16 Ways To Stay Fit While Traveling

Dec, 14, 2022

Traveling can take a lot out of you. From hustling through airports to dragging suitcases through your destination, you might be wondering why in the world anyone would even read this post. Why should you work out while on vacation? You’re supposed to be resting in your hotel room or having a good time at the beach, right?

If you want to rest, rest. You deserve it! Click the X in the corner and go treat yourself. However, if you feel the urge to maintain your fitness goals while traveling, this post is for you.

This post is going to cover a wide array of possibilities, as access to fitness equipment varies drastically depending on the accommodation that you stay in.

While some people always travel with their yoga mat and resistance bands, others rely on the hotel fitness center or utilizing no equipment at all. I am by no means a personal trainer, but I do prioritize healthy eating and continuing my fitness journey while I travel, and I travel quite a bit.

Whether you’re going on a business trip in a nice hotel or you are staying in a cheap Airbnb, this post will list the best things you can do to maintain your healthy lifestyle while you visit a new city.

Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling Without Any Fitness Equipment

1. Design a 2-Minute Abs Circuit and Do It Twice per Day

The abdominal muscles, or abs, are a muscle group that some people overdo and others neglect far too often. Regardless, doing a circuit of abdominal exercises is a quick and easy thing that you can do while traveling that requires absolutely no equipment. Engaging your core is one of the best ways to wake up your body, and that is why we try to work this one into our exercise routine in the mornings while we travel.

While there are plenty of exercises you can incorporate into your circuit, here’s an example of an abdominal circuit you can do each day before breakfast:

30 second plank

30 seconds of six inches

30 seconds of bicycling

30 seconds of sit-ups

If you have the stamina, try doing the circuit a couple of times in a row or increasing the number of exercises or the time per exercise.

2. Do Air Squats Every Time You Eat

Traveling can very easily be a routine-breaker. As you get out of your normal daily rhythm when you travel, it is very easy to lose your good habits and routines. Even if you work out daily at home, it is easy to suddenly stop working out altogether when traveling. To avoid this, I like to do trigger workouts, or workout that I complete each time I recognize a certain trigger. In this case, eating is the trigger. Each time you stop to have a bite to eat, the trigger reminds you that you need to stay fit and do a specific exercise. Air squats are easy, get your blood flowing, and can be done countless times throughout the day without causing much fatigue.

3. Do Sit-ups Every Time You Leave Your Hotel or Accommodation

On the topic of trigger workouts, doing sit-ups every time you leave your accommodation is the easiest way to sneak some exercise into your day. You may only leave once per day, or you may leave several times per day. Regardless, stopping and doing 25 sit-ups is a great way to get your blood flowing and incorporate some bodyweight exercises into your day while traveling.

Again, this is an exercise that causes very little fatigue, so you can elevate your heart rate and engage your core without breaking much of a sweat before going out.

4. Go for a Daily Jog

Going for a jog each day is the best way to stay fit while traveling, as it accomplishes two things at once! You get the health benefits of going for a jog while also getting to explore your new surroundings and any local parks in the area where you are staying. This is a great way to get ideas about things to do throughout the rest of your trip, as you will likely run by local markets, key attractions in the city center, and top places to grab some local cuisine.

Going for a jog gives you the opportunity to explore a new neighborhood or area of your destination while getting your heart rate up and breaking a sweat. While you might not always have the time to do this every day, it is a great idea to try and squeeze at least one sightseeing run in during your trip. Once you get over the jet lag, I recommend going for a jog as early in your trip as possible so that you can get a better understanding of your surroundings!

5. Do the 100 Pushup Challenge

The 100 pushup challenge technically takes a month, but the idea can apply to a shorter trip, too. Basically, to complete the 100 pushup challenge, you need to do 100 pushups per day throughout an entire month. When it comes to traveling, doing 100 pushups per day doesn’t take large amounts of time, but it is a great full-body workout that engages several upper body muscle groups.

While 100 pushups sounds like a lot of hard work, it can be easily broken up into 10 sets of 10, 4 sets of 25, or 2 sets of 50.

If you aren’t able to do this many pushups, don’t let that deter you! Just do what you are able to do, as pushing your own personal limits is a more ideal workout than targeting an arbitrary number, anyway.

6. Go for a Free Walking Tour

Of all the things you can choose to do to stay fit while traveling, going for a free walking tour is one of the easiest and most rewarding. Free walking tours are offered in most major cities around the world, and they are a fun way to explore the city you are in while enjoying some physical activity and seeing new parts of the city.

While on the tour, consider dropping pins on Google Maps or social media for places that you want to return to the next day. Free walking tours can often inspire you with ideas for other daily activities to try during the other days on your trip.

couple in black walking by large brown door
We’ve been on too many walking tours to count. Here is one from gorgeous Guadalajara!

Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling With Your Own Fitness Equipment

While doing body weight exercises is a very effective way to stay fit while traveling, there is no disputing the fact that certain gym equipment can boost your traveling fitness routine even further. Common sense would tell you that bringing certain lightweight pieces of fitness equipment with you is a good idea! While most gym equipment is far too large and heavy to take on a trip, there are a few things that fit in your carry-on that can enhance your workout without the need to find a local gym in your destination.

orange and black usb cable on brown wooden surface

7. Bring a Jump Rope

Jump ropes are small, practically weightless, and a great tool to use to get your heart rate up while traveling. Jumping rope doesn’t require much time in your fitness plan, as a few minutes in the morning is often enough to get your day off to a great start.

8. Bring a Yoga Mat

Yoga mats may not be the best option for everyone, as they do take up the most luggage space of anything on this list and add some extra weight to your suitcase. However, starting your day with yoga is a good way to get centered and stretched out to start your day, and morning yoga is often a great time to take a deep breath before diving into a day’s busy schedule while traveling.

Angel bringing her yoga mat to Copacabana Beach in São Paulo, Brazil to get some early morning stretches in.

9. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle

Taking good care of your body while traveling is important, and staying hydrated is arguably the single most important thing you can do to stay healthy. Most frequent travelers can testify to how important it is to have a high-quality reusable water bottle on them, as it both saves money and comes in handy.

10. Bring Running Shoes

If you plan to go for a run or jog at all while on your trip, you will need a good pair of running shoes along with you. While running may not be much fun to most people, we have already noted how beneficial it can be while traveling. Packing a pair of running shoes is one of many healthy choices you can make surrounding your trip, as having them available while at your destination will likely lead you to actually using them at least once.

11. Bring Resistance Bands

Many people think that strength training while traveling is nearly impossible without a gym. Others feel that they simply never have enough time to build muscle while traveling. The best part about resistance bands, much like jump ropes, is that they provide you with a great way to consistently get high quality workouts without adding any weight to your luggage.

Easy Ways to Maintain a Healthy Diet While Traveling Without Missing Out on Local Cuisine

12. Avoid Eating Junk Food that You Can Find at Home

The sad reality is that most people love junk food. It is quick and easy, it normally tastes great, and you can find it in a convenience store on any corner in the world. While many people think protein bars are a healthy meal option, many chocolate-coated protein bars are nearly as junky as a bag of chips. While you may be tempted to eat junk food while traveling because it is so convenient, the last thing you want to do is waste your precious calories on candy bars that you can find at home! If you are worried that you will be in a time crunch on your travel day, you should pack snacks to sustain you rather than buying food as you go.

13. Emphasize Eating Local Fresh Fruit and Healthy Snacks

It is important to eat foods that fuel you. There is no better way to feel energized in a new destination than trying out its local healthy food choices and fruits. Traveling can take a lot out of you, and apart from getting enough sleep, the best thing you can do to feel energized is fill your body with healthy, wholesome food options. Your immune system is taxed a bit more than usual while traveling, and keeping your body filled with vitamins and minerals is a surefire way to stay healthy while traveling.

14. Choose Healthy Options When Eating Local Food

One of the best parts of visiting foreign countries or new regions of your own country is checking out the local cuisine. From tacos to BBQ, there are delicious local dishes to try all over the world. The good news is that you don’t need to skip out on eating local foods when you travel! If you want to maintain a healthy diet, simply try to choose the healthier local dishes, and generally steer clear of desserts.

15. Purchase Healthy Food from the Grocery Store

If you want to take care of both your body and your budget while traveling, consider grabbing food from the grocery store instead of eating processed foods and dining out all of the time. Grocery stores offer some of the freshest food that you will find anywhere, and often at the best price. Buying ingredients to make your own meal at least once per day is a good thing you can do to save both money and calories.

16. Make Sure to Drink Plenty of Water

A lot of people don’t drink enough water while at home, and their water consumption drops even further while traveling. Drinking lots of water is crucial while traveling, as your body is likely working harder than it is on a regular day at home. To make sure you drink enough water, consider getting a water tracking app on your phone and checking out results at the end of the day, each day of your trip.

Thanks for reading my post with 16 ways to stay fit while traveling. Hopefully these ideas are helpful as you look to burn a few calories while you’re out exploring a new place! What is your favorite equipment-free workout to do while traveling? Let us know by either dropping a comment below!


Hi! I’m Greg, a Pittsburgh-based dad who juggles a 9-5 with a passion for traveling the world. I've spent time living in Mexico, Italy, and China, have traveled to nearly 50 countries, and make a habit of scratching epic experiences off of my bucket list.

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Meet The Family!

We're a family who seeks adventure both in our backyard and also around the world. We've spent time living in Mexico, Italy, and China, have traveled to nearly 50 countries. Life is short! All we have is this present moment to fulfill the dreams God has given us.