When I’m looking for the best travel workout equipment for 2024, I look for items that are lightweight, inexpensive, easy to use and take up very little space in your bag.

Keeping faithful to a workout routine of some kind will reduce stress and build confidence while traveling. I find that when I exercise consistently, at home or on the go, I sleep better, feel better and have more energy for everything as a result.

Before, during and after my vacation. Here are a few of my favorites to take with you on your next adventure.

Wander Healthy

Best Travel Workout Equipment

best travel equipment

Why bring workout gear, especially if you’re intent on packing for a carry-on only? Because it’s the first step, mentally and physically, of packing motivation and inspiration for your journey.

1. Elastic travel workout bands

You can buy a set of these elastic bands for less than $20 for travel, home workouts or both. They come in a variety of strengths and pack up super small. I only bring one with me, for exercise on the road. This comes with a little beginner book of exercise possibilities.

2. Jump rope

One of the least expensive (less than $20) all around excellent workouts you can do. Increase your bone strength, muscle strength, cardiovascular capacity, endurance, coordination, balance and dexterity.

You do not need a lot of room or overhead space to use this rope-less jump rope, making it a fantastic option working out in your hotel room.

3. Resistance bands with handles

I love the versatility of these bands. You can use every day objects at home or in a hotel room to provide a suitable base for some of the exercises or you can just use yourself.

They’re long enough that you use them for full body motions if you want to. Just one is all you really need to bring with you.

4. Travel Workout Mat

Thin, fits easily inside a carry-on and weighs only one pound. This mat also washes easily which is important if you like to take it outside when you travel.

While not as cushiony or supportive as your traditional yoga mat, it’s far better than nothing and the perfect travel workout accessory for staying in touch with your inner yogi.

5. Figure 8 exercise cord

This cord is the most fun piece of travel equipment I’ve come across yet. Versatile and effective resistance training in which your imagination is the only limit.

You can easily and effectively target any muscle group with it, whatever your age or fitness level. And it comes in a water-resistant bag for convenience.

6. Sliding discs

Low impact, total body toning for less than $10. A word of caution on these discs – they’re slippery. They’re supposed to be.

You will use muscles you normally don’t and balance will often be at the forefront of your mind. Hold onto something if you need to.

7. Thigh band

Best travel exercise for your legs and glutes. Resistance level of your choosing for a really targeted workout.

The best thing about these bands is that they’re super comfortable and don’t roll up when you’re using them.

Your Own Weight

I like to include variety in my workouts, because it keeps me doing them. While the travel workout accessories above do a great job of targeting specific muscles, body weight exercises tend to incorporate more muscles working together as a group.

No Equipment Workout Options

These exercises can be performed just about anywhere and are easy to do in small spaces, such as in the privacy of your hotel room.

body weight exercises
  • Chest exercises – pushups, plank
  • Back exercises – half-locus yoga pose, one-arm one leg plank, floor Y
  • Bicep exercises – side plank, bicep towel curls
  • Tricep exercises – tricep chair dips, close grip pushup
  • Leg exercises – lunges, squats
  • Cardio workout – walk more, every where you go, and use the stairs wherever you can

Exercise that doesn’t feel like exercise

One of the greatest things about travel however, is the opportunity to learn and do new things.

You can look for new and most likely much more enjoyable activities to do that will make you move everywhere you travel. Most places have tours and/or rentals for a wide range of sports and exercise. These activities encompass both cardio and resistance training.

  • Paddle boarding – hits your shoulders, arms, back and abdominal muscles
  • Kayaking – targets your arms, back and legs
  • Surfing – an entire body workout
  • Swimming – also a whole-body workout
  • Hiking – trains your legs mostly but also cardio
  • Climbing – an entire body workout
  • Yoga – also an entire body workout. Try goat yoga or the newer version – puppy yoga. Who knows what they will come up with next!

Not only do these fun activities keep you fit while away, they let you experience the place you’re visiting firsthand, meet locals with helpful advice along the way and other travelers with stories of their own.

This is by far my favorite way to stay fit while away from home. I try to do a combination of all three in my travel workout routine – no equipment workouts, lightweight resistance training and outdoor adventure, with rest days in between if necessary.

Bonus Travel Exercise Equipment

Fitbit

The Fitbit helps me to stay motivated, at home or away. It keeps track of my exercise, sleep habits, food intake and water consumption.

I use it most especially to analyze my sleep patterns and to track the number of steps I take on a daily basis.

How to Make Time to Workout When Traveling

It’s not really the time it’s hard to find most often, but the motivation. It’s easier to fall into good habits when you’re traveling if you’ve been practicing them at home before you go.

The best and somehow easiest habit for me? Never go two days in a row without working out. This is what I do at home and it makes it infinitely easier to do so while away.

How can you make exercise a habit for you?

Set a Routine

Get into a routine, a healthy habit at home that will work on the road. For instance, wake up leisurely, have your coffee, your breakfast, make your plan for the day of head, brush your teeth, floss, workout, shower.

This is the most simple routine for me, with the trick being do not shower until I’ve worked out.

Make a Connection

Connect it to a habit you know you’re always going to do. For instance, when I brush and floss my teeth, I already feel compelled to brush my dog’s teeth.

You can do the same, form the connection that you will always workout in some way after brushing and flossing. They’re both pretty easy to do and equally important, so they pair well together.

Do it before everything else

Get it done first thing in the morning so that you’re not too tired to get it done later. This also sets you up for a more positive outlook on the day, when you’ve already accomplished so much.

Motivate yourself

Carry your workout journal with you when you travel and leave it by your beside. Know that if you workout in the morning, you will feel less guilty about whatever you want to treat yourself with later. But don’t think to much about it. Don’t think beyond the idea that you need to do it.

Over and over until it’s done.

What does a good fitness program look like?

A good fitness program should consist of several components that work together to ensure optimal health and fitness benefits.

Firstly, it should include cardiorespiratory endurance training, which focuses on improving the cardiovascular and respiratory systems by performing activities such as running, cycling, or swimming.

This type of training helps to improve heart and lung function, increase energy levels, and burn calories.

Secondly, it should include strength training exercises, which are important for building and maintaining muscle mass and bone density. Resistance training can be done using weights, bodyweight exercises, or resistance bands.

Finally, proper nutrition and hydration are crucial for optimal fitness and health. A good fitness program should be complemented by a balanced diet that provides the necessary nutrients and energy for the body.  

What does a good workout routine like?

A good workout routine includes a warm-up phase, which typically consists of light cardio exercises and stretches. This helps to prepare the body for more intense physical activity and reduces the risk of injury.

The main workout phase should include either or both cardiovascular and strength-training exercises. Cardio exercises, such as running or cycling, help to improve heart and lung function and burn calories.

Strength-training exercises, such as weight lifting or bodyweight exercises, help to build muscle and increase metabolism. It’s important and extremely helpful to vary the exercises and intensity levels to challenge the body and prevent boredom.

A cool-down phase is also important to gradually bring the body back to its resting state. And lastly, drinking enough water before, during, and after a workout is important to prevent dehydration and promote recovery.

FAQs – Working out while traveling and at home

Here are some commonly asked questions about exercising on the road.

What is the most useful workout equipment?

I have and use all of the portable fitness equipment listed above. Having one is a must-have, but having more is an extra bonus. I like to have a diversity of options available to me, but I only bring one or two on each trip.

What is the most important kind of exercise for losing weight?

There is no one single “most important” kind of exercise for losing weight. Effective weight loss requires a combination of different types of exercise, along with a healthy and balanced diet. The most effective exercise for weight loss is the one that you enjoy and can stick to consistently.

How can I exercise while traveling?

Exercise while traveling by utilizing hotel gyms, going for walks or runs in the local area, practicing bodyweight exercises in your room, following workout videos or apps, exploring outdoor activities like hiking or biking, and packing lightweight exercise equipment like resistance bands or jump ropes.

How do you weight train while traveling?

You can weight train while traveling by using resistance bands, utilizing bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, and lunges, finding gyms or fitness centers at your destination, or incorporating objects like backpacks for added resistance in your workouts.

What is the best portable exercise equipment for seniors?

The best portable workout equipment for seniors are elastic bands, resistance bands with handles, yoga mat, and figure 8 exercise cords. Body weight exercises are also fantastic and do not require bringing anything other than yourself.

Final Thoughts – Workout Equipment that Works

Maintaining muscle memory on the road is much easier if you have the best travel workout equipment for you.  It helps you sleep better, feel better and reduces the stress of travel. Find one you like, that works for you and make it one of your travel essentials!