Staying Fit While on Vacation

Many people that I talk to share how they can be on a roll in their fitness routine, then go on vacation and everything falls apart. It makes complete sense. While on vacation, we’re out of the “norm”, we don’t have the same equipment, we’re on a different time schedule. I think these are all very valid reasons to struggle to keep up with working out. But is there any way to avoid falling off the workout wagon while on vacation?

Because I am getting ready to go on a short vacation soon with two of my sisters-in-law, this has been on my mind quite a bit. I asked Jen, my workout buddy from Getting Fit With Jen, to give me some pointers on ways to avoid losing the workout momentum we’ve had for so many months. Here’s what she had to offer. (And I have to say, she makes it seem so simple. I do believe I was making it more complicated than I should have.)

1. Go with a plan.  

If you don’t plan some workout time into your vacation and travels, it will be very easy to let it slip. Figure out how and when you can fit exercise into your trip. Make a plan, be prepared to be flexible, and do what you can to make your plan work. 

2. Make modifications to the norm.

You may lift weights when you’re at home, but taking dumbbells in your suitcase isn’t very practical! How about packing your resistance bands instead? You may take long walks or do workout videos at home, but your vacation may not allow time for either. How about taking advantage of short breaks between your travel activities to squeeze in a shorter walk or some crunches, lunges, squats, and/or push-ups?

3. Recognize that some of your vacation is likely to involve exercise, intentional or not!

You’ll get great exercise while you’re walking through an airport, swimming in the pool, taking a stroll with the family – even shopping! Hopefully your vacation will include plenty of rest, but don’t discredit the exercise you’ll be getting while participating in some really fun activities.

4. Give yourself a break.

Hey, you’re on vacation. Enjoy some down time. If you regularly work out pretty hard, your body may appreciate the rest and recovery period. 

5. Get right back into your workout routine once you get home. 

The longer you wait to get back into a regular workout routine once you get home, the harder it will be to get it going again. Be intentional about starting your exercise program within a day or two of settling back in. Your body will appreciate you for it!

And with that, I feel like I’m ready to head off for my vacation. I will power walk through the airport, shop till I drop, and without a doubt, I will eat cheesecake at the Cheesecake Factory. What?  Did you or did you not read number four above?  ;)


  1. Lisa says

    This is great advice. We are heading out of town for a wedding at the end of the month and I know it will be difficult to stay on track while we’re gone (wedding cake – oh yeah! and let’s not forget the mints!).

    By the way, I just wanted to say thank you for this series. This is partly what has motivated me to start working out again. I am almost finished with Jillian Michael’s 30-Day Shred and have definitely noticed a change in my body, inches lost, pants fit looser, more energy, lots of other things too! So thank you for the motivation, Laura! I have a ways to go yet but it is sure encouraging to see results of all the hard work. :)


  2. Mary Ann says

    Great advice at a great time. We are leaving for vacation on Sunday and needed the motivation to stay on track! Thanks!


  3. Brooke says

    Good advice! We typically stay somewhat active. We just vacationed in Palm Springs – the desert so you need to spend some time in the pool b/c it’s so HOT but we also went hiking up near a mountain. It’s good to be intentional, like you said, to put in some exercise!
    My hubby and I have gone on a couple cruises, and if you’ve ever been on one you know that there is always access to YUMMY food!!! So we took the stairs back and forth to our room from wherever we were, even if it meant climbing 8 or more flights of stairs. We also did active shore excursions like snorkling, hiking, biking, city walks, etc… There’s always a way to stay active and to find time to relax.

    Laura, is this your trip out to Cali that I had read about in a post? How fun! Hope you have a blast! Don’t know where in Cali you’re going but right here in SoCal the weather is VERY UNUSUAL, muggy hot rain clouds. Hopefully you’ll have beautiful weather wherever you are going. :)


  4. Danielle B says

    Happy Vacation!!!

    I love waking before the family does and taking a long walk on the beach. And then of course there is beach aerobics!

    We tend to take healthy snacks for the car rides, and food we like to stock the mini-fridge in the rooms.


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