Note that these blogs posted during the sheltering-in-place period of the coronavirus crisis are meant as a virtual escape. Hopefully, the information will be of use to you when it is safe to travel again.

October 6, 2020

7 best covid travel tips

7 best covid travel tips

1.  Pack along a kit containing disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and snacks that you can rely on when you are hungry and having trouble finding a reliable open spot to purchase food.  

2.  Also pack plastic sandwich bags in your kit.  Use them to contain various items, including your mask when you take it off (folded inside in) and perhaps items found while beachcombing.  

3.  Use a plastic sandwich bag to cover a hotel’s often germy TV channel changer. Note that I had to pry the remote out of my forgetful husband’s hand to accomplish this, followed by a round of hand sanitizer.

remote control inside plastic baggie

4.  Finding restrooms can be a problem.  Many formerly reliable options are now closed.  When driving, plan to stop at rest stops, where restrooms are usually reliable but not always clean, or at a Chevron gas station, which reliably offers clean restrooms.  Remember not to use the air hand dryer.  

5.  If staying in a hotel, open windows when possible and air out your guest room for a few hours.  

6.  If staying in the same room more than one day, request that your room not to be cleaned on the second and third days and that no staff person enters the room on those days.  You can request extra towels and amenities at the desk when you return for the night.

7.  Pack along your own pillows. Doing this made me feel more secure since I smother my face in them.  

pillows in opensuitcase





More ideas for travel adventures in Southern California and the U.S. and around the world.

©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

October 1, 2020

Southern California: Ayres Hotels; hotel reviews

Ayres Hotels  reservations (800) 764-4614.

exterior of Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California
exterior of Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California

In 2001 the parent company of the Allegretto resort in Paso Robles started a chain of hotels in Southern California.  Manhattan Beach opened as one of their finest in 2004.  Currently there are 24 hotels in the chain, with the Carlsbad location being their newest.  Decors vary, as do prices which are reasonable and competitive.  

I stayed at the exceptional flagship Allegretto Vineyard Resort a few years ago.  And on a recent trip to Southern California brought on by a family crisis, I had the pleasure of staying in two other Ayres Hotels.  The hotels had covid procedures in place such as mandatory mask-wearing and only one party at a time in elevators.  I felt as safe in these hotels as is possible in these trying times.  

Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad  2100 Radiance Way, Vista, (760) 335-0035.  103 rooms.  Continental breakfast; restaurant.  Pool; hot tub; fitness center.  Free Wi-Fi.  Free parking.  Pets ok.  

guest room at Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California
guest room at Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California

Located inland about 10 to 15 minutes from the Carlsbad beaches, in an area with business parks and tracts of new housing, this is the newest cog in the Ayres chain.  Rooms here are oversize, with a choice of two queens or a king plus a hide-a-bed couch.  The contemporary decor is simple and efficient, with triple sheeted beds incorporating a light comforter cover.  Attractive art is incorporated throughout.  Off the lobby in the morning, a breakfast box is prepared to order and includes toast or bagel, yogurt, and fresh fruit.  It can be eaten outside on an attractive patio in good weather, or taken back to your room, which is what we did.  

hallway at Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California
hallway at Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California


breakfast bar at Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California
breakfast bar at Ayres Hotel Vista Carlsbad in Southern California

2020 pandemic update:  When I entered the guest room, I did not smell bleach and forgot to use my own wipes.  This was my first hotel stay during covid.  I was understandably jumpy.  When I asked the front desk about whether there was an air filtration system, the clerk did not know.  As in many hotels, windows opened only a few inches and with great difficulty.  My intent was to air out the room.  Instead, we decided to leave on our masks for an hour.  I expected a reassuring note in the room regarding the excellent sanitation efforts that the hotel does use but did not find one, so do remember to print out the covid cleaning procedures at Ayres Hotels from their website in advance.  My fears lightened up as I went along, but erring on the side of caution I recommend that you wipe down all surfaces in any hotel room before you settle in.    

Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne  14400 Hindry Ave, Hawthorne, 4 miles from LAX, (310) 536-0400.  173 rooms.  Pool; hot tub; fitness room.  Free Wi-Fi.  Parking $15/night.  Pets ok.  

pool at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne in Southern California
pool at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne in Southern California

Squeezed up against the freeway like the Little House in the children’s story book, this was one of the original cogs in what has become the Ayres chain.  Built in 2004, it was the model for the luxury Allegretto resort in Paso Robles, which was built about 5 years ago.  Inside, this hotel features the fine art, antiques, and castle-like finishes of the Allegretto and is truly an unexpected gem.  Beds are triple sheeted, and the marble bathrooms have granite sink tops.  I felt a bit like a queen while recovering here from intense driving fatigue. 

guest room at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne in Southern California
guest room at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne in Southern California


lobby sitting room at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne in Southern California
lobby sitting room at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne
in Southern California


lobby sitting room at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne in Southern California
lobby sitting room at Ayres Hotel Manhattan Beach Hawthorne
in Southern California




More ideas for travel adventures in Southern California and the U.S. and around the world.

©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


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