast inn could be found in a historic Victorian home, a former schoolhouse or an urban loft. One amenity that all bed and breakfasts offer each morning is a hot breakfast that's included as part of your accommodations. Bed and breakfasts can be found all over the world.
Want to find a fabulous B&B for your next getaway? Here are some tips:
- Research online. There are dozens of websites by bed-and-breakfast associations and for-profit businesses that offer B&B search engines. Try BnBFinder, BedandBreakfast, BedandBreakfastCenter. Search by state or zip code; there are also international listings.
- Try DexOnline. Once you've narrowed down your destination, do a search of the Yellow Pages for "Bed & Breakfast." This will give at least the names, numbers and locations of all the small inns in the town or city you plan to visit.
- Flip through a guide. Unless you plan on vacationing at bed and breakfasts often, it may not be cost-effective to buy an entire print B&B guidebook to one region of the United States or one foreign country. But it may be worth some time to search your local library database to see if it carries current B&B guidebooks, especially if you're not traveling close to home. Remember, though, that print guidebooks become dated quickly. Your best bet for finding the most current information is online.
- Get local recommendations. Contact the Chamber of Commerce or Visitor's Bureau of your destination town or area to get local suggestions for places to stay.
- Talk to your travel agent. It can't hurt to get an opinion from your local travel agent, who may be familiar with the region of the world you're visiting. Or, search online for a travel agent who specializes in bed and breakfasts.
- Visit TripAdvisor. This site allows users to give their unbiased reviews of all types of accommodations all over the world, including bed and breakfast inns. Remember to take their postings with a grain of salt, however. In many cases, opinions of a hotel are quite subjective.
- Read the fine print. Make sure you know exactly what you're booking and familiarize yourself with the bed and breakfast inn's rules and regulations. Does your room have two twin beds or one king? Do you have a private bath? Are dogs allowed? Is there a curfew?
- Book early. Because bed and breakfast inns typically have few rooms, it's prudent to make your reservation as far in advance as possible so you can confirm a stay at your top choice. Happy travels!