Fitness while traveling + packing list

Taking time to move your body during travel is essential, because we’re overindulging and overstressed. And even if your travel is only essential right now, for work or family, you will definitely need the benefits of exercise. Some of this is no-brainer stuff, but, as with much travel wisdom…if you don’t use it you lose it. It’s always helpful to check in and re-remind ourselves and re-motivate towards what we should be doing.

Walk everywhere

You’ll be doing a lot of this even if you ride public transportation at any point during your vacation. But if you were thinking of taking a taxi or rideshare, and you’re not in a time crunch, just walk. Walking about a mile takes 20-30 minutes at an ambling to brisk pace. And I promise you’ll see something you would have never seen otherwise. Walks are even great for your gut…and your poop situation. Read more about it here


Biking the gardens of Versailles, renting a bike in Rothenburg ob der Tauber for the Tauber Valley Cycleway, biking the streets of Key West, and winery biking tours along Washington’s Lake Chelan (and just about everywhere else)…these are just a few of the bike tourism experiences that I know about or have tried. Renting a bike for multiple days in a bike-friendly place will also save you tons of time. It’s a nice mix between seeing the sights along surface streets, and getting to where you need to be much quicker.


Build in a scenic hike (or run) as a part of your trip. No matter where you go, there’s usually a mountain, waterfall, beach, castle grounds, or a city park waiting to be explored. Use the AllTrails app, which is our go-to mobile and web app for finding the perfect hike anywhere in the world. They include tons of search parameters: difficulty, length, elevation gain, accessibility, pet-friendly, kid-friendly, and more. As you think about your holiday travel plans, make a holiday hike part of your family traditions, in addition to the after-meal-digestion-walks you will need.

Take a class 

If you have a lot of downtime, or if it’s a part of your lifestyle, find a Crossfit Club, yoga studio, or gym nearby. Larger hotels and resorts always have classes available (e.g., water aerobics, yoga, tai chi, etc.). You can also use apps like MINDBODY to find fitness experiences near you.

Exercise in your hotel or rental

Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere, without special equipment. There are many guides out there, but here’s a total body circuit of quiet exercises that you can complete in a half hour. 

Packing list

  • Multi-purpose shoes: I hate bringing multiple pairs of shoes when I travel, since I usually only bring one backpack. If it’s summer, I go with some kind of comfortable, beefy sandals, like these Chacos. For cooler weather, I’ve had great luck with these Rockports that are a walking shoe disguised as a loafer. They’re two winters old now and still going strong after visiting at least two countries
  • Travel sized resistance bands: Here are some lightweight resistance loops. And you don’t even need to bring all of them
  • Travel sized jump rope: Here’s a speed rope with 1 oz handles
  • Anti chafe balm: A lifesaver for long hikes and runs, or just a long day of urban walking…works great anywhere you need to apply it, if you know what I mean. Apply early and often
  • Yoga paws: Non-slip, packable gloves for hands and feet
  • Two swimsuits: Even if I’m traveling light, I always bring two suits, 1) Because it’s always nice to have a dry suit, and 2) I like to have a one-piece I can use for real swimming, rather than fashionable lounging.

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