Staying in a quarantine hotel with kids may sound like a sure fire way to lose your mind as a parent but it’s actually doable and easier than you may think.
I was really stressed about the hotel quarantine especially since I’m pregnant and my husband needs to work odd hours during our stay. I couldn’t really imagine what it would be like or how to prepare.
After talking to three moms who’ve already finished a hotel quarantine with their kids and going through it myself, here are my top 10 tips to make the two weeks fly by and stress free. Plus, I created a free printable quarantine hotel packing list at the end of the post!
Keep in mind you can either pack these items in your suitcase, have friends and family drop them off at the hotel for you or order them online once you arrive. But having some basic necessities always helps especially the first few days when you’re all getting over jet lag.
The most popular sites and platforms to order from in Taiwan are Momo, 24hr PChome, Carrefour or whichever grocery options are available on the Food Panda or Uber Eats food and grocery delivery apps. Be sure to download these apps! They’re so so useful.
For detailed information on what to expect and what you need when you land in Taiwan, click here for my helpful blog post.
1. Prep Your Kids and Yourself
Prepare your kids for the quarantine hotel stay by talking to them what will happen. Let them know what to expect and the reason everyone needs to stay inside a hotel room for a period of time.
You can tell them simply that we’re doing this to protect our friends and family from sickness.
Tell them the fun things they’ll be able to do that they don’t usually do like take a bubble bath every day, jump on the bed, choose what they get to eat or fun surprises or toys you’re preparing for them.
It doesn’t need to be a long conversation just one to prepare them mentally.
Also, manage your own expectations. You’re not going to get a lot done during your hotel quarantine stay.
Setting the bar low so you’re not disappointed or discouraged helps a lot. There’s probably going to be more screen time than normal and that is ok.
Prioritize your own sanity to make the time pass by faster in a stress free way.
Thank you to Cheryl of Little Picnic Press for this tip!
3. Pack Some Emergency & Must Have Items
Prepare a simple first aid kit. Some items I would suggest are: antibiotic ointment, band-aids, children’s Benadryl, adult & children’s Tylenol, stomach medicine for adults and kids like Pepto Kids, also whatever medicine you and your family normally would need.
Don’t forget to pack some melatonin gummies for the kids and for yourself to help with getting over jetlag.
Lastly, it may be good to bring some eczema medicine or lotion. My daughter normally doesn’t have issues with eczema in America but because Taiwan is so humid, she started having eczema on her arms and behind her knees during our hotel stay. Aveeno eczema lotion did the trick for us.
Don’t worry, the hotel will let you leave if there’s a medical emergency, but it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit and any other medicine you would normally need on hand.
4. Plan Some Fun Activities
Having some activities and options for your kids to choose from is super helpful. Below are some helpful ideas.
For a full list of items, see my Quarantine Must Haves Amazon Ideas list.
- Board games: bring your kid’s favorite. I was able to borrow from a local friend so I didn’t have to pack it. We played Candy Land, Guess Who and Monopoly. Monopoly takes a lot of time so it’s great game to help pass the time. Try to get travel sized games so they take up less space in your luggage.
- Craft kits: If you have kids who enjoy crafts, craft kits are great. You can find wonderful options at the Dollar Store, Target’s Dollar spot and art section, Walmart’s craft section or you can just wait to order them in Taiwan when you arrive. We loved diamond painting kits, sewing kits and cupcake painting kit
- Window Crayons: my daughter really enjoyed drawing on the hotel windows. She drew Taipei 101, what she saw outside and other fun things. It helped brighten our hotel room also. Crayola’s window crayons worked really well. It was easy to remove with a rag once we’re done.
- Bath toys: be sure to book a room with a bathtub for daily baths. All the moms I spoke to said bath time was a daily event the kids looked forward to. Kids bath bombs, crayons, markers, water coloring tablets and bubble bath pods makes it even more fun for the kiddos which means more time to relax for you!
- Painter’s/ Masking Tape: I used this to tape a hopscotch game on the floor. My daughter will jump on it and help her get some energy out whenever she passes it. Painter’s tape is also great for taping things on the walls without ruining the hotel wall paper. You can also create a goal for a game of toss with different points.
- Open ended toys: small toys that are flexible and allows your kids to use their imagination are super helpful. I bought a set of Calico Critters which she played with and created a little house for with some cardboard boxes we had. Foam blocks, Magna-Tiles are other fun open ended toys.
- Art supplies: some washable markers, glitter glue, white and colored construction paper, glue and washable paint is always great to have around to let your kids create their own pieces of art
- Soft ball: nerf ball or small soft soccer ball allows your kids to engage in a game of catch or soccer without damaging the hotel
- Puzzles: puzzles are a great way to pass the time during your quarantine hotel stay. Whether you put one together as a family or have the kids work on one by themselves, it’s a fun entertainment. It was pretty therapeutic for me to put one together
- Bed sheet: for building forts
4. Bring Snacks for Everyone
Most hotels will only deliver food orders three times a day (our hotel’s delivery schedule was 7:30-8:30AM, 12-1PM, 6-7PM), you want to have some snacks and meals as a backup.
Also, if your child has more of a western palate, it’s a good idea to have some backup options when everyone’s getting over jet-lag or if they balk at the sight of Taiwanese food options.
I stopped by Trader Joe’s and stocked up on some of our favorite snacks and some breakfast foods like cereal bars, granola bars, apple sauce pouches, dried mangos, granola, cereal, instant oatmeal, plantain chips, pretzels and treats (chocolate, cookies etc).
I’m so glad I packed these especially because we got tired of eating take out the longer we stayed in the hotel. Sometimes it’s just nice to have something light like yogurt with granola.
If you’re into teas and coffees remember to bring your favorite ones too.
Something else to have on hand are some ziplock bags to store leftover pieces of fruit your kids don’t finish or leftovers from your meals to reduce food waste. I brought two stashers that I’ve had for years that I love. I used them to pack some snacks for the plane ride here and was thankful I had them during the hotel quarantine. some disposable ones would be helpful too to store extra items.
5. Prepare Some Cleaning Supplies
Your stay will be longer and the hotel staff won’t be coming in to clean your room, remember to ask what cleaning supplies they will provide so you know what extra items you need to bring.
Some hotels will offer a change of towels and sheets, it just depends on the hotel you book.
Here’s a list of things you’ll need:
- Laundry soap (I found a bar soap easier to use)
- Dish soap & sponge
- Rags or wipes to wipe down counters and tables
- Sanitizing wipes and regular wipes for the bathroom and other areas you want a quick clean
- Hand held vacuum for minor cleanups. Some hotels will lend one to you others won’t. So if you like to keep things neat and tidy, especially with kids, some parents borrowed a small dust-buster to clean up
6. Comfort Items
Since you’ll be stuck indoors, don’t forget to pack some items that will help you feel more comfortable.
Here are some things that helped me enjoy our time more in the quarantine hotel:
- Comfy indoor slippers. You don’t know what’s been in those hotel carpets and it’s more comfortable walking around in slippers in my opinion. Here are ones similar to what I brought.
- Sheet masks, teeth whitening kits other pampering items: these are things I usually want to do but don’t really get to because life as a mom is just busy. I’m glad I packed these because I used all of them up and helped me relax after the crazy long flight and all the work we had to put into making the trip possible. These are my favorite sheet masks.
- Bubble bath/bath bombs: I didn’t plan on taking baths but found it super relaxing when I did. I actually brought the bath bomb for my daughter but ended up using it myself. I’m so glad I did because I really helped me relax after the long flight and all the prep that went into our trip. The body soap our hotel provided was sufficient and made lots of bubbles but you may want to pack your favorite one just in case, especially if your kids have sensitive skin.
- Bluetooth speakers: I brought our Google home with us so I can play some relaxing jazz music in the background. This really helped make the time more enjoyable for me as well
- Lounge clothes: Don’t forget to bring some comfy PJs because you’re going to be lounging in them for two weeks. My daughter was basically in her PJs the whole time
- Diffuser/Candle: This is one thing I didn’t pack but wish I did. I love the smell of essential oils and it really helps me relax. If you’re the same as me, be sure to pack some as well or your favorite scented candle
- HDMI chord: so you can easily hook up your laptop to the TV in your hotel room and watch Netflix/Amazon Prime shows. Our hotel provided it for us. Don’t forget your adaptor too for plugging the HDMI chord to your laptop
- Internet cable if you need to connect your laptop directly to the WIFI for those working during their quarantine stay. Be sure to check the internet speed of the hotel before booking if you need it for work.
Exercising helped us tremendously to both get over our jetlag and also keep everyone in a good mood.
You can ask your hotel if you can rent an exercise bike or other workout equipment. Since most hotels have a gym available for guests, they most likely will have something you can rent.
Our hotel allowed us to rent one for 1,500NT ($45 USD). My husband brought his X3 workout equipment which is easy to pack and not too heavy. He mixed it with doing HIIT intervals on the stationary bike we rented.
I did some prenatal yoga, neck and shoulder stretches and cardio daily via YouTube.
My mom dropped off a yoga mat for us which was really useful even when we didn’t workout. It served as something to sit on so we didn’t have to sit directly on the hotel carpet.
8. Have a Routine
Whether you want something more detailed or simply a list of must dos before screen time, having some type of routine will help make the time pass faster.
Here’s a typical day in our quarantine:
- Wake up
- Breakfast & Bible/Prayer time
- Free time: craft/FaceTime with family/screen time, my husband starts work
- Screen time/adult rest time
- Bath time for my daughter
- Workout for adults
- Screen time
- Bedtime/my husband finishes the second half of his work hours
- My rest time: kdrama, update blog/IG
9. Basic Items for Light Cooking & Dinning in Quarantine Hotel
Here’s what to pack to make your meal times easier to handle at the quarantine hotel:
- Bowls, plates and cups for everyone (melamine so they’re not easy to break & microwavable bowls if there’s one available in your hotel room)
- Mugs if you’re a coffee drinker like us and prefer using mugs
- Utensils (chopsticks if you’re used to using chopsticks) for everyone: you can request restaurants to give you disposable ones but we opted for our own just to be more environmentally friendly
- Paring knife and small cutting board: I cut some fruit and veggies to get some fiber in our system
- Vegetable peeler: if you’re going to eat vegetables and fruits during your stay. Our hotel actually gave us one
- Mini electric skillet: some moms recommended this as an easy way to make oatmeal or veggies, heat up leftovers if there isn’t a microwave
- Small drying rack or drying mat for the dishes: my mom dropped off a plastic bowl with a strainer and that was sufficient
- Paper towels: the hotel gave us plenty of tissue we used as napkins but no paper towels which we are more used to using to wipe up messes
- Coffee maker: if you’re a coffee drinker like we are, it’s nice to have on hand so you’re not ordering coffee everyday which adds up. I bought a used Nespresso machine and milk foamer off of FaceBook marketplace just cause I love my lattes. My husband brought his aeropress also. Most hotel rooms in Taiwan provide an electric water kettle
10. Put up a Countdown
A countdown helped us stay motivated and see clearly how many days are left. Most of the moms I spoke with who went through the quarantine recommended this.
It was so encouraging for all of us when we saw how quickly the days passed by.
Quarantine Hotel with Kids Packing List
To access and download my helpful packing list with all the essentials I listed above, register below. You will receive an email with instructions for download.
COVID has made traveling and seeing relatives challenging for many. I hope my tips help make your trip to Taiwan more feasible and relieves some stress for you.
Although quarantining for 14 (actually 15 days) may seem like a lot, being able to see friends and family is truly worth it. Plus, once you get out, you know you’ll be in the safest country in the world with super low COVID cases.
More Helpful Resources for Traveling to Taiwan
- Travel to Taiwan During Covid: Everything That Takes Place Once You Land
- FaceBook Support Group for English speakers traveling to Taiwan
- Taiwan Government’s Site for Detailed Information on Visa & Passport Requirements
- Taiwan Trip: Top 5 Language Exposure Activities Besides Camps
- Taiwan with Kids Activities: Visiting the Taiwan Library