When we travel, there is always an occasion for a drink and sometimes unhealthy delicious food. We’re on holiday after all, and need to try the country’s specialties! Trying the local food at hand and praising it to the locals is a great way to make new friends and getting to know the culture a bit better.  This is not a problem if you’re gone for a shorter period, but after a few weeks on the road staying fit while travelling might be something to keep in mind. At least I know I prefer to still be able to go for a run when I come back home and not feeling like it’s a close-to-death experience. Not looking like a boiled hummer also feels good.

Photo by John Wiseman (CC)

A while back Roy Marvelous asked us and other travel bloggers how we stay ridiculously good looking while traveling, and since just some of our tips made the cut – I’d like to share the rest with you here.

1. Walk or run every day. This is a great way of doing some sightseeing, and who said that your shopping round or way to the restaurant cannot be included in your daily work-out routine? Travelette Frankie says that “From my experience walking is the best and easiest way to squeeze in exercise in a busy travel schedule and can often save you money too if you are not using buses/trains/taxis. That is of course only if it’s safe to do so.” I totally agree, and if you get lost you get some extra exercise..

Photo by lululemon athletica (CC)

2. Do yoga or pilates. If you have some previous experience with yoga and pilates, you can do your exercices basically anywhere without much additional equipment. When I’m in need for some inspiration for my routine I turn to my Yoga iPad App or Blogilates YouTube workouts.

3. Get hold of a bike. It is a great way of getting around, especially in cities with greater distances. Many cities offer guided bike tours, and as Ina says: “Bike tours are the new thing everywhere and usually cheaper than the stupid bus ones anyways.” For some bike inspiration, check out our posts on how we roll.

4. Try local sports. Are you in an area where you can go surfing, diving with dolphins, snowboarding, climbing up a volcano, hiking, paragliding or sandboarding in the desert? Why not use this occasion to get some exercise and try something new? A safe option is always to go for a swim.

5. Eat healthy. Staying at a hotel or hostel with breakfast? Marie’s best breakfast tip is to stay away from white bread and toast, and rather opt for fruit and veggies. Make sure you eat a good breakfast that keeps some going for some hours. Opting for vegetarian food also makes it easier to choose healthy food (I’m doing some personal propaganda here..)

6. Take your vitamins. The most important source for vitamins if of course a healthy nutrition,  but as Lorna says: “I always manage to come down ill after a long haul flight and all that air conditioning/recycled air so it’s important to keep topping up especially on vitamin C, B & A.” “As you are exposing yourself to a new climate, diet, and different people wiht different germs, its good to stabilize your immune system,” Kyra adds.

7. Bring your own snacks. When you’re hungry, those cinnamon rolls are hard to resist.. but if you have some nuts, crackers and fruit with you it is easier to keep yourself energized and waiting until a healthier option is available.

8. Stay hydrated. Drink enough water! This is especially important when traveling in warm countries. In addition to helping you to avoid the worst sunstrokes and headaches it does keep you going. I bring a bottle of water with me everywhere, and where possible I refill it with tapwater.

9. Drink alcohol with moderation. I bet most of us have spent a couple of days with hangover during the holiday, and it is not fun.. Know your limit and drink enough water along the way. But when drinking, why not add some vodka, rum, whatever into blended fruit drinks, so that you’re getting a few valuable nutrients? Or maybe stay away from very sweet alcoholic drinks? (Goodbye beloved Caipirinha, I cannot believe I’m saying this..)

10. Wear sunscreen. You’ll get your tan anyway (or if you’re like me, freckles and slightly yellow skin). Looking like a boiled hummer does not make you feel fit nor attractive. Plus it helps you avoid skin cancer and looking like a raisin by the time you’re 40.

Most important of all is that you’re enjoying yourself and don’t obsess over anything. Enjoy your trip and stay fit you own way! What are your best tips for a fitter vacation?


Kathrine Opshaug Bakke Kathrine Opshaug Bakke, editor at Travelettes from 2009 to 2013, wrote this post. Originating from Norway, she has been living in Berlin, Lisbon, and Stockholm the past 6 years.

She loves cities with imperfect facades, photography, traveling by bike, vintage hunting, and everything that comes with cheese. Follow her visual diary at anchoredpaperplane.com.