Tips for Working Out When You’re on Vacation

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If you’re looking to get some sunshine and a rejuvenating trip away after a long school season or a tough few months of work (the pandemic has definitely caused some work stress and fluctuations, I’d say!), exercise is probably the furthest from your mind.

Yet, while you may not want to do grueling workout sessions when you’re taking some time away from rest and recovery, you can still find ways to exercise when on vacation—and in forms that will feel more like a fun activity as opposed to a workout session. You likely won’t even realize you’re working out as long as it’s enjoyable or gets you to explore a new area.

So, don’t forget to pack those sneakers and a few sets of gym clothes (or even travel-friendly equipment if you want) in your bag. You will be able to put them to use without sacrificing a level of “fun” and “freedom” on your trip.

Plus, you’ll likely feel better settling back into real life once back if you were able to stick to somewhat of a fitness routine—there’s no way you’re letting all that good vacation food go to waste (nor should you). Here are a few tips to get you moving.

Come Prepared

Whether you have access to a gym where you’re staying matters, so be sure to look that up first upon arriving. If there are weights and cardio machines, you can surely find time to squeeze in a workout.

If not, come prepared with what you might need for your trip. Think: resistance bands, booty bands, or even small weights depending on how you’re traveling and the amount of weight you use. And of course, workout clothes and sneakers are a must. A tip? Pack your favorite outfits—you’ll be more inclined to wear them and workout!


Have a Good Playlist

Make sure you have a few killer playlists on hand so you can get in the fitness mood fast with some happy, motivating vibes. Start listening to the playlists a few days or so before your trip to create an association between the songs and your workout, if that’s helpful to you.

You’ll work out simply because you want the opportunity to listen to these tunes. Either way, the music will keep you in the zone during your workout and get you to the finish line.

Find Activities Outside Your Norm

A great way to increase motivation to workout is to choose activities that are outside your normal fitness routine or that don’t feel like a workout, but more so a fun, active adventure that you can do in your spare time for pleasure.

A few examples might be bike riding or taking a tour in the area, water sports like water skiing, surfing or kayaking, tennis or golf, the latter two which are especially fun for a spring or summertime vacation as the weather is warm. Most people find tennis and golf to be a form of leisure or a hobby—you’re still burning calories, so it’s technically a good workout!

If you happen to be visiting parents or grandparents and they’ve been quarantined away from you for a long time, it’s a safe bet that they’ve got some chores that require a more able-bodied person to help out with. So don’t be afraid of helping them rake leaves, do yard work or chip in with a construction project that they’ve put off for a rainy day. Simple chores are a great way to raise the heart rate and you get to feel good knowing you’re lending a helping hand to family.


Recruit a Buddy

If you can’t find the urge to exercise when on a trip, find a workout buddy to hold you accountable but also to help pass the time and make the workout more fun. You can ask someone you’re traveling with to join you. A tip—travel with people who are more compatible in terms of lifestyle and hobbies when possible.

But if you’re solo or your company isn’t as active as you are, approach someone working out at the gym or in a class you’re at and make a friend for future sweat dates during your stay. We all have to work on our social skills anyway!