8 of The Smartest People In The Fitness Industry Share Their Healthy Travel Tips

It shouldn’t be difficult to live a healthy lifestyle.

It shouldn’t, but it certainly can be.

The internet is filled with conflicting advice, new diets are constantly emerging that promise to get you ripped in 6 weeks, and certain foods are branded as evil while others are labelled as ‘superfoods’.

It can be so overwhelming that some people never even get started, while others fail to make any real progress for years on end.

But there are people out there who want to change that.

There are people who are dedicated to helping you get in amazing shape without your life revolving around extreme workouts and restrictive diets. Everything they share is grounded in experience and science, and in their respective fields they are thought of as some of the most forward-thinking individuals in the industry.

Ranging from competitive powerlifters to some of the top athletic coaches in the world, and from influential bloggers to nutritional experts, they are continually working to change the fitness industry for the better.

I’ve learned a great deal from reading their blogs and articles over the years, and thought it would be a great idea to ask them all for their take on healthy travel. I reached out and asked:

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to people who want to improve their health and physique while travelling?

Between them they have covered specific exercises, motivation, prioritisation, nutrition and how to enjoy your trip without neglecting your health.

I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to be able to feature them on Travel Strong, and I’m extremely grateful they took the time out of their crazy schedules to do this.

So without further ado, here are their answers:


If your physique and health is of utmost importance, then create a plan. When I was in Thailand, I had NO idea what the living situation would be like, or if I’d have a gym immediately nearby. So I improvised with a TRX in alleys, parks, and doorways with Roger Lawson.

My plan was to train 4x per week no matter what – it didn’t matter if it was body weight only or in the gym. You won’t always be able to control the situation, but you can plan to make the most of your circumstances. If you can pack a TRX, it’s one of the best options you have if you happen to be gym-less.

As for our nutrition in Thailand, fresh fruit and vegetables were on every corner, so getting my nutrients wasn’t a problem.

Do some research before you go, and prepare for your workouts to be minimalistic at least until you get settled, and/or can find a gym.

JC Deen is a writer and personal trainer who is renowned for his no-BS approach to fitness. He’s been seen in Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Forbes.com, Bodybuilding.com, Zen Habits and is the author of LGN365.

I recommend a Mini-Band. Now, upon arrival, most people need to check their hip flexors, t-spine mobility, and rotary stability as flying and driving eat those up. So:

After these simple moves, often we feel a bit back to normal. Training on the road is tough, so I recommend this:

  • 10 Pushups
  • 20 Pelvic Tilts
  • 10 Unweighted Goblet Squats
  • Mini-Band Lateral Walk to the Wall and Back
  • 9 Pushups
  • 20 Pelvic Tilts
  • 9 Unweighted Goblet Squats
  • Mini-Band Lateral Walk

Continue on down dropping a rep off the Push Up and Goblet Squats (8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1), but always do 20 tilts.

You can do this in any motel room and you don’t have to worry about equipment at all.

Dan John is one of the world’s most highly respected coaches in the fields of movement, strength and athleticism. He has competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon.

Make it a priority. If you say “I don’t have time to exercise” what you’re really saying is “exercise is not a priority.” When I traveled, I made exercise my constant: no matter where I was or what my travel schedule looked like, I made sure to set aside 30-40 minutes every other day to get in a good workout.

Steve is the Rebel Leader at Nerd Fitness, where he helps desk jockeys, nerds, and average Joes level up their lives. Watch him exercising around the world!


Depending on the length (lets just say for shits and giggles a week), it may not be a bad idea for most people to view vacation as a “built in” deload week. Chances are most people have been busting their butts in the gym for months on end and haven’t had much of a break anyways. Who’s to say that vacation can’t be, you know, a freakin vacation! Let loose!

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to live at the all-you-can-eat-buffet the entire time, or that you shouldn’t make an effort to move around just a little bit (even if it’s to move from one side of the pool to the next).

I know when I travel I like to stay at resorts or hotels that have a gym. Of course, this can be hit or miss as some resort’s definition of a gym is a pair of mis-matched dumbbells, a treadmill, a few mats, and a rubber duckey.

For the most part, hotels and resorts recognize that a fair portion of their visitors live a healthy and active lifestyle and most make a concerted effort to provide a reasonably well-stocked gym. If this is the case, great! While you probably won’t be able to deadlift heavy, it stands to reason you will be able move around a little bit.

And even if they don’t have a gym, who’s to say that you can’t do other “active” things: sprint on the beach, play tennis, go hiking, swim, etc.

The point is this: I like to treat vacation as vacation. It’s not the end of the world if you can’t perform your 5/3/1 training session at the spa. Most likely it will be the best thing for your body to take a few days off. However, I understand that that is a tough pill to swallow for many people – myself included. I have to move around in some fashion. So try to make plans to stay at a hotel or resort that has access to a gym; or at the very least, try to think outside the box and understand that exercise doesn’t ALWAYS have to be in the gym.

Tony Gentilcore is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) holding a degree in Health Education. He is also one of the co-founders of Cressey Performance, a high-performance training facility located in Hudson, MA.

My two cents can be summed up like this: relax and have fun. Back in the day when I traveled I stuck with my workout routine at all costs – I’d seek out a suitable gym and go out of my way to keep following my program. But I quickly discovered that oftentimes this did nothing but stress me out.

Nowadays when I travel I make the most of the opportunity and take advantage of new adventures. For example, I make it a priority to be active in fun ways instead of seeking out a gym. This may include kayaking, hiking, swimming and snorkeling, or any other activity that presents itself. I’m also a huge foodie, so I try things I can’t get at home.

This relaxed approach has not only allowed me to enjoy my travel excursions to a higher degree, but it also greatly reduced my stress. Life is meant to be enjoyed, so keep the stress to a minimum and simply have a ton of fun.

Nia Shanks is the leader of  the Lift Like A Girl revolution. She’s dedicated to showing women how to build a better body and be even more awesome, the sane and simple way.

I think the most important thing to realize is that there is always a way to train while travelling. Understandbly if you are on vacation you may not want to exercise as much as you normally do, but if your goal is to continue to lose weight and improve your body then you must keep your workouts a priority. Most hotels have a gym, or a pool, or stairs. If you are travelling it means there are most likely cool places to see, and as long as you are in a safe area, you should try walking to those places.

The rules of nutrition to not change when you are traveling – Eat responsibly, you know when you are overdoing it and when you’ve had to much – don’t let traveling be an excuse to ignore these feelings.

Brad Pilon is an expert on intermittent fasting and knows more about nutrition than most people have forgotten. He is also the author of the best-selling Eat Stop Eat.

1. Locate a gym beforehand and be prepared to pay annoyingly high rates for day passes. I recently spent $60 so that my girlfriend and I could stick to the schedule and do our squats, deadlifts, bench, and hip thrusts while on a 3-day Vegas trip (most gyms there charge $30 per person per day). But the cost is worth it, as I would have felt guilty getting off-track from my normal routine, and I even set a squat PR when I was there.

2. Chances are, you’ll go out to eat and consume a ton of calories. So make sure you walk around and stay busy to counteract the caloric surplus. If you know you’re going to eat huge or go to a buffet, just eat 2 meals for the day or so, rather than sticking to 3-5 meals. This can help prevent the massive weight gain normally associated with traveling.

Bret Contreras is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), personal trainer, speaker, author and is currently seeking his PhD in Sports Science. He is considered to be the world’s foremost expert on glute training and is the author of 2×4: maximum Strength.

I’m obsessed with travelling. I’ve been all across the globe and have spent weeks – even months – at a time living out of a backpack sans gym equipment. Despite sub-optimal conditions, through using a variety of simple tips and tricks I’ve been able to improve both my health and physique.

If I could give you just 1 tip to help you achieve your goals, it’d be this:

Keep. It. Simple.

Forget expensive supplements, complex training programs, and extreme diets. They’re a waste of time and will do nothing for you.

Keep it simple and remember these 3 things:

1) When in doubt…lean meats & veggies is your go-to meal option.
2) When in doubt…find a local playground. They’ve got everything you need for a killer bodyweight workout.
3) When in doubt…go on a nice, long walk. Few things are as relaxing, enjoyable, and healthy as a sweet stroll in a new place.

Jordan Syatt is 5x World Record Powerlifter and a Westside Barbell and Precision Nutrition Certified Coach. He is dedicated to providing people with No-BS and easy-to-understand advice.

What To Take Away From This

If you’re set on improving your health and physique, you need to make it a priority when you travel. But it’s also important to understand that you’re not going to be able to follow the same routine you do at home.

You’re not always going to be able to find a gym with all the equipment you need.

You’re not always going to be able to perfectly balance your nutrient intake.

And you’re almost definitely not going to be able to take any supplements or your post-workout shake.

What you do at home is what you do at home. When you’re on the road you need to find a way to stay fit and healthy while enjoying your trip. Taken from the above advice, here are some ideas:

  • Walk. A lot.
  • Eat fresh, nutritious food wherever possible.
  • Find a way to be active. Whether that means tracking down a gym, finding a park to do bodyweight exercises in, packing a TRX, doing a hotel room workout (like Dan suggested), running, beach sprints, cycling, kayaking, playing tennis, swimming, whatever; make a commitment to your health.

It’s up to you find something that fits in with your travel plans, and more importantly, something you enjoy.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I enjoyed this article and all of its contributors. Its nice to hear they welcome the chance to take time off(de-load I think was the term). I use to fret all the time when I went away about my workouts. Not anymore, I know I work had all the other days throughout the year( Get Glutes member) so no more running around looking for gyms (pissing my hubby off). I do enjoy the foods that these different places offer. I just don’t stuff my face unless it is Clifton Park pizza. In which case it is pizza three meals a day for a week. I do get lots of walking in(daily trips to trails with dogs) and a lot of outdoor activities (yard work, stock piling logs for the winter at my little sisters log cabin) In otherwise I keep busy. I think that’s the key everything in moderation. A little fun, a little food, and a little exercise leads to little weight change..

    • He Maureen 🙂 Thanks for commenting – so pleased to hear you enjoyed the article! I think you’re attitude is spot on, and is something that a lot of people fail to grasp: relax, enjoy yourself, and make the best of the situation by staying active.

  • Who the hell are these people? Why not ask one of the bodybuilders or someone with extensive years of experience like Charles Glass

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