Last Updated on February 23, 2022
Reaching a fitness goal can be hard enough in your daily life. What about when you have a vacation coming up? Or maybe you’re a digital nomad with fitness goals but lacking a routine. Luckily, there are easy ways you can make fitness work for you while you’re traveling. Incorporate my best tips for staying fit while traveling with these travel-friendly workout essentials and you will be crushing those goals without sacrificing your love for travel!
These essentials are packing-friendly so that you’ll be able to maximize your suitcase space and avoid any overweight baggage fees (you won’t find dumbbells on this list!)
In addition to these essentials, make sure you don’t forget to pack anything else! Check out my curated packing guides for girls on the go, photographers, and specific destinations in mind!
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Of all the travel-friendly workout essentials, equipment that is lightweight, durable, and challenging enough is the hardest to find. Here are some options you may haven’t thought about before.
Exercise bands have become more and more popular as a flexible workout equipment option. There are two main types that are travel-friendly.
Round, hip circle bands are more apt for leg workouts. They provide different levels of resistance and take up minimal space. They are also inexpensive! I always use my Perfect Peach Bands.
If you don’t want the round, hip circle exercise bands, you can also opt for resistance bands with handles. These types of bands are more versatile. You can use them with your body weight or the environment around you to create more exercises.
For example, go to a park and wrap this type of band around a sturdy tree trunk to be able to do lat pulls or cable squats.
Their versatility is perfect for traveling, since you are constantly on the move, potentially between accommodations. You need to have equipment that is adaptable to different environments!
Want to do a cardio, but hate running? I’m part of that club too. I’ve always tried to run while on vacation or traveling full time, and even the beautiful surroundings can’t convince me I’m a runner!
Taking along a lightweight cable jump rope is a perfect way to switch up your cardio while traveling. Taking up virtually no space, it can fit anywhere in your suitcase and even in a backpack if you’re out and about during the day. Jump roping for an extended period of time is not easy, so it’s a great travel-friendly, challenging cardio exercise!
Travel Yoga Mat
Having a mat to exercise on is a luxury that you miss when you’re trying to workout in new surroundings. Not having one limits a lot of kinds of exercises you can do.
Luckily the world recognized our need for a thin and lightweight yoga mat for our suitcases! And at under $20 it doesn’t break the budget for trip prep.
Bring your yoga mat outside to a park to avoid laying in dirt or workout on the hotel room floor without breaking your back doing an ab routine! It’s an essential accessory to your at-home workout, so why would you skip it when you’re traveling?
Working out while you travel is made easier by having a few paramount accessories packed in your bag. Trust me, you’ll be thankful for packing these small extras.
Running Waist Pack
I know I’m calling it a running waist pack and I’ve already exposed my distaste for running, but I have a greater distaste for the word “fanny pack” so just let me have this one!
Truthfully, this waist pack can be used to do whatever exercise you’d like. Due to the lack of pockets in women’s clothing, a waist pack has become one of my favorite travel-friendly workout essentials. It’s inexpensive and made of a durable neoprene material that doesn’t get dirty.
Use it outside while walking, hiking, running, or biking to hold your phone, headphone case, hotel room key, or car keys. It’s the perfect functional and lightweight accessory to give you more flexibility in where you can exercise.
Everyone loves listening to music when they exercise, so bluetooth headphones are essential. You’ll probably have already packed these, as it’s an essential for flights, as well.
Just make sure that your headphones will connect with your phone in a foreign country on your phone plan. If you don’t have WiFi, make sure you have songs downloaded to your phone and not just on your cloud, otherwise, you won’t have access to them.
Collapsible Water Bottle
One of the best travel essentials in general, as well as travel-friendly workout essential, is a collapsible water bottle.
There are so many benefits to traveling with one, both personal and environmental. It also conveniently folds so you can easily fit it into the nooks and crannies of your luggage.
It also comes with a hook that you can attach to your waist pack while exercising.
Yes, sometimes I exercise just because I’m obsessed with a cute workout outfit. There’s no better place to wear one than a new gym (or in our case, new destination) and show it off to everyone around!
The problem with taking workout clothes along with us when we travel is they usually have a single-use. When we are trying to save space while packing, the best strategy is to always pack multifunctional items! So, the idea of it goes against our natural inclinations of what we should pack.
Instead, I’m going to suggest you some flexible options for your workout wardrobe that can hopefully find their place in other parts of your vacation closet.
Flexible Sports Bra
When choosing a travel-friendly sports bra, steer away from those with bulky padding or zippers. Of course, everyone’s need for support in a sports bra is different, but if you can opt for sports bras with thinner cups and light cloth material, then go for it.
If you can bring a sports bra with no cups at all, that’s the best option! It will be the most flexible for packing since the lack of padding will make it easy to fold thin.
It’s also easier to wash sports bras that don’t have cups since you don’t have a chance of losing them in the wash.
Versatile Leggings & Tops
The one pair of pants that is in every suitcase I pack is my black Lululemon leggings. Why? Because they are the most universal bottoms I own.
Being comfortable, neutral-colored, and multifunctional, they are a no-brainer for any trip. I can wear them to work out if I feel like it, but if I don’t, then they still have a use to me either in a casual day outfit or an adventure travel experience.
When deciding on workout outfits, skip your floral patterned workout leggings or your windbreaker runner shorts. The truth is those clothes probably don’t serve you any other purpose than for working out. Don’t waste precious space in your suitcase!
The same idea applies to workout tops: choose fabrics that are thin and light that you could use in other outfits during your travels. Plain white tees can work over a sports bra or under a leather jacket in a night out. They could also be layered under a sweater if it gets cold.
I think you’ve got the idea now!
Comfortable Walking Shoes
You should always travel with at least one pair of supportive and comfortable sneakers. Depending on your destination, you may be walking a lot outside of exercising, so it pays off to choose substance over style in that case.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve chosen style over comfort in my shoes and ended up with aching, bruised feet!
Everyone’s idea of a comfortable shoe is personal to them. Mine will always be my beloved Ultraboost!
Final Thoughts & Extra Tips
Exercising while traveling is no easy task. There is so much you want to see and do that working out doesn’t have to be on the top of your mind!
These travel-friendly workout essentials are meant to help make it easier and more feasible for you workout, if you want to!
Some of my extra tips for working out while traveling are:
- Implement exercising and movement in your daily activities while you travel if you don’t want to spend a dedicated time working out. Walk more and take less public transportation!
- To make it easier to workout, find your own space. Have a dedicated part of the room you use to workout or go to a park and exercise in fresh air!
- Download easily accessible apps with workout routines or have some routines saved on your phone for fresh ideas! It’s harder to make yourself workout when you don’t have an idea of what to do, so being prepared with a few ideas will help you push yourself!
Staying fit while traveling isn’t the easiest thing to stay committed too – I hope these resources help you reach your fitness goals!
What are your favorite travel-friendly workout essentials?
Keep smashing your goals while you travel and enjoy working out in spectacular places around the world! In its own way, it’s an exciting and interesting way to experience a new place!