How to Stay Active While Traveling Over the Holidays


Unpredictable schedules. Hotels. Airplanes. Cars. Events. Family to visit.

From Thanksgiving to New Years theres a lot more life to do! It may feel impossible to fit in fitness while traveling for the holidays. But believe it or not you can find time to exercise during the “most wonderful time of the year” – it just takes a little planning and the desire to succeed.

Staying active is key for me when traveling so I don’t arrive home feeling like a total hot mess. I need fitness to help me deal with jet lag, energy, to allow me to recharge, and to give me the self care needed to be fully present for all the special holiday moments.  Its one thing I pack with me for every trip no matter what! Here are some tips for enjoying your holiday travels without letting fitness fall by the wayside. 

How to Stay Active While Traveling Over the Holidays

Try active sightseeing and fitness-related excursions.

Rent a bike to explore a new city, go snowshoeing or skiing, or simply walk! I love exploring new cities by foot. You get to see things you would never experience in a car. Running is my preferred mode of exploration and I truly enjoy discovering a city’s streets while getting a fun workout. Most recently I visited Philadelphia for my little brothers wedding and made sure to make some time to combine working out with sightseeing.

Try out a new-to-you fitness studio.

I love using travel as an excuse to try out fun new-to-me workouts, studios, or gyms. Its a great way to mix it up from your normal workout routine and give your body a different challenge. Most often studios will offer “first class free” drop ins or 3 day/one week trial passes. Day passes are another option and typically affordable (and worth it for the exercise experience). To find a class near you, use or to check out reviews and get insider tips before you check out a workout.

Use small windows of time to Massage, Mobilize, and Maintain your Health

There are lots of opportunities to fit movement, self massage, or self care in when you are traveling. I carry my Original Yoga Tune Up Therapy Balls By Jill Miller with me in the car, airplane, and hotel so that I can have them handy to help me feel better in my body. I also typically fly/drive in running shoes and comfortable clothes to make movement more accessible.  Delayed in the airport? Perfect time to stretch your legs and walk around the terminal. Sitting in the airplane? Break out the yoga tune up balls and give your lower back some self massage. Waiting for a taxi cab? Stretch your hip flexors. Opportunity exsits you just have to look for it. Make it easy for yourself to succeed by having tools and clothes that help you feel GOOD ready to travel with you. Here are a few stretch/massage ideas for driving and flying that will help you feel instantly better once you get to your destination:

 Best In Airport Exercises

Airport Stretching Routine

Self Massage While Driving/Flying Routine

Road Trip Stretch Routine

Sign up for a holiday race or walk!

Turkey Trots and Jingle Runs can make visiting a new town for a holiday more fun. Holiday races are a great way to stay active and motivated to train during the busy season. Most cities and towns have gotten on board the holiday race bandwagon; and are good resources for finding races near you. You can also check out this great running events search at Lets DO this online. Not finding any that work? Host your own “race” with your family! Bonus: you’ll work up an appetite for those holiday meals and bond over something active.

Pack For Success.

Do some research before you leave on the exercise options and what you’ll need to pack to enjoy them. Is it hot, cold, wet, etc? Bring layers and always always always an extra couple pairs of socks. That way you be prepared to take advantage of exercise opportunities that arise excuse free!

If studios aren’t an option, design your own workout!

Bring resistance bands, a jump rope, a travel yoga mat, or other portable exercise equipment with you, and utilize whatever other equipment you have on hand. You might have a hotel or home gym full of weights and balls, but if not, get creative – use chairs for step ups and dips, turn soup cans into light weights, etc. If you need some inspiration, pack your favorite workout DVDs or try a fitness app. I LOVE to have a video to motivate me when Im working out alone. I use for high quality yoga classes and subscribe to several great youtube channels. 

Here are some other free fitness apps I love:

  • Nike Training Club – a huge variety of workouts – you can select intensity and time, and there are workouts available that don’t require any equipment, too.
  • The Scientific 7 Minute Workout – this is the online version but there’s also an app that will guide you through it – just search for it by name! I usually do it a few times in a row – it doesn’t require anything but a chair.
  • Hot5 – 5 minute workouts for those that get bored quickly. From abs to yoga to HIIT workouts and more! Sadly only available for iPhone – can’t wait til they come to androids.
  • Sworkit – a big variety of workouts, including strength training, stretching, cardio, pilates and yoga – and no equipment is required. I also love their tagline: “Get to Swork!”

Pinterest is also a great resource for at-home (or hotel room) workout routines.

Incorporate fitness into your family time.

I love taking family walks and hikes during the holidays. And remember that fitness doesn’t just mean organized activity – embrace your inner kid and build a snowman, go sledding or ice skating, or play tag!

Healthy holiday traveling is just all about planning. Think ahead, envision where, how, and when you can exercise before you go, and pack accordingly. Plan for success and it will be easier for you to stay on track and maintain your health. Stay committed to taking care of yourself, flexible with your schedule, and open to all that is possible – these healthy habits will help you be an unstoppable travel pro! All of this said… be realistic, too! You won’t be able to 100% stick to your normal workout routine during the holidays and that’s okay. It’s a time to recuperate and relax a bit, as well! Be kind to yourself – stay active in ways that are fun to you and incorporate built in fitness into your day to day activities (walking, taking the stairs), but don’t stress yourself out if there are days when a workout simply doesn’t happen.

How do you stay active while traveling during the holidays? Leave your top tip as comment below, Id love to hear from you! And as always, if you liked this post, please share it with your friends on Facebooktwitter, or email. Stay tuned next week for my top products that help me stay healthy during the holidays….. More great content is headed your way every week to help you live a happy life! 

Wishing you safe, healthy, and happy holiday travels,


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