Avoid paying for hotel breakfasts

No, the hotel breakfast isn't terrible—but it's not worth $15–$20, either (Photo by Karen Bryan)
No, the hotel breakfast isn't terrible—but it's not worth $15–$20, either

Breakfast at a B&B is lovely—but at a standard hotel, you probably won't be getting your money's worth

A hotel breakfast usually costs anywhere from £5 to £35 per person, so if you have the option of opting out and getting some of that amount knocked off your hotel bill, you should do so.

Hotel breakfasts usually consist of croissants and/or rolls, maybe some packaged jams, tea or coffee, and some sort of weird European orange drink that tastes likes an early (and, thankfully, discarded) formula for Tang; it's wet, sweet, and vaguely orangey, but it certainly ain't juice.

Heck, you can get the same "hotel breakfast" (minus the definitely-not-Tang) from the corner cafe for £10 or less. Plus, if you patronize the neighborhood joint, you get the chance to rub elbows with locals on their way to work rather than share a hotel breakfast in a room filled with other tourists. Only on very rare occasions and in the very cheapest hotels do they charge you as little for breakfast as the local cafe would.

Now I know that some hotels lay on a much more impressive spread—slices of ham, cheese, teensy boxes of cold cereal, even hot prepared foods like eggs and grilled breakfast meats—but even that is truly not worth the added expense. Skip it, hit the local spots, and get on with your day quickly and, dare I say, more authentically.

I do, of course, make exceptions when I'm staying at a B&B—where breakfast is, by definition, included in the rates.

I also make exception for the full English breakfast, which is ample and lovely (though, not being English, I will never understand why baked beans and half a tomato have to be in the mix).

However, I do not go in for a stadard breakfast at standard hotels—not if I can get out of it, at least.

If, however, your hotel insists that breakfast is included in the rate and you cannot opt out, then you have carte blanche to bring your day pack down to breakfast with you and load it up with enough extra food to make at least a decent mid-morning snack if not a light picnic lunch out of it.

After all, the hotel did insist, and you are paying through the nose for it (just don't be obvious about it; for some reason, they seem to frown upon this act of nonviolent protest).

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