How to Stay Fit While Traveling – The Ultimate Guide

young men hiking in mountains

Traveling opens up a world of exciting new experiences – new cultures, foods, sites, and activities. But all that time in transit, disrupted routines, and exposure to new environments can also wreak havoc on your health and fitness if you’re not careful. The good news? With effort and planning, you can maintain healthy habits and stay feeling your best on the road. Read on for tips on how to stay fit while traveling to keep up your exercise regimen, nutrition, immunity, and more.

Plan Ahead to Maintain Exercise

If you have an established workout plan at home, avoid letting travel completely derail it. Research your exercise options beforehand so you don’t have an excuse to skip your usual regimen. This bit of planning goes a long way.

Check if your hotel has a gym or pool to use. Scope out local gyms that offer day passes and, if outdoors workouts are more your speed, use maps to find routes for walking, hiking, or running. Pack the proper shoes, workout clothes, and accessories you’ll need. Also, build time for exercise directly into your itinerary each day. Choose lodging located close to parks, trails, or recreation centers convenient for a quick workout.

Don’t forget that in-room hotel workouts can provide solid strength training or flexibility sessions. Apps and streaming platforms offer yoga flows, HIIT circuits, bodyweight exercises, and more – no equipment or even much space is needed. Staying active provides a burst of energy to fuel travel days spent on your feet sightseeing.

Adopt Healthy Eating Habits

One of the best parts of traveling involves sampling delicious local cuisine and foods your hometown might not offer. However, being mindful of what you order can keep your diet from derailing. Do some research beforehand to scope out restaurants aligned with your nutritional goals or restrictions. Ask locals for recommendations of spots offering healthy meals.

Grocery shopping is an easy way to stock up on nutritional snacks, fresh fruit, yogurt, nuts, healthy drinks, and easy meals. Booking accommodations with a kitchenette opens up inexpensive options for making your own simple breakfasts and light dinners.

When hunger strikes and fast food seems inevitable, make smart menu selections. Opt for grilled proteins with veggies rather than heavy, creamy, or crispy dishes. Load up salads with fixings like chickpeas or avocado for a nutrient boost. Watch your portion sizes as well. Staying properly fueled with balanced meals and snacks keeps your mind sharp and energy high during busy travel days filled with activities.

Always carry a refillable water bottle and set reminders to sip throughout the day. Request free water at restaurants instead of sugary drinks. Proper hydration assists with digestion, reduces fatigue and jet lag symptoms, keeps skin clear, and more.

man prepping meal in rv

Extra Tips for Those Who Follow Special Diets

For those following special diets like keto, paleo, or vegan, most destinations now offer an abundance of choices to meet varying needs.

Vegans can find plant-based delights almost anywhere nowadays. Search out all-vegan eateries or scan mainstream menus for hearty salads, veggie-filled pastas, rice dishes excluding meat, pad thai loaded with tofu, and stir-fried options to get enough protein essential when working out. Falafel pitas make satisfying fast bites. Grocery shop prepared items like hummus, guacamole, mixed nuts, oat or nut milk and fresh produce.

Travelers adhering to a high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet should seek out menus with meat, fish, eggs, healthy fats on the like of olive oil and avocado, nuts, seeds, and leafy greens. Request extra vegetables instead of starchy sides of rice or pasta. An easy hack is ordering a sandwich without the bread or bun. Plan for snacks like jerky, nut butter, and low-sugar protein bars bought ahead or on the road to help avoid temptation.

For those following the grain-free, dairy-free paleo diet, base meals around quality proteins, fresh fruits, and veggies. Root vegetables, salads, herb seasonings, and coconut or olive oils make excellent additions. Grocery stock up on items like nuts, seeds, nut milk, and nut cheeses. Enjoy fully customizable meals at restaurants by building your own salad, rice bowl, or fajitas on lettuce wraps.

Ensure Rest and Recovery

Staying physically active is great, but don’t forget to give a solid rest as well. If you are feeling tired, take a break to do something relaxing and allow your body to recharge. It could be a decision to go for a light walk instead of hard hiking or even a short nap to restore yourself with the energy you need.

Quality sleep is foundational to good health. The circadian sleep-wake cycle can be maintained even in a foreign environment, when traveling. Keep noise levels and any intrusions of light to a minimum to arrange a relaxing environment in your hotel room. Consider bringing some trinkets from home, for instance, your favorite pillow or sleep mask. This will help you make your sleeping space more cozy to live in.

Keep Illness at Bay

Nothing puts a damper on vacation faster than getting sick. Using preventative measures means fewer miserable days battling a cold or stomach bug. One of the easiest things travelers can do is supplement their diet with immunity-boosting foods. For example, probiotic-rich yogurt contains gut-healthy bacteria. Leafy greens provide vitamin C, and citrus fruits like oranges offer antioxidants. Cut back on inflammatory culprits like fried fare, refined carbs, and sugary treats.

Also critical is washing hands properly and often, especially before eating. Use disinfecting wipes to sanitize high-touch surfaces like your phone, remote controls, and seat tray tables. Getting plenty of quality sleep gives the body resources to fight germs. Aim for seven to nine hours per night. Melatonin supplements can help adjust to time zone changes faster.

Manage daily stress levels when traveling, whether from lost luggage, delayed flights, or jet lag. Simple relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation apps, or journaling calm the mind and body. By keeping your immunity strong, getting proper rest, and reducing stress hormone levels through quick breaks, you’ll have protection against getting run down.

Mental Health Considerations

Traveling can be quite stressful, from navigating around unknown locations to dealing with unexpected changes in plans. That’s why you should incorporate stress-reduction techniques into your daily life. These include deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. Being mindful, even for a few minutes, can make you feel much more grounded so you get the most out of your vacation.

Keep connected to your dearest and nearest as well as fellow travelers, as they may provide emotional support and enhance your travel experience. Even if you are away from home, when you talk about your life in the new country, it is also a way to share your stories to inspire others. And thus, you synergistically reduce stress and increase connectedness.


Maintaining healthy routines while on vacation simply takes research, planning, and effort. But with the right habits, staying active is completely achievable. Routine exercise, balanced nutrition, strong immunity and managed stress means travelers can fully enjoy their adventures while supporting body and mind. Who doesn’t want boundless energy to maximize sightseeing? Plus, you’ll return home still feeling physically fantastic instead of needing a week to recover. By staying consistent with your health, you’ll find it easier to make the most of your travels and come back brighter.


Ryan is a passionate blog writer who shares his thoughts, perspectives, and commentary on topics he cares about. Though writing has always come naturally to Ryan, blogging gave him a creative space to fully express himself. Ryan is also into hiking and learning new languages.

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