Fun Vacation Workouts Without A Gym

Fun Vacation Workouts Without A Gym

It can be difficult to  stick to your fitness plan   while traveling. You may have a different daily routine, or you may just be focused on fun activities that leave your fitness plan in the dust.

There are many easy ways you can incorporate physical activity and exercise into your vacation. Sometimes it may just involve some creativity or getting in a short workout when you can.

But the benefits of exercising on vacation are undeniable. By training the body with physical exercises, we strengthen the heart, normalize blood circulation and pressure. There are complexes that improve metabolism, relieve tension and pain in the muscles, and calm the nerves. Good mood and positive attitude to life. Sports energize!

You need to maintain the strength of the body in order to maintain the strength of the spirit. Victor Hugo

Tips and Ideas

Make sure to pack workout clothes and comfortable shoes when  packing efficiently   for any trip. You could also pack a jump rope or resistance bands because they take up very little room and can help you get in a great workout in a small space.

A travel hygiene kit is also a good idea for vacation.

Get up a little bit earlier and get your exercise in before breakfast. Go for a short walk, run through one of the sample workouts below, or do a yoga video to get your day started off right.

Even a 20-minute workout is better than no workout at all.

If you prefer to do a workout later in the day, schedule it on your calendar like an appointment and add a reminder to yourself. Take a break from the day’s activities with a  yoga routine   or a walk before dinner.

Plan activities on your vacation that involve physical activity. If you are in the mountains, try to go skiing. If you are at the beach, try surfing lessons.

Some resorts offer free fitness classes, like beach yoga. Take advantage of these classes if your resort offers them. Some hotel chains also have fitness equipment you can use as well, so use this option if it’s available.

Take a walking tour, rent a bicycle, walk to go shopping or to dinner, go hiking, or swim in the hotel pool. If you are on the second floor or higher, take the stairs as often as you can to get some extra activity.

If you bring your laptop on vacation like many of us do, there are so many resources with workout videos. YouTube has a great selection of a variety of exercise videos.

Bodyweight Exercises

Body-weight exercises are your friends while you are on vacation. For these exercises, your own body weight is providing the resistance, so you don’t need any equipment, and they can be done anywhere.


Lunges can be done stationary/static or as walking lunges. You can step forward, step backward, or step sideways/lateral. Lunge down as far as you feel comfortable and watch your front knee and make sure it doesn’t extend over your front toe.

You should feel many of the muscles in your lower body and butt working. It should not feel uncomfortable for your knees.

Bodyweight Squats

Squats are one of the best exercises you can do for your lower body muscles. When you squat down, stick your butt out and imagine sitting back in a chair.

There are a ton of variations for squats and you can hold on to a wall or chair if you need to. You should also feel many of your lower body muscles working, plus your butt.

Squat Jumps

Squat jumps are an easy way to get your heart rate up a little more than just a bodyweight squat. You will descend into a squat and then immediately ascend into a vertical jump.


Push-ups are a great upper body exercise that can be done with no equipment. They work your muscles around your scapula, shoulders, and arms.

Push-ups can be done on the floor on toes or knees. They can also be done against a wall, counter, or table to modify them.

Wall Sits

A wall sit is just a squat in a seated position against a wall. They may not seem difficult at first, but if you hold the position for a period of time (30 seconds to a minute), you will feel the muscles working.

Make sure you don’t let your knees go over your toes in the seated position. Aim for a 90-degree angle between your thighs and shins.

Toe Raises

Also called calf raises, this exercise works your calf muscles and can be done anywhere. You can do them with your heels hanging off of a step for an additional challenge.


A great isometric activity that engages many of your core muscles. Planks can be done with toes on the ground and arms are extended with hands on the ground or elbows flexed with forearms on the ground.

Your body should look like a board or plank.

Variations include side planks or plank spidermen (bring your knee to the same side arm while flexing your knee and hip).

Superman Back Extensions

This exercise may not seem difficult, but it is a great lower back exercise. Our lower back often gets neglected or we do too many exercises for the front of our core, like crunches or situps, which can create a muscle imbalance.

You can either lie on your stomach or get into a position on your hands and knees. Keep your neck and head neutral while raising your right arm and left leg, pause, then lower.

Then do the same with your left arm and right leg.

Glute Bridges

Glute bridges involve lying on your back with knees flexed. Lift your hips and pelvis up slowly toward the sky, pause, then lower slowly. They are great for your low back and glute muscles.

To make it more difficult, try a one-leg glute bridge with one knee extended and one foot resting on the ground.


There are many variations of burpees, but these are a great power exercise and can get your heart pumping. Start in a standing position, squat to place hands on floor and jump feet back to put toes on the floor in a plank position.

Return to the starting position. For added difficulty you can add a push-up from the plank position then a jump at the end.

Mountain climbers

Another great exercise to get your heart rate up a little bit. Get into a high plank position and jump one foot forward toward your hands at a time.


Bicycles are one of the best abdominal exercises you can do if you do them slowly with control. Start in a position like you would for a crunch.

Alternate bringing the opposite elbow and knee together while crunching up and rotating your torso.


Crunches are a basic abdominal exercise. The goal should be to focus on feeling the work in your abdominal muscles while keeping your neck neutral.

For a crunch, it is not necessary to do a full sit up but instead, just flex your torso and crunch up.

Here are two sample vacation workouts that can be done with no equipment in a small space. They can take as little as 30 minutes, or can be longer if you wish.

Sample Vacation Workout #1

This routine is focused less on cardio and more on strength training. Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up like walking, jogging, jumping jacks, or marching in place.

For each exercise, you will complete it ten times (repetitions). Go through the entire round of exercises two or three times.

To make it more challenging, add more repetitions or go through the round more than three times.

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Lunges (10 on each leg)
  • Push-ups
  • Bicycles
  • Squat jumps
  • Crunches
  • Side Planks
  • Back Extensions
  • Glute Bridges
  • Toe raises

Sample Vacation Workout #2

This routine has more cardio exercises that will get your heart rate up in between strength training exercises.

Start with a 5-10 minute warm-up like walking, jogging, jumping jacks, marching in place, high-knees, or any combination of those exercises.

For each exercise, you will do as many as you can for one minute, then you will rest for 30 seconds to one minute:

  • Bodyweight squats
  • Walking lunges
  • Jumping jacks
  • Push-ups
  • Crunches
  • High knees
  • Wall sit
  • Toe raises
  • Burpees
  • Planks
  • Back Extensions
  • Mountain Climbers

No matter how you decide to stay active while on vacation, remember any activity is better than none. Staying physically active will help you feel better and look better anytime you travel.

Melissa Morris
Melissa Morris,

Melissa Morris gives fitness and healthy living advice on the life insurance site,, and she has an MS in exercise science. She is an ACSM certified exercise physiologist and an ISSN certified sports nutritionist. She teaches nutrition and applied kinesiology at the University of Tampa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some creative ways to stay fit during vacation without access to a gym, and how can these workouts be integrated into a travel itinerary?
Creative ways include beach runs, swimming, hiking, yoga in the park, and using hotel room objects for resistance exercises. These workouts can be integrated by choosing active sightseeing activities and using downtime for short, intense workouts.

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