Bed and breakfasts offer a relaxed, private setting. Although there may be many hotel-like amenities, service is more personalized, and each inn will have different policies regarding children.
Some innkeepers embrace the family concept, providing cribs, playtime activities – and sometimes even babysitting services. They often accommodate very young children free of charge. Other inns are geared to adult interests, and children are not encouraged or allowed.
A bed and breakfast decorated with antiques, heirlooms, and original artwork is less likely to allow families, knowing full well that little fingers can unwittingly do a lot of damage.
But just because a bed and breakfast allows kids doesn’t mean that it is kid friendly. Be sure to pack some favorite toys and games for your trip. Bored kids will try to invent their own entertainment – and the results can be unpredictable.
Rooms or suites with private baths are important for families! Kids need to wash their hands more frequently – and when they have to go, THEY HAVE TO GO NOW!
If you are fortunate enough to have a choice of several inns that meet your criteria, and your kids are old enough to participate – ask them to help you. They will enjoy being a part of the planning process.
It is of supreme importance to talk to the innkeepers (before you reserve accommodations) about their policies regarding children, pets, smoking, etc. – being sure you pass along information about any food or environmental allergies that you or your children have. Some bed and breakfasts will prepare custom-made meals. Since this may require a special shopping trip, you must inform them well in advance.
Once you arrive, make sure that your children know the inn’s policies. See if you can arrange for innkeepers or staff to give you a guided tour, explaining policies to you as the tour proceeds. Some areas may be off-limits to kids, even in child-friendly accommodations.
At all times, remember: you are staying in someone else’s home. Be sure that you and the children respect their household – and enjoy your stay!