The Ultimate Guide to Working Out While Traveling

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Exercises To Go

Summer time…

The thought of memories and anticipation is what keeps you going all year long.  It’s the most exhilarating season when sunlight beams around you and the excitement of a getaway awaits you!

During this time, many people are out of their homes and traveling to see family, friends, or a new destination. This is all great, but it can often take over your usual fitness routine if you let it! Staying active can be easier than you think when traveling.

Working out on the road can be simple if you plan ahead and have options of things to do in the environment you’re in. The most important thing is to stay motivated and take care of yourself when on your getaway! Remember, life keeps going when you return to reality.

Here are some things to think about prior to your travels:

    1. Reset Your Expectations- Be realistic! You’re not likely to keep up with your full fitness regimen while on vacation, but doing something is better than nothing.
    2. Do Your Homework- Take some time to investigate the place and area you are traveling to. Discover what activities are offered that will help you get some exercise.
MapMyRun App in Spain!
MapMyRun App in Spain!
  1. Get Adventurous- There are many options to include fitness in your day. Plan to rent a bike, kayak, surfboard or rollerblades to explore and burn calories simultaneously.
  2. Come Prepared- Pack your bag with some workout gear and comfortable shoes. Then you have no excuse!
  3. Fitness & Travel Apps- Using a fitness app could keep you on track while away. Whether it’s for a running path, a quick workout, or a step counter, it can come in handy when you need extra motivation. 

Travel Trends, Ideas, and Tips

Here are some travel trends, ideas, and simple ways to keep healthy and active without spending too much time in the process.

Airport Workouts- 

    • Lugging that over-packed carry on can be a workout in itself! Use your luggage as training equipment by carrying, pulling, or lifting it as a weight.
    • Rather than sitting around people watching during a long connection, you can be the one people look at as you perform stationary exercises.
    • Taking a brisk walk or even a jog along airport corridors is ideal for a cardio workout, especially after a long flight. A quick 20 minute calorie blaster will help burn off some of the airport foods you’ve eaten!
    • Take the steps rather than stand on the escalators.  You’ll get there faster than those taking a ride. You’ll also burn more calories than walking and your heart rate will be soaring, especially with the extra luggage weight.
    • A lot of airports are getting healthy and creative with exercise options, too!  For example, Dallas/Fort Worth International has a walking path in Terminal D, San Francisco International has a yoga studio in Terminal 2, Philadelphia International has upright spinning bikes located periodically around the terminals, and many airports have day gyms/spas for a quick fix! Search online for to see what different airports offer!
Towel Workout in Barcelona, Spain
Towel Workout in Barcelona, Spain
  • Stretching post flight is very important. Try to do a few movements that help ward off sore or tight muscles.

Portable Equipment- Packing a few pieces of fitness equipment can be simple for a quick and effective workout wherever you are.  Some light weight and easily portable equipment may include; bands, jump ropes, a mat, a small inflatable ball, a TRX or ‘the stick’ to roll out tension/muscular tightness from fluid retention. A hand towel is my favorite exercise tool to use for a variety of strengthening and isometric exercises.

Side Planks in Athens, Greece!
Side Planks in Athens, Greece!

Body Weight Exercises- You are your own portable gym! Your own body weight can provide enough resistance to perform a quick and effective workout by performing specific functional movements. Some of these exercises include; varied push-ups, squats, lunges, planks, dips, leg lifts, crunches, calf raises, cardio drills, the list goes on! The best part about this is that you can do them literally anywhere you want!  You just need to have the knowledge of what to do and how to do it correctly.

Parks & Recreation Activities- You can always visit a local park to utilize the playground equipment for many exercises!  Each park usually has different recreational activities to partake in. I suggest always look into these options. The things you discover will amaze you and it could add to a special part of your trip.

Acro Yoga in New Orleans!
Acro Yoga in New Orleans!
  • For example, New Orleans is a great city in itself to visit and take in the fun festivities, but most visitors don’t know that there is an amazing park just a few miles away from the French Quarter that is interesting and beautiful to explore for a day! The City Park, New Orleans contains art museums, biking, botanical gardens, a driving range, trails, kayaking, SUP (stand up paddle boarding), restaurants, multiple sports fields, and its border connects to one of the largest wetlands along the Gulf Coast in the US, Lake Pontchartrain. There are many hidden gems in every place you travel to- so check them out!

Healthy Hotels- Depending where you stay, certain hotels have a gym, offer a complimentary pass to a nearby one, or have the option to get equipment in your room to perform your own exercises or to do workout on demand from your room.

  • Most hotels have a walking/jogging path or can assist you to plan a good route. This way, you can get a good feel for the area, see the sights, and cover more ground!
  • There are trending hotel groups that have rooms designed for staying fit during the visit including a coat rack that can be used as a pull-up bar or even a treadmill in your room… of course for an extra cost… but how cool is that?!  Most people aren’t going on vacation to workout, but remember, convenience makes consistency to keep you on track!
Canyoning in Jordan!
Canyoning in Jordan!

See & Do Activities- There are companies that help plan your sight-seeing itinerary and can include fitness in the mix. Depending on your vacation, some tours could include biking, rollerblading, swimming, kayaking, hiking, circus tricks or even special classes to try. The more options you research before you travel, the better the chances you add these excursions on your trip. Check out Global Basecamps for planning an amazing seeing and doing vacation.

Running in the Bahamas!
Running in the Bahamas!



Tour by Foot- One of my absolute favorite things to do when I get to a new city is to explore by foot. I plan a route and take off running/power walking to discover what my surroundings are. The next day, I cover a different area. By the time I leave my destination, I feel like I know the city well.

Get Local-
Everywhere in the world is a good place to explore, experience, and get some exercise, too. Wherever you may be, I suggest checking local travel guides for trails to get fresh air and a good workout.

Biking in Thailand!
Biking in Thailand!

In my travel experiences, I like to ask locals for the top things to do, see, and eat while visiting their area. I get a map and circle the hot spots, the ‘must sees’ and ‘dos’ as well as include some favorite local food joints. Then, I combine my plans with the local’s perspectives and put a day’s journey into action!

So get local when you travel. Submerge yourself into a different culture and do what the locals do. It can really be a fun way to experience a new place.

Stay Consistent and Don’t Skip Your Workouts While Traveling

Staying consistent with your workout routine is so important. If you let yourself slip even just a bit, excuses start to pile up and stop you from spending even a little bit of time working on your fitness. That said, you can get an effective workout by doing continual movement for just 10-15 minutes before starting your day’s journey. It’s all about consistency for your body to continually stay in a routine. This is what achieves results.

Traveling or taking a little trip away is often used as an excuse to take a vacation from your workouts, too! It’s nice to give your body a day or two off to recover from tough workouts, but I would not suggest taking more than two days in a row off! If you’ve been consistently working out, then decided to take time off, it tends to become too hard to get back on a schedule. This could result in the possibility to slowly drift into other things that occupy your workout time. So before skipping out on your workout, remember how good it feels when you’re muscles are well conditioned.

T.S.A.: Travel, Strength, & Aerobics

Band Workout in Hong Kong
Band Workout in Hong Kong

Before jet setting away on your next adventure, take time to prepare your T.S.A. plans. Packing small portable equipment (bands, a travel mat, rolling stick). These are affordable travel options that can easily fit into your bag without taking up precious luggage space! Even if you don’t want to pack equipment, just knowing a few cardio drills and bodyweight exercises for strength is a sufficient way to train and travel!


Fast & Effective Workouts While Traveling

Listed below are a variety of specific exercises that you can do effectively and anywhere with or without equipment.

Reps & Sets will vary depending on YOU! 

(I always strive for 10-15 reps, 2 sets)


3 cardio warm-up 

  1. Squat Jacks
  2. Jump Lunges
  3. Jump Thrust Squat

6 strength 

  1. Planks (hands & forearms)
  2. Push-ups (vary hand positions)
  3. Squats (vary leg stances)
  4. Lunges (vary lunge angle)
  5. Crunches (variety)
  6. Superman


  1. Outer Thigh Lifts (outer thighs)
  2. Arm Circles (shoulders, biceps, triceps, & core)
  3. Squat & Press (shoulders, arms, hips, glutes, quads, hamstrings)


  1. Lat Pull Downs (upper & middle back area, arms)
  2. Tricep Presses (triceps/back of the arms)
  3. Over Head & Waist Stretch (shoulders, chest, core, & upper/lower back)

*Please refer to the video to see a quick demo of each exercise.

Make your next travel adventure one that meets your desires and suits your fitness needs. No matter where you travel to, there are places, equipment, and exercises to help you stay on track. You can have the best of all worlds by traveling, training, and obtaining the fitness goals you desire!

The world is your oyster so go have fun exploring it and staying fit!

Best on your travels,


P.S. Travel and training are two of my favorite things in life. I was fortunate to travel the world and took my fitness with me. As a result, I filmed and produced an exercise series called “The City Series.” Each workout is different and showcases an amazing destination in our world! Please check them out at

I also have shorter exercise clips from destinations around the globe! Visit my YouTube channel!  (

Maria Sollon

Maria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Enhancement/Injury Prevention and Kinesiology. She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques and Kettlebells. She is the creator of the Plyo Pilates Method and has developed a series of amazing workout DVDs. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, Peak Pilates, Kettle Bell Concepts and is a freelance writer for Fitness accredited magazines, newsletters, and fitness blog sites. Maria demonstrates her knowledge each day and uses her dynamic creativity throughout her specialized line of work. (purchasable workout videos) (workout clips)

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