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I research hotels carefully before choosing one. My husband and I also love B&Bs. They are usually very unique, often have beautifully decorated rooms, (as opposed to just the standard hotel room) and are sometimes cheaper, especially in large cities. The other guests that you meet at these smaller inns are usually very friendly, and we also enjoy getting to know the owners and staff.
I tend to heavily research our travel destination, and familiarize myself with the area before embarking. However, once we're there, we don't stick to a tight schedule. We plan a few things, but mostly like to simply experience life in a new city or country, mingle with the locals, and see what we find! I also think it's very important to learn at least a few phrases of the language of a foreign country - out of courtesy, if nothing else.