I believe this question is much more in-depth then what I see being posted on social media. As in many other areas, this question relies on a great deal of factors to decide what is best to do for exercise when you are traveling. The standard “hotel gym workout” or “hotel room body weight exercises” is not for everyone. The first recommendation I would give is to plan. Before traveling look at where you’ll be staying, look at the hotel gym, look for gyms in around the hotel, or even ask your current gym or PT if they have any recommendations. Let’s dive into a few of the questions that need to be addressed to determine what is best for you.
If you are a general fitness person going on a vacation to relax or be with family, friends, and loved ones then guess what you should do RELAX AND BE WITH YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS, OR LOVED ONES. If you know you are going to be traveling plan a deload week ahead of time. Use this time to take a mental and physical break and enjoy life and your surroundings. My recommendations are going for a long, brisk, walk in the morning and engage in conversation with people that you don’t normally get a lot of time to speak with.
If you are taking a week hiatus with your significant other, maybe to an all-inclusive or to a new city, then I recommend the same. Plus, you should be getting your exercise in other ways ;). Share time or experiences, if you want to go to a new gym or try a new exercise class to bond then do it. If not, then find other ways. A planned deload from exercising can have great potential benefits on your vacation, your future fitness goals, and overall life perspective. My recommendations are enjoying time with your significant other, relaxing, and exercising together ;).
If you are a general fitness person traveling alone for a day or 2 for work it might be a good idea to go for a run in a new place or find a local gym and make new connections. Finding a local gym near where you are staying will allow you to get your workout in while, maybe, making some connections in a new place. My recommendations are to keep up with exercise maybe use the hotel gym or a gym nearby and perform your routine using modifications if necessary.
If you are an athlete traveling for a week or on a road trip I would recommend doing your research and finding a gym that has what you need. Missing a week of lifts will not only effect your overall performance and goals but also can become a habit. Get gym recommendations, do your research and plan for your road trips. My recommendation is find a way to get your work in.
If you an athlete traveling for one day, there may be a little more wiggle room here. Traveling for one day can be a good time to get your mobility and corrective work in. What I would not recommend doing is 200 air squats and 200 pushups in your hotel room. Still have your goals in mind when you are traveling. This is a good time to focus on intent when performing your mobility drills and correctives. Treat your day of travel like a day 6 of a weekly workout plan. My recommendation would be to perform your accessory work with intent.
If you just like to move I recommend doing whatever pleases you. Get those endorphins up and begin feeling good. Get on the hotel treadmill, hit the hotel gym, do 500 air squats in your room. Just move and do what makes you happy. Moving is never a bad thing and can have a great impact on your trip. My recommendation, MOVE!
When traveling it is good to understand a few things. Understand why you are traveling is it for work? Is it to relax? Is it to sight see? Is it to spend time with loved ones? Understand your why and build your workout and exercise around that.
Understand the length of stay. If you are only staying in a place for a day it may just be additional stress to find a gym and fit it in your one day agenda. If you are staying for a week, two weeks, maybe longer it can be extremely beneficial for you to find a gym, not lose sight of your goals, and continue to keep exercise as a priority.
Understand your current workout routine. What does it include? What will you need? What phase are you in? Can you schedule a deload? These are all great questions to answer to decide whether you can find a gym, modify a work out, take a week to deload, or really get after it.
Understand who you are. If you’re a baseball player traveling for a weekend tournament in the middle of nowhere it probably isn’t beneficial to go out on some dirt trails and start running, this is a good time to perform your mobility or corrective work with intent. If you’re a runner continue to run there’s probably no reason to plan to find a new gym.
Overall, be logical with your exercise. Be logical with your travel and your workouts. Plan. And if your there to relax, RELAX.