Working Out Whilst Travelling: It’s Hard

Jet-lag or jumping squats? What a choice…


Whenever I tell Paul, my personal trainer/friend who I basically pay to hang out with me, that I’m leaving the country for longer than a weekend, I can literally hear the tutting before it even starts. It’s not that he’s not cool with me going away, although I’m sure he looks forward to not having me moaning about doing bulgarian split squats and over-exagrating how the final rep of a bench press felt like death. He (I think) also loves the stories that I come back with – “You’ll never believe who I saw at a pool party? LEONARDO DICAPRIO! At least I think it was him. He was wearing sunglasses and a hat and I couldn’t really see.” However despite my celeb sightings that I’m pretty sure I’m the only one that gets excited about, he knows that I take travel as hall-pass to working out, eating a balanced diet and just generally taking good care of myself. He’s seen me return from my adventures with a pancake belly that I have to tuck into my leggings one too many times now. Hence the tutting.

So this time round I’m desperately trying to prove him wrong and it hasn’t been going too horrendously. I’m currently slap bang in the middle of a two week U.S trip. Last week I was at Coachella with Kiehl’s (side note: It was so amazing and there’s a vlog coming on Wednesday) and today I’ll be heading to New York to spend a week there with Mark. Two week slots don’t come better than that. Two weeks though is the longest I’ve been away in a while and as much as I love brunch and cookies and cocktails, I don’t much fancy undoing all the work I’ve done with Paul since the beginning of the year and returning to the U.K with my usual post-holiday kangaroo’s pouch. Here’s how I’m attempting to swerve it this time…


Booze-control. I think I’m going to do a whole post about food, booze and pancakes and how I still try  to fuel myself in a nourishing way that’s also really bloomin’ fun when I’m away. In the meantime I’ve been trying to dial back my alcohol intake. I’m not a big drinker, so when I do have a tipple my body responds in a ‘What the hell is this?! Lets up the water retention and puffy eye bags level‘ way. It ain’t a good look for me. It probably doesn’t help that because I’m not the biggest fan of alcohol I pick the most sugar-laden, fizzy, non-boozy tasting cocktails I can. I might have one or two at dinner, but I stick to plain old water the rest of the time.

A little something. Because something is better than nothing right? I’ve been trying to do something active everyday; whether it be a quick 10 minute ab circuit before I jump in the shower in the evening, to a cardio session at the gym. Working out when you’re away always feels like such an epic waste of time because I’d much rather be in bed, getting in the zzzz’s for the busy day ahead, or outside of the sweat-filled stuffy room where I’m doing crunches next to strangers. So even if it’s just a little yoga YouTube video (hello Yoga with Adriene!) in my room before bed, then it’s better than nothing at all. Something to stretch and/or more preferably sweat – every little helps.


Gym-time (sometimes). Some hotel gyms are the swankiest establishments I’ve ever set foot in. Others are a real dump, but you never know until you set foot in there. I’m a creature of habit. I like my gym. I know where all the equipment is, how to adjust the machines to my height, say hello to the regulars, know who the notorious ‘grunters’ are. So I can’t say that the idea of stepping into a completely new gym environment particularly enthrals me, but it is a good way to ensure that you can get some type of workout in. I tend to stick to the cardio machines until I’ve sussed everything out, but if I do fancy getting in some resistance training I bring along the book that Paul writes all of my workouts in, so I have some guidelines to follow.

Bring your own. When all else fails I whip my resistance bands out of my suitcase and do a mini routine in my room. That way I don’t have to traipse outside, I can do it in my PJs if I want and it doesn’t matter if I haven’t even got round to brushing my teeth yet. I like banded workouts because I enjoy that’s there’s a bit of resistance involved and it’s not just bodyweight and they get your heart-rate going but in a way that doesn’t necessarily make me feel like I’m about to pass out. Ha! Miss me yet Paul? Whitney Simmons has come great ones on her channel, but this PopSugar one is a nifty little 10 minute sweat-sesh too.

Photos by Fleur & Yours Truly


  • Rachel

    Such good tips! I find it super hard as well. When I’m alone I tend to try to bring running shoes and just go for a run out and about or in the gym as that’s just the most fuss free way to get workouts in. It’s harder when with partner though – usually on short trips we try to make sure we have workouts scheduled right before and right after the trip, but long trips are tricky even when we are doing loads of walking and sightseeing everyday!

  • Great tips Anna! Like you say I just try everyday to do some sort of exercise… a 10 minute walk sometimes will do!

  • I loved reading this, it’s definitely hard to realise you should still be exercising and watching your food to an extent when you are away. I’ll have to think about these tips next time I’m away in July. I hope you’re having an amazing time!

    Kristy |

  • I used to be horrible at working out on holiday, but ever since I started doing YT videos or HIIT routines at home anyway (much easier with the kids around) I keep foung throughout the holidays. i don’t hold back on the food though, one thing I am good at is enough.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • Sharmi Shah

    This post is just in time for my three months of travelling. It’s a pain especially when you’re not home more than a week and then you’ve got to travel again! Thanks for the much needed motivation Anna!


  • The Adored Life

    This could NOT be more timely because I am debating firing my gym because I pay SOOOO much for my gym but I am gone HALF the time I HAVE to find a way to stay active while traveling and combating all the salt+bloat that happens from traveling. Thanks for this post!

    The Adored Life

  • I don’t think I’ve ever worked out when I’m on holiday, I must admit, although I love it when there’s a pool at the hotel so I can get some swimming in x


  • Emily

    You should totally try Aaptiv, so helpful for workouts on vacation 🙂

  • I have NEVER worked out on holiday before- even when I’ve been away for more than a month.. it just doesn’t even cross my mind haha. But, reading this post has at least made me see it as a totally do-able option! Hope you’re having a fab time x

  • Staying healthy while traveling can be tough, but I find I walk places much more often when I’m away so I like to think that helps me stay on track!

  • hanan abdi

    Can be hard…but thank you for making it seem possible 🙂 xx
    A Girls Journal

  • Great tips! Thank you for sharing how you keep fit whilst travelling 🙂 I’ve found this really useful. Also love the photos, hope you had a great time at coachella! 🙂


  • Allison

    I saw Emma Roberts in a Target two years ago and I still talk about it 😂 celeb sightings make for the best stories that nobody else cares about

  • Great advice, thank you for sharing! Workout videos on YouTube are great and Yoga with Adriene is amazing channel!
    Love xx

  • Robyn Wells

    When I travel I walk a lot! I’m not a fan of gyms, but I do love yoga classes, where I go they are the antithesis of gym.

  • I’ve just got back from 2 weeks in Florida and whilst I was no fitness junkie before going, I’m even further from that now. This post really hits the nail on the head and you’re so right, small changes make a big difference! Thanks, Anna. Enjoy the rest of your trip in NY.

    Sincerely, Sarah xx

  • It can be so hard to stay on top of working out when away, but making it part of whatever you’re doing is great if you can, simply making sure I walk wherever I can is what I tend to do! Love this post so much Anna xx

  • I find it super hard as well. When I’m alone I tend to try to bring running shoes Women’s Bota Cuello Vuelto Chukka Boot

  • It is super hard for me as well but the only thing that helps me is the -kayla itsine’s BBG. AMAZING
    Miki xx