6 Travel Tips to Stay in Shape on Summer Vacation

The central purpose of most summer vacations is to relax and unwind from life’s many stressors. But for those who work hard to stay in shape, it’s important to be able to relax, while also maintaining your health and fitness. Fortunately, it’s possible to strike a balance with a few simple adjustments to your itinerary. Just follow these six  healthy travel tips from our team of health and wellness experts:

1. Find a Gym within Walking Distance

6 Travel Tips to Stay in Shape on Summer Vacation - Gym within Walking Distance
Being able to walk to the gym is extremely helpful for those trying to stay in shape on vacation. The close proximity to the gym gives you the freedom to workout at any time, opening up your schedule for other fun-filled activities. Whether you want to take a hike, go for a helicopter ride or have a taste of the local cuisine, you can adjust your workouts to accommodate your main priorities – fun and relaxation.

If you’re staying at a hotel, check to make sure your selection has plenty of equipment and flexible hours. Luckily, the task shouldn’t be too tough, as hotels are focusing on offering more health and fitness amenities these days. However, if you’re renting a home, you may need to search the area for a nearby gym or inquire with the owner about on-site amenities.

2. Bring Travel-Size Workout Equipment

6 Travel Tips to Stay in Shape on Summer Vacation
If your destination of choice doesn’t have a convenient gym nearby, consider investing in travel-sized workout equipment. Luckily, there are plenty of convenient, cost-effective options that fit the bill.

If you’re looking for a quality core workout, suspension training equipment options, such as the TRX or CrossCore, offer a multitude of exercise options to keep your routine from getting stale while you’re away. But if you’re searching for a more reasonably priced option, basic resistance bands, jump ropes or even water-filled weights may be more up your alley.

3. Perform Bodyweight Exercises

Women Performing a Lunge While Traveling Abroad
For those who don’t want to invest in travel-size exercise equipment, bodyweight training could be your next best bet. Bodyweight exercises (e.g., planks, burpees) are an ideal travel-friendly alternative to traditional weight training (e.g., weighted squats, bench press). While they yield less potential strength and power benefits than traditional weight training, they offer comparable overall fitness benefits. What’s more, performing an equipment-free routine means you can take your workout with you anywhere.

While you don’t need equipment, you may want to invest in a yoga mat to perform your workouts on. That way, no matter your destination you can perform your workout overlooking one of your destination’s top scenic spots, without worrying about getting sand, grass or dirt all over yourself. What’s more, there’s no shortage of bodyweight workouts to try out! From core exercises (e.g., planks, crunches) to full-body exercises (e.g., burpees, squats), you can effectively train your entire body.

4. Take a Hike!

6 Travel Tips to Stay in Shape on Summer Vacation - Hawaiian Hike
A quality hike can take you beyond the pamphlets and guided tours to parts unknown. Whether you’re carving your way up a mountain or cruising along a coastal path, exploring new areas is one of the most enjoyable and relaxing healthy travel tips on this list.

What’s more, hiking offers many health-related benefits that can help you stay in shape while you’re out of town. Just one hour of hiking can burn 360 to 532 per hour. Hiking through nature also offers its fair share of mental health benefits. In fact, studies show that outdoor activities, like hiking, can help reduce anxiety and mental fatigue. [1] [2] [3]

5. Join a Group Fitness Class

Men and Women Taking Group Fitness Class
Group fitness classes are a simple, pre-packaged way to stay in shape as you travel. Most classes allow you to simply show up and participate – no equipment or experience required! It’s super convenient and saves you the time it takes to shop for a travel-friendly piece of equipment and put together a vacation-friendly workout routine.

Sounds ideal, right? Well, there is a downside to relying on group fitness classes, as options can vary depending on your destination. So, you’ll want to scope out the local area for a class that’s close before relying on this option. You’ll also want to make sure the type of class you choose (e.g., indoor cycling, yoga) suits your personality and preferred workout style. After all, if you’re used to a serene workout environment, and instead you walk into a jam-packed, high-intensity cycling class, you likely won’t enjoy yourself.

Need help selecting a class? Click here to check out our guide to group fitness classes.

6. Use Public Transit (if available)

Women Waiting for Subway While Traveling
One of the most overlooked hidden healthy travel tips is to actively use the local public transit system. Research shows that the use of public transit (e.g., subways, buses, trains) leads to an overall increase in daily activity. As such, taking public transit when you travel is an easy way to sneak in a decent chunk of active hours. [4] [5]

What’s more, public transit is an easy way to see places and people you wouldn’t otherwise encounter! Traveling side-by-side and interacting with the locals will give you a far more intimate cultural experience than driving from point-A to point-B in a rental car or taxi. Just be sure to research the transit systems in advance, as many require a map and prepaid card.


[1] www.health.harvard.edu
[2] www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/
[3] www.doi.org
[4] www.cdc.gov/healthyplaces/
[5] www.sciencedirect.com

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written by

James Gardikas

James Gardikas

Contributing Writer