There’s no place like home

The image that came to mind when I first heard “bed and breakfast” was one of an old house filled with antiques, soft four-posted beds, a wandering cat or an old sleepy dog on the property, maybe run by a sweet elderly couple, basically something that you would see in a movie. 

While this image certainly has its own kind of rustic charm, it should be said that the bed and breakfast has evolved significantly in the last several decades. In fact, many B&Bs today provide all of the plush luxury of a hotel — plus the added bonus of more privacy, more personal attention, and lip-smacking homemade meals, often in the tradition of the country or region where you’re staying.

“Think like Under The Tuscan Sun”

You can find exquisite B&Bs all over the US, of course. In addition, inns throughout the United Kingdom, Ireland, Wales, Italy and beyond offer a wonderfully personal way to experience Western Europe. What might surprise you is to find this same intimate tradition in places like Cambodia, Thailand, Brazil, and New Zealand. They really are anywhere you want to go.

In these unique spaces, you don’t just get a plate of pancakes and some coffee in the morning. You can get multi-course meals with complimentary wine service in the evenings, plus easy accommodations for dietary needs. You can find top-of-the-line spas, in-room fireplaces, gorgeous swimming pools, breathtaking views, and peaceful grounds to walk. Just like at a big hotel, you can choose to interact with other guests, or you can opt for private room service. You can be in the heart of a busy city like Amsterdam or Chicago, just steps away from main attractions — or you can rest in total quiet in the green Irish countryside or overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.

Can you imagine waking up to this view in Taiwan

Perhaps best of all, when you stay in a B&B, you are one of a handful of guests staying in a place that is owned and operated by someone who is personally invested in your enjoyment. You’ll feel personally taken care of — which you are. As one happy reviewer put it: “The thing that made our stay was the personal touches. We now have a problem, though – nothing else will compare!”

If you want to jump start your imagination with some unbelievable photos, you can check out this 2016 Traveler’s Choice Awards for B&Bs.  

And when you’re ready for your next romantic, cozy getaway, I’d love to help you plan it down to the last perfect detail.

I might even be able to find you a place with a friendly old dog if you like.



Tips for creating the perfect getaway

A key part of how I work is getting to know the travelers that contact me.

My philosophy is it’s your vacation so it should be about finding a destination, accommodations, and activities that suit you.

I am my own worst client because I want to go everywhere however the the tricks I discuss below helped me clarify where I want to go and I hope that it will help you too.

There are, of course, thousands of possible trips out there. There are plenty of great trips to choose from — and then there are trips that are great for you. Being honest about what you want and need and getting to know your own personal travel profile can save your vacation.

Don’t get caught in the “but-it-looked-great-on-paper” syndrome

Here are a few simple things that can help you better understand your unique and personal travel profile:

Make a quick list of the twenty most fun memories you have of trips you’ve taken in your lifetime. Notice if there are any themes. While you don’t necessarily need (or even want) each vacation to be a carbon copy of things you’ve already done, you can use those larger themes to guide your planning of future trips. That way, if you decide to step out a little from your comfort zone, you’ll at least have a solid idea of what makes the most meaningful moments for you.

Is it time with friends or family? A certain type of weather or geography? Certain activities? Quiet time? When you can build some of these elements into your travel, you’re more likely to come home energized and restored.

What do you like to do to relax, unwind, have fun, or re-energize when you’re not on vacation? Do you like to be still or active? Quiet or surrounded by crowds? Scheduled or free-form and spontaneous? Simplicity or luxury? Inside or outside?

Know your limits

These might seem like silly questions — but you’d be surprised how often people book vacations that are filled with activities or set at a pace that they otherwise don’t really enjoy. It’s possible that you’ll love a week of biking in Tuscany even though you’d never go cycling at home — but more likely you’ll be tired, saddle-sore, and wishing for a car. That’s not to say you shouldn’t try new activities every now and then; there’s plenty of room for new adventures on trips. Just make sure that you incorporate new activities in small bites — say, an afternoon bike tour with plenty of stops — to see if it’s something you’d genuinely like more of.

What is the purpose of your trip? What do you want to take away? Part of what makes travel so amazing is its capacity to broaden and deepen our cultural, relational, and emotional horizons. Are you looking to create tons of new memories with your kids? Are you hunting for the perfect gift(s)? Maybe you’d like to immerse yourself in a new culture and language, or do a service-oriented trip that allows you to give to others while you’re getting an invaluable adventure. 

Plan your trip around the kind of experience and emotional takeaway you’re looking for.

Do you prefer to be in control, or are you happier when someone else is at the helm? This can be a huge factor in overall enjoyment of a trip. Sometimes people think they’d love to be in charge of everything — but when faced with the reality of hundreds of details that need taking care of before, during, and even after a trip, the fun gets sapped right out of the vacation. When you work with me, you can create the best balance of autonomy and assistance in order to maximize the fun, adventure, and relaxation on your trip.

When you take a little time to get to know how you travel best, your vacation can be more than just fun; it can actually be fulfilling. And you can come home refreshed, energized, and brimming with great new memories.

Are you ready to start planning an incredible experience for yourself or your whole family? Contact me today and let me help you get there! Just click here.