The reopening of travel destinations does not cancel out COVID-19 guidelines. These still need to be followed at all re-opened local destinations.

Although these guidelines may vary from destination to destination, one thing they share in common is requiring all travelers to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine period upon arrival.

You might be wondering: why 14 days of self-isolation? The answer lies in the incubation period of the COVID virus. According to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, people who are infected with COVID may show symptoms 5, 11-12, or 14 days after being exposed to the virus.

So health experts such as virologist Rachel Graham of the University of North Carolina said that the required quarantine period is enough time to help determine if someone is safe to be released from quarantine.

While subjecting yourself to self-quarantine is undoubtedly important, those two weeks of isolation can become mentally tough on you. It defeats the very purpose of why you left home, in the first place. Good thing, we have 14 fun, productive, and healthy activities that will help you get through your self-imposed isolation.

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1. Update your contacts list.

This is one of the more practical tips for lone travelers, which can equally apply to those who are traveling in small groups.

For this activity, think of all the emergency contacts you can add to your list, including numbers of the local police or nearest health clinic. Since you’ll be in self-isolation for 14 days, make sure to also get hold of the contact info of convenience stores, restaurants, and the local drugstore.

For the next phase, check if those numbers actually work. If they don’t, consider informing your accommodation’s management immediately; so they can update these as soon as possible.

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2. Check and organize your COVID travel essentials.

Will your COVID travel essentials last for 14 days or longer? There’s no better time to double-check if you have a sufficient supply of hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, and face masks than while in quarantine.

It would be good to check, in case you’ve forgotten some essential toiletries during your flight or miscounted your supply. You can then arrange for delivery of your medicine and other supplies or get them yourself when you get out of self-quarantine.

While you are it, take this time to organize your essentials, too. Arrange them in your bathroom, on your bedside table, or vanity drawer. Organized essentials can help you keep track of items that need to be restocked during your stay.

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3. Amp up your excitement by checking out virtual tours.

While stuck at your accommodation, amp up your excitement by checking out virtual tours of local attractions.

To execute this 2021 travel trend, visit 360 virtual tours of Philippine destinations or searching for travel vlogs online.

Travel vlogs may also help you get tips on how to best enjoy your destination such as when to go to a restaurant to avoid crowds or the best time of the day to avail of discounts at local establishments.

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4. Start a COVID log of symptoms for you and your companions.

One of the safe travel precautions that you should follow amidst the pandemic is to check your health condition as well as that of your travel companions.

Encourage everyone to keep a COVID log of symptoms during your 14-day self-quarantine. This will help you and your travel companions easily explain to healthcare professionals should you experience recurring symptoms while in isolation.

If you are staying in different rooms, communicate via video calls to check in on each other. Or, if you’re alone, take advantage of your newly updated contacts list, in case you need healthcare assistance.

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5. Perform easy yet effective indoor workouts.

Don’t let self-quarantine ruin your physical condition. Stay in tip-top shape by performing 15-minute workout routines in the confines of your room.

There have never been so many online workout options like the ones available today. Take advantage of these, and create your 14-day indoor exercise routine. For instance, create a Pinterest board for workouts or search YouTube for videos on Zumba, no-equipment workouts, yoga, resistance band strength training, or what have you.

Aside from keeping your body in shape, these workout routines will help you reap the benefits of exercise. It will help you stay happy and energized even if you’re stuck within the four walls of your accommodation.

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6. Order healthy meals.

Being in self-isolation can make it quite easy and tempting to overindulge in unhealthy food. After all, who will stop you? There’s nothing like ordering a juicy burger, French fries, milk tea, fried chicken, and all your other favorite junk food to go with binge-watching Netflix.

In a moment of sanity, consider one of the travel tips to stay healthy: eat whole foods, because proper nutrition will help protect your body from illnesses.

Succeed in doing this by browsing the menus of different restaurants before ordering. Decide to order vegetables with your chicken, seafood, pork, or beef dish. In addition, purchase fresh fruits from the local supermarket or stores as your dessert.

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7. Get enough sleep.

Sleep is a natural and necessary part of everyday life, but being stuck in self-quarantine might make you feel otherwise. You might find yourself staying up until the sun rises after binge-watching an exciting series or playing adrenaline-pumping online games.

Regardless, fight the urge to stay up all night since sleep deprivation can weaken your immune system — which could make you vulnerable to the coronavirus.

On the other hand, oversleeping is as much of a dealbreaker. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, nodding off or being drowsy all the time may suggest an underlying medical condition. Either this or your medications might be interfering with your sleep.

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8. Take a bath every day.

Being isolated for 14 days straight might suddenly dampen your interest to hit the shower. Don’t be tempted to do so because regular baths can help get rid of microscopic bacteria, dust, viruses, or dirt that could otherwise accumulate in your body and clothes.

Since you’re in self-quarantine and have all the time in the world, make bathing enticing by indulging in a relaxing bubble bath if your bathroom is equipped with a bathtub. If not, you could lather up in your favorite shower gel while belting your favorite song.

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9. Start a vlog.

If you have a reliable phone camera and a strong Wi-Fi connection, why not start vlogging? Vlog about your self-isolation experience and post this on social media sites. Who knows? Your vlog might encourage other people and turn you into the newest online star!

Before you do so, it would be best to ask permission from Management before posting your videos online. They might have certain rules and regulations for such, which can cause you trouble if you break them. Also, seek permission from your family and friends; so that your video posts would not stir up unnecessary controversy or violate the privacy of your loved ones.

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10. Practice your photography skills.

Are you excited to post your photos post-quarantine? You probably are! No one should pass the opportunity to shoot memorable photos of their out-of-town trip. The question is can your photography skills keep up?

Take Instagram-worthy photos by practicing in your room during your 14-day self-isolation.

Practice by taking photos of your meals and hotel items in your room such as lamps, mirrors, or indoor plants. In this way, you can learn the best lighting or filter effects for different angles, objects, and situations.

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11. Watch inspiring or relaxing videos.

If you’re stuck in self-quarantine, there’s absolutely no need to further antagonize yourself by watching any movie that could cause you stress.

This means it would also be a great idea to skip watching the news in the meantime. Focus on inspiring or relaxing videos, instead. Prior to your isolation period, remember to download these videos to save on data.

Here are some popular YouTube channels that you can explore for inspiration and relaxation:

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12. Immerse yourself in reading a book.

Do you have a stash of physical books or e-books on your mobile device waiting to be read? Now is the time to read them. Use your self-isolation time to immerse yourself in the literary world.

Or, if you need a fresh stack, visit these websites:

To download free or discounted e-books:

To order physical copies of books:

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13. Organize an online scavenger hunt.

Self-isolation does not mean that you would stop talking to anybody. You can always text, call, or do video calls with your loved ones. Bond with your loved ones by organizing an online scavenger hunt.

Instruct everyone to take photos of objects in their room, according to a theme. For example, use some interesting Kris Kringle themes such as something embarrassing to carry in public or something that reminds you of your childhood.

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14. If all else fails, press the Bored Button.

If you’ve done everything on this list and still find yourself with some extra time in your hands, press the Bored Button. The Bored Button is a red button that can transport you to different interactive games and help resolve your boredom.

These games could be as simple as testing how long you can hold a mouse button or discovering interesting facts about your birth date.

There are also Bored Button apps available in the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. The said apps are

developed by GabbleStudios and are equally as fun and entertaining as the Bored Button website.

The 14-day self-quarantine can certainly become grueling if you plan on doing nothing. You might find yourself worrying about the outside world or yourself. Worse yet, you might end up neglecting your health. So remember to keep yourself preoccupied with productive activities that will help you complete your isolation period with a healthy body and a sound mind.