boot_hero_bI went away on holiday this week, and had a fabulous time.  Did some tramping, did some shopping, ate mussels, and even got some review reading in.  That’s all good.  But what made my holiday great were the people I met; specifically, at the B&Bs where I stayed.

When I travel with people, then I prefer self-contained or hostels.  I’m not naturally gregarious, although I’m friendly enough, but when I’m tired after travelling I don’t want to have to make conversation with other people, especially when there’s a good chance they’re not like-minded at all.  People stay at hostels for heaps of reasons – they’re cheap, they’re convenient, they like the company, they like the resources, they like to meet people, or  they want to score (pardon the vulgarity, but it’s true).  Motels and hotels are even more impersonal, and for a single person travelling alone, it’s just not economical – especially if you’re cheap like me.

However, if you’re willing to do the research there are quality, affordable B&Bs for the single person that might even have as much character as the B&B pictured above, and New Zealand seems to be a particularly good place for them.  They’re no good if you don’t have a car, but otherwise they tend to have lovely gardens, fresh produce, comfortable linens and even more comfortable prices, as well as informative and friendly hosts.

The best of them can make your stay feel like a home away from home, and I was lucky to have three sets of hosts who were warm, welcoming, and treated me like one of the family.  The breakfasts were superb (oh god – the homemade fig and walnut bread) and the pets were adorable, but it was undoubtedly the company that elevated my stays from good to great.  Thank you for all your hospitality, Coromandel.

Where do you like to stay when you travel?

– Jean AAR