How to Feel at Home Even When You’re Vacationing


Bed and breakfasts

If you’re going on vacation, and feeling tired of the staleness and lack of flair of the average hotel or motel, a bed and breakfast experience may be the right alternative for you. If you’ve never stayed at a bed and breakfast before, you’re missing out. It’s a little less like staying at a roadside inn and a lot more like being invited into someone’s home. The best bed and breakfast is the one where the house is comfortable and distinctive, the managers are personable and attentive to your stay, the basic amenities are comfortable, and the actual breakfast is delicious and satisfying.

Bed and breakfasts have a rich history in U.S. travel. Families with large households used to open their homes to travelers for a few days at a time, cooking for them, sharing the household linens and putting them up in rooms that may at other times have been home to their family or friends. Some people will turn their home into a bed and breakfast when their adult children move out. One bed and breakfast operator in New York has kept the three (very comfortable looking!) guest rooms in her house themed after her three adult children. A great bed and breakfast is also likely to be child friendly for kids of any age, although how large a family can be accommodated varies from one house to the other.

Sometimes a bed and breakfast won’t be situated in a house, but in another repurposed building. There’s even a bed and breakfast that was converted from an old public elementary school. Some memorabilia from the school had been preserved (the PA system fixtures still hang on the walls in each room, although one can assume they don’t work anymore), but its overall appearance had been dramatically refitted to make the large classrooms feel homey and comfortable.

If you’re traveling and want to stay someplace that feels “closer to home,” look around in the area you’ll be staying and see if you can find a bed and breakfast that looks good to you! The rates are often extremely reasonable, often cheaper than hotels (who don’t even offer you home cooked breakfast!).

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