What’s with the B&B Trend?

We got into this business thinking it was a logical way for my husband (a former Executive Chef) and I to transition to retirement.  And while we understood the commitment it would require, we were surprised at the diversity of our guest demographic.

When I say B&B’s are a travel trend, many might say…”Hey Nancy, what are you talking about, the B&B idea has been around for years!”  And you’d be right.  However, it isn’t just for the retired and near retired silver-haired generation.

Based on our experience to date, many of our guests are under 35 and looking for a getaway that feels like home.  In fact, as one of my guests explained to me, since they are only able to rent a smaller apartment in the downtown area of their city, getting away to our B&B gives them more space with a lovely outdoor patio on which to unwind with a glass of their favourite local wine.  Add to that the king sized bed, soaker tubs and lack of toddlers, and many of our newly married guests find a brief break from home to be the perfect size vacation for their budget and timeline – without giving up the comforts of home.

Now that demographic group I can understand.  But it is the number of guests that are under 30 that shocked me!  I mean, while we are happy to have them join us at Maria’s, when I was that age, I think I was camping, using a hostel or sleeping in my friend’s car when I travelled.  I guess the trend in travel is that younger folks have a more sophisticated appetite for creature comforts and are willing to part with their hard earned money for an experience that offers the kind of luxury and quality they have come to expect.  Instead of saving for a car, new wardrobe or even their first home, today’s 20-year olds are ready to invest in an experience more than previous generations did at the same age.

What do you think?  Are B&B’s a trend, or just an old idea that has been refreshed?  And if it is a trend, what demographic is supporting it?