Bed and breakfast or a hotel? Let BBB help

Better Business Bureau

John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.

Many people opt for the personalization, ambience and the homely feel a bed and breakfast stay offers you. If you're looking for a bed and breakfast, start the search early to get the best deals. Your Better Business Bureau offers tips for finding a bed and breakfast for your next vacation.

So, what is a bed and breakfast and how does it differ from a routine hotel stay? A bed and breakfast is a lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and usually breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are often private family homes and typically have between four to 11 rooms. They also typically offer a quiet rural or village setting with attention from an innkeeper at your disposal.

When searching for a bed and breakfast, your BBB suggests you:

Determine what’s important in your bed and breakfast search: location, price, amenities, etc.

Find if breakfast is offered and what kind. For example, a full, traditional or a continental breakfast. Also, inquire about eating arrangements. You may prefer eating with a group, restaurant-style or eating in your room.

Inquire about separate entrances to the bed and breakfast.

Ask if you’ll need to share a bathroom with other guests.

Inquire if it is pet friendly.

Consider consulting a reliable travel agent or travel service. They may be able to make recommendations and/or negotiate preferred rates.

Verify your reservation and get a confirmation number at time of booking. Also, be sure to get a copy of the bed and breakfasts cancellation policy in case you need to cancel your reservation.

Find out if the bed and breakfast belongs to any professional associations such as the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) and the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP).

Pay with a credit card, so you can dispute unauthorized charges.

Call and ask questions to determine the level of customer service before booking your room.

Remember, beware of great deals. Watch out for fake websites when booking a bed and breakfast. Always check with the bed & breakfast who’s offering the deal before making a decision.

You can also always get help from your BBB, such as a list of BBB Accredited bed and breakfasts and Business Reviews on ones you're considering. Go online to or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

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