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Wednesday, 03 May 2006 00:00

Tips for B&B guests

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• Costs — Before you book a reservation at a B&B, be sure you check the fine print and know the total cost of your stay. Inns have room taxes that are added on to the bill and there may be additional charges.

Depending on the size and history of the inn and the views from its rooms, some rooms may cost more than others. Some may be discounted depending on the time of the year or for group rates as part of a local festival. Inns may also have a minimum stay policy, meaning guests would have to stay a certain number of nights in order to book a room.

• Policies — Historic inns have the allure of cozy nostalgia, but they may also be picky about keeping up their appearance. Some inns may not allow pets, smoking or alcohol, and may have certain policies about children. Others may not have cellular service, phones, Internet access or TV’s. Be sure to know the inn’s rules before you go, and find out the appropriate check-in and check-out times.

• Reservations/Cancellations — Find out how far ahead of your trip you need to reserve a room and, if plans should change, how late you can cancel that reservation. Some inns may have fines for late cancellations.

• Local Attractions — A secluded getaway may be important, but it could prove inconvenient if you’re too far from local attractions. Find out how close the inn is from local historic sites, outdoor recreation activities, museums, art galleries and local shopping areas that you’ll want to visit on your trip. Be sure to get maps of the local area so you don’t waste precious time on vacation getting lost.

• What to bring — Inns located in higher elevations may be colder than the places you’re planning to visit, so you may need to bring some long-sleeve shirts even in the heart of summer. Find out what the weather is like at the inn and dress accordingly. Don’t forget medications and a trusty camera.

• Meals — Contrary to the name, bed and breakfast inns may serve more than just breakfast. Find out what meals you can get there or whether it would be more convenient (and less expensive) to get food elsewhere. Most bed and breakfast inns come with a complementary breakfast, but is it the type of food you eat? If you or the ones you travel with have special eating or beverage needs, check the inn’s menu beforehand to see if it offers food or drinks for those on special diets.

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