June 2, 2014

8 tips for fitting in exercise while on vacation with your family.

How many times have you been on vacation and packed almost an entire suitcase full of exercise clothes only to have them sit buried at the bottom the entire time?  Why is it so hard to get motivated to exercise while you are on vacation? Well probably because it's a vacation and you are supposed to relax. I don't necessarily plan to exercise while on vacation but I know when I do I always feel better and can enjoy a cocktail (or two) later on. The past week was spent in Maui and while I didn't schedule any workouts, I found that I actually did way more than I thought and the best part was I got the family involved as well.

Here are 8 tips to help you fit in exercise while on vacation and without having the entire family mad at you because they have to wait around for you to finish your workout.

  • Pack a few pieces of workout clothes but don't go overboard. Wear your running shoes on the plane. No need to pack that many items of workout apparel, it will only stress you out more to look at if it doesn't get used. Just pack two workout outfits and promise yourself you'll use at least those two. Chances are, you'll feel better and end up using them more than you anticipated. Wear your running shoes on the plane because they take up a lot of space in your suitcase. And they are also comfortable!
  • Fit in a workout before the family wakes up in the morning. It's tempting to sleep in on vacation like the rest of the family, however wake before they do so they don't have to wait around for you all morning. Also do your workout early so you can partake in the Happy Hour festivities later on. Who wants to go run after drinking a Mai Tai? No thanks.

  • Pack clothes that dry quickly. Bring gallon sized ziploc bags. If your clothes dry quickly and you don't sweat much you can get away with wearing them maybe one other time. Or do a quick "hotel room" wash (sink and shampoo) and hang to dry. Bring the gallon sized ziploc plastic bags to seal them up later so you don't stink up everything else in the suitcase.
  • Make friends with the concierge. Going for a run but don't know the area? Ask the concierge. He/She should be able to direct you to the nice and safest running paths. Did you bring a bike? Call the local bike shop for tips on the best areas to go for a ride.
  • Plan activities with the entire family that require physical exertion. Go for a hike, swim, bike, kayak, snorkel or walk to take in sights. But whatever you do don't ever tell them it's exercise. You're likely to wind up with a crap-load of complaining and whining to be carried back to the car.
Sure it's a boat ride kid! But it's also 4 hours of SWIMMING.
  • Utilize the pool to swim laps before breakfast. You really don't need to be "that person" swimming laps at Noon in a crowded pool with kids and parents having fun. I found that the pool was empty every day around this time. It was a great time to get lap swimming done and I saw a few people doing this.
  • Don't just sit on the beach. Swim in the ocean! Instead of lounging around under the umbrella watching your kids play in the sand, tag team with your spouse and go for an open water swim. Last week I was able to swim freely in the ocean and take in the beauty of the water beneath me. Gone was staring at the black line at the bottom of the pool, I could now swim with the colorful fish, and sea turtles. I spotted several during my swimming in the open water.
  • Don't stress if you miss a workout. Remember vacation is vacation. There is no sense in beating yourself up if you miss a workout or two or three. Don't let it upset you. Focus on the amazing memories you are creating with your kids. Do you think they are going to remember if Mommy went for a run? Shoot are you going to remember if you went for a run? Not really but if it is fun; they'll remember. Go, laugh, play.


  1. These are great tips! I love the ziploc bag one - thanks for sharing! I will be going away for 3 weeks next month so this will definitely come in handy. Also, I usually prefer laying on the beach as opposed to swimming, but you're so right - why not get out there and swim!

  2. Great tips! I like when I go on vacation and there is a gym at the place I'm staying, but I usually pack a workout dvd in case there's not. I usually walk a whole lot more than I do at home, so I always count that as my exercise too. Looks like you had a great vacation!!!

    1. That's a great idea about the DVD. I never thought of that. Yes you are right all that walking and sightseeing counts as well.

  3. Great tips Amanda...I was in Maui last summer and made a point of running each day. Hoping to do the same in Lake Tahoe this year :)

    1. Thanks Lynda. I love Lake Tahoe. Have a great time!