Maintaining a travel workout routine can be difficult.

Jetlag, busy schedules, lack of access to gym equipment. It’s easy to make excuses or let fitness slide when we travel – Not anymore!

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The good news is, you don’t have to put exercise on hold while you travel, even if you plan to travel light. Some of the best travel exercise equipment on the market is more lightweight and portable than you might think.

Now you can grab a workout anywhere, even without leaving your hotel room.

Get More Tips on Staying Safe While You Travel in Our Safe Travel Guide

The Challenge of Balancing Travel and Exercise

In over five years of full time travel, we have learnt how quickly you can get out of shape when faced with changes in time zones and jet lag, different climates and of course, the temptation of new cuisines.

It could be the thrill of a new and exciting destination distracting you from your regular fitness routine, or it could be the busy schedule of a work trip.

Travel May Not Suit Your Style of Workout

Not every destination may be suited to your style of work out either. In SE Asia; chaotic traffic, dodgy sidewalks and sometimes high levels of pollution make the idea of jogging very unappealing.

When travelling in South Africa, it was either crime or wild animals that kept our usual walking routine to specific times and places. You may not be staying in accommodation with a gym and don’t have the budget for casual gym fees.

Find the Right Workout Equipment for Travel

We could have accepted any of these as good enough reason to put a healthy exercise routine on hold, but we knew it wasn’t viable in the long term. So, we changed the way we exercise by finding portable exercise equipment for travel so we could work out no matter where we were.

In this guide, you will find the best portable fitness equipment options for staying in shape while you travel, even in hotels and small spaces.

These are just some of the travel exercise solutions we have come up with over the years and thanks to their size, weight, and portability; they are all suited to those who need to travel light.

You’ll also find some great tips on how you can incorporate a workout into your day and stay fit while you travel.

Features of Good Exercise Equipment for Travel

When thinking about the best fitness equipment to buy for your travel fitness routine, consider the following:

  • Is must be lightweight.
  • Portable fitness equipment shouldn’t take up too much space – Will it fit comfortably in your bag?
  • It should be easy to use and if required, assemble.
  • Is the equipment suitable for your fitness level or skill?
  • Is this an item you will actually use in your travel workout?

Quick Guide: Compare the Best Portable Exercise Equipment for Travel 2018

You can read a more in-depth review of each piece of exercise equipment below.

IMAGE PRODUCT SIZE/ WEIGHT PORTABILITY
1. Speedo Elastomeric Solid Silicone Swim Cap Less than 4 ounces Check Price
2. Swimming Goggles Professional Anti Fog No Leaking UV Protection 5.5 ounces Check Price
3. Water Gear Water Runner Flotation Belt 2.6 pounds (1.2 kg) Approx. 25″ (65cm) long. Check Price
4. Detachable Travel Hula Hoop for Adults 2 pounds (900 gm) Detaches in eight small pieces for packing. Check Price
5. Adjustable Weighted Solid Rubber Jump Rope Less than 2 pounds (900 gm) Folds down and has removable hand weights. Check Price
6. Suspension Trainer Basic Kit + Door Anchor 1.7 pounds (800 gm) Designed to fold down for travel. Check Price
7. Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands Less then 4 ounces. Fold down small. Check Price
8. Heavy Duty Dry Bag Dumbbell “DryBell” Waterproof Bag – Sand / Water Weight Depending on size, bags are approx. 13 ounces (350 gm) when empty. Check Price
9. Adidas Men’s Energy Cloud Running Shoe Mens running shoes can weigh as little as 9 ounces (250 gm). Check Price
10. Fitbit Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband Weighs only 1.2 ounces (34 gm) Check Price
11. Fitdeck Illustrated Exercise Playing Cards for Guided Workouts Just like carrying a deck of cards. 10 ounces (280 gm) Check Price

The Best Portable Exercise Equipment For Travel

Swimming

Swimming is one of our favourite ways to stay fit when we are travelling. It takes no room to throw a pair of goggles and a swim cap in your bag, and you’re ready to go anytime you are near the water or a pool. You might be surprised at the countless opportunities to get an aqua workout when you travel.

Swimming Goggles

Professional Anti Fog No Leaking UV Protection Wide View Swim Goggles

CHECK PRICES HERE

Take Advantage of the Hotel Pool.

It doesn’t have to be an Olympic size pool to get some decent laps in, many hotels have pools large enough to be suitable for laps.

Try Swim Gym or Aqua Jogging.

If your hotel pool isn’t big enough for laps, a swim gym or aqua aerobics style workout can be just as good, if not better. Aqua jogging is another great workout that can be done with little or no equipment.

We know of people who always travel with an aqua jogging floatation belt although it can be done just as easily without a floatation device.

Find the Local Pool.

If your hotel doesn’t have a pool, it is often worthwhile scouting out the local pool. For a few bucks per visit, you can get an excellent workout in, and some public pools even have a gym attached.

Head to the Beach or Local Lake.

If the weather is nice why not take advantage of any beaches or lakes near you that are suitable for swimming.

Exercise Hula Hoop for Fitness and Weight Loss

A fitness hula hoop is a surprisingly great cardio workout perfect for core strength and weight loss. You can burn over 500 calories an hour with a simple hula workout!

I first started to use a travel hula hoop when we were in Vietnam for an extended period. While we had access to a gym, getting outside for a cardio workout like jogging or walking wasn’t always possible because of the terrible pollution and traffic.

I’m not going to lie, it took me a bit to master “hooping” as it’s called these days, but once I got going, I really enjoyed the workout. The beauty of hooping is you can do it anywhere including a small hotel room.

What to Look for in a Travel Hula Hoop

A good travel hula hoop will either detach into eight pieces or fold in half for easy storage or packing. I have the detachable hoop shown here, and it packs nicely in the bottom of my suitcase without taking up too much room or weight.

Hula is a really simple and fun way to work out, burn fat and get a slim waist.

Travel Hula Hoop

Detachable Travel Hula Hoop for Adults

CHECK PRICES HERE

Here’s a quick introduction to Hula for fitness exercises.

Skipping

Skipping is one of the best cardio workouts around. It is a high-intensity cardiovascular workout that requires balance, strength and agility. Much like hula, skipping can be done almost anywhere and you’ll be very surprised at how quickly you improve and how quickly the results show.

Proven to burn more calories than running, skipping is great for working out legs and arms, especially if you use a rope with weighted handles. It is also an excellent exercise to improve balance and coordination.

You can always find a space at a hotel or even at in a park to fit in a skipping work out. And, if you get really good at it, you can always skip on the run.

Skipping (Jump) Rope

Adjustable Weighted Solid Rubber Jump Rope

CHECK PRICES HERE

Resistance Bands

We only really came across resistance bands as a great addition to your travel workout kit after an injury left me needing some long term physio. I needed to rebuild muscle and work on my strength and flexibility but was not able to lift heavy weights.

Starting with mini resistance bands to regain movement and working up to a full suspension trainer, they proved to be a great full body and core work out especially for frequent travellers.

While no substitute for traditional weight training, resistance bands can substitute most exercises you would do with dumbbells –

  • Bicep curls
  • Shoulder Presses
  • Overhead triceps extensions
  • Bent-over rows.

Suspension Trainers and Resistance Bands

Lightweight Suspension Trainer Basic Kit + Door Anchor, Complete Full Body Workouts Kit

CHECK PRICES HERE

Fit Simplify Resistance Loop Exercise Bands with Instruction Guide

CHECK PRICES HERE

Travel Weights- Dry Bag Dumb Bell/Portable Kettlebell

If resistance bands are not going to quite cut it for your weight training workout, consider packing a portable sand kettlebell or a dry bag dumbell.

What I love about this travel workout equipment is its versatility as a travel item. When you are not filling the dry bag with sand or water for your work out, you can use these as a regular dry bag to store your stuff.

These type of dry bag trainers are great for traditional barbell and kettlebell workout movements such as

  • Squats
  • Presses
  • Curls
  • Bent-over rows
  • Lunges
  • Even ab work

Don’t be tempted to use just any drybag for this type of workout. These bags are designed with strength and durability in mind, so the won’t split. They also come with removable semi-rigid soft grip handles to ensure the bag doesn’t unfasten during a workout or bite into your hand.

Dry Bag Dumbbell – “DryBell”

Heavy Duty Dry Bag Dumbbell “DryBell” Waterproof Bag – Sand / Water Weight

CHECK PRICES HERE

Good Training / Running Shoes

Perhaps it sounds a little obvious, but get yourself a pair of good, lightweight running shoes. Emphasis is on the lightweight. We always try to go for a pair of running shoes that we will happily double as sightseeing shoes.

Again, versatility in your travel gear is key. There are some great designs on the market these days that will look equally good on the streets of any European city as in the gym.

Taking an early morning jog or even a brisk walk around a new city is a fantastic way to explore a new destination and see a different side of a city. Early morning is also the best time to exercise when you travel, before you get distracted with sightseeing, eating and drinking. If you have a good pair of runners with you, your more likely to get active.

Travel Workout Tip

On the back of city walking tours, some cities now offer city jogging tours. A great way to sightsee and exercise at the same time.

Good Running Shoes

Adidas Men’s Energy Cloud Running Shoe

CHECK PRICES HERE

Champion Black White Women’s Cross Trainer

CHECK PRICES HERE

Fitness Tracker

Fitness trackers are great for tracking your activity and providing a motivational tool for increasing activity and steps you take each day.

Wearing one when you travel helps keep you motivated to get active even on those sedentary travel days. Even a few laps of the aisle on the aeroplane counts towards your daily activity.

A fitness tracker will also help you monitor your overall health and well being by monitoring heart rate, calorie burn, breathing, even quality of sleep patterns. Something every traveller struggles with at some time or another.

Fitbit Fitness Wristband

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate + Fitness Wristband

CHECK PRICES HERE

Guided Workout Cards

Fitdeck Illustrated Exercise Playing Cards for Guided Workouts

Fitdeck Illustrated Exercise Playing Cards for Guided Workouts

CHECK PRICES HERE

Mix up your workouts with this deck of illustrated exercise playing cards. The cards feature illustrations and instructions in three difficulty levels using all types of equipment. Or, as with the Bodyweight deck – no equipment at all, perfect for travellers. Create a new workout every day by simply shuffling and dealing yourself 12 cards and work through the entire routine.

Guided workout cards are also available as an app, but with the cards, you don’t risk the distraction of the phone.

It goes to show, you don’t need much to stay in shape when you travel. There are so many innovative ways to combat the bulge while not compromising baggage weight allowances.

What’s Your Favourite Travel Workout?

I’m lucky enough to live in Santa Fe, a mountain town with great outdoor access and 300 days of sunshine a year. My workouts usually consist of riding my bike on trails or skinning up a mountain in winter. Spending time in the gym is practically a foreign concept to me, which makes workouts on the road a struggle. For years, I’d try to rent a bike or skis wherever I went, but found this costly and untenable in a lot of places. Since switching up my routine to include some less cumbersome gear choices, I’ve found that I’m able to stay fit regardless of where I’m going or the size of my suitcase.

A Plan

Before you head off to your destination, it’s important to map out a fitness routine in the same way you would a fun vacation itinerary. Consider space constraints and the resources at your destination—for example, if you’re heading to a beach bungalow in Bora Bora, you might want to try some yoga or a morning swim instead of a run. You should also optimize workouts to make the most efficient use of your time. There are plenty of resources out there for quick-hit, small-space travel workouts, but in general, opt for those with minimal or very packable equipment, such as body weights or resistance bands. The Nike Training Club app has customizable body-weight workouts and reminders to keep you honest when you’re on the road.

Trail Running Shoes

(Photo: Courtesy Scarpa)

As much as I hate running, it’s a highly efficient workout that can be done almost anywhere. I always carry a pair of trail shoes with me—they work well enough on the road and can pull double duty if I go out for a hike. My favorite are Scarpa’s Neutron 2 shoes. They’re comfy and durable enough to wear straight from the airport to the mountains.

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TRX Go

(Photo: Courtesy TRX)

Bodyweight workouts are great for small spaces and when you lack equipment, but the TRX Go Suspension Training system—a lighter, more portable version of the popular yellow-and-black bands seen in gyms—takes the efficiency and diversity of your workout up a notch. At 15 ounces, you’ll hardly notice it in your suitcase. Plus, it attaches to any door, or if you’re camping, an overhead tree branch.

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Jump Rope

(Photo: Courtesy Rush Athletics)

For a quick cardio hit, you’d be hard-pressed to find something better (or cheaper) than the humble jump rope. It’s ideal for travel because it packs down to nothing and can be used inside or outdoors without the need for a lot of space. Just about any rope will do, but one specific for speed and agility training will let you work on your double-unders and get your heart rate up higher, while a weighted rope will provide a better strength workout for your arms and calves.

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The Right Clothes

(Photo: Courtesy Icebreaker, Lululemon)

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of packing the right activewear. Get a merino t-shirt, like Icebreaker’s highly breathable, ultra-wicking Cool-Lite Amplify Short Sleeve Crew, so you can go multiple sweat sessions between washes. For bottoms, I like Lululemon’s Pace Breaker Short because of its minimalist design that still has the space for essentials like keys and a phone.

Shirt Shorts

Hydration

(Photo: Courtesy Klean Kanteen)

You should always travel with a reusable water bottle, both to cut down on plastic waste and have for workouts. I use Klean Kanteen’s 18oz Classic because it’s small enough to run with but still holds plenty of water, and it has a great leak-proof sport cap.

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Smartwatch

(Photo: Courtesy Garmin)

Getting lost on a run in a foreign city presents a formidable barrier to getting outside, so be sure to bring a smartwatch or fitness tracker that can help keep you on track. I love my Garmin Fenix 5 Plus, which offers built-in mapping, Garmin Pay, and Spotify streaming—meaning I don’t have to run with my phone. Plus, it’s stylish enough to not look out of place if I need to dress it up on the rest of my trip.

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Filed To: WorkoutsExercisesRunningRunning ShoesTrail RunningYoga Lead Photo: Lifemoment/iStock

The “No Excuse” Healthy Travel Guide: Best Travel Exercise Equipment

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I want to start by saying congratulations on committing to your health and fitness while traveling. As a full-time traveler myself, I understand how difficult it is to maintain a stable workout regime while continually being on the go.

I recognize how difficult it is sometimes to find a local gym, not to mention; not all hotels have in house gyms either. To help keep yourself accountable to your fitness and health goals, I’ve compiled a list of the best travel exercise equipment to help you stay fit!

Whether in a plane, train, car—these items can be easily packed in your carry on to keep you accountable while on the road.

Travel-Friendly Workout Gear:

Portable Body-weight Scale

NewlineNY Step-on Super Mini Smallest Travel Bathroom Scale with Protection Sleeve. Get it on Amazon for $37

The Newline Step-on Super Mini Travel Bathroom Scale is a great way to monitor your body weight while on the go. The scale itself comes in either black, green, pink, or blue colors, and also includes an elegant slip-on case for travel protection. The scale itself weighs just over one pound (20 oz), so it’s perfect for carry-on travel. According to the company’s website, it is the lightest and smallest bathroom scale on the market, without reducing the weighing function and accuracy.

If you’re someone who’s sticking to a diet and exercise regime, trying to lose weight, part of weight watchers, or some other weight loss program, this product is a must-have in your travel exercise equipment library!

Refillable Water Bottle

Hiwill Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle. Get it on Amazon for $24

I have an entire post dedicated to the perfect reusable water bottle based on the type of travel you in which you partake. One bottle I use personally is the Hiwill Stainless Steel Insulate Travel Water Bottle. I like it because it’s sturdy, durable, and great for traveling with. It’s vacuum insulated, so I can throw it in my bag without worrying about it sweating and getting my belongings wet. And best yet, it’s leakproof!

See also:

  • The Best Water Bottles for All Types of Travel

Resistance Bands for Legs and Butt. Get it on Amazon for $17

Another must-have travel exercise equipment item is good, old fashioned resistance bands! Resistance bands will add a challenge to any butt, leg, or ab workout without having to haul any heavyweights with you. I love these resistance bands here because they’re anti-slip, come in cute colors, and very easy to travel with. The set comes with three bands, all ranging in different levels of resistance and length. Depending on the exercise and level of strength, you’re good to go! Oh, and did I mention these come with a cute little travel bag for easy transport?

Yoga Mat

TOPLUS Travel Yoga Mat. Get it on Amazon for $25

The Toplus travel yoga mat is super easy to travel with because of its sleek design. The mat itself is only 1/16th inch thick, but its fiber is very high quality. The mat is sweat-absorbent, anti-slip, and made from eco-friendly material. The yoga mat comes with an easy-to-transport travel bag (or can be easily folded into any travel bag or suitcase). Bonus points, it’s machine washable too!

Synergee Core Sliders

iheartsynergee Power Pink Core Sliders. Get it on Amazon for $10

Synergee Core Sliders are the ultimate abdominal exercise equipment for travel. With these, you can engage in an endless number of core and full-body workouts right in your hotel room! Plus, they are small, super lightweight, compact, and very portable. You’ll have no excuse to not through them in your suitcase or backpack on your next business trip.

Ab Roller

Ab Roller for Abs Workout. Get it on Amazon for $18

A simple abdominal roller will help you build a stronger core and tighter six-pack, burn excess calories, develop strong, lean muscle, and improve your overall endurance. An ab roller such as this one is small, user-friendly, and conveniently easy to travel with. This set on Amazon comes with a comfortable knee pad for added knee support, a nutrition E-book, and an ab workout E-book. Incorporating an ab roller regularly in your workouts will ensure a durable and robust core! This item alone, with all its perks, is a great addition to your travel exercise equipment.

Adjustable Jump Rope

WOD Nation Attack Speed Jump Rope. Get it on Amazon for $15

A jump rope is another simple tool to carry with you on your travels to help keep fit. Jumping rope is an intense cardio workout designed to burn a buttload of calories in a short amount of time! This adjustable jump rope is perfect for traveling fitness enthusiasts. It’s made of high-quality material and can be adapted to meet your fitness goals by just adjusting the size and weight of the rope. With something as simple as a jump rope, you won’t need to worry about finding a gym while you travel. With a little bit of room in your hotel room, you’re good to go for a total body workout!

Exercise Cards

Bodyweight Exercise Cards. Get it on Amazon for $20

Need some help being creative with your workouts? Then these cards are a game-changer. These exercise cards are designed to help guide you into creating the perfect workout. Draw a random card from the deck to mix up your workout. With these cards, it’s easy to formulate a new exercise set each day. They help make exercise more simple, convenient, and fun. Also, each card is illustrated with an exercise in three different difficulty levels. This helps accommodate people of all different fitness levels.

Gym Bag

Under Armour Undeniable Duffle 3.0 Gym Bag. Get it on Amazon for $40

If you’re looking to keep all your travel exercise equipment and workout attire in an entirely separate carrier, then this Under Armor Duffle Gym Bag is perfect. It comes in all different styles and colors to choose from, is durable, and highly compact. You can choose between four different sizes as well, depending on how much room you need for your travel workout gear.

Pushup Handlebars

Perfect Fitness Perfect Pushup Elite. Get it on Amazon for $27

Hesitant to do pushup and other exercises on the dirty hotel floor? I don’t blame you. With the Pushup Elite handlebars, you can not only keep your hands off the dirty floor but also enhance your workout by allowing your body to dip lower into the pushup. The handles also reduce joint strain in wrists and elbows through natural body alignment.

Fitbit Versa

Fitbit Versa 2 Special Edition Smartwatch. Get it on Amazon for $213

The Fitbit Versa 2 Smartwatch is a gamechanger in the travel health space. This smartwatch can track your steps taken throughout the day, heart rate, sleep and swim tracking, and so much more. You can use your voice to set alarms, reminders, and you’re able to see all your daily stats with the Fitbit app. If you’re looking for the ultimate step counter and fitness tracker, the Fitbit Versa is your answer!

Doorway Pull Up Bar Handles

CrossGrips – Pull Up Bar Handles. Get it on Amazon for $99

These Cross Grips bar handles are perfect for multi-functional workouts that turn almost every doorway into a pullup bar. This gear requires no tools, screws, and leaves zero damage. These handles are useful for a variety of exercises, including pullups, pushups, chin-ups, sit-ups, bar dips, and so much more. Not to mentions, they are small, lightweight, and compact, making them effortless travel accessories.

Alllurette Washer Laundry Bag

Allurette Washer – Laundry Wash Bag. Get it on Amazon for $50

Hate having to store your used, sweaty workout clothes in the same bag as your street clothes and business attire? I don’t blame you. There’s nothing like a little post-workout funk to ruin your entire suitcase of clothes. That’s where a laundry washer bag comes in handy! With the Allurette washer laundry bag, you can wash all your used activewear in minutes. With its internal washboard, you can get a machine quality wash without having to even find a laundry mat.

Don’t feel like doing any laundry? Use this bag as a convenient, leakproof laundry bag for storing all your dirty workout clothes.

And there you have it! This list is my guide to the best travel workout gear. I know travel can be a hurdle to keep you from reaching your fitness goals. But with the proper gear and right mindset, travel doesn’t have to hinder you from getting that workout in!

See also:

  • 8 Simple Ways to Get Back Into Exercising After Vacation

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Editor’s Picks: The Best Workout Equipment to Help You Stay Fit on the Road

Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Traveling can make keeping up with a workout regimen a real challenge. Who has room to pack all of that bulky exercise equipment anyway?

If vacations or work trips are threatening to derail your routine, you may want to think about investing in a few pieces from Tone It Up. The workout app, started by trainers Karena and Katrina, prides itself on being a source of community for millions of women around the world to support and empower each other on their health journeys. And thanks to their online shop that’s full of yummy protein snacks, adorable workout apparel and a variety of travel-friendly exercise equipment, doing a workout from your hotel room doesn’t sound like such a burden anymore!

Courtesy of Tone It Up

Tone It Up Booty Bands
Available at toneitup.com, $9.99

These colorful little bands from Tone It Up will help you to sculpt and tony your tush from all angles. Toss them in your carry-on and get ready to have everyone around you asking what’s your secret!

Courtesy of Tone It Up

Tone It Up Slide ‘N Sculpt Discs
Available at toneitup.com, $12.75

These shiny turquoise sliders are a serious game changer! Use them to target your abs, legs or booty. Best of all, their ultra-thin design makes them the ideal exercise tool to throw in your bag for a workout on the go.

Exercise equipment for traveling

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