I asked my 22-year-old niece, just back from summer travels in Europe, to give us the inside scoop on hosteling. Learn her list of myth-busting tips and packing must-haves.
AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO HOSTELING
by Madeleine Clute
My first foray into hosteling was at the end of high school when some friends and I took a road trip to Quebec, Canada, and it’s been my preferred method of seeing new places since. Most recently, my friend Elizabeth and I traveled on students’ budgets for 30-days in Europe, spanning 10 cities and 8 countries, primarily staying in hostels.
Wondering where you can go to enjoy autumn’s finest hues without leaving the comforts of an inn’s porch or the privacy of your room’s deck (or Jacuzzi tub)? To help you make the most of the season, here are 10 inns where laid-back leaf peepers can sit back, relax and take in the foliage from the best seat in the house.
Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa —Sautee Nacoochee, GA: Sitting atop a mountain does have its advantages. This 10-room inn boasts 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. Admire the canopy of color from a rocker on the wide deck before taking in a game of badminton or croquet on the lawn with the foliage as your scenic background.
Wildberry Lodge — Leicester, NC: This rustic log cabin lodge is situated on 45 acres in the Great Smokey Mountainsand a short drive to downtown Asheville. You can step out onto their sundeck or flagstone patio to admire the foliage or soak up the views from the private porch off the Blackberry Suite.
Lookout Point Lakeside Inn —Hot Springs, AR: Indulge in deep relaxation at this retreat situated in the Ouachita Mountains overlooking placid Lake Hamilton. Enjoy your morning coffee and the foliage view from your private deck before taking a walk along the labyrinth waterfront trail.
Instead of the usual summer vacation, why not try something different this year? Bed and breakfasts are the definition of unique. Of the estimated 17,000 inns in the U.S., no two inns are exactly the same. From Victorian, Queen Anne and Italianate architecture to rustic and urban styles, B&Bs come in all shapes and sizes.
Not only will you enjoy wallet-friendly amenities like free Wi-Fi, guest pantries stocked with complimentary snacks and breakfast included in your rate, but also a one-of-a-kind travel experience.
Prepare yourself for a summer of surprises with these five BnBFinder inns:
AUTUMN ADVENTURES TURN A NEW LEAF
Why take a drive to view the fall foliage when you can soar above it? Or would you prefer viewing the autumn colors by trotting down winding paths on horseback? Bed and breakfasts are offering unique ways of enjoying the time of year when the deep greens of summer are replaced by brilliant reds, golds, oranges and yellows in a stunning canopy of color. This trip will be one for the photo books.
“Crisp, cool evening air or apples and pumpkins reaching ripeness are certainly signs of fall,” says Mary White, founder of BnBFinder.com. “But nothing announces the arrival of the season like the foliage. It’s a stunning visual spectacle and should not be missed.”
BnBFinder inns are bringing the season’s colors into full view for travelers looking for something a little out of the ordinary. Here are a few highlights:
The View From Above. The Mayhurst Inn (www.BnBFinder.com/MayhurstInn) in Orange, VA, will arrange a fly over the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoan Valley in a Biplane. Package includes two nights accommodations, a full breakfast each morning, and champagne and strawberries in the room along with a post-dinner dessert.
Up, Up and Away! The HideAway Country Inn (www.BnBFinder.com/HideAwayCountry) in Bucyrus, Ohio, also offers guests a view of the foliage from above but this time during a hot air balloon ride over the heart of Ohio’s farm country. A complimentary bottle of champagne is included in this package.
by Marti Mayne with travel expert Eileen Ogintz
Where should we go?
With so many options the decision can send enlightened travelers either into a quandary or an adventure. From resorts and hotels to campgrounds and hostels, travelers have a myriad of accommodations options. Value is the buzz word in travel today, and when it comes to finding plenty of value, a B&B or country inn makes a lot of sense for some, but not all travelers.
When to B&B?
“If you thought B&Bs weren’t for you, think again,” says syndicated travel columnist Eileen Ogintz.
Of course you’ll find everything you need to celebrate romance at inns and B&Bs from king and queen beds with luxurious linens to deep double whirlpool tubs, double showers and ensuite fireplaces.
But they can also be a terrific place to visit with kids. Some inn owners welcome children with special dress up corners, children’s books and more. And they are a lot more homey than staying in a big hotel.
You’ll get a lot of bang for your vacation dollar too since homemade multi-course breakfasts, afternoon refreshments and evening innkeepers’ receptions at many inns are part of the deal. The extras can add up to more than $100 in value over the course of your stay. Add in fee-free wi-fi, parking, bottled water, DVDs and movies, and much more, and savings add up. “You won’t find those annoying resort fees,” said Ogintz.
a guest blog by Marti Mayne
From cocktails to roses, bubbly and massages, and breakfast in bed, Innkeepers across New England are ready to help you celebrate romance and rekindle the excitement of your dating years.