How to Survive Hotel Quarantine and Keep Your Sanity

Ever wonder how you would handle Hotel Quarantine. Deena Shanahan, Sales and Customer Experience Manager at Flight Centre Travel Group, didn’t think of it until she and her family faced the same situation when they moved interstate in August.

Despite some initial concerns, Deena and her family made it through the Quarantine with smiles and sanity. Deena has created a list of useful tips to help those considering the 14-day Quarantine.

How did we end up in Quarantine…

It has been proven that even well-constructed plans can be altered by the hour. This was exactly what happened to our families’ plans when we moved to another state during COVID-19’s early months.

Our carefully planned idea to drive from Victoria to Queensland with two teenage boys and a dog was quickly changed by the Queensland Border hard closing. This meant that no further border traffic via road was allowed, except for exemptions (which were impossible).

In seven days, our family house was packed and moved, and an air arrival permit was issued, flights were booked for our dog, our dog’s tickets and car transport to Brisbane was organised. We then had two weeks of hotel quarantine.

I had done a lot of research on the 14-day hotel-quarantine program (Hot Tip: Google and Facebook groups are full of great information). I was very anxious, as I knew that I would be spending two weeks in a hotel room with two teenage boys.

The Flight

The flight from Melbourne to Brisbane was COVID Safe. Face masks were worn, and social distancing was encouraged. We were met at Brisbane airport by Police and the Army. After our arrival documents had been approved, all of our flights were placed on the same bus with the same hotel name on our arrival papers.

Check-In

The side entrance was used to check-in at the hotel. Police quickly whisked us up to our rooms. It was a great experience to have two interconnected rooms for our Quarantine.

Top Tips

These are my top tips for going to the mandatory quarantine program.

  • Positive thinking is key to success.
  • Get Netflix, Stan and other streaming services installed and ready to go.
  • Set up a Woolworths, Coles, or Uber Eats account to supplement what you’re given.
  • You can order wine or beer, but the package can be divided and delivered to your home over several days.
  • Family and friends can drop off reception.
  • Make sure you pack everything, including clothes. No hotel staff will enter your room after you have checked in. I packed:
    • We used melamine plates, bowls, and proper utensils to eat our meals.
    • Cleaning equipment: Spray and wipe, rubber gloves, cleaning cloths and towels, dishwashing detergent, laundry powder, and dish soap to hand wash clothes.
    • Portable clothes hanger.
    • A smoothie blender to make fresh smoothies.
    • HDMI cable to project our laptops onto the TV in the room. Wi-Fi is available for free.
    • Use a cutting board and a sharp blade.
    • Uno, cards, Jigsaw puzzles and balloons for balloon tennis are just a few of the many games that we have to entertain our teens.
    • Garbage bags: The amount of plastic waste is alarming. Three meals and three plastic water bottles are provided each day. They are left outside for collection.
    • If allowed, masks must be worn everywhere except at the airport.
    • You can use small equipment such as resistance bands, hand weights and skipping ropes daily to increase your feel-good endorphins.
    • Essential oils to keep the room fresh and eliminate food smells.
    • Bath bombs for rooms that have a bathtub (ours did not).
    • You can have your luggage delivered at Woolworths, Kmart or other locations upon arrival if you have restrictions.

Get Cooking

While we were given a small room in a hotel, others were allocated an apartment with kitchen facilities. This is a random thing. It’s not a pattern.

I was able to prepare food without any cooking experience. We received food daily, but we also purchased supplies from Woolworths to keep it cold in our bar fridge. I’ve been known to cook three-course meals on a toastie machine, including boiling eggs in the kettle and ironing bread on an ironing board with aluminium foil. The creative juices are flowing at Hotel Quarantine.

Outside Time: Make the Most Of It

When I was placed in Quarantine, my greatest fear was being denied access to my room for 14 days without fresh air. Although we didn’t have any windows or balconies, we had 30-50 minutes each day outside in the underground carpark. We made the most of this opportunity! Every day, we ran or walked at most 8km.

Kindness goes a long way.

The most important tip I have is to be kind to your hotel staff, police officers, and other service providers. All of us want to be healthy and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

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