My 14 Tips For Surviving Australian Hotel Quarantine


Immanuel Debeer | 13/10/2021

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While hotel quarantine will soon be a thing of the past for most people in NSW (and SA…hopefully), the same can’t be said for QLD, TAS, VIC, NT, ACT, and the Democratic People’s Republic Of Western Australia, where I reside. In fact, our dear leaders are spending hundreds of millions to construct purpose-built quarantine camps. Progressive.

Anyway, I digress. After spending 14 days in a hotel room that should have been decommissioned 20 years ago, I would like to share a few tips on surviving your quarantine experience and staying sane in the process.

1) Exercise

Being stuck in a tiny hotel room with no access to fresh air isn’t great for your health (ironically, health is the reason you’re stuck here in the first place!). So make sure you get something to keep moving. The easiest way is to rent an exercise bike for your stay. The whole quarantine thing has created a sub-industry of fitness rental companies specialising in hotel quarantine equipment. It’s very efficient, and you can leave the gear in your room for it to be picked up at the end of your stay.

Here in Perth, I used HQ Fitness Rental HQ Fitness Equipment Rental, and they even offered a 10% discount code for readers. Use code GYM10 to get a 10% discount on your rental.

I used YouTube to find different guided spin HIIT classes to follow along to.

If you don’t want to spend money on renting, skipping ropes, resistance bands, and an exercise mat should be sufficient to keep you going.

2) Food

It’s a known fact that real prisoners eat better than paying guests in hotel quarantine. Luckily most quarantine hotels are in central locations, which gives you excellent access to delivery services in the vicinity.

Considering you will be stuck in a tiny space with limited movement, watching what you eat is important. I ended up getting a care package from My Muscle Chef, who offer clean, low-carb and even keto-friendly (but delicious) frozen meals for the health-conscious amongst us. You can get a $20 discount with our My Muscle Chef discount code “FH20”.

Other food delivery discounts:

  • Door Dash: these guys have the biggest sign-up bonus of $45 worth of free food when you use our link. Or use any of our Door Dash promo codes found here.
  • Uber Eats: we currently work with Uber Eats (use code: FLIGHTEATS80 ) and they’ve given us the highest discount available for new users, which is $16 worth of free food! You can use any of our Uber Eats promo codes found here.
  • MYMC: Use our code “FH20” to get $20 off (ps. Their protein bars are delish!) or use any of our My Muscle Chef discount codes found here.

3) Microwave & Blender Or Sandwich Press

If you’re ordering frozen meals to avoid the culinary disaster offered by your hotel, make sure to order a microwave or check with the hotel if they have one available. I ended up buying a cheap one from Big W, which was delivered the same day.

If you like smoothies, a blender would be a good tool to have in your arsenal. Hotel rooms come with a small fridge/freezer so you can keep a limited amount of fresh fruit etc.

It’s a known fact you can make anything taste great with a sandwich press, so if you like to cook some stuff, this is the way to go. Just make sure you don’t set off the fire alarm…

4) Utensils

The hotel forbids sharp objects, but you can bring them in when you first arrive (luggage isn’t checked). Having something to cut food/packaging etc. is very handy; also, don’t forget a cutting board. I even heard of people recommending screwdrivers just in case your hotel window is bolted down (it’s ok to get fresh air; right?!). My hotel had real knives and forks, but some hotels only provide plastic cutlery, so you might want to keep that in mind too.

5) Entertainment

I’m a gamer, so I got my friends to drop off my gaming PC and monitor on the day I arrived. It definitely helped me keep sane, and while I was working during the day, I would have my gaming PC mining crypto to offset the cost of hotel quarantine; after all the cost of power is included! If you have kids, it might pay off to invest in a Nintendo switch since they are small, and you can easily take it with you. Apart from that, reading material, games, art supplies, or whatever you’re into will keep you busy!

If you’re going to rely on the hotel TV as a second screen, make sure to bring an HDMI cable!

6) BYO Pillow

If you’re like me, you have a favourite pillow. It’s highly unlikely your hotel will be a 5* facility with a pillow menu, so BYO if this is an issue for you. After all, you will be doing a lot of sleeping.

7) BYO Booze

I decided to go 14 days without drinking, but I can understand that for a lot of people, a few beers or wine is the only way to keep their sanity while locked up. Unfortunately, the hotels ban outside alcohol (at least this is the case in Perth) from coming in. Each package you receive will get opened and checked by security; however you can bring in duty-free or stuff your luggage with contraband before arriving.

8) Water

While water in Australia is perfectly safe to drink, it’s still nasty unless you have a filter. Depending on the age of your hotel, just think about where the water has to pass through first before you consume it. My hotel’s water had a slightly rusty colour, so I opted to order water from Woolworths who offer same-day delivery.

9) Moisturise

Since you will be stuck in an air-conditioned room for 14 days, your skin will probably hate you. I found the first 5 days the worst before my skin started to adapt to the dry environment. If you think this will be an issue, make sure to bring moisturiser with you!

10) Bring comfortable clothes

Sweatpants/pyjamas are the uniform of hotel quarantine guests. You won’t see anyone except for a nurse when you get your covid tests (3 times in 14 days), so underwear is optional…

11) Join Hotel Quarantine Facebook Groups

Usually, your hotel will have a private group for hotel guests. This can be a good place to stay up to date with news of what’s going. Knowing when there’s a new delivery of inmates can be handy to time deliveries since hotel security will block deliveries leading up to new arrivals checking in.

12) Coffee

I can’t live without proper coffee; instant or pods just don’t cut it for me. Yes, I’m a snob. For this reason, I brought my hand grinder and V60 filter setup. Your hotel will come with a kettle, so that’s all you need to make delicious coffee. Depending on where you are, there will be plenty of local coffee roasters who will deliver your caffeine hit. If you don’t have a grinder, pre-ground beans are always offered as well. If you’re after a cheap setup, you can’t go past a French press.

13) Clothes rack

My room was so old and dated it came with a retractable clothesline over the bath but if you plan to wash anything, a small clothes rack would be useful. Personally, I made it my mission to wear as little clothes as possible, so I didn’t have to wash anything, but if you’re traveling with kids, this would be handy to have.

14) Anti Bacterial Wipes

While your room is supposed to be clean on arrival… you will likely find stuff that hasn’t been cleaned in a long time. TV remotes are notorious for being filthy, so it’s handy to have some wipes because once you’re inside your room, no one will come and clean it for you.

Summing Up

While hotel quarantine won’t be with us forever, I hope these tips will help you stay sane and “survive” the experience! If you have any further tips, feel free to add them in the comments.


Immanuel Debeer

Chief points nerd and travel hacker at Flight Hacks

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