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These Four Walls : 5 ways to make quarantining at a hotel easier

January 28, 2021

Photo: Mikoto Raw

The prospect of an extended stay at a hotel rarely has negative connotations. What is a hotel if not a magical place where you can tuck swimming pool-pruned fingers into room service fries, cloaked in a fluffy robe, on a bouncy-castle bed? As arduous as business travel can sometimes be, extending your hotel stay after the work element of your trip has ended is an indulgence. 75% of business travelers opted to extend their trips for leisure -  pre-pandemic -  and two-thirds of global business travelers told CWT in 2019 that what they loved most about business travel was a break from a routine. 

That was before quarantining at a hotel was a thing. For the time being, an extended stay at a hotel isn’t necessarily synonymous with freedom and frivolity. “Welcome to the Hotel Covid-fornia” wrote someone on Twitter.

The UK government just announced hotel quarantine plans for international arrivals from countries on a list of 30 destinations visited within the previous 10 days. Travelers will be accommodated at budget hotels for a flat fee covering food and accommodation.

Similar schemes are already in place across the world including in Australia, New Zealand, and China; and other countries may follow suit.

By all accounts quarantining is undoubtedly tough but planning ahead will help to soften the blow. Here are 5 hotel quarantine tips to consider if you're welcomed to the Hotel Covid-fornia:

  1. Pack smart
    This may be the only business travel blog that doesn’t advocate packing light. Once you are in your room no staff can enter and certain deliveries may not be permitted. Consider everything you may need or enjoy from a set of utensils and a mini coffee maker through to little luxuries like a portable speaker and aromatherapy oils for the bath.

  2. Learn the fees & procedures
    Arrivals are met at the airport and transported directly to their hotel. Depending on the country, stays can range from 5 days (Indonesia) to 24 days (China), subject to a negative test result. Testing will occur on certain days and fees also range by country.

  3. Eat well
    Food is delivered and left outside your door. In most cases, takeaways are permitted but sometimes limited to once a day. Before you fly, download a local food delivery app and ensure that your payment method or credit card will be accepted locally as cash transactions aren’t allowed. Pack a few healthy snacks and supplements like multi-vitamins and ginger shots to keep you sprightly.

  4. Stick to a routine
    Create a routine like an online exercise class, yoga, or journaling at the same time every day to keep you physically and mentally fit. If you’re allocated time outside, make use of it.

  5. Mindset matters
    Having the right perspective from the get-go makes a difference. Australia has largely eradicated the virus and many point to strict quarantine rules as a factor. Whether you believe that your efforts are helping the greater good or not, positive experiences await on the other side and each day gone is a day closer to freedom. If you’re struggling, there are Facebook groups with people relaying their experiences of quarantine, meditation apps, and mental health resources online to help you cope.

Check CWT Travel Essentials for quarantine policies by country.


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