8 Expert Tips for Staying Fit While Traveling

By Robert Cheeke,

Last Updated:
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Worried about maintaining your fitness while you’re on vacation or business trip? As a lifelong athlete, here are some of the best tips and tricks I’ve learned that help me stay in shape on the road.

1. Go for a walk or run to explore the city you are in.

If you’re a runner, look online to find recommended running routes and see some sights along way. Many major cities have designated walking paths through the main area of town, which means you can easily scope out tasty vegan dinner spots as you get your blood pumping!

2. Rent a bike and go for a cruise around town.

Skip the electric scooter rentals and pedal the old-fashioned way to combine your sightseeing with some enjoyable exercise. Visitor centers, hotel concierges, and a good old-fashioned Yelp search can tell you where to rent a bike and the best routes that will let you hit all the major landmarks.

3. If your hotel has a pool, go for a quick swim.

The best time to swim at a hotel pool is early in the morning when most people are still eating breakfast and getting ready for the day. Communal pools will likely fill up in the afternoon with families who have come back to relax after a long day of vacation activities.

4. Find a local gym or yoga studio that has drop-in or daily rates.

The vast majority of fitness studios offer daily rates to entice new members. Using fitness apps such as mindbody can be a great way to quickly compare prices and search for local studios that offer your favorite physical activity. Plus, if it’s hard for you to feel motivated to work out on your own, joining a group class is a great solution.

5. Do a bodyweight workout in your hotel room.

The easiest way to sneak in a workout while traveling is by doing a bodyweight workout in your hotel room. There are plenty of exercises you can do using your own body mechanics. With just a few square feet of floor space and a little motivation, you can become your own living, breathing fitness center.

My favorite bodyweight exercises include push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges, calf raises, and jumps. I can do these anywhere, regardless of where I am. Perform multiple sets of these exercises and stretch afterwards, just as you would in the gym. (See the video below for a 5-minute workout you can do anywhere.)

6. For longer trips, hit the local supermarket.

When you arrive at your destination, stop by a supermarket to load up on some produce and snacks. You can find fruit, vegetables and hummus, nut butters and crackers, and a variety of ready-made plant-based dishes such as vegetable sushi and salads at nearly any mainstream grocery store.

7. Prepare snacks in advance.

One of the best ways to ensure you have the energy to exercise regularly, even with a busy schedule, is to consume the foods that provide you with the best overall nutrition (i.e. whole-food, plant-based meals). It is easy to get sidetracked when you’re tired and off-schedule and to crave foods filled with fats, sugar, and salt. One way to overcome the desire to eat unhealthy processed junk foods is to bring quality foods that you enjoy with you while you’re traveling. Pack your favorite fruits, vegetables, nuts, and other snack foods. If you can, bring along some of your favorite prepared dishes for your plane, train, bus, or car ride.

8. Find creative ways to move during the day.

If you can’t fit in a “workout,” try to get creative while you are going about your day. Here are some ideas you can use anywhere:

  • Do calf raises while you’re waiting in line, whether you’re at a tourist attraction, waiting for the elevator, or in line at a bank.
  • Opt to take the stairs or always go the long way around if you have the time.
  • While shopping, do arm curls while carrying your grocery basket or the things you are planning to purchase.

The best way to achieve your desired results is to create a consistent routine that produces the outcomes you seek. From my experience, the easiest way to create a consistent routine is to begin by caring deeply about the goals you’re pursuing. Rather than seeing exercise and healthy eating as a chore or a burden, as you may have at some point in your life, see them as meaningful destinations you’re working toward. When you do, you will likely feel compelled to want to eat well and exercise regularly, and the tools outlined above should make your pursuit easier as you travel through life.

To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer. For meal-planning support, check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path.

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About the Author

Headshot of Robert Cheeke

About the Author

Robert Cheeke

Robert Cheeke grew up on a farm in Corvallis, Oregon, where he adopted a vegan lifestyle in 1995 at age 15. In addition to co-authoring The New York Times Bestseller  The Plant-Based Athlete, he is the author of Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, Shred It!, and Plant-Based Muscle. Often referred to as the godfather of vegan bodybuilding, Cheeke tours the world sharing his story of transformation from a skinny farm kid to a two-time natural bodybuilding champion. He is a multisport athlete and entrepreneur, the founder and president of the online community Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness, and a regular contributor to No Meat Athlete, Forks Over Knives, and Vegan Strong. Robert lives in Colorado with his wife and two rescued Chihuahuas. Follow him on Instagram.
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