5 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling or Staying in a Hotel Room

5 Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling or Staying in a Hotel Room
/ Jun 15, 2021
Jared Graybeal

Staying fit while traveling can be a challenge for many people trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The disruption to your daily workout routine, the lack of access to your usual gym or workout equipment, and the temptation to indulge in local cuisine can make it difficult to maintain your fitness regimen. However, with a bit of planning and a few simple tips, it is possible to stay in shape whether you're visting family, going on an RV trip, or staying in a hotel or Airbnb. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the best strategies for staying fit while traveling.

If you like to make functional fitness training a high priority, but you travel a lot, live on the road, or want to go on a road trip, here are five tips from my past three months on the road.


It's easy to indulge in local cuisine and forget about your usual healthy eating habits, but don't forget about the importance of healthy eating when it comes to staying fit while traveling.

This is easier than most people think, but depending on which route you take, it could be a little pricey. This is why I like Airbnb for most trips, because I can go to the local grocery store, grab a few pounds of protein, some eggs, a box of rice, and I can prepare my own meals for a few days. But when I’m not in an Airbnb, I have to find local spots that have healthy options that I can order to-go a few times a day.

The real hack here isn’t so much about finding where to go or what to eat, but having the discipline to choose healthy over unhealthy each time you eat.

My tip here is to Google a local American restaurant, find the chicken and rice meal or the steak and potato meal on their lunch menu, and preorder however many you need for your stay. Even if you’re in a hotel, you will have a mini fridge and a microwave, so you just store em until it’s time to eat!

And the breakfast included at many hotels is a minefield of bad choices. Don't linger too long around that buffet and just grab some hard boiled eggs and fruit, and go for a walk.

2. Pack Your Own Workout Gear

Doing ten push-ups in your hotel room while the shower is heating up won't advance your fitness. So before you leave for your trip, make sure to pack some essential fitness gear for strength training, so you can get a full body workout . These items won't take up much room and will really encourage you go prioritize fitness.

These are the essential items I bring with me every trip:

For around $100, you basically have a gym that fits in one square foot of space on the floorboard of your car. And if you fly instead of drive, the speed ropes and strength bands are still wayyy better than doing just bodyweight stuff.

Strength training is such a powerful tool for weight loss and improving body composition because it builds lean muscle mass, which can help increase your body's metabolic rate. Muscle tissue requires more energy to maintain than fat tissue, so having more muscle can help you burn more calories at rest. Additionally, strength training can help you maintain muscle mass while losing fat, which can help prevent the loss of muscle that often occurs with dieting or cardio alone. So I focus on getting my heart rate up and doing strength training.

Here’s a great hotel room workout I do:


  • Double-Unders (sub for single unders)
  • Kettlebell Swings
  • Sit-ups

5 Rounds of 10 reps each

  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat
  • Good Mornings with Resistance Bands
  • Kettlebell Clean and Jerk
  • Heavy Banded Single Arm Rows

*Also, I take the light resistance band and do 100 “pull-aparts” every day. This will help to make your shoulders much stronger over time and reduce the risk of injury.

3. Skip the Hotel Gym

Hotel gyms often have only cardio equipment and a basic cable machine, and hotel room workouts can get stale. So if I have time, I find it's fun to explore the fitness scene in a new city.

CrossFit gyms can be found in many cities around the world and offer a great way to stay on track with your fitness routine. Many CrossFit gyms offer drop-in classes for travelers, and it can be a great way to meet new people and try out new workouts. Not only can you get a great workout in, but you can also get tips from local coaches on healthy eating and other fitness-related topics. Plus, it's a fun way to break up your usual routine and challenge yourself in new ways.

Some hotels also have free or discounted day-passes to local gyms to try out.

If all else fails, you can survive for a few days with simple hotel room workouts by combining bodyweight movements such as planks, lunges, air squats, and push ups. Maybe even kick up onto a wall for some handstand push ups!

4. Get Extra Mobility on Travel Days

Whether you’re flying or driving, you’re going to be stuck in a seated position for far longer than your body is used to. With your hips at flexion for long periods of time, your shoulders rolled forward, you need to try and reverse the negative effects on posture as much as possible.

On the days I travel, especially if I’m driving four or more hours, I usually take that day off of the gym. Instead, I’ll spend about an hour going through a full body flow. Sometimes I’ll do a mobility workout, and sometimes I will just make it up. I also bring a foam roller with me. The point is to elongate the muscles and get them back to normal after being in a bad position for so long and to get some blood flowing properly.

Again Faster has two excellent series on this topic: The Foam Rolling Series shows you how to use a foam roller to mobilize different parts of the body. The Mobility Series shows you basic stretches to improve mobility in your back, core, hips & hamstrings, chest & shoulders.

5. Prioritize Recovery and Sleep

Recovery is one of those things most people often don’t consider. But if you’re training at a high level, then you need to recover at a high level.

Cold and Hot Baths

Unfortunately, sitting in a car for long periods, changing beds regularly and having less consistent routines can make it harder for your body to recover. Because of this, I take more ice baths and hot baths than normal. When I get a hotel or Airbnb, I make sure they have a bath. Trust me, it’s a game changer.

The idea behind ice baths is that the cold water helps reduce inflammation and muscle soreness, and can speed up the recovery process. Taking an ice bath causes blood vessels to constrict, which reduces swelling and inflammation in the muscles. After the ice bath, the body naturally dilates the blood vessels, which brings fresh blood and nutrients to the muscles, promoting healing and recovery.

Taking a hot bath is also a great way to aid in recovery after a workout. The warm water helps to increase blood flow and circulation, which can help reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. When you exercise, your muscles produce waste products such as lactic acid, which can contribute to muscle fatigue and soreness. A hot bath can help to increase blood flow to your muscles, which helps to flush out these waste products and promote healing and recovery.

Additionally, a hot bath can also help to relax your mind and body, which can be beneficial for reducing stress levels and promoting better sleep. Stress can be detrimental to physical fitness, as it can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain and muscle loss.


And this last point seems like a given, but adequate sleep is essential for the body to recover and repair after a workout, and lack of sleep can lead to a decrease in physical performance and an increased risk of injury.

When traveling, it can be challenging to maintain a regular sleep schedule due to changes in time zones, different beds, and noise levels. However, it's important to prioritize sleep as much as possible to ensure that you are getting the rest you need to perform at your best.

I’ve learned to read the reviews and see what people are saying about the beds. I might even call the hotel and ask what kind of mattresses they have. One of the worst things ever is booking a hotel for three or four days, and finding out the first night that the bed is like sleeping on cardboard (unless that’s what you like).

Some other tips for getting better sleep while traveling include bringing earplugs or noise-canceling headphones, using a sleep mask, keeping your sleeping area dark and cool, and sticking to a regular bedtime routine. Additionally, it's important to limit caffeine and alcohol intake, especially before bed, as these can interfere with sleep quality.

Getting enough sleep can also help with managing stress levels while traveling. Traveling can be stressful and stress can be detrimental to physical fitness as it can lead to elevated cortisol levels, which can contribute to weight gain and muscle loss. By prioritizing sleep and implementing strategies to improve sleep quality, you can ensure that your body is getting the rest it needs to recover and perform at its best. So don't forget to include sleep as part of your overall fitness routine, even when traveling.