Hotel chains offer a familiarity that can be comforting if you're far from home.
But if you find that type of predictability suffocating instead of soothing, you might find greater happiness at a Bed and Breakfast.
Bed and Breakfasts have a time-honored history that stretches back centuries in Europe.
When weary travelers had put in a long day on their journey, they'd check into homes that would provide a bed (of some sort), possibly some privacy, and a meal.
Europeans have continued to enjoy Bed and Breakfast respites. North America has been catching the B and B itch over the last few decades.
A Bed and Breakfast is a slice of another life that can be tasted for a time.
A visitor at a B and B can spend time with the host and/or hostess, and possibly their family. Meals are not automatically pizza or a burger. Perhaps the proprietors might serve local specialities or their own family favorites.
Deciding where to stay is a bit more involved than it would be if you were just staying at a hotel chain you've used in the past. In those situations, one place is pretty much interchangeable with the hotel in another city. But not so Bed and Breakfasts.
Think about location. Is the B and B in question near anything you want to go see? Make sure, because you could otherwise find youself out in the country -- possibly a beautiful spot but not where you planned on being.
What's to eat? Will they make pancakes with strawberries, bacon and eggs, or scones with clotted cream, laid out on cloth napkins, and a tea cozy? Or will they line up boxes of cereal, and bunches of bananas to snag on your way out?
What's the bedroom like? Do you want a king-size or queen-size bed, or would you rather have a single bed, or maybe two? Find out if your room has a closet or drawer space. This is not a given, so ask.
Don't want to stand in line for the bathroom? You'll want to know whether you will have a private bath, and if so, what do they mean by a private bath?
It may not mean that your bathroom is connected to your bedroom. You may have to go out in a public hallway to use your bathroom.
Each Bed and Breakfast is unique.