Never underestimate the impact four walls and a roof can have on a holiday or short break!
This simple warning is often uttered by travel agents across the country though surprising seldom heeded by the American public. There seems to be a general assumption that with service standards generally being so high in the US, choosing a B&B on home soil should be a doddle. Well, choosing a bed & breakfast in Redding might be easy in principle, but for those looking to make sure their ‘staycation’ doesn’t turn into a holiday from hell, it’s worth keeping at least these five considerations in mind:
- Feedback – Often left until the end of the selection process, nothing in the world tells a person more about a B&B than the thoughts and musings of past customers. With nothing to gain by fabricating their stories, this is by far the most honest and concrete information of all. As such, don’t bother traipsing through hundreds of websites end to end and wasting time – jump straight to feedback and review sites like Tripadvisor for golden insights.
- Cancellation/Refund Policy – Things can and do go wrong on an all-too frequent basis in the real world, therefore it is important to only ever book with those who know what it is like to be human. Roughly translated, it is best to avoid booking with any B&B that offers no leeway whatsoever when it comes to cancelling or amending an existing booking. Likewise, it is also hugely important to check out the establishment’s refund policy in the case of dissatisfaction – nobody likes to shell out for services and amenities that weren’t in fact provided.
- Surroundings – Just in the same way that a rather basic B&B in the heart of the action can be a gem, a stunning 5* establishment completely in the middle of nowhere can be some people’s worst nightmare. As such, once the quality and appeal of the B&B itself has been established, take a good look at the surrounding area in terms of accessibility, shops, restaurants, transport links and of course safety.
- Chain or Private? – Both B&Bs have their advantages and disadvantages depending what any given guest is looking for. Chain properties for example will usually offer the most consistent standards and guaranteed amenities 365 days a year, though can in some instances feel a little sterile and devoid of charm. Private properties on the other hand are more likely to be bursting with character and offer truly unique experiences, though may not have solid, established company standards/codes of practice guaranteeing consistent quality.
- Family-Friendliness – And finally, the difference between claiming family-friendliness and actually delivering it really is night and day. Being family-friendly does not mean painting a duck on the wall of carrying frosted flakes as part of the breakfast buffet. No – real family friendliness means things like provision of cots, safety gates, bottle-warmers, activities and perhaps even babysitting facilities for those in need of a deserved break.
About the author: Lisa Morton is a freelance journalist and travel writer. She has written this article for Executive Apartments Inc., a veteran owned business that offers fully furnished corporate apartment rentals in Crystal City and Pentagon City, Virginia.