This Could Be Your Biggest Travel Mistake

By Garry and Carla Bridgewater

We subscribe to the notion that making mistakes when travelling are part of the adventure – providing nobody gets hurt. 🙂 In fact, your biggest travel mistake may not be leaving your passport at home. It could be leaving your fitness habit at home.

Travelling means getting away from it all. And in most cases, that also means losing your fitness routine. Even proper eating takes a hit when you need to eat out all the time, or face the never-ending buffet at the all-inclusives. But it shouldn’t be that way. Habits are habits, and if you’ve created a few good ones at home, then sticking with them when travelling should be a breeze.

In fact, exercising away from your normal environment can be interesting. And with a host of hotel gyms and wellness-focused vacations available, there really isn’t any excuse. And even if you don’t have a gym nearby, you can walk along the beach, jog (just watch out for the cobblestones!), bike or swim.

Before you even get to your destination, you have to fly or drive. If you’re like me, a long flight is terrible for my legs, so I usually perform a few stretching exercises to keep the blood flowing and the muscles from cramping.

And I like to walk around in the airport terminal. I eat light and skip the alcohol and (some of the) caffeine.

On the plane, stay on the move if you can by swivelling your feet and ankles. Turn them from side to side, squeezing the muscles as much as possible. Lift your knees (if there is room) to stretch the thighs and calves. Do a forward bend (if there is room). These two are becoming more difficult as airlines jam the seats together, but give it your best try. If you can, stand up and walk the aisles, do a squat now and then or raise the knees. You might get funny looks, but more likely people will look at you as being the smart one. And don’t forget to roll your shoulders and neck. That doesn’t take up any space and your shoulders will thank you.

And when you get to your destination…

Do a walking tour of the city or area

Mural on a coffeeshop wall in Munich
Mural on a coffeeshop wall in Munich

If I’m short of time, I prefer a sightseeing bus that hits all of the high points at one go. But if I’m in a city for a few days, or a week, I like to walk around. Check the hotel concierge, or local tourist office for companies that offer group walking tours. Or pick up a travel book that can often provide walking routes to all of the best sites. At some resorts and hotels, they can also provide you with a guide to a local popular running route, or take you on a guided bike tour.

Fitness and Wellness Vacations

These active vacations are becoming the thing to do lately, so there is no shortage of options. If you’re in an active vacation frame of mind, check the net for whitewater rafting, horseback riding, skiing and the like to find your best options at your destination. Plus, it’s easy to find a gym at your hotel, or if there isn’t one, bring along a set of resistance bands to get your workout in your room.

All-inclusive Resort and Cruises

Did I mention all-inclusives? Often they can be a terrific option on your fitness agenda. Water sports are usually included, and the Mexican and Cuban ones I’ve stayed in offer guided bike tours, scuba diving and other paid options, depending on the resort. And on cruises, the pools are open, and mornings can begin with guided yoga or aerobics sessions, and most ships have well-equipped fitness centres.

And don’t forget to eat right when you are away from home. It’s not always easy, and falling off the wagon is okay, so don’t beat yourself up for eating that chocolate cake. Just do an extra lap or two around the pool.

Flights, Hotels and More

Travelling is an amazing experience. Try to stay fit so you aren’t burned out at the end of a long day. To help you on your way, here are links to various sites:

If you would like to check out Airbnb, this link can help you on your way with a $50 coupon for your first stay.

VRBO is another excellent way to go. You can take a look at that option here.

For flights, we have used Expedia in the past to book trips.

Staying fit on the go is mainly about using your own bodyweight to create resistance. You can pick up a number of travel fitness tips with this bodyweight training book on Amazon.


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