How To Exercise While Travelling Effectively: Stay Fit On The Road

It’s understandable why some feel the need to exercise while travelling. Let’s face it - for some people, it’s the guilt.

You’re so used to sticking to a strict fitness routine in your daily life that travelling and doing things out of the ordinary just make it seem like something is…missing. Or, you’re worried that a few days spent enjoying local delights may reset your progress entirely.   

Your feelings are absolutely valid! Don’t worry. You’re not alone. But remember this, our lovely wanderlusts: being away from home doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to keeping fit or training your body. In fact, there are many ways to incorporate exercise into your dream holiday (or your business trip). 

Staying at a hotel with no indoor gym? No problems. Didn’t bring your equipment? We have alternatives. Don’t have “free time” for workouts? We have a solution for that, too.

Should You Workout While Traveling?

How To Exercise While Travelling - CabinZero

Don’t stress out over whether or not you should work out while travelling. Photo by Greg Rosenke on Unsplash.

If you have a fitness goal in mind, we don’t see how travelling should be getting in the way. Even if you don’t have one and just casually want to exercise, travelling is actually one of the most exciting ways to do so.

When you work out, your body releases endorphins that make you happy. A good workout before or after a day of enjoying your destination is a good way to recharge your energy and avoid travel burnout. A light exercise with lots of stretching can also help you sleep better, which is useful for light sleeper travellers.

By incorporating exercise into your travel checklist, you can enjoy a guilt-free trip while still being able to take care of your physical and mental well-being. 

How To Incorporate Exercise Into Your Travel Itinerary 

You can consider putting these physical activities on your travel checklist. They are just as good as any regular workout session.

  • Set Realistic Goals: Understand that your exercise routine might not be as rigorous as at home. Aim for shorter, more manageable workouts that can easily fit into your travel schedule.
  • Walking or jogging tours: Don’t take a taxi everywhere. Explore your location on foot instead, which is a great way to work out and keep your trip budget-friendly. 
  • Go on a day hike or nature walk: Research local hiking trails or national parks where you can enjoy the wonders of nature while still getting a good cardiovascular workout
  • Biking: Keeping your body active and benefiting the environment? We don’t see a reason why you shouldn’t go sightseeing on bikes for your next dream holiday.
  • Water sports: Island-hopping this holiday? Well, there are plenty of fun and fit activities to do in or near the water, such as snorkelling, scuba diving, paddleboarding, swimming, and jogging along the shore.
  • Have an active morning: Start your day with a jog, a yoga session in your room, or a brisk walk to explore the local area. This is especially crucial for business travellers, who oftentimes don’t have much free time to exercise while travelling.

Remember to stay hydrated, bring appropriate clothing and pack smartly for the activities. Since you’re going to be travelling and working out at once, it’s a must to invest in a good backpack that can be your trusted companion for both kinds of activities. 

We like to call it, a backpack that is good for work, play and exercise on the go. A recommendation is CabinZero’s military lineup. It’s versatile and durable with a quick-access pocket for your travel gear and water bottle and air-mesh shoulder straps. So, you don’t have to worry about switching bags for different activities.

How Do I Keep Working Out When Traveling: No Equipment Workouts To Do

Let’s be realistic here. Packing your heavy weights and all your bulky gym gear for a vacation can be inconvenient, even if you have mastered the art of smart packing.

And the truth, which any seasoned fitness lover knows, is that you don’t always need all of that to have an effective workout session, especially when you’re globetrotting. 

Working out should not be limited to one single place. You can do it even while you’re travelling. With that being said, here are the best (and easiest) ways to exercise while travelling. They are the best exercises you can do without equipment. You can choose one exercise or incorporate two or more into one session as you like.

What To Do

Exercises To Do


Doing regular workouts without gym equipment

  • Jumping jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Plank
  • Squats
  • Mountain climbers
  • Lunges
  • Tricep dips
  • High Knees
  • Crunches
  • Use your backpacks as weights to incorporate into the exercises.
  • Use your hotel room’s chair or stairs. 

Fill your itinerary with outdoor activities

  • Water sports
  • Hiking
  • Touring the town/city on foot
  • Biking
  • Perfect for when you’re staying at an accommodation with limited space, or you have an eventful itinerary.

1. Jumping Jacks


Jumping jack is easy to do but effective.

Stand with your feet together and your arms outstretched to the sides, parallel to the floor. Make sure your palms are open and facing upwards. Jump and open your legs to the side.

As you jump, raise your arms above your head and put them together as closely as you can. The rhythm is effortless to catch - legs closed, arms out, legs out, arms together above head. Keep your core engaged and your breathing steady.

2. Push-ups And Plank

This workout for travelling will take only about 2 minutes.

Get on the floor face down. Place your hands shoulder-width apart and extend your legs behind you. Lower your chest by bending your arms, then back up. One thing to keep in mind is that the pressure should be in your arms, chest and stomach, not the small of your back. 

If you’re feeling that your back is wobbly or arching more than it should, you’re positioning yourself wrong, or your centre of gravity is off. 

If doing push-ups is a bit too strenuous for your current fitness level, try planking instead. Both are ideal exercise for travelling as they require limited space to practise.

Start in the push-up position, but instead of on your hands, you’re on your elbows. They should be directly beneath your shoulders, and your forearms should be parallel to each other. Hold this position for as long as you can—10, 15, or 30 seconds. 

3. Squats

10 minutes a day, and you’re golden.

Stand with your feet should-width apart, then lower down as if you’re sitting down a chair. Your weight should be in your heels, and as you lower your body, your butts and knees should not be bucking. The key to avoiding this from happening is to curl your toes as you go down. To make it easier, you can try extending your arms in front of you.

4. Mountain Climbers

A great exercise you can do while travelling because it requires no equipment and minimal space.

Start in a plank position. Then, alternate pulling one knee towards your chest like you’re going up the stairs but horizontally. Don’t go so fast because the point of the exercise is to engage your core as much as possible. 

If you want to make it faster to pick up your heart rate, try doing the exercise with your hands on the floor instead of your elbows. Remember to keep your body straight and avoid straining your lower back.

5. Lunges

Another bodyweight exercise to do when you don’t have access to a gym.

Stand with your feet should-width apart, then step forward with one leg. Bend both knees to a 90-degree angle. Then, push back up and switch to the other leg. You should feel resistance in your thigh muscles and not your knees or the front of your shin. Make sure you’re bending down instead of pushing yourself forward. 

6. Tricep Dips

 Another easy way to stay fit while travelling.

Use a chair in your own hotel room for this exercise; it’s all you need to start exercising while travelling. Sit on the edge with your hands beside your hips, flat on the surface. Slide your hips off the chair and lower your body, bending your elbows. Anchor yourself with your hands. Then, push yourself back up on the chair using your triceps.

It sounds harder than it is. The key is not to go so fast so your body can feel the burn and the resistance of your muscles, which is what makes the exercise effective.

7. High Knees

Try to get your knees as high in the air as possible.

This one is another highly active exercise, just like the jumping jack. Stand with your feet hip-width. Run in place by lifting one knee towards your chest and quickly switching to the other leg. Keep your posture upright and your breathing steady. 

It can be difficult to adjust your breathing when doing fast exercises. A good trick is to focus your eyes on one part of your body, such as your left leg. When it’s raised, you inhale. When it’s down, you exhale. Try to keep it consistent and rhythmic. 

8. Crunches

Take care so that your lower back is lowered to the mat.

For regular crunches, lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind your head. Keep your feet flat on the floor, and don’t move them around while doing the exercise. Slowly lift your shoulders off the ground to sit up, curling your upper body towards your knees.

Don’t swing yourself up by pulling your head with your hands. You should feel your abdominal muscles contract, not your neck. A good trick to avoid that is to shift your focus from your hands to your stomach. And keep your eyes on the ceiling instead of trying to see your knees.

You can add a challenging twist by doing the bicycle crunches. Follow the same steps, but instead of keeping your feet on the ground, you lift them in the air and pretend you’re pedalling a bike. 

Can You Work Out Without Weights While Travelling?

How To Exercise While Travelling - CabinZero

Backpacks or water bottles can be perfect alternatives for weights.

Many people have this image that exercise means using professional gym equipment for it to be effective. But the truth is that you don’t need to use actual weights at all. You don’t have to worry about finding ways to pack your weights into your suitcase.

So, what can you use instead of weights? Here are some amazing alternatives you can try.

Use Your Water Bottles 

Anything heavy and comfortable to hold can be used as weight. Water bottles are a great alternative and are accessible almost everywhere. They come in a lot of sizes, too. 

Use Your Backpack

Fill your backpack with clothes and bath towels until it feels like your desired weight. You can do squats with your backpack on your back or hold it in your hands in front of you. If you have two, hold one in each hand. 

Similarly, when doing push-ups, the added weight can increase the intensity and help strengthen your back muscles. You can also wear your backpack while doing lunges. 

CabinZero’s advice: Make sure your backpack is durable and the straps are perfectly sized. This can help avoid them digging into your skin painfully when it’s heavy.  A good multi-purpose backpack is helpful in more ways than just acting as your weight. By using a good backpack, you can travel hassle-free and light.  

Use The Hotel Facilities

Instead of using the lift to go up to your room, you can try using the stairs. Your workout session doesn’t have to be in your hotel room only. If your hotel has a yard, use it. If your hotel has a swimming pool, don’t hesitate. After all, the art of exercise while travelling is all about using your surroundings.

Is it OK To Skip Workout During Holiday

How To Exercise While Travelling - CabinZero

Skipping a workout doesn’t mean you can’t get active during holiday.

Everybody should take a break at some point. It’s not something to feel bad about. A short, temporary break is not going to damage your results or reverse your progress. 

In fact, it’s advisable to give yourself a day off from your fitness training. A vacation is a time to reconnect, relax and refresh after all. Your body needs it more than you’d expect. If you’re stressed out because of a few days of not working out, it actually defeats the purpose of the whole thing altogether!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t stay active on your vacation. There are many ways to do so without going to the gym or putting aside some time for regular exercise.

Yes, You Can Exercise While Travelling

If you’re a globetrotter and a fitness lover at once, you don’t have to worry about losing track of your progress. Exercising while travelling doesn’t refer to hitting the gym and working with professional equipment. It’s all about using your surrounding resources to get your body moving.

If you’re staying at a hotel without an indoor gym, turn your hotel room into the gym. Use your backpacks or water bottles as weights. If you want to work out outdoors, don’t hesitate to fill your itinerary with many physical outdoor activities, such as going on a day hike or playing water sports. Last but not least, travel can be fun and fit as long as you know how to balance it out. So, have fun, get creative, and enjoy the moment.

If you find our article useful, please leave us a comment and connect with us via social media.

Nguyen Tran Gia Khanh

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