From relaxing in a rocking chair with a glass of lemonade on the deck of a large, Southern plantation home to engaging in thrilling murder mysteries alongside “gangsters” in period attire (it’s true, you can do it at the Angelic Inn in Pennsylvania), staying in a bed and breakfast can be a delightful alternative to sleeping in another chain hotel.
At a bed and breakfast, you may not get “points” for your stay, and you might have to share a bathroom down the hall. But chances are, you’ll be fed and cared for well beyond the reaches of your average hotel… and usually at very reasonable prices, too.
Staying at a bed and breakfast, guesthouse, or inn is an easy way to get a peek into a local’s life, too. Ask your hosts and you’ll likely get great advice on what to see, where to eat, and which markets have the best deals.
Here are some websites where you can search for and book bed and breakfasts, whether you’re looking for something eccentric, cozy, or luxurious:
** TripAdvisor.com has a directory of rated B&B’s across the U.S. and around the world. This is my favorite place to search for B&B’s online, because it features them in order of the highest user reviews. You can’t book here, but you can read what past guests have had to say, and see photos, pricing, and contact info.
To find B&B’s on tripadvisor.com, enter your destination in the search bar, along with “B&B”. Or, search for hotels in your location and hit the “B&B’s/Inns” tab.
** BandB.About.com lists B&B’s by location and by type, such as Romantic Escapes, Child-Friendly Inns, Haunted, and Historic Bed and Breakfasts. Here you can also read Elizabeth Arneson’s Bed and Breakfasts Guide, and a blog for the latest news in the B&B world.
** BedandBreakfast.com is handy, because it offers “hot deals,” and seasonal specials. The site also gives awards to the best B&B’s, which can be a good starting point when you’re looking for a quality place to stay. Here, you’ll find prices, reviews, photos, availability calendars, maps, and contact information for each featured inn. You book directly with the inn.
** BnBFinder.com displays special packages for Winter or Romantic Escapes, and sells gift certificates. To search, you have to enter a check-in date. Once you find a place that matches your dates and needs, you can contact the innkeepers directly by phone or via an email form on the site. Prices aren’t shown. However, you can search for specials using the “specials” tab, which leads you to individual inns’ websites, where prices are listed.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: Some bed and breakfasts go beyond granola, yogurt, and orange juice for breakfast, cooking up tasty masterpieces morning noon and night. If you have the culinary pleasure of staying in one of these, why not write a food-focused article about it for a food or travel magazine?
Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]