How to stay fit travelling & keep the ‘travelling podge’ away

I’m a bit of an exercise addict. When I’m in the UK, I spend all my money on Barrys Bootcamp, Class Pass and the other expensive (but in my opinion, worth every penny) classes around. So when I decided to go travelling, I was a little worried about how I would cope without these endorphin-crazy classes, and if I’d put on the classic travelling podge.

With all the exotic food – and lack of salads, almond milk and HIIT classes  – I even contemplated not going.  But instead of living a life of regret, I decided to find a way to exercise on the road.

And it’s actually much easier than I thought!

So here are 5 tips for how to stay fit travelling.

1. Get a few bits of light equipment.

You don’t have lug a massive dumbbell around with you! There’s loads of options that pack up small, cheap & most importantly, light, which are super easy to pack. Here are 2 options.

  • TRX rope – I met a guy in my Guatemalan Spanish School who brought this TRX rope with him, and tied it up to some poles on the roof. It was super easy to put up and packed up pretty small, so great for travelling. You can do crazy stuff like this..

  • Booty belt  – I love this SO much. It makes all resistance bands look peasantry in comparison. It’s similar to a band but has more resistance, and little loops to put your feet in. After just 5 mins, I really feel it in my glutes. Plus it’s small & light, so really easy to pack.

2. Check out gyms around you.

Even if you’re just visiting some places for a few days, see what’s on at local gyms. The big cities will, most likely, have lots of gyms – and there are often classes like Body Combat, Body Pump, CrossFit, Spinning, Reformer Pilates etc.

Plus, they are so much cheaper in Latin America than in England, and I found them just as good.

So luckily, I never found myself in these types of classes…


  • In Medellin, I went to drop-in classes at Alpha Gym. There was a promotion on so the whole of my first week was free too, although I’ve heard prices have gone up recently here.
  • In Playa Del Carmen, I joined Evolve for a month (for $900, around 50 USD). There are cheaper ones but I wanted to go regularly so decided to splurge a bit. The gym is massive & fully equipped, and there are heaps of classes including spinning, power yoga, body combat, body pump.
  • In Mexico City, I joined GymPass – which gave me 10 passes for $600 (roughly $33) – so that’s just $3.30 a session. GymPass is active in loads of cities; you just pay online & choose which gym you want to visit. I chose the Fitness Express gym in Roma Sur as it was close & there were loooads of classes.

Some classes are taught in English, some in Spanish (but the moves are the same). Spanish Body Combat was probably the strangest, in a huge room full of about 30 Mexicans all punching the air – but I felt like a real local. I was probably doing everything wrong.

3. Work out to YouTube videos

I love YouTube as it’s basically a class for free! All you need is a big enough space, somewhere (I’m not sure it’s quite dorm-room-etiquette).

My three favourite YouTube channels are:

  • PMA Fitness – for HIIT (with Faisal, the best Barry’s Bootcamp trainer in the world)

There are loads of videos on his channel, all focusing on different parts of the body and with varying time lengths – so it’s easy to fit a HIIT work-out in, even if it’s just for 10 mins.

Another HIIT option with loads of short & longer videos so you can pick what suits you at the time. I like the abs blasters, as they very short so easy to get them over with.


If you like yoga, Adriene’s channel is fab. She has videos & playlists for pretty much every need – ‘yoga for healing’, ‘yoga for anxiety and stress’, ‘yoga to calm nerves’ etc. It’s great to do on the beach. love her!

4. Download Apps

Another FREE way to get exercise! My favourite two apps are:

  •  NTC app (Nike Training Club) – there are loads of different videos & you can select whether you want with or without equipment which is useful travelling.
  • The 7 minute workout – does what it say on the tin.

5. Explore the city – run, walk

I love to walk, everywhere. You see more, and get more of a feel for a city. Or otherwise if you like running, it’s a great way to see some good views. For example, I ran to the top of this hill & the view felt even more special when I finally got there, out of breath (almost dying) at the top.

How to stay fit travelling

In Medellin, I often found walking would take a similar time to taking public transport – so check out google maps before you automatically hop in a taxi or get the metro.

(But obviously – make sure you know where you’re going, and don’t stroll into dodgy areas).

So there you have it – 5 tips for how to stay fit travelling.

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If you liked it, you might find the following useful…

7 tips for how to learn Spanish Ultimate guide to Colombia How to pack for travelling

  1. Hey Hats 🙂 I know the struggle. I myself travel a lot for work and struggled with finding time and places to workout. I ended up finding this youtube channel called FitnessBlender, it’s amazing and has helped me loooots. Do you know it ?

  2. Some great tips! Although this is always a worry to me, I find that I walk so many miles each day (way more than I do at home) that it makes me feel less guilty – except those few days where a day relaxing and going nowhere is needed! I love the apps though, there are some fab workouts on Aaptiv and NTC that you can do pretty much anywhere! Great post, love reading about your adventures! xxxx

  3. Nice post (and blog) however Alpha Gym in Medellin is 590,000 pesos per month, or 200 USD. That is crazy expensive, even for Colombian Gyms which are generally expensive (price pulled from their website).

    Bodytech can be joined for 130,000 per month from Groupon, and there are lots of other more reasonably priced (or free one in the parks) over the city.

    1. Thanks Bick – it must have gone up significantly from when they first opened (when I was in Medellin) – I thought I’d finally found somewhere amazing that was so cheap, but it must have been all promotional as a way to find new clients. What a shame! I’ll update the post though to reflect this, thanks again for pointing out

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