6 reasons to stay at a B&B on your next trip

Get more out of your lodging than just a place to sleep.

Whether you’re taking a weeklong vacation or heading out for a few days on a micro-cation, there are many options available that provide comfort and let you absorb the local culture. 

Opting for a bed-and-breakfast can lead to a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway. A bed-and-breakfast, often referred to as a B&B, typically has between four and 10 rooms. And the atmosphere is usually warm, inviting and personalized. 

If you’re dreaming of skiing, visiting historic sites, spending time at the beach or exploring a new place, a B&B could be the right option for your next trip. Here are six reasons to stay at a bed-and-breakfast.

1. The chance to meet others

Because there are a limited number of rooms and guests, you’ll likely cross paths with others during your stay. And B&Bs often provide meals in a group setting. 

“We serve breakfast community style in the dining room, where guests interact with each other,” says Hana Pevny, innkeeper at Waldo Emerson Inn.

The 266-year-old home was built by Waldo Emerson, writer Ralph Waldo Emerson’s great uncle. It’s in Kennebunk, Maine, and served as a safe house on the Underground Railroad. 

History like that draws guests from all over the place. And sometimes the opportunity to meet others results in some amazing chance meetings.

“Once we had guests from the United Kingdom [who] lived five miles from each other and ended up becoming good friends,” Pevny says.

2. A customized atmosphere

Like the Waldo Emerson Inn, many bed-and-breakfasts have a story behind their location. 

“They tend to be in older, sometimes historic areas and have intrinsic charm,” says Elizabeth Avery, founder of Solo Trekker for U. “They can provide more local, authentic character as part of a neighborhood.” 

Some B&Bs might feature furnishings from a certain time period, while others may take on a modern look. 

“A bed-and-breakfast will reflect the owner’s unique personality and the location,” says Viktoria Altman, founder of Traveltipster

For instance, a bed-and-breakfast in a farm setting may be different from one in a small town. In a B&B, often each room has its own look. You might be able to see the different designs online and choose the room that looks like a good fit. 

3. An in-depth guide from locals

“If you’re looking to truly immerse yourself in your destination, you can’t beat a B&B,” says Kate Sullivan, head of experience at Otis Travel

The place might be in a neighborhood where you can walk around and get a sense of the local environment. Since many B&B hosts live in the same building or area, they are often full of insight.

“An actual local’s perspective is invaluable,” Sullivan says.

If you are a foodie, you might ask the innkeeper for a great off-the-beaten-path eatery. For art lovers, the host might know local, unsung artists or take you to a great studio that is tucked away. If you’re looking to hike or fish, your B&B owner might know of hidden gems in the area.

4. The food and the extras

“With a B&B, you often get a nice meal or two included,” Sullivan says.

This might start with a home-cooked breakfast featuring farm-fresh eggs, vegetables from the garden and freshly squeezed juice. 

“Often, that breakfast includes some healthy options you can take with you for your day out exploring,” Sullivan says. 

You also might receive a complimentary afternoon tea with homemade baked goods or an evening snack of gourmet cheese and crackers. Your host might welcome you with warm, homemade cookies. Ask before you book to know what to expect. 

“Some are now offering happy hours or cocktails,” Sullivan says. 

Offerings could include beverages from local breweries or wineries in the evenings. A B&B also might provide free Wi-Fi, bottled water, parking or access to a 24/7 pantry stocked with snacks. 

5. A flexible, local menu

If you have food sensitivities, allergies or restrictions, simply communicate with your host.

“You can count on your innkeeper to ask, care [about] and adjust the breakfast offerings for your dietary needs or create a special breakfast designed just for your special needs,” says Marti Mayne, owner of Maynely Marketing and a B&B consultant. 

Those special offerings may be sourced from local foods, such as raspberry preserves, raw honey, fresh cheese or pickled vegetables. There may be fresh fruit and healthy snacks available throughout the day too.

6. Support for small businesses

When you stay at a B&B, you support the hosts—and their ability to provide their friendly services. 

When you arrive, you can expect to be greeted with “a smile from the innkeeper, who is also genuinely happy to host you,” Mayne says. 

If you visit a nearby farmers market, dine at a local restaurant or pick up souvenirs, your purchases could help support companies in the community. You’ll be able to head home knowing you had a wonderful stay—while giving back at the same time. 

And that may be the best feeling to have as your vacation comes to an end.

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