The Best Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling

The Best Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling

It can be HARD to prioritize working out and staying healthy while traveling. After all, most of us are traveling as a vacation, to indulge in local cuisine, and take a break from our daily routines (including the gym.) But for many (like for me), it’s a part of their lifestyle they want to stay consistent with! I’m going to dive into the best tips to stay fit while traveling.

Let me start by saying there is nothing wrong with indulging while traveling! Prioritize your happiness and experience first!

If you’re interested in keeping up a fitness routine while traveling then these are some of the best fitness, diet, and general lifestyle hacks and tips to stay fit while traveling. You can incorporate them into your day whether you are traveling for work or leisure, in hotels or Airbnbs.

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Lifestyle Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling

Wake Up Early

I know personally, I always feel most productive and ready to conquer my day by waking up early to workout and boost my energy.

Especially in a new place, you will almost always find the most peaceful and quiet beauty in the early morning hours. It’s a great way to see the city or destination before it’s crowded with people!

Waking up early to workout also frees up the rest of your day for the exploring.

The only issue could be your jet-lag! But rest up a bit and then power through, you won’t be sorry!

Find a Good Space

A lot of the problem when trying to workout while traveling is finding where to do it! If you don’t have access to a gym, the next best places are open areas like public parks.

I find putting in the effort to just step outside and workout leaves me much more motivated. If I stay inside, I’ll likely keep making excuses to stay in bed and delay a workout.

Walk More and Skip Public Transportation

This is one of the best tips to stay fit while traveling! Since you’re probably doing a lot of sightseeing, chances are you are covering a lot of ground in your itinerary!

In that case, save money on public transportation and burn calories by choosing to walk between destinations!

The great thing is, there are so many blog posts and guides to walking tours in different cities! So turn on that step tracker and watch the calories burn off even while traveling!

Drink Lots of Water

There are so many reasons to drink tons of water while you are traveling! Water refuels and nourishes your body. It’s also often cheaper.

Try out a collapsable water bottle to help reduce the use of plastic and save room in your suitcase!

Track and Balance Your Calories

Chances are you are not going to know exactly the amount of calories that are in your meals while you are traveling. But tracking what calories you can help you feel more organized and aware of what’s going into your body. It could prevent you from going way off the rails from your goal!

Try to track what calories you can so you can see what days you could use to balance out the others where you didn’t eat as well. I always use MyFitnessPal to track!

But at the end of the day, you’re traveling and you should enjoy your food! Don’t be discouraged if you overeat by a lot one day. Just use the next day to eat better and balance out those calories!

Fitness Tips to Stay Fit While Traveling

The best tips to stay fit while traveling are going to be about how to adapt your regular gym workouts to what you have available to you on the go. Here are my favorite resources, useful travel fitness items, and options for travel workouts!

Do Fitness-Oriented Activities

Hikes are a great way to enjoy your destination and stay active!

Just like walking instead of using public transportation lends itself to being more active while traveling, so does doing fitness-oriented activities!

Obviously it will depend on your location, but activities as basic as swimming and as advanced as intense hiking all help to keep you more active while traveling.

Bodyweight Training/Fitness Apps

Obviously to work out, all you really need is yourself! There are so many resources for effective bodyweight workouts from HIIT to dance cardio.

Some of my favorite workout resources for bodyweight training are Whitney Simmons on Youtube/Instagram, the Nike Training Club App, as well as Six Pack Promise.

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are the best way to get in any kind of resistance/strength training to stay fit while traveling because they are SO light to pack!

Access to dumbbells is most likely not possible, so bands are the perfect, travel-friendly equipment to actually add resistance to a workout. They are a great substitute to your strength training routine when on the go.

Plus, they are inexpensive! I use these exact bands.

Check out more travel-friendly workout essentials!


There are several reasons I have grown to love running! (And believe me I used to hate it. Even now, three miles is my limit!)

  • One, it burns a lot of calories in not a lot of time.
  • Two, it’s great for building up your endurance. I’ve totally noticed that incorporating steady-state cardio in the form of running has helped me with my overall endurance through my strength workouts.
  • Three, it’s a fantastic way to enjoy your destination! We travel for food, for culture, but we mostly travel for beautiful sites. That’s why we gawk at photos of beautiful places!

Running along the Arno River in Florence, Italy, or in a small Swiss village at the foot of the Alps gives you an amazing perspective and moment to take in your stunning surroundings.

It could be a jog, a walk – in any case, I highly recommend to get your body moving and having that personal interaction with your travel destination.

Hotel Gyms

Of course, if you’ve got a gym, use it! If working out is super important to you, add gym as a search filter when you’re looking for stays.

Hotel gyms usually have limited equipment and are quite small, so ask to find out what the least busy times are to get an effective workout.

Gym Membership Transfer

If you’re traveling around the US or where there are international chains of gyms, there could be the chance that your membership will transfer! Check into your gym brand, your type of membership, and their locations!

Diet Tips To Stay Fit While Traveling

Don’t feel bad about enjoying food while you travel!

When it comes to traveling, food is mine, and probably everyone’s, guilty pleasure. We travel to experience the local cuisines of the places we visit! So I fully support indulging in that.

But if you are looking for the best tips to stay fit while traveling (and I know you are if you are here), then here’s some simple guidelines to stay mindful about your food, but still enjoy it!

Protein & Veggies At Every Meal

Find balance in your meals. One day, order that delicious pizza! The next day, opt for the grilled chicken and veggies!

Adequate protein is essential for muscle building, and we all know veggies are low calorie, high volume foods – which means you can eat a lot of them and feel full without eating hundreds of calories.

These two aspects on your plate are going to keep your meals healthier and more filling.

Intermittent Fasting

Something you can use to control your calorie intake while traveling is intermittent fasting. I personally wouldn’t dive straight into fasting, but rather listen to your appetite.

For me, I am used to having breakfast later in the day after working out. So, while traveling, I don’t mind skipping breakfast most days and waiting a bit later to eat.

You can also be mindful of putting a curfew on your eating. I personally find if I start to eat food late at night, I can’t stop (it’s when all of my cravings kick in!)

Cook If You Can

Of course, cooking will always be healthier than eating out! That’s because you can completely control the calories, the ingredients, and the portions of what you are making.

You may not have access to a kitchen, so no worries if not. Use the other tips! But if you’re staying at an Airbnb or at a hotel with a kitchenette, then opt to cook some of your meals during your stay. It can be more convenient and economical as well.

Order Less To Control Portions

Portions are something you can’t control at restaurants. You could resist to finish your whole plate to be mindful of your calories.

However, something that I feel is mentally more healthy than saying you shouldn’t eat your whole plate is to start with a smaller meal to control portion sizes. This is also one of my favorite budget travel tips!

Order less food at first, then order more if you are still hungry! Often I overestimate how much food I need to feel full, especially if I’m sitting down to eat and I’m super hungry.

You can save money and save calories if you consider how much food to order at first to fill you up!

For more budget food travel tips, check out my ultimate list of budget travel secrets!

Final Thoughts

When it comes to these tips to stay fit while traveling, do what feels right to you. If you want to ignore working out and indulge in all the delicacies your heart desires, then go for it!

And don’t feel guilty about it! Eating and experiencing new things is all a part of traveling and sometimes our gym routine and our macros and our calories don’t fit into that. Don’t worry and enjoy where you are!

Don’t forget to save these tips to Pinterest!

Enjoy the moment, be happy, and travel often, loves!



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Michela is a travel writer and photographer living in northern Italy. She is passionate about helping people make the most of their travels by sharing advice gained from her personal experiences, off-the-beaten-path destinations and time-saving quick itineraries. Browse her top articles or have her help you plan your itinerary to your dream destination!

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