lifestyle · travel

7 Tips for Staying Fit and Exercising While on Vacation

Stay fit on vacation from Go Gingham
Double-duty clothing: shorts for sight-seeing that I can exercise in.

Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean we can skip exercising while traveling. Whether you’re a walker or a runner, incorporate exercise into your travel itinerary with these 7 tips for staying fit on vacation.

7 tips for staying active while traveling

1.  Get out :: Get outside and see the city or countryside where you’ve traveled to and enjoy a different perspective. Spending time outside walking or running allows you to discover parts of a city or countryside that otherwise would have been missed.

2.  Bring a map :: Yes, we got lost on a run during our home exchange in France but eventually we found our way back to our home. Pay attention when heading out on a run so that you can get back home – or your home away from home. Or plan on a long run!

3.  Bring reading glasses :: To go with the map! On another home exchange trip to Spain, I couldn’t find my way back to our hostel. No one who I asked for directions could speak any English . It was a long walk home! A map would have come in handy but then I would have had to bring reading glasses. What a hassle! I did see parts of the city I otherwise wouldn’t have if we were on a tour or in a car. (Read about our home swap trip to Spain and how we camped, too.)

A family bike ride and a picnic lunch in Victoria, British Columbia. It was fun + frugal!

4.  Go to the water :: It seems that every city has a river with a trail that meanders along it. This is a perfect place for an early morning run or walk. Get up extra early and catch the sunrise. Our trips to Austin (Read about ‘Austin on the Cheap’ here) and Seattle (Read about ‘Seattle on the Cheap’ here) included early morning runs along river paths.

5.  Pack clothing that does double-duty :: While I don’t usually opt for wearing my workout clothes all day long, I do have shorts that look good enough for sight-seeing but can be used for workout wear, too. (Find my travel packing list here.) The same goes for shoes. No, I don’t like wearing running shoes around but sometimes I do, so that I can move quickly and get a workout while sight-seeing.

6.  Get the family involved :: Kids can get involved in the exercising and sight-seeing, too. Don’t be fooled into leaving them in the hotel room or the hostel – with the remote control in their hands! They need to move their bodies, too. Plus, everyone sleeps better with exercise, don’t they? (Read about helping kids remember a trip here.)

Exchange travel to Austria
The Von-Tetreault children sang and danced their way around Salzburg, Austria!

7.  {Bonus} Indulge on food – guilt free! :: Fried pigs ears? Pastries for breakfast? Ice cream in the afternoon? This is not how I eat at home but trying new foods while traveling is an indulgence I don’t want to pass up. The more exercise done while traveling, the more food you get to eat – guilt free!

So keep the same workout routine – whether it’s walking or running – but make sure to incorporate it into your travel itinerary. It will give you a different perspective from a driving a car or bus tour. Plus, you can indulge on treats guilt free.

 What’s your favorite way to exercise while on a trip?

Go Gingham related links:

New to running? Try these tips – especially if you’re my age +45-years
The biggest stay the same – the reality show I’m pitching!
How to make walking poles – they’re re-purposed ski poles
I love to hula hoop – hooping fool love!
Exercise at home – and skip the gym

5 thoughts on “7 Tips for Staying Fit and Exercising While on Vacation

  1. I like to wear my pedometer on vacation. I try to get in 5,000 steps first thing in the morning and then 10,000 usually follows easily. I wore it at Disneyworld the last two days. 20,000 steps on day 2, and 22,000 on day two. Today, I’m takin’ a day off!


  2. Love it! We seem to naturally do a lot of walking/hiking/swimming on vacation (we camp a lot). What I find more challenging is keeping up my activity level when we visit family. Others often aren’t as active and I feel kind of antisocial when I try to get in some sort of workout. I try to be active with my children in these circumstances but it isn’t quite the same as my workouts at home. Even a little bit helps, right?


    1. Yes, every little bit helps! It has to be constant – especially while traveling because I tend to indulge on the food….
      When we’re with family and visiting, I try and run very early in the morning. That way I’m not interrupting the activities for the day.
      We camp a lot, too, Kris. My only complaint about camping is sleeping on the ground – and I have a very nice sleep pad! Once my ‘scamper’ gets a title and fixed up, I’ll be sleeping in comfort. Can’t wait to road trip with it!
      Enjoy the holiday weekend. I always enjoy hearing about your family. 🙂


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