Bed and Breakfast accommodations, or B&Bs as they’re more commonly known, are very popular in Europe, especially the UK and Ireland, New Zealand and North America. They’re a great option for those travelling on a budget or who don’t want to stay in stuffy hotels.
B&Bs are usually private homes that the owners have refurbished to cater for guests and rent out a few rooms for one night or more. The breakfast is always home-cooked and is normally served in a dining room for guests only. In Ireland breakfasts can boarder on the ridiculous and are so large that you’ll not have to eat for the rest of the day — a bonus for budget travellers.
Over the past few years many B&B owners have realised some tourists would prefer to be as eco-friendly as possible on their travels and have catered towards that, especially in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. It’s easy for them to make changes or instigate environmentally-friendly measures because it’s their property. So you’ll find some B&Bs are kitted out with better eco-friendly measures than some larger establishments.
B&Bs are also frequently off the beaten track deep in the country side or are dotted around many cities so you should be able to find one no matter where you are.
Word of Warning
Many people who run B&B premises have the gift of the gab and like nothing more than a good barny (chat) over a cup of tea so it’s hard to escape in the mornings or get to bed in the evenings. Perfect for those looking for something a little more personal than a hotel.
Best Places to Find B&Bs
– Many owners now advertise online so it’s easy to book before you go.
– Alternatively, you can pick up a brochure in the local Tourist Information Centre that has listings of all B&Bs in the local area.
– If you’re travelling by public transport you’ll probably find a few B&Bs close to the station or ask someone and they’ll happily direct you to the nearest or best one.
– If you’re driving around the country you’ll see many with their vacancy signs in front. It’s not a problem to just drive up and knock on the door. There’s no need to ring ahead.
– Check out Alastair Sawday’s Green Places to Stay. He lists a number of eco-friendly B&Bs in the UK and Ireland and you’ll get ideas for similar accommodations around the world.
– Read Eco Travel Logue’s listings for eco-friendly accommodation in Ireland and check back in future for listings elsewhere around the world.