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How to Stay Fit on Vacation

It’s been a long time since I’ve taken a vacation. And when I say long I don’t just mean because of Covid long, I mean as in 16 years long. That was the last time Delaney and I took a real vacation, one where we didn’t bring computers, didn’t work, and just enjoyed being out of town. So, it’s been a long time!

Then we got dogs and started a business and we literally didn’t leave our house for over five years because of the bake shop. Over the last six years yes we’ve been fortunate enough to get to go to the beach in Carlsbad a couple times a year for a little over a week. Those trips are always technically for work as the reason we go there is one of our clients at Above 8000 Creative is there. So while we do get to beach and surf it’s always around our working schedules. 

girl drinking from a coconut

So since I sold the bake shop, we’ve done a little more traveling for fun because we finally have time to do so! We were in Palm Springs visiting my dad in February, then did one of our work trips down to Carlsbad in March. In April we went to San Fransisco and Petaluma, and in June we finally went back to Maui! And we recently drove cross country to Kansas to pick up our new puppy! 

And I bet a lot of you are traveling this summer too, so I thought I would share some tips for how to stay fit while on vacation. If you know me then you know I love to eat, good food specifically! But I also love to workout as well, I believe they both go hand in hand. So even when I’m on vacation I still like to workout! I don’t like to come home from out of town and feel sluggish, out of shape, or tired because I ate too much or didn’t keep up with my normal routine. 

It may seem difficult to stay fit while traveling, but really, it’s very simple and I’m going to give you some of my tips for staying fit while on vacation! 

How to Stay Fit on Vacation

Bring Workout Clothes 

This is half the battle. If you can pack your workout clothes and you have them with you, it can make you feel more motivated to use them! When I travel I always bring workout clothes – spots bras, tops, shorts, socks, and running shoes. I am usually going someplace warmer than where I live, haha! So I’ll usually wear some of my workout crop tops or tanks to the beach or pool so I get double use out of them and I don’t dirty an outfit that I’d wear after I take a shower. And Delaney always says I travel with too many things, so haha, this is a good way to use clothing twice. 

girl doing yoga on beach

Don’t Break Routine

The best way to stay fit on vacation is not break from your normal routine. If you normally workout daily, then try to fit that in while on vacation. If you normally workout three times a week, then try to make that your schedule on vacation. 

Bring Minimal Equipment 

Depending on where I’m going, I don’t usually bring much workout equipment. If I’m driving somewhere I bring a Pilates mat so I know I can do Pilates no matter what. If I’m flying I bring my jump rope as it’s easy to pack and it doesn’t weigh much at all. You could also bring resistance bands as well as those are also very light weight and don’t take up much space! When we went to Maui I brought just my jump rope as I didn’t know where the Airbnb was exactly and if I didn’t feel comfortable running in the neighborhood or if the roads were all highway at least I could get in some cardio. And I used it almost every day and jumped rope on the back deck with an ocean view! 

Find the Gym 

Lots of hotels have a gym, so if you seek it out you’ll know what’s in there and if you’d like to use the equipment. I don’t personally like gyms, as I’d rather workout outside if I have the option. But I did use it in San Fransisco as we walked outside every morning and then I’d just pop into the gym for 10 minutes for arms using their weights. So I was only inside for 10 minutes! 

Buy Something 

If you’re going to be gone for a couple weeks or more it might be worth it to just buy a yoga mat or buy a small weight set so that you can workout how you want. I’ve done this before and then I’ve either kept the equipment as my traveling set, or if I was flying I donated it to a Play It Again Sports. A yoga mat and a set of 5 pound weights are very inexpensive if you go to TJ Maxx, Target, or even shop on Amazon and have it delivered to your Airbnb or hotel upon arrival, much less expensive then having an over weight bag to check! 

tropical fruit stand

Minimize Eating Out

I know that for many of us part of the fun of vacation is trying new food in places we haven’t been, and I fully support that. But, you also don’t have to eat out for every meal in order to experience that. We always try to experience new and interesting food whenever possible, and it’s something we both love doing. However we do seek out organic restaurants and places that are farm to table or using locally grown ingredients. We always cook all our breakfasts on vacation as then we can have a leisurely morning, and then if we go out to lunch we don’t go out to dinner or we have a light lunch at the Airbnb and then go out to dinner. 

Eat Half Your Meal at Restaurants 

Restaurants portion things incredibly large! So large sometimes that you can share a plate and still have more than a normal serving! So sometimes even when we’re out we will share something. But if we both want something different then we’ll both get an entree but only eat half, we save half for later to have for lunch the next day. This not only helps your pocket book, but it also helps your waistline and helps you stay fit while still getting to experience the local cuisines. 

Ask the Locals 

Many tourist destinations have large restaurants that have been establishments for decades. And that’s great, I love seeing businesses succeed in the longterm, especially restaurants! But just because they’ve been there forever and they’re busy, it doesn’t always mean they’re good. Don’t let the hype sway your decision of the best fish tacos. I usually find that the best things are off the beat and path. If you don’t have time to do research beforehand on more low key eateries, then ask the locals. 

If you’re taking a lesson somewhere, renting bikes, or shopping ask the people who are helping you what restaurants they like. And don’t just ask them “where to eat”. Be specific and ask them what their favorite spot is for fish tacos, or whatever it is you’re craving. Many people working in a tourist town will tell you the popular places to go, but if you ask them where they actually go, then you’ll get a completely different answer. And people that live in a spot don't eat out at the most decadent or unhealthy places regularly, chances are the locals favorites will be a healthier option than the tourist destinations.

Make a Schedule 

If you want to stay fit and make working out part of your vacation, then pencil it into your schedule. I prefer to workout first thing in the morning so that’s my plan even if I’m out of town. I either walk, run, or jump rope as those are all easy cardio for me to do no matter where I am. Sometimes I’ll do Pilates afterward, sometimes light weights, or swim if I’m by a pool – which is my absolute favorite! But if I have activities planned then I’ll just start doing those instead. 

girl walking on beach

Plan Activities That Double as Exercise 

If you’re going to the pool, make it a point to swim and not just lay around. Swimming is such a good workout, and it’s so fun! Swim first before you lay around and have a cocktail, even just 10 or 20 minutes of swimming can make a big difference. I’m not a serious swimmer either, I do easy bread stroke, side stroke, or back stroke when I swim and I get a really good workout!

Ride bikes or walk instead of driving! You get to be outside and you also get to see more scenery than if you’re driving in a car. Not only that but you get exercise while getting to wherever you’re going whether it’s dinner, a show, or shopping. 

If you’re going to the beach, make sure to do an activity there. You can snorkel, swim, boogie board, paddle board, surf, or even make a sand castle. All of these activities burn calories, more calories than just sitting in the sand – plus they’re so much fun! 

If you want to stay fit while on vacation, there are many ways to do it! But, the most important thing is to have fun while you’re on vacation. 

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Make sure to check out my Healthy Asian Salad With No Sugar, which I’m sure you’ll love too!


  1. I love this! Thanks for posting 🙂

  2. mimibakescookies

    so glad, thank you!

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