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By Cheryl Smyth
This summer, while on vacation in Newfoundland, I stayed at a Bed and Breakfast for the first time. After making a couple of blunders—arriving too early and walking right into the house — which the owner politely refrained from commenting on, I decided to look into the subject of B&B etiquette for future travels. Most of what I found is common sense; however, for those of us not used to lodging in a stranger’s home, it helps to be prepared, especially when your brain becomes road weary and sleep deprived like mine had.
Always knock first:
Only thinking about the relief I felt from showing up at a suitable time — our ferry had been behind schedule—I walked right into the living room expecting an office. Why would there be an office? It’s somebody’s home.
B&B’s aren’t necessarily like other accommodations, where you usually enter an official reception area. I immediately realized what I had done and walked out again.
Totally disoriented, I walked back in again, as I couldn’t think of what else to do. By this time, our host arrived. I apologized and we moved on to business. I remembered to knock when we returned to the B&B on our journey home.
Respect check-in/check-out times, along with meal times:
My muddled brain had misread the note on the door, interpreting the check-in time to be before 6:00. It actually stated after 6:00.
Heed the B&B’s policies on children and pets:
Some B&B owners want to offer tranquility to their visitors; or simply savor it themselves. Luckily, the place I stayed at welcomed dogs, since mine was travelling with me. I was charged extra, but that is common. Most of the B&B’s I contacted don’t allow pets.
By the way, if your welcomed animal or child makes a mess, let your host know, so they can clean it right away. It does nothing for future acceptance if you hide accidents. Tessi had rubbed against my leg causing some of my coffee to slosh onto the doormat. I admitted the accident to our host. I guess that’s why we pay the additional amount, though I was annoyed at myself for giving him a reason to charge it.
Take your shoes off at the door:
I usually have no problem with this courtesy, as I hate wearing shoes, yet on the other hand, we were in and out a few times transferring our luggage. I can’t remember if I removed my shoes. I’m sure I did—I think?
Below are some other points I learned. Though I didn’t have issues with them, they are worth mentioning:
We stayed at the Oceanview Bed and Breakfast in Port aux Basques, Newfoundland, Canada on our first and last nights on the island. We were brought to this beautiful town by ferry from Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia.
Port aux Basques with its treeless rocky hills, offers assorted outdoor excursions, such as Grand Bay West Beach with its boardwalk skirting white sand and slivers of outcropping; as well as assorted attractions, such as nightly entertainment at Scott’s Cove Park just off the Harbour Boardwalk.
Cheryl Smyth has been a photographer for 20 years and has recently added writing to her repertoire. The desire of having her dog, Tessi, with her on her travels has inspired her to discover all that pet travel has to offer. Some of her travel stories and photography can be found on her website www.cstravelsandpics.ca.
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