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A Not-So-Friendly Environment for Youngsters

Once a traveler realizes that the romantic potential has been reduced by the B & B he or she has paid for well in advance, it is often too late to do anything about it. Often, travelers like Kathleen recognize this unfortunate reality in the midst of their vacation when there is no way to rectify it. So too is it for family vacationers who have unsuspectingly ventured towards the B& B in hopes of achieving a relaxing trip. Consider these thoughts before you find yourself stuck amidst, as Mr. Gold put it, "the frilly curtains and thin walls" of the B & B.

Because the B & B is, as I've suggested, basically the home of the innkeepers who may be sleeping in the room next door to you, these people tend to be very nervous about all of their household items: their little glass trinkets, their mother's china, their gilded bookshelves that easily fall over. Clearly, this is not a desirable situation to bring a baby or toddler into. As those of us with babies or young children know, if there is anything on which we can depend, they will break something. Accidents just happen. For instance, our youngster could easily break a plate or a cup. At a resort, this is not a problem; a broken cup that came with the room service would not even be added to the bill. However, at the B & B, the innkeepers would probably not only expect you to replace the entire set of china of which your baby broke one piece, they might even grow hostile because this particular set holds some sentiment to their family as an heirloom. At this point, even your apologies and your check made payable will not deflect the unfriendly attitude directed towards your family during the remainder of your stay.

Another problem with the thin wall structure of the B & B is that a baby's cry will carry throughout the house. At a resort, only you and your partner will generally hear your baby's cries in the night. At the B & B, when your baby awakens at 3:00 a.m. to be fed or have a diaper change, the baby's noises will resound into the other rooms. At that moment, to add to the inherent stress of waking yourself up to respond to your baby, you may also experience a pounding on your door, as Kathleen did for different reasons not to mention some angry stares the next morning by those whom your baby awoke.

Additionally, B & Bs most often lack the necessities of baby-travel with which many resorts, at least the ones highlighted in this site, come replete. For instance, unless you bring along a portable one, you will need not simply a crib, but a safe crib, to place your baby into during your stay. In the course of my research for this site, I encountered many hotels (which I have not included) that had splintering, wobbly cribs in which I would never feel comfortable having my own children sleep. If the B & B should even have cribs available which I have generally found to not be the case it is extremely unlikely that the owners have subjected themselves to the crib safety standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which hotels such as the Los Angeles Omni Hotel have undergone.

And what about the conveniences that make traveling with youngsters so much easier? B& Bs do not provide the fun and supervised children's programs such as Ritz Kids (found at the Ritz-Carltons) or Kids for All Seasons (offered at many Four Seasons hotels), or the countless other kid curriculums I have spotlighted at the featured resorts. I am yet to encounter even an activity yard for children at a B & B.