Woes of the Traveling Athlete


Staying fit while on vacation is always a struggle. You’re out of your element, your schedule is different, you don’t have your usual equipment, you probably want to be lazy and skip it. But you don’t have to. I firmly believe that continuing my routine on vacation is how I avoid the dreaded vacation weight gain.

When I’m traveling I do my best to pick hotels that have a gym. I do my research and book accordingly. It doesn’t always work that way. When there isn’t a gym option and maybe the weather is a little iffy, I have two choices. The first is to suck it up and go for a run in the rain anyways or to do a workout in the hotel room using the Nike Training Club app.

What are the woes of a traveling athlete? Sometimes it can be a hassle to make it work. First, you have to plan ahead. This could mean figuring out gym access, running routes, researching places to hike, etc. Second, sometimes you DO need a break. So plan that accordingly, too. What are some of the other challenges I’ve noticed? See below:



All of the casinos I’ve stayed in have had pretty decent gyms in the hotel.

The woe of Vegas?  BESIDES the decadence and overindulging…You almost always have to pay extra to use the gym. The last time I went to Vegas I paid to use the gym and was glad I did. Michael was usually staying up late playing poker and I’d get up at my normal time and have a good hour or so to kill. I headed down to the gym and got my workout out of the way.

Vegas is a good place to stay fit, ironically. If you don’t want to spend the money on the gym access, you can always go for a run on The Strip. That was a GREAT experience for me! So much fun! We were staying at The Palms and I just went for a run around the hotel. I got to see things I normally wouldn’t see by doing this. If you’re not a runner, don’t worry. You will get TONS of exercise simply walking everywhere in Vegas. The Strip is deceptively long and you end up walking probably 10 miles a day.



Running along the beach in Kona was amazing–one of my favorite memories of our trip to Hawaii beside swimming in the ocean (so much better than the pool at the gym). If running and swimming aren’t for you, what about kettle bells?

The woe of Hawaii? Michael decided to bring his 20 pound kettle bell to Hawaii with the intention of working out in the morning, which he did a few times. He packed the kettle bell in his carry-on and had no issues going through security on the way to Hawaii, but returning, the Hawaiian TSA was very concerned about it. They wanted to know what it was, why he brought it and eventually made him take it out and check it like a suitcase. He was annoyed at having to pay TWICE for the luggage when he could have put the kettle bell in his suitcase and save $20 and he was also worried that he wasn’t going to get the kettle bell once we arrived in Portland. We stood at the baggage claim for a long time before it finally came out. A lone kettle bell with a tag on it.



I love Austin. What a cool city. The culture, the food, the sites. There is so much to do and see there and I definitely felt like I was “at home.” People say that Austin is just like Portland, but hotter, and I felt like that was a pretty accurate statement the few times I’ve been there.

The woe of Austin? THE FREAKIN’ HEAT. Wowza. It was so hot every time we’ve been there (which is twice, LOL).  The last time we went there for our anniversary after Michael’s sister’s wedding it was in 107 degree territory. That was way too hot for me to go for a run, or for us to really go for a hike (which we did do a small hike once), so I had to think of something else I could do. I found Barton Springs, which was a natural spring they turned into a “pool.” It was a nice alternative to a sweaty, dizzy run in 100 degree heat.

Make It Work

The good news is that you can usually make SOMETHING work. It may not be ideal (like doing crunches in your hotel room) and it may not be what you wanted to do (like weight lifting, but there’s only cardio machines available). My motto is that something is better than nothing. Even if it’s an evening walk or a quick swim in a hotel pool, doing something to move your body will make you feel better.

So what are some of the fitness hassles and challenges you’ve encountered while traveling?

6 Responses

  1. I still brag about going to the states for 3 weeks and losing weight. My tips
    – walk everywhere, or take public transport. You see more, you meet locals, and you get exercise
    – find a supermarket and buy fresh fruit for your snacks. Saves money, too!
    – order a starter and a side salad. It’s plenty of food
    – try the local food, but not for every meal. I picked what was important to me (In ‘n’ Out burger, OMG) and ate healthy the rest of the time
    – ask for everything in a small. The thing that threw me off is that I was automatically given a large for everything. Even more concerning was that what I thought was a large wasn’t even the biggest size. Yikes. Kids size, small, snack size, are all words to look for.
    – eat a big breakfast, a snack, and dinner. Worked for me, plus there was more time for sight seeing!

    Hope that helps someone!

    1. Fabulous tips Jess! I especially like the appetizer & salad tip. Michael and I often do that on vacation so we can sample things and not fill up on a big entree. (And yes, In-n-Out!!!!!!!!)

      Walking everywhere is a great tip. I like to walk in new places to see things. Also going on runs on vacation means I can see new things too.

  2. I don’t worry about gym workouts when we vacation. I know we will be getting tons of walking in, since that’s what we do. If we have a hotel with a gym, that’s a bonus, but we don’t look for that because we like to stay in bed and breakfasts now if we can, which usually don’t have gyms LOL!

    We brought our bikes on our long vacation earlier this year, and honestly it was kind of a PITA. We researched some trails ahead of time, but the hassle of packing and unpacking the bikes from the car each day was not really worth the amount of riding time we had.
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    1. We’ve taken our bikes on vacations too. Most of the time it was nice and not a pain. There have definitely been a few times where we took them and it was a BIG pain. One time was in Hood River and we stayed in a hotel that was so tiny we could barely walk side by side in our room. There wasn’t anywhere to store the bikes really so they were in our room and it was just a big mistake taking them!

      Now that we have Bella we plan on going on more vacations where we can take her with us. So snowshoeing and hiking more often.

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