How Do I Stay in Shape While Traveling? 4 Tips You Need to Know

man and woman staying in shape while traveling by jogging on the beach

Whether it's a work trip or a staycation, chances are your fitness suffers when you hit the road, but with a few simple tricks, you can flip the script and get fit wherever you may go.

To do this requires a little bit of planning, but the results are well worth it!

In this article, you will learn:

1. Choose the Right Hotel

On-site gyms are becoming more and more common, but you can still find a few that have neglected this "amenity" if you just roll the dice.

While researching places to stay, look for shots of the hotel fitness center on their website, and call to confirm if the images don't tell the whole story.

If staying at a location with a gym isn’t possible, search for local big box gyms or CrossFit boxes. Many offer non-members drop in rates or even free workouts for first-time visitors.

Picking a hotel that's in the center of the action, downtown or otherwise walkable environment, can also help you increase your steps while potentially saving you money on a rental car!

2. Bring the Proper Equipment

While it might be unrealistic to pack an entire set of weights into your suitcase, there are some basic and essential pieces of travel workout gear that can easily be taken on a trip.

First and foremost, you should always pack workout clothes and appropriate footwear. Extra changes of underwear are a good idea too.

In terms of equipment, lightweight and versatile training bands are a good pick and won't take up much room in your suitcase.

For more complete workout experience, you can always pack a TRX strap and door anchor accessory. A yoga mat is another good equipment option. Just think of yoga on the beach!

3. Stay Focused on Proper Nutrition

Eating healthy on the road is absolutely crucial for staying in shape while traveling. Of course, you can still enjoy yourself, but instead of loading up on junk foods that you could find anywhere, seek out quality, local, fresh food experiences.

Smartphone apps like Trip Advisor or Yelp can make this search a lot easier!

Another "on the road" nutrition hack is to leverage the power of intermittent fasting. The IF plan revolves around limiting your meals to 1 or 2 per day. With this approach, you can have coffee for breakfast, a big salad with protein for lunch, and an indulgent dinner all while staying under your total calorie goal. 

4. Use Your Calendar to Your Advantage

Break out the Google Calendar and pack that sucker full of fitness adventures. Whether it's a bike tour of a city, stand up paddle boarding, or snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, no one said you have to keep fun out of your fitness. Make a point to plan one entertaining but active event each day and you will ensure that exercise happens almost accidentally.


Although getting out of shape while traveling is often the status quo, for those that go beyond, and apply a little planning and preparation, it can actually be one more opportunity for getting in superior mental and physical shape!

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Editor's Note: This article was originally posted August 2016 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.