You’ve been exercising several times per week, eating healthy options (with an occasional cheat meal), losing weight, building muscle, and feeling great.

You’re looking your best just in time to travel.

You take a second to think back to your last trip when you lost all of your fitness progress because of a bad diet, lack of exercise, and terrible sleep schedule.

This time will be different. You want to incorporate the healthy habits you have at home during your travels.

Here’s how I make time to exercise while traveling.

make time to exercise while traveling

1.      Plan Ahead

Before you set foot on that plane or bus, research and choose which fitness-related activities you can do at your destination.

Pick things that you love doing – the ones that don’t require motivation – and you’ll be less likely to make excuses and skip.

Having a confirmed list of fitness-related things to do will save time and help you avoid the stress from having to search after you’ve arrived.

Here are several ideas to get you thinking:

  • Trail walking
  • Hiking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Biking or walking city tour
  • Scuba diving
  • Surfing
  • White-water rafting
  • Traditional gym
  • Fitness classes: yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, CrossFit

I’m a gym rat who enjoys yoga and I have an obsession with hiking so when I travel, I look for local gyms, yoga studios, and hiking trails.

I create a list including addresses, and directions, then save it on my phone. If my trip is taking me far away from modern conveniences such as a well-stocked gym, then I’ll use one of my bodyweight or resistance band workouts.

2.      Travel with (or Find) Fitness Junkies

If you want to exercise while traveling or do more adventure-based activities, but you have trouble motivating yourself, I recommend traveling with fitness junkies.

Studies show that you’re more likely to do something if everyone in the group shares that common goal. [1]

So, if your travel companions are as disciplined about their fitness routines during a trip as they are back home, then you’re more likely to follow suit.

If you’re alone, you can find fitness-minded people at your destination. I recommend posting on Facebook, Internations, and CouchSurfing about how long you’ll be in the city, your interest in staying active, and an invitation for people to join.

I always find locals or other travelers who want to join me for a park workout, jog around the city, or ambitious hiking excursion.

No luck? Find a safe park with a walking path and a great view, then call your family and friends to check in and catch up as you stroll.

3.      Wake Earlier, Get Fit

I know it can be difficult to will yourself out of bed during vacation (especially if you had a late night), but you only need to wake up 15 to 30 minutes earlier than normal.

This gives you the perfect chance to get in a quick bodyweight workout if that’s how you plan on staying active while traveling.

To maximize time and results, I recommend using high intensity interval training. H.I.I.T. workouts have been shown to promote fat burning, muscle building, and cardiovascular endurance in a fraction of the time.

Wondering, “How can I exercise while traveling?” Try my hotel room workout.

You can use it in the comfort of your hostel common area or hotel room – You only need enough space to do a basic push-up.

4.      Schedule and Commit

Schedule exercise for times when you know you’ll have energy and won’t be tempted to bail for more exciting activities or due to peer pressure.

If you plan on doing a gym workout or fitness class, I find the best time to do this is as soon as you wake up.

If you plan on exercising through excursions or activities, then I recommend finding and paying for them as soon as you get to your destination. Not wanting to lose money is a great motivator.

maintain muscle

5.      Two Birds with One Stone

My favorite way to exercise while traveling is to actively explore the city you’re in.

Seems pretty obvious, right?

But think about how little you move when you’re being carted everywhere during a bus tour. The few steps you do take are for photo opps then it’s back on the bus.

Look for opportunities that give you bragging rights, help you complete your travel to-do list, and count as exercise such as sightseeing while jogging or city bike tour.

If you’re traveling abroad, combine fitness and culture by seeking out origins of specific trends such as yoga in India, salsa dancing in Cuba, or parkour in France.

6.      Take Advantage of Your Commute

If there are museums across town or sightseeing landmarks nearby, ditch the bus or a taxi and walk, jog, or bike to your destinations, assuming it’s safe.

You’ll see more of the city while burning calories, maintaining muscle, and supporting cardiovascular health.

Lines are an inevitable part of traveling. While you’re waiting in line, you can take that opportunity to do some calf raises, single-leg half squats, and glute thrusters.

7.      Trade Social Media for Fitness

Did you know that the average person living in the United States spends over two hours each day on social media apps and websites?

Naturally, for travelers this number might be higher as they are updating family and friends about their trip with pictures and video.

If you were to trade half of the time that the average person spends on social media for staying fit while traveling, that’s an hour every day that you could focus on doing something for your health, wellness, and physique.

Try only going on social media at night when the sightseeing is over, the hike is finished, and there’s not much left to do except sleep.

How Will You Make Time to Exercise While Traveling?

Will you find gym rats and fitness junkies to accompany you on your trip? Do you have your own recommendation for how to make time to exercise while traveling? Let me know in the comments below.

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