How to Stay in Shape When Traveling

How do you squeeze in a workout when you’re traveling and miles away from your gym? If you have the will, there’s always a way!

January 11, 2013

By Martin Dasko

You’re about to hit the road. You’re ready to get away for a bit. You have your usual pre-trip jitters and that’s normal. But something feels odd. As excited as you are to escape reality or just to get away for a bit, there’s something missing.

How will you stay in shape when away from home? Being a fitness enthusiast you don’t want to fall behind, you don’t want your hard work to go to waste and you certainly don’t want to get out of shape. You just want to enjoy yourself on vacation. Is this possible? 100%! Let’s get started!

You will need to bring:

Resistance bands. You can buy a bunch of resistance bands (different levels) at any fitness store. These are easy to carry and bring around with you.
Your supplements (depending on what they are). I always bring my multi-vitamins and Omega 3’s with me when I travel.
Shorts/something comfortable. You don’t have to bring any fancy workout gear. I would just advise you bring a comfortable pair of shorts/shirt so that you don’t have any excuses.

What sort of training can you do on the road?

Over the last few years all sorts of home-based training programs have hit the market. The beauty of this is that these are workouts that you can perform from anywhere. You just need to load up your videos and modify if needed. If you don’t have your videos available always, I’m sure that you can write the workouts down. I’ve done this with P90X.

The point is that you can train anywhere on this planet. I’ve done all sorts of traveling the last five years. I’ve been on over a dozen trips. From business excursions in North America to backpacking through Europe, with tons of beach vacations thrown in there.

What are your three main options for training on the road?

Option #1: The bodyweight workout from your room

As mentioned above, you can perform a P90X or any other home-based workout in your hotel room. You have your resistance band, body, a bed, and the floor. What else do you need? You might have to get a little creative, but I’m positive that you can find a way to build up a sweat.

If you don’t care for the highly marketed home training programs, you can always check out YouTube for the best bodyweight exercises and then create your own unique routine to perform. All I’m stressing is that you can get in one hell of a workout in your hotel room.

What if you don’t like to train out of a hotel room?

Option #2: Hit up a local gym after performing a quick Google search

I’ve found gyms in obscure locations in Budapest, Hungary, so I’m sure that you can just as easily find a gym close to where you’re staying. There’s usually the option to pay for a day pass or you can simply ask if you can test out their facility. Some gyms don’t mind giving you a free day pass to build goodwill.

The bad news is that the gym might not have your favorite squat rack or your local buddies. The good news is that you can still fit in your training from the road. Keep your lifts strong!

Option #3: The park. Yes, the park

I was very hesitant about traveling at first. Why? Because I was worried about missing a workout. Being an avid reader of, chances are that you also HATE missing a workout. I used to love gyms. I would get anxiety about being away from the gym/my main gym. Now I still prefer the gym, but I learned to perform bodyweight exercises and to use the park as my own personal gym.

How do you train in a park? Since this topic deserves its own article, I’ll keep it simple. Almost any park in the world will have the tools you need to perform pull-ups, jumping squats, regular squats, incline pushups, lunges, and anything else that your creative mind can think of. You might look like a crazed person to those walking by. However, deep down you’ll know that you’re staying in shape on your trip.

What about nutrition? How do you eat healthy when traveling?

Check out five fast food protein sources if you want to know where to sneak in those grams of protein on the road.

When it comes to my personal nutrition, I must admit that I’m an odd character. I travel with cans of tuna. Seriously. I try to bring cans of tuna and protein bars in my suitcase whenever I travel. I do this so that I always have a snack ready so that I don’t cave to the temptations of whatever junk is freely available. We’re all human at the end of the day. Without that can of tuna in the suitcase, it’s far too tempting to grab a slice of pizza or a bag of chips.

Before we party ways, I must admit that this article was written with the assumption that your travels are for a short-term trip. Anything over a few months is more than quick escape.

If you are leaving for a long period of time you might want to look into some sort of a seasonal package. I know that many gyms offer summer or winter deals.

The bottom line is that traveling should never mean comprising your fitness goals and falling out of shape. Following these simple tips will ensure that you always return from your travels healthy and in shape.

Martin Dasko is a Toronto-based personal trainer and an online entrepreneur. His main site, Studenomics, has led to him being mentioned in the New York Times and brought in for a discussion on Fox Business News. When Martin's not traveling, he can be found at the gym with his 16-year-old brother, who he's slowly turning into a monster. You can follow him on Twitter @Studenomics to see what's new.