Whether you’re traveling long term or just taking a week long vacay, you don’t want to fall out of your workout routine. Especially if you plan on pigging out on the local cuisine. When I visited Italy last year, I spent three weeks eating pizza for lunch, pasta for dinner, and “gelato o’clock” hit 3 times a day! 15 pounds later, I realized I needed a way to shed that Italy weight while I continued traveling over Europe for the next few months. I figured out a way to stay fit while traveling with this “hotel workout” that can be done in a hostel, a park, on the beach…pretty much anywhere when you’re away from home.
This guide will give you different workout ideas that will help you stay fit while traveling. And after you’re finished, go reward yourself with some gelato!
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Book a Hotel with a Gym
This is an easy one, but people forget that a lot of hotels actually have a gym that you can use… for FREE! Take advantage of that opportunity if you’re booking a hotel anyway. Usually you can filter for amenities like a gym or a pool on the hotel booking site. You can also do this with Airbnb. If you’re booking an apartment through Airbnb, they might offer a gym at the apartment complex so be sure to add the gym filter when deciding where to book! *Get $40 towards your first Airbnb through my link HERE!
Exercises that don’t Require Equipment
There are plenty of moves you can do that don’t require weights, machines, or any other exercise equipment. Push-ups, planks, and crunches are great for ab work in a small space like your hostel dorm room. Go to a nearby park and do squats and lunges to work those glutes and legs. Download a workout app like Peloton or Sweat with Kayla so you can stream workouts and follow along. Try to find outdoor stairs somewhere in town and use them like a stairmaster. Walk or run up and down them over and over for a major leg burn.
Take up Running
Before I started traveling, I hated running. Like literally it was my least favorite thing to do. But after gaining 15 pounds of Italy weight, I decided to give it a try. And now I actually love running when I travel! (Still don’t like it back home). It’s such a great way to see parts of the city that you wouldn’t normally see if you weren’t aimlessly running around. You’ll love getting lost in the Venice canals or the streets of Paris. Think of it as a self-guided walking tour…except you’re running! Bring your phone in case you find something Instagram-worthy. If there’s a park or a beach, run from your accommodation to get some cardio in and then stop do some stretches or exercises I mentioned above that don’t require equipment. Make sure you have a good pair of running shoes that will last! I wear Nike Frees (as seen in the title pic) – get your pair HERE.
Rent a Bike
Lots of big cities offer bike rentals that you can pick up and drop off anywhere. It’s super convenient and a great way to get around town without bothering with public transportation. If you’re in a beach town, rent a beach cruiser from a rental shop and ride around on the boardwalk or right on the sand for a tougher workout.
Buy a Day Pass
If it’s raining outside or you’re in the middle of Winter, buy a day pass to a local gym. Most cities will have a gym and they almost always offer day passes. You’ll probably have to pay somewhere between $15-$20 for the day pass, but if you’re lucky you’ll find a gym that offers a free trial! You can also do this at hotel gyms, they’ll usually let you buy a day pass if you’re not staying at the hotel. Or if there’s a studio in town, pay to drop in on a class. There’s usually yoga, spin, pilates, Zumba, and others where you can join a class or buy a week’s worth of class passes.
Book Active Tours
Why not kill two birds with one stone and book a tour that requires you to be active and burn calories?! If you’re near the ocean, there will be plenty of water activities you can book that will help shed a pound or two: kayaking, snorkeling, water skiing, etc. In a city, book a walking tour. You’ll get to see the main attraction sites, learn some history, and burn major calories from the miles of walking you’ll do. Not into history? Take a walking photography tour! You’ll get your workout in and get some amazing pics for your Insta. Is there a particular sport or activity that your vacation destination is known for? Book a class! In Bali, yoga is huge. Thailand? Take a muay thai kickboxing class and kick some ass! Headed to Spain? Learn to dance the Flamenco. Near a beach? Take a surf lesson! I usually book tours through Viator.
Here’s a fun and easy one. Hit up the clubs and go dancing! We forget that going clubbing is actually a workout because we’re having such a good time. But this burns serious calories, and bonus points if you’re wearing high heels!
Take a Hike
Hiking is a great way to workout while having fun at the same time. If you’re in a mountainous area, you can take advantage of the hiking trails. If there aren’t any mountains nearby, you can probably still find a way to take a hike. Whether it’s to a gorgeous viewpoint in Thailand or up a tall building, like the Eiffel Tower.
Create a Challenge
If you’re traveling long term, it can be hard to motivate yourself to workout every day. So make it fun by creating a challenge for yourself. Try to run 100 miles or do 1000 pushups in one month. Make a cute printable calendar or screenshot one on your phone so you can keep track and watch your progress. Start small and work your way up so your challenge looks something like: Day 1 (1 mile or 5 pushups), Day 2 (1.5 miles or 10 pushups), Day 3 (2 miles or 10 pushups) working up to 5 or 6 mile days and 30 – 40 pushup days.
And of course the easiest way to stay fit while traveling is to skip the ubers and the buses…just walk EVERYWHERE! You can explore the whole city on foot, shedding pounds and saving money while you do it. Download a pedometer app on your phone (or use the iPhone Health app) and keep track of your daily steps. Or buy a Fitbit which will help motivate you to actually hit 10 thousand steps every day. You can find Fitbit knockoffs on Amazon that are way cheaper and still get the job done. I easily hit 20-30k steps on the daily when I was traveling because I literally just walked everywhere. You’ll probably want to stretch your legs every morning because you will be sore, trust me!
Now go indulge in French pastries, delicious Pad Thai, and fresh Irish beers! You won’t even feel guilty because you’ll be burning off the calories anyway.
Can’t decide on your next destination? Check out my post on How to Spend a Week in Sweden. You’ll enjoy amazing pastries and hot chocolate and can work them off by strolling the cobble stone streets or dancing the night away in their crazy night clubs!