Why I Love B&Bs for Solo Travel
When I first stayed at a B&B it was with my husband as we traveled in the south of France. The medieval hilltop of Vaison la Romaine was a small maze of narrow streets, difficult to navigate in a car but the historic building had more charm than a hotel, made more so by the personal touches and warm hospitality of the hosts who shared maps, best times to see the Roman ruins, and insider tips on best restaurants.
Many years later, traveling alone, I appreciate B&Bs even more for their psychic comfort. Yes, sometimes a hotel is easier for a quick stay near the airport for an early flight, but a B&B provides the single traveler with a sense of community and “home,” especially for a stay of several days or more. Even if you're content (even prefer) to wander a museum alone it's nice to have that personal connection that your hosts provide.
B&B hosts are hospitable by nature; they enjoy meeting and chatting with their guests from other parts of the country or world. Your hosts on-site provide a sense of welcome and warmth that a hotel is not designed to provide. Even better, for those who travel to gain more insights into the destination (rather than just visiting sites) hosts offer an entree into local culture that just doesn’t happen with a paid clerk across a hotel counter. And, even though a single traveler tends to be good at solitude, the idea that a local expert has your back in case of questions or an emergency is a nice feeling.
The "breakfast" bit of B&Bs provide the opportunity to share conversation over the breakfast table. (Presuming, of course, that you are not the only guest off-season! A B & B with several rooms increases the chance that you won’t always be breakfasting alone.) As you sip coffee and comment on pastries, people are usually happy to chat, comparing notes on origins, plans at the destination, and sharing ideas on what to see and do locally.
Finally, there's that relaxed feeling on returning after a day out ‘n about at your destination to a B&B “home” for the duration. These may not be your dearest friends but it’s always nice to hear a friendly “how did you enjoy your day?” as you encounter the owner on your way in.