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Anna Marie

Seven Simple Steps For Selecting a Bed and Breakfast

The term B&B encompasses a wide variety of guest houses and is a form of lodging which provides a very different mood and atmosphere for an over night stay. Travel with PullOverandLetMeOut to discover 7 simple steps for selecting a bed and breakfast that is perfect for your next stay.
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Hi, I’m Anna Marie. I’m a wife, mother, Irish dancer, and pug mom living in North Carolina. I also love to travel. Come along for the ride! If you see something you like, don’t be afraid to say, ‘Pull over and let me out.’

While there are many benefits to staying in a hotel, for a change of scenery, a bed and breakfast provides something that hotels cannot: a personalized touch unmatched by any other type of lodging. Like hotels, bed and breakfast inns offer a range of amenities and come in an array of styles, themes, and price ranges. Here are seven simple steps for selecting a bed and breakfast that is ideal for your next stay. 

Here are 7 Simple Steps for Selecting a Bed and Breakfast

1. Define Your Preferences

Before you even begin your search for a bed and breakfast, you will first want to determine what you are looking for. Take into consideration factors such as the location, the amenities they offer, the ambiance, and other specific requirements.

If you are traveling with children or pets, you’ll want to narrow your search for a B&B where they will be welcomed. Along the same lines, if you have special dietary needs you will also want to keep this in mind as you begin your search.

Abbey House B&B in the shadow of the Abbey. PullOverAndLetMeOut
Abbey House in Boyle, Ireland. You can stay in the shadow of the Boyle Abbey.

2. Research Online

There is a plethora of sites that will help you with your research. From travel websites to review sites and B&B directories, you can find helpful resources to assist you in narrowing down the field and making your selection.

I strongly suggest you read the reviews before booking. This will give you a good idea of the overall experience and quality of the bed and breakfast. I do add the caveat that you should remember there will always be that one review from an “unhappy camper.” With that in mind, take in what the majority of reviews are saying and then go with your own instincts.

The TravelingToGive tool on this site is a wonderful resource for finding a bed and breakfast near your destination.

a modern piece of sculpture in a garden
Explore the gardens and enjoy the scenery at the Inn on Mill Creek in Pisgah National Forest.

3. Check Amenities & Services

You will want to review the amenities and services offered by each bed and breakfast you are considering. Pay attention to details such as room features. For example, is there a bathroom en suite or is it a shared bathroom down the hall. Likewise take note of other important items like breakfast options, Wi-Fi availability, parking facilities, and any additional perks and activities provided by the property.

Often times an inn will have a relationship with nearby tourist attractions and can offer discounts or can even book the event or attraction for you and have your tickets waiting when you arrive.

4. Compare Prices & Policies

It’s always smart to compare prices and booking policies when selecting a bed and breakfast. Take note of whether or not a deposit is required with your reservation. Many B&Bs will require a 50% deposit at the time of booking. Also, you will want to find out if there is a multi-night stay policy. Likewise, be sure to review their cancellation policy before booking, especially if your plans are likely to change.

Many bed and breakfasts offer special packages or discounts for seniors, military, teachers, and more. Be sure to inquire about these special deals as you do your research.

Room Lazy Bear Lodge PullOverandLetMeOut
At the Lazy Bear Lodge near Boone, NC, attention to detail makes the stay all the more special.
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Many of the best bed and breakfasts are members of associations for bed and breakfasts in their state or of professional groups like Select Registry. Before an inn may become a member of these organizations, it must meet certain requirements that they have. A B&B's membership in one or more of these associations is a reliable indication that you can expect an excellent stay.

5. Accessibility & Location

While location has already been mentioned, it is also important to keep in mind that a bed and breakfast can feel almost like home.

Stay with me for  second. Why not make the bed and breakfast your home while you’re away from home?

Based upon the location, a B&B can become an ideal hub. Plan day trips that are within an hour or two of the bed and breakfast and you will have a wonderful homey retreat to return to at the end of the day.

Additionally, if you have mobility issues or specific accessibility requirements, inquire about the availability of accessible accommodations and facilities at the B&B.

Front of a brick building in Wilmington, NC
Front Street Inn in the heart of Wilmington's Historic District

6. Contact the B&B Directly

Once you have narrowed down your choices, reach out to the bed and breakfast to ask any remaining questions you have and to confirm availability. It’s also a terrific way to get a better idea of what a stay at the B&B will be like. Speaking with the innkeeper or staff can provide valuable insights and help you gauge the level of hospitality and customer service you can expect during your stay.

A Georgian home made of stone with a red door.
Glencarne House was a hub on many of my visits to Ireland and the inspiration for my book, The House With the Georgian Door.
a woman with her arm around an older woman
I first stayed with Mrs. Harrington when I was 19!

7. Ask for Recommendations

While reading reviews online is helpful, the best resource of all is your friends, family, and acquaintances who have stayed in a bed and breakfast in the area you’re visiting. You will gain firsthand knowledge and valuable insights that you might not get otherwise.

Moreover, you may want to consider joining travel forums or social media groups related to travel and hospitality to seek advice and recommendations from fellow travelers. The PullOverandLetMeOut newsletter is a wonderful resource for learning about great places to stay and visit.

a long elegant dining table
Dine in style at the historic Richard Johnston Inn in Fredericksburg, Virginia

Selecting a Bed and Breakfast

I love staying at a bed and breakfast. The personal touches and the ambiance add to the experience and make the trip all the more special. Although not all trips lend themselves to a B&B stay, whenever I get the chance, it’s my preferred choice of lodging.

Selecting a bed and breakfast that is ideal for your needs isn’t all that complicated. By following these steps, you can select a B&B that meets your needs and preferences, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience during your travels.

Entrance steps to the John Rutledge House Inn in Charleston, SC
The John Rutledge House Inn, 116 Broad Street Charleston, South Carolina

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Seven Simple Steps For Selecting a Bed and Breakfast

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