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.
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.
- 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.
For comprehensive bed and breakfast sites ...
Karen Brown's World of Travel
is a thorough and user-friendly Web site particularly helpful to people who are getting acquainted with the bed and breakfast world. Click on the "KB Community" tab for message boards and trip photos. Use her Google Earth satellite maps to see what type of area a particular B&B is in. Or scroll through her lists of hundreds of stateside and international inns. And rest assured: any lodging recommended on KarenBrown.com
has been visited by Karen or her staff.
A Thousand Inns
is a good Web site for getting into bed, so to speak, with B&B culture. It has an inn locator, a free newsletter, and info on specialized lodging, such as wedding and honeymoon inns and resort-style B&Bs. This site can be translated into French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Be sure to read the "Why choose Bed & Breakfast?" section on their main page (scroll down to find it).
has some quality travel advice for the Internet surfer. The most important section of this comprehensive Web site is the "Travel Tips" tab at the top of the main page. Here you'll find the Inns.com travel library with plenty of advice on accommodations. Be sure to read up on the "Inn Traveler's Bill of Rights."
The Innside Scoop
, although a bit overwhelming to the eye, is endorsed by travel editors for its in-depth knowledge of bed and breakfasts. Visit this site for staff-selected U.S. B&Bs and sign up for a free subscription to The Innside Scoop e-zine. Scroll all the way down the main page for recommended reading and humorous articles that give important info on B&Bs.
For articles relating to bed and breakfasts ...
furnishes an article that examines how more and more business travelers are opting for the personal touch of B&Bs over motels and hotels.
posts a great list of "Cost-Cutting Travel Tips," most of which can be directly applied to a stay at a bed and breakfast. Take a look at the first and most important step to saving money: travel during the off-season!
is a Web site devoted to posting short travel videos that provide a glimpse of locations around the world. Check out this 45-second clip on bed and breakfasts in England. Browse through Travelistic's U.S. videos to find cities with B&B lodging.
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