Bed and Breakfast
From A Basic Room To Luxurious Suites

"Friends have suggested bed and breakfast stays in Europe for budget travel... but do we have to share a bathroom? And can we really save money? B&Bs in the U.S. seem expensive!"

Good questions. The truth of the matter is that what you'll find varies in different parts of the world.

In general a B-and-B is most often in a private home... that's part of their charm.

And they always provide breakfast... so...
Bed and Breakfast.

Then they start to get different.... And it's not just in how you say it...

You may see it spelled out... sometimes you'll see the letters... and sometimes it's not even in English.


Bed and Breakfasts have been around for a long time. The term or B&B became popular in the U.K. That's where we encountered our first B&B years ago. Now you can find them almost anywhere... but you might need to know what Bed and Breakfasts are called in other languages.

We did share bathrooms and showers back then... but we've mostly outgrown that... and most Bed and Breakfasts have too. You can still find a few where you have to share, so it helps to know what to look for.

Are B&Bs for Budget Travelers?

Yes and No.... love that, don't you?

Less Expensive in Europe

Panzio or Bed-and-Breakfast in Tokay, Hungary


Generally in the U.K. and most of Europe, a Bed and Breakfast will be a great budget alternative to hotels...

So yes, you'll probably save money.

We stayed in a funky little Panzio in Hungary... "Panzio" roughly translates to "pension" or "B&B".



It came with it's own B-n-B dog, and a wine cellar (Pince in Hungarian) where we could taste the local Tokay wine. The room was not luxurious, but we had a private bathroom, and it was well located and fun.

Bed-and-Breakfast Dog Wine Cellar in Tokay, Hungary



Europeans coming to the United States are surprised to find that B-and-Bs are expensive accommodations.... often costing more than small hotels and motels, not less.

More Expensive in the United States

Many U.S. B-and-Bs are in renovated historic properties... sort of changing the concept. They've become luxury destinations really.

Their owner/proprietors have furnished them with antiques and luxurious bathrooms. Others tend to be in scenic locations popular with vacationers. They may come with wine tasting in the evenings and a gourmet breakfast. They're great fun to stay in, and well worth the cost most times, but they're not generally for budget travelers.

And The Rest Of The World?

In other parts of the world, there are Bed and Breakfasts, but they vary... both in price and in quality. It's a good idea to check with the local tourist board to see what the regulations are and what you can expect.

Do You Have To Share A Bathroom?

The answer again is Yes and No...

Bed and Breakfast Ensuite Bathroom

And to answer this question a little more fully, there are some terms you need to know.

    Ensuite or En-suite...

Actually, more and more... if not most now have "ensuite" facilities with toilets and showers in the room... not down the hall.

Sometimes these have been shoehorned into the room... with a small bathroom build into one corner... Other times homes have been remodeled with guest's privacy in mind.

Of course... sometimes they've been remodeled in creative colors like this one!

    Private Bathroom

Be careful of this term.... You may be the only one who can use it, but that bathroom may be down the hall... and you're the only one who has a key. We've run into this a few times, and it's not so bad... as long as you know what you're getting into.

Just remember, even though that bathroom is all yours, you still have to run out into the hall in your PJs at night!

Bed and Breakfast in McLaren Vale Australia Our Vineyard View Australian B-and-B



We stayed in this home in Australia where we were the only guests... We had a lovely room and a great location and view... and we had a private bathroom... down the hall.

    Standard Room

Standard rooms in hotels mean one thing... but that generally means something else for B&Bs. If you see a Bed and Breakfast that says it has standard rooms, it probably means they have just the sink in the room, and you'll take a trip down the hall for everything else.

If you're not speaking your native language, make sure you are talking about the same thing.

Ask To See The Room

We often look for those "Vacancy" or "Zimmer Frei" signs as we're driving around. If you are inquiring in person, ask to see the room. We've never found a proprietor who will object to that.

You can make sure if you will share the bathroom or not... and you can also check out other things like...

...does the bed sag or...

...do you have a view or...

...does it only have a tub or a shower or...

...whatever you're concerned with.

How Big Are They?

Bed and Breakfasts are usually small... sometimes only a room or two in a home... and you may be the only guests.

Some have several rooms to let. They have grown in size in recent years as people have turned historic buildings onto B&Bs all over the world.

Whatever the size, the ones you want to look for are those which have friendly hosts and a good location. Part of the charm of a B&B is that friendly host who will give you directions and tell you about their favorite restaurant.

Here's a story we love from our early travel days...

    We remember fondly a B&B we had in Edinburgh, Scotland... This is such an old story that we were still traveling in Europe on $5 and $10 a day!

    We had the bathroom down the hall, we even had to play for heat in the room... so why do we remember it so fondly?

    Because it was cheap... it fit our early travel budget.... And because our host and hostess were very friendly.

    And then there's this... They had a great collie dog, and there was a bagpipe teacher downstairs....

    Horse drawn milk cart for Bed and Breakfast Scotland


    But the best memory was that breakfast was delayed 20 minutes because the horse-drawn milk cart was late one morning! You can't get that in a big hotel!!!!

    (OK... this is an old photo and not all that good, but you CAN see the horse cart, can't you?)

You WILL Get Breakfast -- But What's for Breakfast?

Another plus to B-and-Bs is that you WILL get that breakfast... take advantage of it. What's for breakfast?

In England and Ireland it will be a substantial one. That "Full English Breakfast" can almost be too much to eat it all.... cereal, juice, toast, eggs, bacon, sausage, grilled mushrooms, grilled tomato and baked beans. Tell them if you only want a little... they're happy to serve only what you want.

In France you may just get croissants, butter and jam... In the Nordic and Germanic countries, they'll add cheese and meats, and in southern Europe look for more yogurt and olives... but that's part of the fun too.

Be sure to ask when breakfast is served... this isn't a hotel. Your host and hostess are probably making breakfast for you, though some of the larger places may have cooking staff to help. Breakfast is usually only served for an hour or two, and you don't want to sleep through it and miss out.

Bed and Breakfasts can be like having a home away from home when you travel...

Your host or hostess gives you a friend in that new country you're visiting.

We use them all the time...

And we love the bed and breakfasts we've stayed in whether they were luxurious or just basic.

Just make sure you know what you're getting.


Happy travels... even if you don't travel the world... just remember that life is a journey... embrace and enjoy it!   Judy and Mark

Curious about what else we've written about? Search our site for a destination or travel tip.

Return to International Travel Tips l Europe Travel Ideas
Hotel and B&B Tips l Packing Lists
Go from Bed and Breakfast to MouseToursTravels Home Page
Privacy and Legal Policy

Protected by Copyscape Online Copyright Infringement Tool
But... We'd love to have you share this page...
Use one of the handy "share this page" buttons below. Thanks, Judy and Mark

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Did it help with your travel planning and preparation? Eager to leave on that next vacation? Please leave your tips or comments in the box below.

Ready For A New Adventure?
How about a website of your own...
... work for yourself ... or...
Exercise your brain in retirement.
Follow Your Passion
Who knows where it will take you?
(Look around at where it's taken us!)
Click below to start your own journey
First Day Of The Rest Of Your Life

Already have a website or blog with WordPress? Make it better!
bizXpress

Search

Search MouseToursTravels
Travel questions or destination info?
Find our answers faster...


Related Searches


Translate

We want you to feel comfortable out in the world and on our pages - so surf away in your own language...


Timely Tips

Summer Vacation
Travel is fun in the Northern summer... but don't neglect the Southern Hemisphere at this time of year.
Yes, it's winter in South Africa, but that's their dry season. It's a good time to travel there.
Lions stop traffic in Kruger NP South Africa

Sometimes you need to watch rain patterns instead of just seasons to figure the best time to travel...

Whether you're taking a road trip close to home or traveling abroad...
whether it's summer or winter in your part of the world...
the way you pack can make it all more pleasurable.

Check out all our Packing Lists and Tips.

Here's one of our favorite places for great travel clothes and supplies to help with your packing...
Magellan's - America's Leading Source of Travel Supplies

Need travel ideas?
Things to See in Europe
Africa Calls!
Travel In America

Don't just dream about it...
Start making plans!

Custom Tour Planning List
International Travel Planning Tips
Foreign Is Fun - Not Scary!
Get Your Passports and Visas


Find, Compare & Book It!

We always say shop and compare at several sources. Here are some of our favorites...

25+ Million Users Trust TripAdvisor With Their Travel Plans. Shouldn't You?


Cheap airfare, hotels, car rentals, vacations and cruises at Expedia.com!
Expedia.com

All the best hotel sites in one place right here. Hotels Combined...
HotelsCombined logo


We are not travel agents, but we're affiliated with these and other great companies.
Check 'em all out!


Follow Your Passion!

Travel Is Our Passion
What's Yours?

We have lots of fun traveling... and we've had lots of fun creating this website. It earns us money too! No get-rich quick scheme here.... just honest pages about our travels. Is this something you've ever wanted to try?

Are you passionate or knowledgeable about something? An expert even?

Cars ...or... cooking?
Boats ...or... business?
Plants ...or... parenting?
Anything!

Turn it into a web business. Click on the SBI TV icon below and learn how a new life could be yours...

Learn how to build your own profitable web site like we did

Look at it... Think about it...
Why NOT you?

If you're like me, you like to talk to a real person and get answers to your questions... We get that!

Your Questions Answered Here.

Honest answers... honestly ...Promise!


Two Ways To Like Us!
Like Our Site Top Left
Like Our Fanpage Below
Thank You!