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Can you live off a bed and breakfast?

Are you tired of your desk job, wanting to start something on your own, a flexible business while enjoying your passion for hospitality? Then you might be interested in knowing about the world of bed and breakfast and the sustainable living it offers to many people around the world. If this idea excites you, the thought of creating a B&B of your own and living off it might have also crossed your mind. However, the real question is- can you live off a bed and breakfast? Here’s what you need to know.

What is a Bed and Breakfast?

A bed and breakfast or B&B is a type of lodging where guests stay overnight and enjoy breakfast the next morning, typically in a residential home environment. The concept is based on the traditional British countryside B&B, where travelers were hosted by families in their homes, and it has now evolved into a whole new industry, attracting millions of travelers worldwide every year.

Starting a Bed and Breakfast

Starting a bed and breakfast is no easy feat. It requires research, dedication, and an initial monetary investment to get started. However, if you have a passion for hospitality and enjoy meeting new people, this industry can be the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

The first step towards starting a bed and breakfast is finding a suitable location. The location is critical to the success of your business and requires careful consideration. The ideal location is often a residential home in a desirable area with easy access to popular attractions or events.

Next, you need to obtain all the necessary licenses and permits. The requirements vary depending on the state and country, but generally, you will need to have business licenses, permits to serve food, and an occupancy permit. You might also need to undergo food safety training.

Once you have secured a location and completed the necessary legal procedures, the next step is to decorate the rooms. Interior decoration plays a pivotal role because it creates the atmosphere that guests will experience during their stay.

Lastly, to ensure the comfort of your guests, provide quality amenities like comfortable beds, quality bedding, air conditioning, heating, and high-speed internet.

Can You Make a Living Off a Bed and Breakfast?

Now that you understand what starting a bed and breakfast involves let’s address the main question. Can you live off a bed and breakfast?

The answer is yes. You can make a living from a B&B. In fact, many people have turned this noble profession into a sustainable way of living. However, the success of your business largly depends on factors like your location, competition, customer service, marketing, and pricing.

Factors Affecting the Success of Your Bed and Breakfast Business

Location: As mentioned earlier, location plays a critical role in the success of your business. You want to choose a location where demand exceeds supply. Ideally, you want to be located near popular destinations like national parks, beaches, or historic landmarks.

Competition: Competition can have a significant impact on your business. Before you start your bed and breakfast, research the competition in the area and understand their pricing, services, and customer engagements. This will help you determine how to position yourself in the market.

Customer Service: Customer service is the backbone of your business. You need to ensure that your guests have a pleasant experience during their stay, and this starts with excellent customer service. Attend to your guest’s needs, provide quality service, be helpful, and make them feel at home.

Marketing: You need to develop a marketing strategy to get your business out there. Use social media platforms and advertise on travel blogs as these are popular sites where travelers tend to visit.

Pricing: You need to research how much other businesses in the area charge and price your services accordingly. Make sure your prices are competitive.


In conclusion, you can absolutely live off a bed and breakfast. A bed and breakfast can provide you with sustainable income, the flexibility to enjoy your passion for hospitality, and an opportunity to interact with and meet new people from around the world. However, it takes hard work, dedication, attention to detail, and a competitive business mindset to establish your brand in the market. Hence, if you are planning to start a B&B, make sure you are ready to take the plunge and commit yourself to the business fully.


What are the disadvantages of a bed and breakfast?

While bed-and-breakfasts (B&Bs) can be a charming alternative to large hotels or resorts, they do come with some disadvantages. One of the biggest drawbacks of a B&B is the lack of privacy. Unlike a traditional hotel room, guests at a B&B often share common areas such as the living room, dining area, or even the bathroom with other guests and the proprietor. For those who want to unplug from society and enjoy alone time, a stay at a B&B may involve too much engagement, forcing them to interact more with strangers than they would like.

Additionally, B&Bs may not offer some amenities that are standard in large hotels or resorts. For example, a B&B may not have a swimming pool, hot tub, or workout facility as these are often expensive for smaller establishments to build and maintain. This can be a disadvantage for guests who prioritize such facilities during their vacations.

Another disadvantage of a B&B is that the rooms may lack some of the conveniences that are commonly expected in hotels, such as mini-fridges, microwaves, or coffee makers. Depending on the establishment, some rooms may also lack private bathrooms or air conditioning, making them less than ideal for guests who prefer to have their own spaces with these amenities.

Furthermore, B&Bs may have strict check-in and check-out times that may not be flexible. This can be inconvenient for guests who are arriving early in the morning or late at night or who want to check out later than the designated time. Additionally, B&Bs may have limited options for dining, with breakfast being the only meal served on site. Guests who prefer to have multiple dining options on site or who have dietary restrictions may find this to be a disadvantage.

While B&Bs provide a cozy and intimate atmosphere that many travelers enjoy, they also come with some disadvantages. These may include limited privacy, lack of certain amenities, and strict check-in and check-out times. It is essential for travelers considering a B&B to research and compare different establishments to find one that meets their needs and preferences.

Is B&B cheaper than hotel?

The question of whether bed and breakfasts are cheaper than hotels is not a straightforward one. It depends on the specific B&B or hotel that you are considering, as well as a number of other factors.

In general, bed and breakfasts can often be less expensive than hotels for a few reasons. First of all, B&Bs tend to have fewer rooms than hotels, which means they have lower overhead costs. This can allow them to offer lower rates to guests. Additionally, B&Bs typically provide breakfast as part of the room rate, which can be a big cost savings for travelers who would otherwise need to purchase breakfast separately at a hotel or restaurant.

That being said, it’s important to note that not all bed and breakfasts are less expensive than hotels. Some B&Bs are very upscale and offer luxurious amenities that can make them more expensive than a standard hotel. Additionally, the location of a property can have a big impact on its rates. A B&B in a prime location may be more expensive than a hotel in a less desirable area.

When comparing prices between bed and breakfasts and hotels, it’s also important to consider the time of year you plan to travel. Rates for both types of properties can vary widely depending on the season. For example, a beachfront hotel may be very expensive during the summer months, while a ski resort B&B may be more expensive during the winter.

Whether a bed and breakfast is cheaper than a hotel will depend on a number of factors, including the specific properties you are considering, the time of year you plan to travel, and the amenities you are looking for. It’s always a good idea to do research and compare prices between multiple properties before making a decision.

Who stays in bed and breakfasts?

In recent years, bed and breakfasts have become a popular accommodation option for travelers seeking a more intimate and personal experience. Traditionally, B&Bs are family-owned properties that offer a limited number of rooms in a large family home. One key characteristic of B&Bs is the emphasis on hospitality and the personal touch, with guests often feeling more like friends of the host than paying customers.

A variety of travelers choose to stay in B&Bs, including couples on romantic getaways, families on vacation, solo travelers seeking a unique experience, and business travelers seeking a more comfortable and homely environment. B&Bs can also be a popular choice for visitors attending weddings, reunions, and other events.

One of the main draws of B&Bs is the typically affordable price point, making them an appealing option for travelers on a budget. Additionally, B&Bs often offer unique amenities such as homemade breakfasts, local recommendations from the hosts, and a cozy atmosphere. Some B&Bs even specialize in catering to specific types of guests, such as pet-friendly or eco-friendly B&Bs.

It is worth noting, however, that B&Bs may not be the best fit for all travelers. Since they typically only have a limited number of rooms, availability can be limited, and reservations may need to be booked well in advance. B&Bs also often have specific check-in and check-out times, and may not offer the same level of privacy as larger hotels. Nonetheless, for those looking for a personal and unique accommodation experience, bed and breakfasts can be an excellent option.