How To Keep Up Your Fitness Routine While You Travel

There may be no place like home, but sometimes there’s also no place like a beach cottage, or a remote mountain cabin, or a new city with different cuisine you’re excited to explore. When you’re away from home, your fitness routine might be the last thing on your mind (and that’s okay!), but if you’re someone who wants to keep up with your workouts even when you’re not close to your workout equipment, there are a few practical and easy things you can do to ensure you don’t lose a step. And don’t worry, none of them involve a sad hotel gym with two lonely sets of dumbbells and one broken treadmill!

3 Tips For Staying Fit When You’re Away From Home

Travel Fitness Routine Tip 1: Packable Fitness Equipment

You’re definitely not going to be throwing your kettlebells in your carry-on for your week away the beach, but there are other options that are much lighter and far more packable, and will give you a great workout.


Small resistance bands are super-easy to pack in your suitcase and are great for a versatile strengthening workout that hits both your upper and lower body. Plus, they’re so small and light that you can pack multiple bands for different levels of resistance. And, as personal trainer Sivan Fagan points out, “they’re low impact, so they’re great for someone coming back from injury.”

Mini-bands work because they put your muscles under tension for a prolonged period of time, which is important for building muscle. When you’re designing your mini-band workout, consider adding these exercises to your workout for a well-rounded, full-body session:

  • Glute bridge with abduction
  • Side-lying abduction
  • Squat
  • Clock tap
  • Glute kickback
  • Lat pulldown
  • Plank jacks
  • Overhead press
  • Single-arm row
  • Shoulder external rotation

Resistance Bands

Resistance bands are like a big rubber band with handles on the end. They’re extremely versatile and super effective. And, of course, they’re lightweight and easy to pack for travel. But don’t be fooled by their simplicity. The strength gains you can get from incorporating resistance bands into your away-from-home workout is similar to what you would get using conventional gym equipment.

As exercise physiologist Christopher Travers says, “Resistance bands might not look like much, but they can strengthen your muscles as effectively as traditional weights. In many ways, bands put more tension on your muscles and work them longer during movements.” Like any other piece of exercise equipment, you want to make sure that you’re using resistance bands properly to avoid injury and capitalize on their muscle-building capabilities. Maintain proper form and posture, and check your bands for wear and tear to make sure they don’t snap while you’re working out.

When you’re choosing the right resistance band for your workout, you need to know that the bands come in different levels of resistance. They’re often color-coded with the shade of the band indicating the level of tension – lighter bands offer less tension and tension increases as bands get darker. Choose higher resistance bands for exercises that require more strength.

While you’re designing your resistance band travel workout, consider adding these moves to your circuit:

  • Bicep curls
  • Wood choppers
  • Tricep kickbacks
  • Bent over rows
  • Pull-aparts and overhead pull-aparts
  • Overhead presses

Jump Rope

If it’s been a while since you used a jump rope, you’re not alone. Most people probably haven’t touched a jump rope since their middle school playground days. But you might have noticed them making a comeback lately for their ability to give a great workout. Plus, they’re budget-friendly, compact pieces of fitness equipment that travel easily.

Certified personal trainer Kira Stokes says, “Jumping rope isn’t just a straight cardiovascular workout,” she explains. “It works your arms, shoulders, legs, and core. If you keep your core engaged, it’s truly a full body workout.” And, if you’re doing it at a good pace, it’s considered vigorous intensity. Stokes explains, “What you would call a normal pace for jumping rope — or one that you should try to maintain — is clearing the rope 80 times in a minute,” says Stokes. “[That pace] is like running an eight-minute mile.” In addition to the cardiovascular benefits, jumping rope can also benefit you by improving your coordination and bone density.

Finding the right jump rope for your height is key to keeping the right form during your workout. A good rule of thumb is to take your height and add three feet to figure out the ideal length jump rope. While you’re jumping rope, you want to be focused on engaging your entire body, not focused on a rope that’s too long or short getting in your way.

When you’re incorporating the jump rope into your travel workout routine, you don’t have to think about adding in a ton of tricks or fancy footwork. In fact, doing the standard two-foot jump is a great jump rope workout, and if you combine it with mini-bands and resistance bands, you’ll supercharge your away from home fitness training.

Travel Fitness Routine Tip 2: Travel Training Plan

If you feel a little lost when it comes to creating a full-body workout on your own, working with a certified personal trainer is a great solution. There are tons of benefits that come with having a personal trainer.

  1. A personal trainer will help motivate you and keep you accountable to your fitness plan.
  2. If you’re healing from an injury or just getting back into a fitness routine, a personal trainer will design workouts for your fitness level. Plus, they’ll make sure you have the proper form so you don’t injure or re-injure yourself.
  3. For people who can get bored with the same old workout, working with a personal trainer can get your excited to exercise again. A trainer will customize your workout to ensure it incorporates a variety of exercises that keep you engaged and looking forward to your next session.

And, if you’re working with a personal trainer, they can create “homework” workouts or workouts designed for traveling that rely on packable fitness equipment like resistance bands, mini-bands, or jump ropes, or ones that focus only on body weight resistance exercises. Either way, your trainer can make sure you’re getting a complete workout when you’re away from home so that you don’t miss a beat when you get back to your next session.

Travel Fitness Routine Tip 3: Online Training

For some people, it doesn’t matter if you have the best travel workout plan designed by the best personal trainer. Getting motivated to workout on your own just isn’t in your DNA. And that’s okay! Because no matter where you are traveling in the world, you probably have internet access, and that allows you to do online training with a certified personal trainer.

Scheduling time for online training with your trainer in advance of your travels will keep you accountable and committed to your away from home workouts. Plus, you’ll get the benefit of continuity by staying in your routine with your trainer while you’re traveling. When you plan ahead of time, your trainer will be able to make sure you have the right equipment wherever you are, and they can guide you through an online workout while you’re there. The only extra piece of fitness equipment you’ll need is your laptop, phone, or other device, and let’s be honest, you’re most definitely bringing that anyway!

Travel Fitness Routine Tip 4: Work fitness into your travels

Depending on where you’re traveling to and when you’re going, there are likely plenty of fitness options you can work in to your time away. Maybe that’s actually the point of your trip to begin with!

If you’re hitting the road (or skies…or water) to hike challenging mountains, run a road race in a new place, or ski some new terrain, you’re already ahead of the game in terms of your travel fitness routine. If the purpose of your trip isn’t for sport or adventure, you can still work fitness into your travel.

If you can carve out some downtime, scope out a new golf course you can play even if it’s just a quick 9 holes. Or, do a little bit of internet sleuthing to find a local running club and join them for a few miles. You might even find that when you’re a tourist with plenty of free time, you pile on the miles walking around a new place, taking in new sights without even planning to.

No matter where your travels take you, there are plenty of ways to stay in your fitness routine while you’re away from home. And if time gets away from you, don’t stress. Just refocus when you get home and get back into your regular routine.

If you’re looking to keep up your fitness routine while you’re traveling and need some help, reach out to us. Inspire Fitness Training Studio’s certified personal trainers in Arlington, MA will work with you to design a customized plan just for you. Call us at 781-643-0002 or email us at [email protected] for details.

Joe Rindone, NCPT is a certified personal trainer and the Founder of Inspire Fitness Studio in Arlington, MA. Joe’s passion for fitness has motivated him to become one Greater Boston’s best personal trainers. An athlete throughout high school and college, Joe has always enjoyed being active. Currently he enjoys road races, working with his boxing coach, kettlebell training and getting out for a round of golf in his spare time. Joe has earned many fitness and nutrition certifications including a Titleist Performance Institute Level 2 certification and he is CrossFit L1 Certified.