Travel can seriously disrupt any regular workout or wellness routines you may have, even if you leave home with the very best of intentions in mind. And although it’s sometimes nice to let the body relax, recover and have a break, staying fit and healthy whilst on the road can actually be a lot of fun, increase your sightseeing and make it a lot easier to “say yes” to a glass of champagne to toast your travels. These expert tips will help you feel good no matter where in the world you’re traveling…

a woman jumping rope in the sunWater Is Life

Stay Hydrated! Whether you’ve got a long day of travel ahead or just a short flight, drinking plenty of water the days before and during travel can make a huge difference and is often the first thing people overlook. Being on a plane is dehydrating, so take an empty water bottle through security and fill it up the other side. If you forget, just buy one to take on board. Your body will thank you. If you’re out touring a new city or busy in meetings, be conscious of drinking throughout the day, or at least of the ratio between wine and water. And remember, as much as we love coffee, it’s dehydrating, so try and balance it out with your new favorite: a side of water, or better yet, coconut water.

Travel Equipment

Sometimes a high class hotel gym or pool is not available, or even if it is, you simply don’t have enough time to fit in a full gym workout. That’s where these travel accessories can really come in handy. Easy to pack equipment, such as a jump rope or resistant bands can be used anywhere, even including the floor of your hotel room (wink, wink) and are an excellent way to get a quick sweat in without needing much space or time.

a group of people running near a lakeRunning Shoes & Workout Clothes

Always pack a pair of workout shoes (or at least comfy shoes you’re happy to walk far in without complaining) and some clothes to workout in. If you haven’t got the gear, there’s not much hope for getting anything done. On that score, hotels such as Westin now offers complimentary loaner shoes and workout clothes, as well as run concierges to map your route. A simple set of t-shirt and shorts or leggings barely take up any space in your luggage, so be sure to throw them in and give yourself a fighting chance. Carrying a plastic bag, or using a separate luggage compartment can help keep your other garments smelling fresh, by the way. If you have comfy shoes with you, you’ll always be able to walk/jog around your new destination in comfort and burn a few extra calories, perhaps bypassing crowded subways for some fresh air.

a indoor swimming pool with a large windowThe Right Hotel

If you have flexibility and lots of hotels to choose from, pick one that has a modern gym and pool. Many hotels these days have great facilities including state of the art gyms, large pools and some even offer running clubs and classes. Look for hotels with a passion for fitness, that focus equally on equipment like kettle bells and free weights as they do clunky old school machines. Having exercise facilities just minutes away from your hotel room makes the battle of the bulge much easier to win, and when you think about it, it kinda makes fitness more accessible than your local gym! No excuses…

Free Food & Drink

Sometimes travel can open up all kinds of hard to resist buffets, complimentary booze and free food. Airport lounges, hotel club lounges and hotel breakfasts are amazing perks, but just because it’s free doesn’t mean you must indulge. It’s always better to eat before a flight than on the plane, and a large breakfast can set you up for the day, but it’s important to say no to all the delectable little cakes and one too many free drinks. If you’re going to eat a lot, eat a lot of the good stuff (veggies, salads, meats) and don’t over do it on too many sugary desserts, cheeses and alcohol – your body will feel it later, especially if you’re flying.

a person lying on a bed

Use Jet Lag To Your Advantage

Jet lag can be a massive pain, but it can also lead to fantastic gain. Nobody likes lying in bed at 3am completely wired, but, it can actually be an excellent time to get your travel workout in and help fight jet lag for the next day. If you’re up early or can’t get to sleep at night, go for a run, a swim, hit the gym or do some yoga. A good 30/45 minute workout can help tire the body out to help acclimate to new sleep patterns – and you’ll have your workout done for the day, it’s a win win.

Try A Class

Traveling is a wonderful way to see the world, experience new things and step outside of your comfort zone. Wherever your travels take you, why not try an exercise class, after all you don’t need to speak the language to copy an instructor! You can ask your hotel concierge or research beforehand for something that may interest you. Whether it’s a standard yoga, spin or hiit class, or something more unique to your destination like surfing, Muay Thai or beach volleyball, it can be a fun way to burn those calories while meeting new people. Many places offer a free trial workout class – and you’ll be surprised how sore you’ll be the next day trying something new.

a woman standing on a ledge near a body of waterWalk, Run, Cycle

We’re sure you’ve heard this one before, but running, walking or cycling is truly unbeatable when it comes to seeing a city. Not only is it a great way to get a little sweat and fresh air, it’s also a great way to discover your destination from street level, feeling the air, seeing the sights and smelling the unique delights (or frights!) each destination offers. Like we said, always pack some comfy shoes so you can step outside and go for a run. Thanks to Google maps and many running apps it’s easier than ever to plan a route and not get lost. If you’re near somewhere to rent a bike, which in most cities you always are, why wouldn’t you? And when the option is there, take the stairs not the escalators – every little helps.

Don’t Over Eat

Everything in moderation! Without meaning to sound too disciplinarian – not over eating can be a biggie. It’s very tempting to try all the new foods and every station at the big breakfast buffet, but think about your day. If you have special dinner plans or must entertain clients, try and go lighter for lunch. If there aren’t many good dining options, go bigger for breakfast, and if your hotel only offers junk, find a local cafe. Finding a good market nearby to buy fresh fruit or healthy snacks is a great way to resist those pesky minibar options, if you get hungry. Don’t panic if you have a bad day, you’re on holiday – so enjoy it.

a large room with exercise equipmentBefore & After

If you have a regular workout routine that you follow and know that you will struggle to keep up whilst you’re away, adding an extra couple sweat sessions before hand, or pushing yourself a little harder before you go can help keep things guilt free. A couple days rest always feels better with sore muscles, after all. Equally, when you return from your trip, try and get back into your routine as soon as possible. Often we feel like we need another holiday to get over the holiday, but the sooner you get back to your routine the easier it will be to start again, and then of course – plan your next holiday.

What’s your best travel fitness tip?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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