Picture this: you come home from a three-week trip and step in front of a mirror. You notice that you gained some weight around your midsection and yawn as you remember that you haven't gotten much sleep the past three nights.
It can be extremely aggravating to come home and realize that you completely lost track of your health goals while you were on vacation. From new and exciting foods to sipping colorful drinks on the beach, more often than not we get carried away while on vacation. Fast food from the airport becomes tempting and we sometimes lack the proper sleep we need to sustain the energy that comes with traveling.
Sure, you can easily get back on track the next morning and forget all about your midnight hotel snacks, but it’s a lot easier to stay active while on a trip than you think. With a bit of planning and research, you can implement some of these tricks into your next adventure and come back home feeling just as energized as you were before you left! The best part? Many of these tips can easily be sprinkled in without completely changing around your travel plans and daily routines.
Here are 20 easy ways to stay active and fit the next time you travel.
20 KEEP TRACK OF YOUR STEPS
Did you know that just by walking between rides at Disneyland you can easily hit 20,000 steps or more in a day? And most of the time people don’t notice! With a pair of good sneakers and a pedometer to track steps, you would be amazed at how much walking you do while traveling.
Worried about not hitting a goal of 10,000 steps or more? A few hours before you head to bed see if you can get in a few extra steps. Even if this is your only exercise for the day, you will feel accomplished hitting a daily goal such as 10,000 steps!
19 AVOID THE MOVING WALKWAYS AT THE AIRPORT
Unless you’re running late for a flight (and in that case please skip this tip!), then there is no reason to use the moving walkways at the airport. Sure they can be kind of fun and super convenient, but if you’re able to walk right alongside it at your own pace you’ll get a bit of cardio in while at the airport. So while you’re heading to your specific gate or just counting down time waiting for a flight, try to resist the easier travel method and opt for walking!
Bonus tip: If you have some waiting to do, walk around and visit the shops inside the airport. It could be a great time to pick up some souvenirs to bring back home with you.
18 IF YOU HAVE A LONG FLIGHT, PLAN SNACKS ACCORDINGLY
Eating is generally a great way to pass the time, especially if you’re traveling to another country, It can be extremely tempting to grab a bag of chips at the airport during a layover or order a soda from the flight attendant. If you plan ahead and pack some small, healthy snacks you can avoid this all together.
Some great ideas for snacks include popcorn (skip the butter), granola bars, or vegetable chips. If you’re looking for a light meal, try to skip the fast food options at the airport like McDonald's or Burger King. If they can’t be avoided though, opt for a grilled chicken sandwich or a salad.
17 DO SOME LIGHT EXERCISES IN YOUR HOTEL ROOM
The great thing about floor exercises is they can be done practically anywhere, including a hotel room! Some ideas for easy and quick exercises include push ups, sit ups, and mountain climbers. When all you need is your body and a floor, there really is no excuse to add this into your routine while you’re traveling! Even just ten minutes first thing in the morning can greatly impact your day.
Bodyweight training not your forte? Yoga works just as well and can be a wonderful way to unwind after a long day!
16 GO FOR A SWIM
Not only do hotel pools offer a way to relax after a long day of sightseeing, but they can also provide an amazing full-body workout! Take a dip for 30 minutes at the very beginning of the day for a quick energy boost. This way you’re already hitting your exercise goal for the day while also enjoying some peaceful alone time before the day gets started.
Don’t want to swim alone? Ask whoever you’re traveling with if they want to join. It can be a fun way to socialize while also getting in an amazing workout! Just make sure to shower before and after heading into the chlorine filled water.
15 WALK WHEN YOU CAN
This is a great tip if you’re visiting a major city where most tourist spots and restaurants are all within a few miles of each other. Instead of taking an Uber or bus to get from place to place, check to see if it would be worth it to walk instead.
This is an especially good idea if you’re visiting a place during busy commuting times since waiting for a cab or Uber can take forever! Even if you’re not in a major city, walking can be a wonderful time to take in the beautiful sights and enjoy nature.
14 GO FOR A HIKE
Unless the weather is absolutely atrocious (think heavy downpours or hot, humid weather), taking a hike for a few hours is a great way to enjoy nature, get in some cardio, and socialize with friends and loved ones. Download an app such as AllTrails to find trails in your area. Users of this app are also able to leave reviews, submit pictures, and even rate the trails based on difficulty.
You can also try asking the locals if they have any suggestions that you might not find directly through an app or website.
13 RENT A BIKE
In major cities, bike sharing programs are popping up everywhere. These programs allow you to unlock a bike from one of the many stations around town and ride to wherever your heart desires, as long as the bike gets returned within the allotted time.
If you’re bored of walking and want a new way to explore the city, then bike renting is definitely a great option! Just make sure you check out the rules when riding so you know exactly when to return the bike and how much the trip will cost you.
12 TAKE THE STAIRS (UNLESS YOU'RE HEADED TO THE TOP OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING)
Choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevators and escalators while traveling is a simple way to sprinkle in some light cardio throughout your day. While using the stairs, you are activating the major muscles in your legs while also burning calories.
The wonderful thing about this tip is how easy it is to implement not only in your travels, but also in your day-to-day life! Next time you’re faced with the decision between stairs and an elevator, choose the stairs if you can!
11 SEE IF YOUR HOTEL HAS A GYM
If you’re used to going to the gym at home, it can be a struggle to travel and not have your usual gym right down the street from your hotel. Some people consider their gym a home away from home and with good reason. It helps keep you motivated while also providing a safe place to work up a sweat before or after work. If you’re used to a daily gym and don’t want to go without it for very long, check to see if the hotel you’re staying at has one.
Is an Airbnb more your thing? Some homes may already have amenities in them, so definitely shop around!
10 GO WINDOW SHOPPING
Window shopping can be a fun way to explore the history and culture of the place you're exploring. Even if you don't plan to buy anything, peeking into all of the different shops in a city will give you chance to socialize with the locals while also learning some facts about the area. At the same time, you'll be doing a ton of walking without even realizing it! Window shopping also gives you the opportunity to uncover hidden gems you may not find back home, all while getting some cardio in.
9 RESEARCH RESTAURANTS FIRST
One of the biggest downfalls when it comes to sticking with your health goals is eating out. Traveling to new places normally means trying new foods, so how do you get the most out of your experience without putting on the pounds? While planning your trip, research the nearest restaurants and really take a peek at their menu before making any decisions.
It also doesn't hurt to indulge once in a while but make sure to plan for this well in advance! Choose one specific day or a few specific meals where you aren't going to worry too much about the nutritional value, but for the rest of the time stick to some healthier options; balance is key!
8 NEAR A BEACH? GO FOR A MORNING STROLL
If you're close to a beach and not taking some time in the morning to enjoy the calm waves and sunrise, are you really near the beach? Even if you don't want to run or jog first thing after waking up, just stepping outside for a 15-minute walk can do wonders for both your body and mind.
Throw on a pair of comfortable sneakers (or not, barefoot works for this too) and walk along the shore while admiring the stillness of the ocean. It's the perfect opportunity to meditate or think deeply without the normal hustle and bustle that fills the rest of the day.
7 WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES
Most of the tips on this list include being on your feet more, so comfortable shoes are a must. The last thing you want to deal with is blisters on the back of your heels and a need for a massage.
Make sure to invest in a decent pair of shoes that not only provide comfort throughout the day but also won't cause issues a month after you purchase them. Some great brands to check out include Sketchers, New Balance, and Nike.
Needless to say, a great pair of shoes will be your best friend while traveling.
6 AVOID THE HIGH CARBS AND SUGAR AT THE BREAKFAST BUFFET
Ah breakfast, the perfect time to enjoy a hearty, nutritious breakfast before taking on the day ahead. If you're not careful about the breakfast buffets at hotels though, you could run into danger by choosing options filled to the brim with carbs and simple sugars.
If you know the pancakes and waffles are yummy, don't completely resist them every morning. Try your best to limit yourself and create a balanced plate. Stick mostly to high protein options and fruit. If you're still hungry after, allow yourself to have a small pastry or bagel.
5 GET ENOUGH SLEEP
We commonly expend a lot of energy throughout the day, especially if we're constantly on our feet. If you want to truly get the most out of your travels, it's essential that you treat your body well and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep a night. This can be tough when traveling long distances as you may experience jetlag, but it just adds another reason to make sleep a priority.
If you're able to, try to stick to a nighly routine even while traveling. This includes turning off your electronics, shutting the blinds, and doing a relaxing activity such as meditation or reading right before bed.
4 RESEARCH OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
If the above image gets you excited, then you'll be happy to know that outdoor activities such as kayaking or paddle boarding are an amazing way to stay fit while doing something venturesome.
While planning your next adventure, do some research on local attractions such as kayaking, fishing, snorkeling, or rock climbing. Some beaches may also offer surfing or paddle-board lessons during the warmer months for a decent cost. Traveling in the winter? Give skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing a shot!
3 HIT THE AMUSEMENT PARK OR ZOO
Theme parks and zoos might seem like they're fit mostly for families with children, but this is far from the truth. Even at 22-years-old I still love visiting these types of outdoor attractions as they provide you with a great way to get outside and unleash your inner child.
If you do decide to check out a theme park or zoo, be warned: there will be temptation around every corner. Try to stay away from the various food stands as most of them sell deep fried foods and high caloric sweets. If you're looking for a bite to eat, try to stick with a small treat and purchase your main meals elsewhere (or pack a lunch if it's allowed!)
2 TRY TO AVOID FAST FOOD CHAINS
This tip might seem obvious, but when traveling it can be so easy to come up with excuses to eat fast food. "My flight won't leave for another two hours and Cinnabon is right there," or "It's late at night and I'm hungry,". Try your hardest to ignore these temptations and plan ahead so you can avoid them altogether.
If you're waiting for a flight or train, keep some healthy snacks on you. They might be expensive at some airports, but you'll commonly find small convenience stores that sell a wide variety of food that can keep you satisfied.
When it comes to random cravings, keep some food in your hotel room to hold you over until lunch or dinner time. For the main meals of the day, plan them out so you can actively avoid the Chick-fil-A across the street.
1 DON'T COMPLETELY SKIP THE SWEETS, BUT PLAN FOR THEM
When traveling to regions that are known for their food, it can be extremely difficult to completely resist them. Part of the travel experience is indulging in new foods and you don't want to completely hold back, what's the fun in that?
For example, if you know for a fact that you're going to be visiting Barcelona and you want to try their famous churros, plan the exact day that you'll do it. That way you can enjoy specific delicacies without completely overdoing it.