Taking a trip can be fun or stressful, hectic or relaxing, exotic or routine. Whether you’re out of town overnight for an urban business meeting or for a weeklong vacation at the coast, you can still maintain your current level of fitness.

Check Availability

If you’re staying in a hotel, call ahead to find out what fitness facilities are available. Some hotel chains have exercise rooms that rival some health clubs. Others have out-of-date equipment that you’re better off avoiding. Be sure to ask what kind of machines they have and how many there are.
Some hotels have cooperative agreements with local health clubs that allow you to use the facilities at a guest rate or even for free. The health club you belong to might also be part of a regional, national, or worldwide chain of clubs or have a reciprocal agreement with them so you can continue your standard exercise routine. Ask the staff at your local club.
Even if the hotel doesn’t have an exercise room, they might have a pool. If swimming laps isn’t for you, consider working with a coach or fitness trainer to develop a water aerobics routine.

Plan for Fitness

If you’re planning a vacation, consider a fitness theme – backpacking, skiing, even kayaking or scuba trips. Even for a business trip, you can fit physical activity into your day.
Indoors, you can plan calisthenics that make use of the items you’ll find in a hotel room: telephone books, loaded suitcases, chairs, walls, and beds. Pack exercise tubing for resistance training and possibly a jump rope.
If you’re an outdoor exerciser, contact the hotel concierge or a local sports store, or get a map of the area where you’ll be staying. Locate schools, parks, trails – even quiet streets – where you can walk or run.
On the Internet, through a travel agent, business associates, or the hotel staff, locate rental places for inline skates, a canoe and life jackets, or bicycles.
If you’re on a tight schedule, be sure to check sunrise and sunset times. Check the weather forecast, as well, so you can pack appropriately for outdoor exercising.

Pack Only What You Need

Will it be warm or cool? Will a body of water be available for fitness and fun? Making use of laundry services during extended trips could mean you only need one or two pairs of exercise clothes instead of 10.
Be sure to wear comfortable clothes no matter how you’re traveling. If you’re flying, pack walking shoes in your carry-on luggage so you can take a brisk walk down the concourse between flights.

Eat Light

Be sure to eat at the same intervals you’re accustomed to at home. Getting over-hungry leads to poor nutrition choices. You might want to bring along a small knapsack or fanny pack filled with healthy snacks – fruit, nuts, sandwiches, and baby carrots, for example. Locate a local grocery store so you can prepare your own meals.
Still, it won’t be very much fun to visit an exotic place and not sample the food. Plan to splurge, and enjoy local cuisine. But be sure to balance a high-calorie meal with sensible meals and possibly increased physical activity.
Salads (with dressing on the side) are always a safe choice – but they can get boring after a while. Select heart friendly or low-calorie meals from the menu. If you don’t see any, you can custom order a meal at most restaurants.


Your goal during trips should be to maintain your current fitness level. You don’t need to exercise every day – or for a full hour each time. But when you do exercise, do it at the same intensity to which you are accustomed. It helps if you schedule blocks of time for exercise – even if it’s 15 minutes twice a day during breaks between meetings.
With planning and persistence, you won’t return home feeling overweight, out of shape, and unmotivated.


1. Fit Facts. American Council on Exercise.

2. Taking Fitness on the Road. AARP.