I’m not going to lie, when thinking about top tips for keeping fit when traveling, I caught myself thinking: ‘Would I actually freaking do this?’ Would I put time aside to condition and tone my body, instead of floating on my back in a sea? Would I go for a run when dealing with jetlag (or tropical humid heat). Would I find time to salute the sun when it’s easier to just kick back with a good book and people watch?

Yes, finding time to give your body the movement it needs can be tough whilst on the road. No local gyms, no usual yoga classes, no routine. But finding excuses is the lazy way of dealing with exercise (guilty as charged right here!), but wouldn’t it be great to end your travels feeling just as fit and fabulous as before you flew? It’s depressing enough coming home to reality – let’s avoid adding ‘I missed my flight because I couldn’t run fast enough’ to it. And this is why I work out.

Bacuit Bay: A quick guide to island hopping in the Philippines

1. Know what already works for you

At home in the U.K., I have a membership to a fitness platform called MoveGB. It gives you the freedom to access multiple gyms, fitness venues and heaps of random activities. It opened my eyes up to fitness and gave me the energy to deal with that surf camp with travelette Kathi! But the variety available allowed me to try out heaps of different things until I found what works for me.

I’m not a treadmill slave. I don’t do well with endless cardio. I like to move in different ways, which turns out to be yoga, boxing, kickboxing, weights… so when on the road, I don’t try to do a long run when I know I’d suck and be put off any further exercise for the remainder of the trip. I’d rather be stretching, swimming or using my body weight than passing out in a bush.

Find what fitness activities work for you and remember them when away – don’t force your body to do something you know deep down you hate. It’ll hurt mentally and physically.

2. Move every day

It’s so easy to become a beach bum. And not the romantic hippie ‘live in a bamboo hut and shower in the sea’ kind. The kind where you move very slowly, bum around on the sand, and walk a meagre amount under the hot sun. And the way to get over this? Move. Every. Day.

Siquijor: A quick guide to island hopping in the Philippines

Apply this to your travels and to your every day life! Getting movement into your lifestyle and avoiding sedentary activities will make a difference. Keep an eye on your steps and track them using an app on your smartphone or a pedometer. Aim for 10k-12k steps a day – this may sound like a large amount but when you’re exploring a new city, you can easily rack up steps closer to 20k. Feel the tired and satisfying ache in your legs, and be safe in the knowledge that you had a good workout.

3. When exploring, take the active route

Grab a bike! Biking around a new place is an ace way of exploring somewhere new. Work those thighs, get that heart pumping and glow glow glow with sweat. This kind of cardio can get you places fast and allows you to take in as many sights and sounds as possible.

In plenty of cities, towns and villages you can rent bikes. And if you’re going to be in one spot for a while, buy a second hand bicycle and ride your rusty stead into the sunset. Every day.

But if cycling ain’t your jam, then hit the trails. Get a decent pair of hiking boots and hike up tall hills to get ace views. Trails such as the Cistercian Route can be brilliant – wander quiet, beautiful countryside where community rules, wineries are bountiful and old monasteries stand tall in sleepy villages. And before you know it, you’ve done a pretty mammoth walk.

4. Throw in a few days at a retreat or surf camp

If your budget can stretch that far, spend a few days doing an active experience. Sign up to a surf camp and combat rolling waves, pushing and pulling your surfboard, powering through the current. An awesome workout!

Or get stuck into a yoga retreat and reset your body, mind and soul. I went to Bahay Kalipay on my island hopping trip through the Philippines: a raw food yoga retreat with daily meditation and other self-exploration activities. Bend and push your body into new shapes, get your sweat on in a natural Bikram session, eat wholesome treats (bye bye caffeine and sugar!) – leave feeling good inside and out.

Haven’t got the budget for one? Take yourself on a DIY retreat – switch off from technology, eat pure and clean, read interesting books, stay off the booze and do a yoga session twice a day.

5. Feel the burn in your dorm room

Whether you’re a hotel lady or a hostel queen, you can get up to some fitness in your own room. Incorporate simple stretches and body weight exercises into your morning routine and bounce into your day!

Sit ups, squats, lunges, a couple of burpees, some sun salutations, and maybe even gather some mates for a YouTube yoga session on the rooftop of your hostel. Start your day right – you’ll feel rejuvenated and more inclined to keep fitness a factor in your day. And that glass of vino at the end of an active day will taste all the sweeter.

So come on fellow lazy girls! Let’s keep active and keep moving in our travels – the world is our playground, so let’s treat it like a Calisthenics playground and get strong. But if you’re wanting more on keeping fit on the road, cop an eyeful of Caro’s top tips and let’s go!


All photographs by Sophie Saint

Sophie Saint was one of the original travelettes, from 2009 – 2017. After fleeing the UK with ink barely dry on her graduation certificate, she traversed the world with a backpack and spent a few years living in Melbourne – one of her favourite cities in the world.

She finally returned to the UK after a few years where she now whiles time away zipping off for European escapes, crocheting and daydreaming of owning her own hostel somewhere hot to live out eternal summers. See what she’s up to over on her blog saintsonaplane.com and instagram: @saintsonaplane