Love to travel but sensitive to chemical or environmental conditions? When planning your next getaway, choose a B&B where the innkeepers can accommodate your special needs. When making reservations, be sure to ask before booking about the relevant items in the list below:
1. Smoke-free environment: Most B&Bs prohibit smoking anywhere inside the inn, ensuring you of a smoke-free guest room. Some allow it on the porch and/or grounds; others prohibit it completely.
2. Pet-free environment: Many inns have a resident dog, and some have cats, too. Although pets aren’t usually allowed in guest rooms, it’s essential to ask in advance if you are allergic.
3. Natural cleaning agents: Because most innkeepers consider their inn to be their home, they are unlikely to use the industrial strength cleaners found at hotels. Some B&Bs try to use only non-toxic, gentle cleansing products.
4. Air filtration systems and/or windows that open: Although there are exceptions in regions where air-conditioning systems are often in use, many inns have screened windows that you can open to enjoy cool evening breezes, a delightful alternative to the sealed windows of many hotels. Some inns have air filtration systems available on request.
5. Hypo-allergenic bedding: Although down pillows, featherbeds, and comforters are popular at many inns, hypo-allergenic bedding is usually available on request.
6. Unscented linens/towels: Use of scented soaps and fabric softeners varies from one B&B to the next; if you’re sensitive, ask if your linens and towels could be washed with fragrance-free detergents.
7. Unscented air: Some folks love potpourri and scented candles; others can’t abide it. If you fall in the latter category, ask the innkeeper to air out your room before your arrival.
8. No wall-to-wall carpets: Many B&Bs are in historic homes with magnificent hardwood floors, but some inns do have guest rooms with wall-to-wall carpeting. Be sure to inquire when making reservations.
9. Special dietary needs accommodated: Almost every innkeeper will do his or her best to accommodate dietary needs, from vegan to gluten-free, vegetarian to Kosher, Atkins to low-cholesterol. Some make an extra effort to use organic projects. Advance notice essential.
10. Organic, natural soaps, and shampoos: Some innkeepers use locally-crafted organic shampoos, but if you are used to a particular brand, it’s best to bring along a bottle and bar of your favorite soap and shampoo.