Cure Stress: Create a Memorable Escape -- Bed & Breakfast Association of Arkansas Give Five Tips for First Time Inn and B&B Travelers

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Five tips to assist "virgin" inn/B&B travelers in selecting a bed and breakfast/inn.

A new generation of travelers, young adults in their 20's to 30's, seek memorable travel experiences and relief from vacation deprivation. They desire unique trips and lodging, yet most have never stayed in a bed and breakfast/inn.

The key to making wise and informed decisions: Ask the right questions!

1.     Safety First: Is the B&B/inn a current member of an inspecting association?

State bed & breakfast associations and other professional associations such as Select Registry, AAA, Mobil Travel require member inspections. Why is this important? The traveler is assured certain safety factors are met, especially related to fire safety, electrical safety (ground fault interruption on receptacles near water), clear exits, and up-to-date insurance regulations are fulfilled.

When a B&B/inn operates completely independent of ay professional association, the owners are not required to meet any standards. The cost of professional association membership with inspection is generally reasonable. If an innkeeper skips on this cost, where else might they be cutting corners?

2.     Comfort: Does the guest room have a private bathroom in the room?

Nearly all B&B/inns in the United States now provide private bathrooms--contrary to erroneous public opinion. Often these bathrooms feature luxury amenities such as whirlpool tubs, rainwater showers, or saunas. To alleviate concern, ask if the bathroom is private.

3.    Dining: When is breakfast served, and what is a typical menu?

Bed & breakfast inns reflect the individual personality of the owners. Breakfast is always included in the rate, yet the type of breakfast varies widely. From a continental breakfast, fixin's in the cabin to prepare, a buffet with hot entrees, all the way to a seated three course gourmet meal, each inn is unique. When researching an inn, ask what was served for breakfast today and yesterday.

Some inns serve breakfast at a set time (9am is popular), others serve over a period of a couple hours. Some serve at a common table, while other B&Bs provide individual dining tables for their guests or ensuite service. If this is an important issue for you, ask!

4.    Technology: Is the inn wired?

While some travelers crave the escape from their "wired" lives, others cannot leave it behind. If you need to stay connected, ask if internet service is available. Is wireless high speed service available in the room, or dial-up?

While many B&B/inns provide televisions in each room, some do not. Recently an innkeeper was touring a 25 year-old couple around the inn. He pointed out the TV/VCR. The couple tongue-in-cheek asked "What's that?" If a DVD, TV with cable or satellite connection, ipod docking stations or CD player is important to you, ask.

In addition, when selecting a Bed & Breakfast/inn, visit the inn's website and look at the room photos. Check out independent reviews on sites such as http://www.tripadvisor.com or http://www.yahootravel.com.

5.    Privacy: Is the Bed & Breakfast/Inn dedicated to guest use, or will the traveler be sharing the space with the innkeeper?

Some travelers worry that a B&B experience will feel like staying in a stranger's home, and they'll need to tiptoe around other guests or the innkeepers. Although an outdated concept, it may still be a concern to uninitiated travelers.

Most Bed & Breakfast inns provide comfortable areas for gathering and relaxation, in addition to the private guest room. Often board games, puzzles, movies, and snacks are provided. In general, the private quarters of the innkeeper are separated from the guest and public areas.

Travelers experience complete privacy, with keys to their room and the inn, allowing guests to come and go at anytime. Ask the innkeeper about the common guest areas, and if these rooms dedicated to guest use.

In a fast-paced life with dwindling vacation time, a stay at a bed and breakfast inn may be the perfect cure for stress. With just the right mix of pampering, luxury, romantic rooms, and uniqueness, cherished memories are made to last a lifetime. Asking the right questions to make informed decisions may ensure the exact fit for the novice inn traveler.

For further information, visit http://www.arkansasbedandbreakfast.com.

Information Contact: Kristie Rosset
Bed & Breakfast Association of Arkansas
Board of Directors
104 Lookout Circle
Hot Springs, Arkansas 71913
501-525-6155
Fax 501-525-5850
e-mail: rkrosset @ cablelynx.com

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