Traveling for work or going out of town for any reason isn’t a free pass to derail your nutrition and exercise regimen, but how do you stay fit when travelling? Stacked celebrity chef Robert Irvine reveals how to train hard and eat well on vacation – whatever your destination.

Sure, being at home allows you to have more control over every aspect of your diet and training, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up complete control just because you have to hit the road or skies. I travel often, and for me the key to staying on top of my fitness program while I’m away is to prepare for success. Here are my best tips for staying fit when travelling or on vacation:


How to stay fit when travelling in 9 simple steps

I know going on the road isn’t an excuse to let my nutrition and exercise plan hit the skids. Since we’re almost in the summer, when vacations are common, I thought I’d give you my personal tips for staying fit, and even getting in your best shape at any destination.


how to stay fit when travelling


How to stay fit at the airport

1. Walk. Don’t bother with the moving sidewalks: you’ll burn more calories if you let your two feet carry you to your departure gate.

2. Obviously you can’t take a huge bottle of water through security, and after you get through, you’ll pay a small fortune just to buy a drink. So, take your own empty bottle and fill up at water fountains.

3. Airports don’t exactly pride themselves on the healthy options they place in their food courts, and we all know you’re going to pay well over the odds to help suppress the traveler’s munchies. Take a bag of nuts, protein bars, beef jerky or any ‘non-rancid-smelling’ foods that fit into your plan.


How to stay fit on the road

4. Gas stations are the perfect place to say, ‘Oh, well,’ and buy three candy bars because you’re starving. Don’t do it. Plan ahead and, just like the airport, pack some snacks. If you do a little bit of searching before your trip, you can find healthier restaurants along your route.

5. If you have to resort to fast-food chains, make educated decisions about what you order. Skip the high-calorie condiments (ranch, mayo), stick to leaner meats (grilled chicken, turkey) and drink plenty of water to combat the higher salt levels these foods have.


How to stay fit on vacation at the hotel

6. The majority of hotels have gyms available to guests, but most people seem unaware of this or just don’t bother to use them. Don’t let that be you. The best time to go training is first thing in the morning. This is because it gets the job over and done with, wakes you up and serves as motivation to make better choices throughout the rest of the day.

7. No gym? No problem. You can easily put together a short bodyweight or high-intensity interval training cardio circuit for your small space. Use moves like lunges, push-ups, bodyweight squats and chair-dips. Remember, even a 20-minute workout will yield some benefit, while a zero-minute workout won’t.


How to stay fit in the pool or the beach


how to stay fit when travelling


8. If your hotel has a pool, which most do, then this is the perfect opportunity to get in a full-body resistance and cardio workout. There’s a reason swimmers are in phenomenal shape – propelling yourself forward against water is fricking hard work. One way to structure a routine is 15-20 minutes of 1 hard lap with 2 slower, recovery laps. This way you’re getting your cardio in and your muscles get a run for their money at the same time. You’ll be surprised at how pumped you’ll look  afterwards.

9. If you’re on a beach location, then make sure you absolutely rinse (pun fully intended) the water-sports activities. Whether it’s paddle-boarding, snorkelling, rowing, scuba diving – there’s literally no end to the fun sports you can do while getting your heart rate up at the same time.


Bear in mind that you’re in control. The only excuses are the ones you make to rationalize your decisions. There’s always time and a way to stay fit on vacation or while you’re travelling. You just need to keep focused and motivated to make the best decision for your training plan.

Don’t forget that it’s also important not to be too hard on yourself should you decide to take an extra day off or indulge your burger and beer craving; accept your decision and continue to move forward with your plan.

Self-discipline is important but if you’re too hard on yourself, you may find you’re less motivated to keep pushing forward.

Remember that the point of your vacation or travelling is often to recharge your batteries and avoid burning the candle at both ends. If you’ve kept yourself in shape all year round, a week off won’t kill your physique and, in fact, may actually be the break your body needs to repair.

How to stay fit when travelling really boils down to remembering to enjoy your vacation while including fitness activities as part of the fun.

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