Travel has fundamentally changed in the last decade. We now have cheap flights thanks to Ryanair. Social media shows us everything about a destination before we get there. We also have hotel chains and Airbnb changing where we stay when we get there.
For the most part thee changes have been for the better. There is however one exception that is quickly vanishing in front of our eyes...the B&B.
For Irish people of a certain generation they are what we grew up with. Trips to Croke Park, out West on holidays or to family weddings often involved a trip to the local B&B.
I'm old enough to remember them costing £20 a night or £25 if it was a super fancy house. Those were the days.
B&Bs haven't vanished completely but they are on the wane. Gone are the days where you could arrive in any Irish town and drive around and find a couple of dozen signs poking out of driveways.
I was reminded of that magic on a trip to Cork when I booked in last minute to Creedon which is a classic B&B in the centre of the city.
My first thought was that at €110 a night it would want to be some fecking B&B and I wasn't particularly excited heading down on the train.
That all changed upon arrival. The seven rooms are set above a brilliant old school pub on a corner and I was welcomed by the most Irish "mammy" style host you could ever imagine. She told me about her daughter up in Dublin and fussed over myself and a group of American tourists as if we were family.
Thats the thing about B&Bs. You are family for the night.
I normally skip breakfast in hotels as at €20 it is a giant waste of money and often overcooked buffet nonsense but in Creedons at €10 I signed up for an early feed at 7.30am.
What a good decision that was.
After a sound night's sleep in a wonderful quiet room with all the small touches catered for I came down for breakfast with my appetite whetted by the smell of fried sausages wafting up the stairs.
There was a buffet with fresh fruit, cereal, juice, fresh brown bread and all sorts of delights which I started with but it was the full Irish I was here for.
Served with a good pot of piping hot coffee and plenty of toast this was the type of breakfast that dreams are made of. The sort of breakfast that sorts you out for the day.
The host fussed over me remembering my first name at all times. Did I need maps? A Taxi? Where to go to for a good pint? No request was too big as she pottered in and out of the kitchen fetching more freshly cooked plates of wonder.
Every bit of the experience made me remember why tourists love Ireland. Us locals tend to forget the insane levels of friendliness and hospitality we provide.
While hotels and cheap flights are great they are often about economies of scale, efficiencies and decisions made on spreadsheets.
I fell back in love with the B&B experience in Creedons and it truly reminded me of a golden age in Ireland. A simpler time but a better time.
There aren't as many around as there used to be and our children will never know what they were but I for one will be seeking out more B&Bs on my travels in Ireland while we still have them.