7 Tips for Surviving a Bed & Breakfast, According to the Gilmore Girls

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One of the hardest parts about booking summer travel is figuring out where to lay your head at the end of the day. With so many options — hotels, rentals, campsites, timeshares, inns — it really comes down to what you’re looking to get out of the experience.

If following a set itinerary of group activities or engaging in polite chitchat over a meal with a bunch of strangers sounds like your ideal way to spend a few days, then you’re a great candidate for a bed & breakfast.

If, however, the above scenario makes your skin crawl, then you’re probably a card-carrying member of the Anti-B&B Club. Sometimes, though — say, if your car breaks down at night, or your significant other just so happens to love B&Bs — you can’t avoid staying at one. Don’t panic: Here are seven tips for surviving a B&B, according to the Gilmore Girls.

I’ve watched all seven seasons of Gilmore Girls more times than I’d like to admit, and each time I take away some sage wisdom about life (and food) from the lovable, quirky residents of Stars Hollow. In one memorable episode, Rory and Lorelai find themselves at (a slightly exaggerated version of) a quintessential New England B&B. I’ve gathered the best survival tips gleaned from their harrowing stay at The Cheshire Cat to share here with you. Godspeed.

The Gilmore Girls’ Tips for Surviving a B&B

1. Oblige your host.

Your host will be very excited to welcome you into their home. As such, if they insist on carrying all of your ridiculously heavy bags up to your room (and back down again upon your departure), or strongly encourage you to ring the front-desk bell, by all means — oblige them.

Not only will it make your host feel good, but it will also get them out of your hair. Instead of resisting their requests, just go with it so you can get up to your room as quickly as possible to relish the solitude.

2. Watch out for Sammy (or any other pets).

“Watch out for Sammy,” warns LaDawn, the cheery Cheshire Cat proprietress, as she leads Rory and Lorelai up the stairs to their room. Sammy, an extremely large cat, is a seemingly permanent fixture on the stairs for the duration of their stay.

This is actually a warning you should always heed at any B&B. Chances are there will be at least one pet on the premises, and it’s best to avoid it at all costs — especially if it looks big enough to eat you.

3. Always keep snacks in your luggage.

If your plans to quietly slip out for a bite to eat are foiled by a swarm of guests enjoying cocktail hour together (and subsequently blocking the door), you’ll be forced to hide in your room for the rest of the night. Unless you want to eat old, fuzzy Certs found at the bottom of your purse, you should come prepared with plenty of snacks packed in your luggage.

Need Ideas? We’ve Got You Covered.

4. Avoid getting into a shouting match with your mother.

Or your partner, sibling, or friend, for that matter. The walls in B&Bs are extremely thin — just like you can hear the guests reveling in a group singalong downstairs, they can hear every word of your epic fight. I know being in a B&B puts you on edge, but maybe save the drama for another time.

5. Don’t trust the list.

After dutifully consulting the schedule, Rory and Lorelai plot their escape from their room. They strategically leave during a gap between group activities, but are bombarded downstairs by a group of guests participating in an impromptu hummingbird-watching party.

“That was not on the freaking list!” exclaims Lorelai. To which LaDawn cooly answers, “We don’t put things like this on the freaking list because the delights of nature aren’t on any kinda time schedule.”

Basically, nowhere is safe. You’ve been warned.

6. Lie about your profession.

If you are lured into the dining room by the smell of fresh scones — it’s a trap! — and then somehow find yourself in conversation with fellow guests, at least have a little fun with it. This is your chance to reinvent yourself; you can be anyone you want.

If you follow in Lorelai’s steps and say you work in publishing, make sure you have some cheeky children’s book titles to rattle off, like Goodnight, Spoon and The Horse That Wanted to Bark.

7. Always leave a note in the guest book.

When Rory and Lorelai are checking out, LaDawn shares that as soon as they leave, she’s going to do her favorite part of the job — “read what you wrote in our guest book.”

Despite your negative feelings toward B&Bs, you should at least attempt to write something moderately pleasant in the guest book. Not sure what to jot down? Take comfort in knowing that anything is better than Lorelai’s entry: “Satanic forces are at work here.”

Are you a fan of B&Bs? If not, what survival tips do you employ during your stay?

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