How to Keep Fit When You Travel

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I’ll be the first to admit that staying fit when you travel long term is hard work! But the hardest part of getting (and keeping) fit is starting a solid routine you can commit to. Once you’re in a routine, it is much easier to maintain than when you let it slide for a few weeks on a vacation and return home ready to get fit again.

So what should you do to stay fit while you travel?


Rule #1 – Have a Plan

First things first – make a plan. Before you depart on your trip be sure to set out your goals – do you want to keep your fitness or improve your fitness? Perhaps your goal is just to continue a healthy diet? Whatever it is, be specific in setting your goals.

The next step is to make a (reasonable) plan. If you’re going to Europe, chances are you are going to let your diet slip a little – eating in Europe is half the fun! If you’re going to a hot and humid destination, chances are you are going to have better luck sticking to a healthy diet with the idea of a bikini looming on you every morning. Whatever the case, be realistic. Consider your accommodation – do you have a hotel gym? Do you want/need a hotel gym? Be sure to think ahead and plan in advance.

If you want to workout once a day, consider the time of day you are best to do so – in the morning before it gets to hot? Maybe in the afternoon after a big day exploring and before dinner? Whatever works for you!

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My Travel Workout Routine

I’ll be honest and say that I’m not very strict upon myself when it comes to a specific travel workout routine – not for lack of trying! But being so busy travel blogging full time and with every day so different to the next, I go for the ‘no plan plan’. I stick by rule #3 – read on to find out more.

Rule #2 – Stick to it

Now that you have a plan, you need to stick by it. That’s partly why it is so important to be realistic with your plan – otherwise you won’t be able to execute it!

Rule #3 – Be active every day, everywhere, in every way

Unlike a rigid gym routine back at home, keeping fit when you’re on the road can be fun, spontaneous, and should always be creative. If you don’t feel like a typical daily workout, take the day off from your usual routine and get creative.

Think about your surrounds – can you go hiking, running, cycling? What about trying a dance or yoga class? Your options are limitless! If you’re not in a city, that’s the best excuse to get outdoors and try a new hiking trail or rent a bike. Worst case scenario – you can always go on a long walk and discover your surrounds.

If you need a little inspiration to get outdoors, put in your headphones and play a fun playlist that will make you feel like moving. Before you know it you’ve convinced yourself to take a 10km hike for the day. The other plus side to exploring is getting some of the best photos from your trip that were unexpected and you wouldn’t have got them otherwise. Just so long as you go, get outdoors, and make the most of your day!

  fit 1

My Fail Proof Travel Workout Routine

Some days you just don’t feel like going outdoors – maybe you’re tired, jetlagged, or the weather is miserable. You don’t need to feel guilty for this – trust me, after deciding to travel for a year and living out of a suitcase I know firsthand that these days exist! In this case, here’s a quick 20 minute workout to do to feel like you’ve ‘done something’ for the day:

x5 minutes warming up to your favourite song

Repeat 5 times as fast as you can:

X20 squats

X10 pushups

X20 sit ups

X20 crunches

x5 minutes stretch

…you just did 100 squats, 50 puchups, 100 sit ups and 100 crunches!


If all else fails, dance like no one is watching in the mirror for 30 minutes… works every time!

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    Cest La Vibe
    November 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    Squats with a hiking backpack on is my favorite way to work out while traveling!

    October 17, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    Oh! This is all that I needed…
    We’ve been traveling for 9 months now and I feel totally guitly by now… I have tried to do several types of exercices but don’t manage to stick to it as we are moving all the time. So difficult to do some exercice when you’ve spent the night on a bus or even when you’ve walked around a city all day… I’ll try your routine, maybe it will work. And actually I like the idea of dancing on my favorite music!! Great idea.

    September 11, 2014 at 11:33 am

    Sticking to healthy eating habits when I travel seems to be my biggest hurdle! Thank you for the inspiration + motivation!! 😉

  • awanderlustblog@OUTLOOK.COM'
    September 10, 2014 at 8:03 am

    i never exercise on hol, except the odd swim!

    September 10, 2014 at 12:15 am

    Is there a list anywhere where I can see all the places you’ve visited? I recognize myself so much in you! I too sold all of my stuff to travel, but decided to come back after a while to work for a while, and build a life at home which will make sure I can do all the travel I could imagine.

    Lucy @ Skeeter and Scout
    September 9, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    hahaha the best! I do lots of squats when I am stationary and not in public when I travel and always try and go for a run in new places. I run heaps when I am in NZ for work cause it is super rural and nothing else to do ha

    L x

    Clipping Path Outsource
    September 9, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    OOOha great!
    Love your rule to keep fit.

    September 9, 2014 at 10:57 am

    The best way to explore is on foot! I like to walk or bike around cities. You can’t see enough from the seat of a taxi!


    Jilli Joffe
    September 9, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Thanks for sharing! I, too, like to try and keep some type of fitness routine while traveling, as difficult as it can sometimes be. One thing I’ll do is to try and incorporate at least one physical activity into my day, to stay active without feeling like I’m wasting precious vacation time working out. For example, I went hiking before hitting the beach in Hawaii, and did paddle boarding in Mexico before reading on the beach. Even walking and taking in the sights is a good alternative to just hopping in a cab

    xx Jilli

    Marie King
    September 9, 2014 at 3:20 am

    I will definitely have to try out your routine. I find that I base my routine on where I am. I take a travel yoga mat on the go and have happened upon free classes once or twice. Going for a run or bicycling is also a great way to explore a new city or area. I spent some time recently bicycling trails in BC, Canada, and it was the highlight of my trip!

    September 9, 2014 at 2:41 am

    It’s so hard to stay healthy because of overindulging in the food of a country because you’re only there for a short period of time. I do try to walk as much as I can in a country and stay active, but these are great tips! I guess it’s just all about having a plan and sticking to it no matter what. If you make exercise a priority, it will become one.

    September 9, 2014 at 12:30 am

    Fit Sugar has some great printable bodyweight workouts – I just printed one to take with me to Peru!

    September 8, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you for this post!! These are excellent tips and Rule No. 3 is perfect for someone like me who doesn’t want to spend 2 hours in a gym but feels guilty afterwards… And that fail proof plan? I love it! <3

    September 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    Useful post and I think your first point is so important to remember – you need to decide what you want to get out of any exercise you do while abroad otherwise it will end up being all over the place!

    September 8, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    One thing to mention too is that if you visit the US, be aware of all the yummy unhealthy food that you wouldn’t come across in Europe! I spent 10 months across the pond and unfortunately managed to gain weight, despite my best efforts to pick the healthier options!

    Best holiday destinations
    September 8, 2014 at 3:24 pm

    Such a fantastic place. it seems to be lot of fun. thanks for posting nice views.

    September 8, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Love it! I always have had problems in the past with sticking to my workout routine while I’m traveling. Now I make a plan ahead of time and try my best to follow it. It doesn’t work everyday, but for the most part I’m pretty happy with the results.

    September 8, 2014 at 6:15 am

    Thanks Brooke! I love the last workout….both dancing and the guidelines 🙂 xx

    Meet me at:

    Bianca @itsallbee
    September 8, 2014 at 6:00 am

    Great tips. I normally travel with a jump robe. Easy to curry and you can incorporate the squats and so forth that you have mentioned.

    Yurts Living & Countryside Hideaways

    September 8, 2014 at 4:47 am

    Love it 🙂 especially the In The Bedroom workout because, even at home, we all have those days! Here’s some tips I had for eating healthy while away (albeit for a shorter time!):

    Stéphanie | Expeditie Aardbol
    September 8, 2014 at 3:51 am

    I think the stick to it-part is the most difficult. Especially when there is alcohol involved…

    September 8, 2014 at 3:38 am

    Great article! I love going for a jog while I travel.. it’s another way to explore the nature of the country!

    September 8, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Such a great post! I’m traveling around the world by myself and I find it’s really hard in cities to go for runs (especially Paris where no one works out in public) or to do outdoor cardio, so I bring workout DVDs with me and do them in my hotel room!! Tracy Anderson’s are the best…

    Clementine Buttercup
    September 8, 2014 at 2:59 am

    I walk, hire bikes and hike wherever I can. Daily yoga helps too!

  • Acscstud | Pearltrees
    September 8, 2014 at 12:53 am

    […] How to Keep Fit When You Travel – WORLD OF WANDERLUSTWORLD OF WANDERLUST. I’ll be the first to admit that staying fit when you travel long term is hard work! […]

    Kiara King
    September 8, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I’ll be the first one to admit that I always let my fitness and diet go on the wayside when I travel, and it even affects it when I’m back home as well – terrible I know! I’m definitely going to have to wake up a little earlier from now on and make the most of the gym. One thing I always do when I travel is try and walk everywhere as much as possible, which makes a huge difference!

    September 8, 2014 at 12:28 am

    I stick to your Rule number three as well. I find that going to the gym when you travelling is a. dull, b. waste of your time. Instead, we should take full advantage of our destinations, be that either walking for hours, hiking, horse-riding, etc!

    Michelle | Lights Camera Travel
    September 7, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    I find this the hardest thing of all when traveling. Planning ahead is key, and also to keep up healthy eating habits – but still allowing yourself the occasional splurge!

    September 7, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I’m starting my travels in Asia and, while I’m going to attempt to eat as healthy as possible, I’ve also made sure to incorporate many treks into my travel plans (Everest base camp anyone?). I’m hoping that’ll help keep me in at least someone decent shape!

    Amanda @ Positively Amanda
    September 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    Great tips 🙂

    September 7, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    Great tips but the last line is unbeatable. Dancing like no one is watching is probably the best and most fun workout ever!
    Have a lovely day.

  • Madelinefedmont@yahoo.con'
    September 7, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    It’s so hard to stay fit while traveling. Especially, when it’s a new country and I want to try their traditional cuisine. However, what works for me is to cut down on sweets and flour. You will feel much healthier when you eat a bowl of fruit rather than a piece of cake, or a bowl of buckwheat rather than pasta. Plus, I love doing yoga, so it also helps to stay in shape. Nice post!

    September 7, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    It’s indeed hard work 🙂 Nevertheless I thank you for the helpful and convincing tips 🙂
    xx from Germany/Bavaria, Rena