Hotel Workout : Stay Fit While Traveling

Hotel Workout

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!

Hotel Workout

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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.

Hotel Workout

Mount Vesuvius

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.

Tips for solo travel

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.

Hotel Workout

Surfing Class in Bali

Go Dancing

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.

Hotel Workout

Hiking a mountain in Annecy, France

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.

Walk Everywhere

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!

Hotel Workout

Ice Cream and a Macaron from Amorino in France

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!

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  • Reply Danila Caputo

    While on the road we don’t always have the chance to hike, and because we always want to try the local food, that might become a problem! Using the hotel gym is definitely a good option, but I had no idea that you can do it also with Airbnb, what a great tip, thank you!

    January 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm
  • Reply Shweta

    OMG! I am so in agreement with this article of yours! I love to have active holidays. We walk a LOT in the cities. And now that my daughter is 5+, we are beginning to do short hikes with her. We need to split up sometimes for more active adventures – he is with the child when I go for diving, and I am with our daughter when he tries off-road cycling. But we love to stay fit and healthy during our travels.

    January 22, 2018 at 12:23 am
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      Nice! I always love finding new active things to do on my travels. Off road cycling sounds fun!

      January 31, 2018 at 8:01 pm
  • Reply Kim-Ling

    It’s funny… we always pack exercise clothes when we travel but never end up using the gym and wonder why we weigh a lot more than when we left! But recently, I’ve used workout apps on the road, and it is such a good and convenient way to work off one of the three gelatos (I also hit gelato o’clock multiple times a day!). Some great suggestions here! I also love hiring a bike to explore cities, as it is faster than walking and you can get a nice sweat up. I like the idea of buying a gym day pass, especially when the weather isn’t great and there’s not much to do (admittedly, I’d probably use it an excuse to eat more and drink more hot chocolates! oops!). I love the idea of active tours and we love walking everywhere – I find you really get a feel for a place when you see it on foot. Here’s to enjoying one of my favourite things about travel (food!) and walking it off! And if you do end up putting on a bit of ‘excess baggage’, it means you had a really great time and can come home with a new challenge to keep busy until the next trip! 😉

    January 22, 2018 at 5:16 am
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      Haha that gelato is just too tempting! I like the way you put it, excess baggage just means you enjoyed your vacation!

      January 31, 2018 at 8:03 pm
  • Reply Jennifer

    These are all great suggestions! Though I need to get in to a routine of going to the gym regularly when I’m at home, I never gain weight when I travel because I’m always walking and active. It works off the food I do eat when traveling. My gym membership also gives me access to hundreds of gyms across Europe, so I should start taking advantage of that too.

    January 22, 2018 at 6:13 am
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      Wow that’s lucky that your gym allows you access all over the world!

      January 31, 2018 at 8:05 pm
  • Reply Kate

    I gained so much weight when I travelled to Southeast Asia because everything was so cheap and delicious that I was eating several times a day. I really struggle with structured exercise but I try to walk as much as possible while travelling and also factor in some half day hikes. Renting a bike for a day is usually a fun time too and something that I don’t really get to do at home.

    January 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      Omg that Southeast Asian food is amazing! I was obsessed with the food in Thailand and Vietnam.

      January 31, 2018 at 8:05 pm
  • Reply Stevo Joslin

    This is a great guide to staying fit on the move. The problem with food is that it is all delicious! I hate running more than anything but a good walk is always a lovely way to get to know a place. The hike up is always worth the view. It’s good to keep challenging yourself to new fitness goals, and new gelato goals!

    January 23, 2018 at 7:53 am
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      I hated running too, and still do! But for some reason I actually enjoyed it when I was traveling, I think because I was distracted by taking in the sites when I ran.

      January 31, 2018 at 8:06 pm
  • Reply Lucy

    These are great tips to keep fit.The first time I went to Italy I put on so much weight so I can relate to you. I stopped drinking alcohol for a month and weight fell off, but exercising a long the way would of helped! I will use your tips in future.

    January 23, 2018 at 2:47 pm
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      Haha Italy is the worst country for trying to stay in shape! I’m glad I’m not the only one who gained a ton of weight there.

      January 31, 2018 at 8:07 pm
  • Reply Megan Jerrard

    These are fabulous tips, and yes, we tend to let ourselves go on holidays (try telling your body that the calories don’t count lol!!) so it’s important to keep to your routine. I personally love walking, and when I’m in a new city there’s so much to explore so I make a point of walking between attractions, you get to see so much of the city and so much exercise that way!

    January 23, 2018 at 7:07 pm
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      Yes I love walking everywhere when I travel! It also saves me from having to figure out the public transportation lol.

      January 31, 2018 at 8:08 pm
  • Reply Samantha Sparrow

    These are great tips! I always want to try and keep fit when travelling but it never usually works out. But I actually often pack a set of really light resistence bands which means I can do some light training on the go – means there is more room for local food, right?

    January 25, 2018 at 1:07 am
    • Reply The Freckled Tourist

      That’s a great idea! They’re so light and small they wouldn’t take up much space in your suitcase, thanks for the tip!

      January 31, 2018 at 8:09 pm

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