Bed and Breakfasts Basics

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Bed and Breakfasts: Room and Board on the Road

According to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, there were more than 20,000 bed and breakfasts operating in the United States in 2006. So you're hardly alone in thinking that a bed and breakfast might be a nice alternative to a bland hotel or roadside tourist trap. Whether you're planning a couples getaway, a family vacation, a trip for your boss, or a quick stop en route to a final destination, the Web sites we've found will help you discover the possibilities.

Bed and Breakfasts Basics

A visit to a bed and breakfast offers a more intimate type of lodging, with uniquely decorated rooms, luxurious private baths, homemade breakfasts, and plenty of pampering. This section offers a quick lesson on contemporary bed-and-breakfast culture.

Dulcinea's Insight

  • Almost every Web site relating to bed and breakfast lodging will encourage the visitor to make reservations online. Be cautious about booking travel until you have given yourself a chance to peruse multiple B&B sites and comparison-shop.
  • Many bed and breakfast operations accept cash or checks only, but some allow you to prepay online with a credit card or through a third-party payment service like PayPal.
  • Because these transactions are not always the most high-tech, make sure your online payment is done through a secure server. To do this, look for the Web address to start with "https" instead of "http" (the "s" is for "secure"), or look for a little icon of a padlock in the bottom corner of your browser.
  • Many B&Bs have pictures of their rooms on the Web site. Visit sections entitled "Accommodations," "Rooms," or "Photos" to get a better look at the establishment.
  • Check out general travel Web sites like Frommers.com or Fodors.com for travel tips that can be applied to bed and breakfasts. Type in the phrase "bed and breakfast" in their search bars to produce related articles, destinations, and message boards.
  • Most bed and breakfasts on the Web have a section devoted to guest feedback. This page may be titled "Feedback," "Guestbook," or "Testimonials," but whatever it's called it's a good place to read up on what fellow travelers had to say about their stay. For more info on B&B quality, visit the "How do I evaluate the quality and reputation of a bed and breakfast?" section of this guide.

Dulcinea's Picks

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Evaluating bed and breakfast quality

A B&B's Web site is not necessarily the best indication of its quality or character, but there ... read more »

Bed and breakfasts by state

Each U.S. state has dozens (sometimes hundreds) of bed-and-breakfasts from which to choose. Below ... read more »

International bed and breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts have European roots, but are found all over the world. Peruse the sites in this ... read more »

Historic bed and breakfasts

While many innkeepers try to create a traditional ambiance and old world charm, authentic B&Bs ... read more »

Bed and breakfast cuisine

Bed and breakfasts are notorious for their scrumptious AM offerings, and our Picks will point you ... read more »

What if I need special accommodations?

If you can't leave home without your dog, cat, oxygen tank, or three screaming children, don't ... read more »

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