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How to Stay Fit While You Travel

Woman Running In The Beach At Sunset
Romolo Tavani/Shutterstock

Have you ever come back from vacation having packed on a few extra pounds? If so, you’re not alone! Many people see a vacation as a time to indulge and fall off their routine.

While you should enjoy your fair share of delicious food and drink while on vacation, you don’t have to say goodbye entirely to your pre-vacation levels of fitness. Making a few healthy choices and substitutions will help enjoy your travels while also feeling great.

Here are seven tips for staying healthy while on vacation.

Drink a Lot of Water

Our first tip for staying healthy while on the go is to drink a lot of water. Most of us can stand to drink more water even when we’re at home, but traveling can amplify dehydration, especially if you’re not thinking about maintaining healthy habits. It’s easy to forget to drink water when you’re checking out local tourist hot spots.

Drinking water can help keep your skin glowing and fresh, as well as fill you up so that you’re less tempted to snack. Bring a water bottle with you from home to refresh or buy some bottles from a local store if you’re visiting somewhere where the tap water isn’t safe to drink. If you get in the habit of carrying your water bottle with you, it’ll be easier to remember to drink it.

Opt for the Stairs

Taking the stairs is another piece of advice that’s useful for keeping fit no matter where you are, but can be extra helpful when traveling. While many tourist attractions have elevators or escalators to make their sights accessible to all, taking the stairs can help work your glutes and give you a quick cardio blast.

Rather than take the easy way up (or down), opt for the stairs!

Buy Groceries Instead of Eating Out

assorted raw organic vegetables
monticello/Shutterstock

One of the best parts of traveling is sampling all the delicious local cuisine. However, eating out all the time can cause you to lose fitness, fast. Rather than going to a restaurant for every meal, buying groceries can help you stay fit and feel better.

If you’re staying at a hotel, pop into a store to buy staples like yogurt and fruit that you can eat for breakfast or for snacks. If you’re staying at a rental house or AirBnB, you may have access to a kitchen, in which you can buy other fresh foods like eggs or vegetables to prepare. If you eat one or two fewer rich meals during the day, you’ll be better able to appreciate the meals where you do go out.

Walk Instead of Ride

These days, it’s easy to call an Uber or a Lyft if you don’t want to walk somewhere. While having a safe and convenient ride at the tip of your fingers certainly makes traveling either, opting to walk instead of ride can help you stay fit while traveling. As an added benefit, you’ll get to see and experience more places when you go on foot.

Do a Body Weight Workout

You don’t need a fancy gym or a ton of equipment to get a good workout in. Tons of good bodyweight workouts are a simple Google search away. If you prefer a more structured and interactive experience, apps like Daily Burn let you choose from thousands of different types of workouts, so you feel like you’re in a class from the comfort of your hotel room or Airbnb.

If you prefer to head outside, going for a run or walk can be a great way to get in a solid workout while also seeing a different side of your destination.

Check Out Local Gyms

young man and woman doing shoulder press squats at gym
Syda Productions/Shutterstock

If you do prefer to workout at a gym, most destinations have plenty of options. Many hotels have at least a small workout space that you can access. If your gym doesn’t have one, or you’re staying at an alternative accommodation, like an Airbnb or a relative’s house, you can likely get a visitor’s pass for a nearby gym. Many gyms offer daily or weekly passes for visitors.

Aim to Eat Healthy 80% of the Time

Indulging while you’re traveling is fun. You should get to taste and experience the amazing local food and drink. Aiming to eat healthy 80% of the time will help you enjoy the times you do indulge, while also feeling healthy and your pre-vacation levels of fitness.


You don’t have to lose your levels of fitness while you travel. If you make a few healthy choices, like taking the stairs or eating breakfast at home, you can have fun while also staying healthy.

Have we captured all of your favorite tips and tricks for staying healthy while traveling? Let us know in the comments.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females. Read Full Bio »

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