A Guide to Hotel Quarantine
When the worldwide coronavirus pandemic began and states started enforcing home quarantines and self-isolation, it was a lot for many people in recovery to handle. As the pandemic continues to unfold a new situation is playing out for those who are travelling overseas to countries that are enforcing hotel quarantine upon arrival.
HOTEL VS. HOME
It is important to recognise the difference between a hotel quarantine and home quarantine. Only by understanding the differences will you be able to fully prepare yourself. For those who are thinking, “I managed at home so a hotel will be no different”, you might want to think about the following points…
At home you have all of your home comforts, for the most part we have everything we need at home: food that we like, entertainment, family, our own bed, pets, and mostly a sense of independence. In a hotel quarantine situation, we lose that element of being independent. It is not possible to go to the kitchen and look in the cupboards to see what you want for dinner, you can’t go out to the garden, or grab an extra towel from the closet down the hall, and you don’t have access to the same level of entertainment as you do at home where you have books, TV, radio, board games, and whatever other hobby related items you have around.
PREPAREDNESS IS KEY
Of course, it is not all doom and gloom. By getting properly prepared you can overcome a lot of the above points.
- Hotel Quarantine Rules
The first step is to make sure you FULLY understand the rules of hotel quarantine. In most countries this includes a PCR test on arrival and one before checkout. You cannot leave your room, not even to use hotel facilities. You cannot order in food from outside suppliers.
- Choose the Right Hotel
For once, location doesn’t really matter as you cannot go outside anyway and hotel facilities don’t make a difference since you must remain in your room. So, base your choice around the room.
- If you normally stay in standard rooms you might want to upgrade on this occasion to a room with more space. If you are traveling with a partner, a suite could be a good option so you can each have your own space when needed.
- If possible, select a room that has a balcony or veranda, and as a bare minimum, windows that open (which you might not find on higher level floors).
- Ask about the view from the window – it might not seem important but if you are staying in a city hotel staring at the brick wall of a neighbouring building for a week it’s not going to be uplifting.
- Pay attention to the room facilities. If there is a mini-bar, let the hotel know that you want it to be alcohol free. If you plan to take a supply of food or snacks with you, ask for the mini bar to be empty so you can make use of the fridge space.
- If you are buying a quarantine package, check to see what is included and ask about anything you are not sure of.
- Ask, ask, ask….. Try to avoid any unpleasant surprises by asking as much as you can beforehand. Check the situation regarding food and if it is a fixed meal plan or do you have choices? Can they cater to any special dietary requirements you have?
- Prepare to Entertain Yourself
Boredom is going to be your biggest enemy so make sure you pack plenty to keep you entertained. Load up your e-reader or pack a few books (include some recovery options here too), a deck of playing cards is easy to pack and can help while away time, and take your laptop with a selection of movies. If you enjoy crosswords or puzzles, these are a great way to stay mentally stimulated
If you have any hobbies such as crochet or knitting, take them with you so you are not constantly staring at a screen. If you don’t have a portable hobby, think about starting one!
- Don’t Give Up On Fitness
If you are not a gym goer, don’t underestimate how much physical activity you probably do in a regular day. Things like walking around the stores, picking kids up from school, housework or a lunch time walk to the coffee shop all count too. Even though you are limited to your room, you don’t need to become a couch potato. Pack some workout clothes and set aside some time every day for physical activity. If you are not sure what to do, download a home fitness app or home workout videos in advance. Remember, many classes (yoga, Zumba, calisthenics and more) are available on YouTube.
- Food for Thought
Food is important, especially in this situation. Check with the hotel what the meal plan is and make sure any dietary needs can be catered for. Pack some of your favourite treats to take with you. Don’t be tempted to overdo it on candy and chocolate. Think about taking some healthier options too such as packs of dried fruit and nuts. If your room has tea and coffee making facilities, take a supply of your favourite brands.
- Online Recovery Meetings
If you attend regular recovery meetings, don’t be tempted to skip them. There are innumerable AA, NA and Alanon meetings online around the world via Skype and Zoom. If you haven’t done so already, get dialled in to some before you leave so you know what to expect.
- Stay Connected
Make a plan to stay in touch with family and friends and make regular calls throughout the duration of your quarantine. Make an arrangement with your sponsor in advance about which days and times you will call.
- Have Clarity with Your Travel Partner
If you are traveling with a partner, have an honest and open discussion with them beforehand about any concerns that you are having. Make an agreement that if you have a disagreement during quarantine how you will deal with it so you avoid any stalemate situations.
- Sign Up for an Online Recovery Program
If you are in early sobriety, it’s recommended to sign up for an online recovery program. Online programs, such as the one offered by The Lighthouse Bali, include counselling sessions, education sessions, reading and even meditation and yoga classes can be incorporated too. We tailor make our programs around your circumstances and provide you with a structured daily schedule for the duration of your quarantine.
If you would prefer to phone us or send a What’s App message you can find our contact details here.