Your Handy Guide to a Perfect Bed-and-Breakfast Getaway

posted: 06/25/15
by: Courtney Reimer

Sometimes you want an adventurous, explore the monuments and museums vacation. Sometimes you just want a smaller, relax-and-do-very-little vacation. That's a perfect occasion for a bed-and-breakfast getaway. They're relaxing, low-key, and low-maintenance -- as long as you prepare in advance. Here's a handy list of what to consider when you're thinking about going on a B&B trip.

1. Go without the kids. I've occasionally encountered a youngin' at the breakfast table of a B&B, but it's the rare, historic inn that has appeal for the little kids (and vice versa). Your co-inhabitants will more likely be newlyweds or retirees who appreciate the antiques and quaint decor.

2. Book it yourself.
The internet abounds with options for booking B&Bs, such as airbnb and VRBO (which stands for "vacation rental by owner"), and they're usually stocked with plenty of photos and detailed lists of amenities. Sometimes you can do better scrolling through and comparing and contrasting than you might do with a travel agent. All depends on what you have time for.

3. Read the reviews, but take them with a grain of salt. If all of the reviews of an inn are stellar but for one, probably a safe bet to assume the negative situation was an isolated incident -- and same goes for the other way around. If no one has anything good to say about a place, probably best to steer clear.

4. Investigate attractions in the surrounding area. Very often there are some glorious, hidden gem sights within walking distance.

Hello, beautiful day! #montreal #montr?aljetaime #mtlmoments #sunnyday #carrestlouis #bedandbreakfast #lapetiteprune

A photo posted by B&B La Petite Prune (@la_petite_prune) on


5. Check the menu in advance. Most places will accommodate dietary restrictions, but since they're often mom-and-pop shops, you'll want to give them fair warning.

Mmmm.... Freshly baked sticky buns drizzled with cinnamon goodness!! | #GrueneMansion #BedAndBreakfast #GrueneTexas #GrueneMansionInn

A photo posted by Gruene Mansion Inn B&B (@gruenemansioninn) on

6. Bring a good book.
Very rarely do B&Bs have TV sets, so if you'll need to rely on some old-school entertainment if you want to unwind on the sofa. Your brain will thank you!

7. Pack layers.
Remember how grandma's house was always a little drafty? Or that she refused to get A/C? Since many bed-and-breakfasts are often quite literally grandma's house, it's a good idea to bring layers -- and options to shed them if it's a warmer season.

8. Know the restaurant situation. Apart from the occasional fresh batch of brownies in the afternoon, most B&Bs take their "B" seriously with the understanding that guests will fend for themselves at other meals. It's a good opportunity to check out the local restaurants!

9. Check their calendar.
Bed and breakfasts are very popular with weddings (and with good reason, see below), so before you book, make sure the place won't be completely overloaded with a bridal party and their entourage.