Fitness & Fun: Travel Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

African American woman looking at a map travel and explore concept

Key Points

  • Travel workouts you can do anywhere should be simple, convenient, and fun.

  • A nutritious diet, healthy lifestyle, and frequent exercise help you get in shape before a trip.

  • Stay fit while traveling by planning your workouts, going on active adventures, and walking as much as possible. 

  • Portable equipment is beneficial but unnecessary for travel workouts you can do anywhere. 

Sipping spicy margaritas on the beach, ordering room service at midnight, and indulging in delightful desserts are several vacation highlights you don't have to give up to stay fit. Make fitness a part of your trip with travel workouts you can do anywhere.

Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, travel workouts you can do anywhere bring balance to your vacation. Sweat a little, party a lot, and enjoy your escape from reality — guilt-free. 

Benefits of Travel Fitness

Travel is a beautiful part of life. Step away from your daily stressors and receive the ultimate mind-body-soul refresh. 

Are you suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, anxiety, insomnia, depression, brain fog, or digestive issues? These symptoms are signs that you need a vacation.

Evolved Science physician Dr. Kristin McKitish shares, "When elevations in stress hormones — such as cortisol — are sustained, we put our bodies at an increased risk for many ailments and chronic diseases." 

Traveling doesn't mean you can't exercise. Hallelujah for that!

Woman gets ready for a day of traveling

While your workout routine may look slightly different, travel fitness provides valuable benefits. It alleviates prolonged stress by giving you constant access to endorphins and dopamine. Along with proper nutrition and sleep, exercise activates your immune response. Sniffles and sneezes won't ruin your trip.

Travel workouts also supply a much-needed energy boost

Whether work-related or leisurely, your trip likely involves a jam-packed schedule: day-long tours, lots of walking, racing from airports to shuttles, and other energy-draining activities.

It's easy to fall off the fitness horse when immersed in a completely different environment. However, staying committed to your fitness goals — despite various temptations — is highly gratifying. You maintain your progress and enjoy your trip that much more. 

As a bonus, you'll enjoy a smoother transition to your regular exercise routine upon returning home. 

How To Get In Shape Before a Trip

Your three keys to success are a nutritious diet, a healthy lifestyle, and frequent exercise. 

Follow the tips below to become a happier, healthier version of yourself.

  • Commit to a workout activity you genuinely enjoy.

  • Eat whole, nutritious foods.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of water daily.

  • Aim for seven to nine hours of sleep each night.

  • Turn daily exercise into a habit, aiming for at least 150 minutes weekly.

  • Track your fitness progress and celebrate mini victories along the way.

  • Nurture your mental and spiritual health.

  • Know your limits and implement good boundaries.

  • Exercise with a friend for extra motivation and accountability.

  • Cut out alcohol one to two weeks before your trip.

  • Restrict refined carbs, sugars, sodium, and saturated fats.

  • Avoid "quick fixes" such as juice cleanses, detox teas, fad diets, and diet pills.

  • Fall in love with the process.

  • Be kind to yourself.

Don't stress trying to hit every single point. Like all human beings, you're a beautiful work in progress. Aim for improvement over perfection. 

Start with one to three changes and gradually build momentum. The better you feel, the easier it becomes to adopt other healthy habits. You can do this! 

Woman explores a new city using a map

How To Stay Fit While Traveling

Want to stay fit on vacay? Movement is essential. Whether it's a workout or adventurous activity, remaining active keeps you on track. 

There are creative ways to fit exercise into your day — even on a tight schedule. 

Walk, Walk, Walk!

Try walking instead of driving, carpooling, or ordering an Uber in safe areas and for reasonable distances. Heading to a convention center? Walk. Visiting all the touristy hot spots? Walk. Does a particular building have stairs? Ditch the elevator. 

Walking strengthens your bones, improves heart health, and aids weight loss.

Strolling the city lets you take in all the unique sights and sounds and burn a ridiculous amount of calories. When pressed for time, walking becomes your workout. 

Explore new places, eat fresh foods, and attempt rewardingly strenuous activities. 

For extra motivation, track your daily steps and calories on a smartwatch. At nighttime, always walk with buddies for safety.

Pre-Schedule Your Workouts

Fail to plan, plan to fail. Before your trip, organize your schedule to see where exercise fits best. Write down the specific days, time of day, workout type, duration, and other related goals.

Need some inspiration? Say you exercise Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 9:45 AM. On Monday and Tuesday, try biking. On Thursday, train in your hotel room. On Saturday, hike the local trail with your pals. On Sunday, head outside for a heart-pumping jump rope workout.

Pack appropriate workout clothes, socks, shoes, swimsuits, sunglasses, hats, and a water bottle. 

Consider bringing these portable, lightweight materials to amplify your workouts:

  • Jump rope

  • Dumbbells

  • Medicine ball

  • Resistance bands

  • Yoga mat 

Eat Mindfully

Certified dietician and personal trainer Lauren Manganiello says, "Pick out what restaurants you want to try before your trip. Look for grocery stores in the area where you can stock up on healthy items. Pack snacks if you're going to be out and about for most of the day." 

Going with the flow only tempts you to make poor last-minute choices. Eat mindfully by bringing healthy snacks such as protein bars, oat bars, whole grain crackers, mini peanut butter packs, bananas, nuts, and sugar-free applesauce.

Woman goes for a run along beach during vacation

Consume breakfast daily to kickstart your metabolism, and try to balance your meals and macros. How? If you're in for a heavy dinner — daydreaming about pasta, garlic bread, and wine? — go with a light, low-carb breakfast.

If you're having a massive breakfast, adjust your dinner plans accordingly. Aim for complex carbs, lean protein, and healthy fats at each meal. 

Pro Tip: Since water curbs your appetite, carry a refillable water bottle and sip away. Not a fan of the taste? Mix in a sugar-free electrolyte powder packet for added flavor and hydration. 

Let Yourself Be Human

Within reason, live a little! Vacations should be enjoyable, right?

Research local restaurants, wineries, dessert shops, and hotel menus to make every indulgence worthwhile. Splurge responsibly, enjoy the heck out of it, and then get back on track. Don't let your trip turn into an unrestrained free-for-all.

Vacation Hack: If you're eating the cookie, relish the cookie. Would you rather have a warm, melt-in-your-mouth cookie? Or a stale cookie that's been sitting out all day? 

Only one of these scenarios is 100 percent worth the sugar. Splurge strategically.

Follow the 80/20 rule to keep yourself accountable. Make healthy choices 80 percent of the time, and go deliciously wild with the other 20 percent. Feeling bold? Use that freedom to try new foods unique to your vacation spot.

Go On Adventures

Hike mountains, go skiing, play watersports, tour a national park, play beach volleyball, hit the tennis courts, or play a round of golf. There's an entire galaxy of possibilities at your fingertips.

These fun activities double as exercise. Burn calories, tone your muscles, and have a blast!

Travel Tip: Reward yourself. Sit in the sauna, schedule a relaxing massage, sleep in, get a pedicure, or order a foamy latte from the local coffee shop. You deserve it.

Get Your Beauty Sleep

Want to "lock in" all of your hard work? Beauty rest is essential.

Your body repairs itself while you sleep. Exercise tears down your muscles, and rest builds them back stronger. Quality shuteye improves your endurance to rock your workouts and travel activities. 

Different time zones, jet lag, and long road trips significantly alter your sleep schedule. Be proactive by making your room cool, dark, and comfortable. Have trouble falling asleep? Take a sleep aid such as melatonin or Valerian root. Bring earplugs in case your hotel resides in a crowded, noisy area. 

Woman rides bike while on beach vacation

Travel Workouts You Can Do Anywhere

With all the planning that comes with travel, the last thing you need is even more planning. Don't stress the workout details, even if your hotel doesn't have a gym.


Jump rope: Grab a traditional jump rope to train your entire body. Need a quick sweat? Jump rope sessions are short and sweet.

Fit&Fab Workout

  • 15 jumps, 30-second rest

  • 25 jumps, 30-second rest

  • 35 jumps, 30-second rest

  • 25 jumps, 30-second rest

  • 15 jumps, 30-second rest

This body-blaster lasts five to seven minutes, depending on your jumping speed. 

Pro Tip: Seeking more versatility? Add squats, alternating lunges or high plank holds between each jump set. Bolster your heart and your legs.

Resistance Bands: These accessories are travel-friendly and versatile. Resistance bands work your glutes, arms, abs, quads, chest, and back. Constant tension strengthens your joints and builds lean muscle, and resistance band motions are smooth and low-impact.

Woman runs and drinks healthy smoothie while on vacation

Fit&Fab Workout

  • 15 bicep curls

Place both hands inside the resistance band. Gently spread your hands apart until your wrists touch both ends of the band. Create tension by aligning your wrists with your hips. 

Lower your hands to your thighs. Maintaining the space between your hands, activate your biceps and raise your fists towards your chest. Inhale on the way up and exhale as you return to the starting position.

  • 10 rows

Start sitting with your legs extended. Wrap the middle of the band around both feet and grab each end with your hands. Extend your spine, roll your shoulders back, and sit up tall.

Squeeze your shoulder blades together by drawing them back. Follow through with your elbows as you pull the bands towards your chest. Let your elbows travel slightly behind your torso, then release and repeat. 

  • 15 arm raises

Wrap a band around both wrists. Extend your arms in front of your chest by creating a straight line from your shoulders to your fingertips. Pull tight to create tension. Slowly elevate your arms until they're parallel to your head. Maintain a fixed distance between both hands. 

Lower your arms to chest level and repeat to fire up your arms, shoulders, and back. 

Pro Tips: All you need is 20 to 30 minutes. Focus on executing each movement with the correct form. If something hurts or twinges, adjust until you find what feels good. If you're new to resistance bands, pack a lighter one.


If you carry your gear in a backpack, duffel bag, or suitcase, you already have exercise equipment since your luggage can double as a dumbbell or kettlebell. Feel free to remove items — especially precious cargo — as needed for weight adjustment. Grab your bags by the handle or strap and train different muscle groups.

Arms: Perform 10-15 single-arm bent-over rows with your suitcase. Repeat on the opposite side. 

Shoulders: Place your bag in front of you and grab the handle with both hands. Do an upright row by pulling your fists up and across your chest. Let your elbows naturally open and extend, stopping at shoulder level. Lower your hands and repeat. Aim for 10-20 reps. 

Legs: Ditch the luggage. Whip out around-the-world lunges (forward, sideways, and backward) until your quads feel the burn.

Glutes: Perform two sets of 20 glute bridges, 20 alternating fire hydrants, and 20 alternating glute kickbacks. 

Abs: Do two to three sets of 20 leg lifts, 20 Russian twists, 15 toe taps, and a 30-second elbow plank. 

Full-Body: Burpees are hands down the best full-body conditioning exercise. Add a pushup at the bottom and a jump squat at the top for extra intensity.

Pro Tip: Traveling with a large suitcase? Lay it horizontally. Bend your knees, angle your body slightly forward, and hold both ends of the luggage. Lift the suitcase and pull it towards your chest. Continue bending and straightening your arms while in a bent-over squat position. Do 15-20 reps.

Always stretch before and after your workouts to soothe soreness and prevent injury.

Woman works out while on winter vacation

Vacay Fitness & Fun

Travel is a stress-fighting tool that lets you slow down, unwind, and appreciate a change in scenery — exercising while on vacation is equally energizing and rewarding. It prevents you from sabotaging your fitness gains and goals.

Get fit before a trip, stay in shape during vacation, and return home refreshed and rejuvenated. 

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