With the threat of credit card rates rising and the US dollar at record lows, for many, having the luxury to travel means adhering to a strict budget. If keeping a regular exercise routine is important to you but the extra expense of paying for classes or a gym while traveling is not in your budget, here are a few ways to stay fit when you're away from home without it costing you a thing.
- Borrow Fitness DVDs — Before you leave for your trip, visit the local library. Public libraries keep a wide variety of fitness DVDs, which are perfect for borrowing while traveling. If there isn't a DVD player where you're going, remember to pack your laptop or portable DVD player. I recommend choosing a fitness DVD that incorporates both cardio and strength into a single workout and alternating that with a yoga DVD. If you don't want to borrow DVDs, sites like Exercise TV and Hulu stream free fitness videos.
- No Weights? No Problem! — Get creative and use regular household items in place of weights. Laundry detergent bottles and soup cans are favorites of mine. There are also a ton of strength training moves like squats and lunges that don't require the use of dumbbells. Check out our recommendations for do-anywhere exercises that require no equipment and a hotel room workout video that only requires a towel and phone book to do. If you do own your own fitness equipment, consider packing a resistance band, small dumbbells, or a jump rope.
Learn how to get free gym memberships and more after the break!
- Lace Up Your Shoes and Go — One of the easiest ways to stay fit for free is to pack a good pair of running shoes. Research running trails before you head to your destination — sightrunning is an excellent way to see the city you are visiting. If running isn't your thing, just make sure to always be on the move; go for walks, do a few hikes — basically anything that is going to keep your heart rate up. I've been known to do 20-minute cardio sets of jumping jacks, boxing moves, and running in place if I am staying at a hotel without a gym. If your hotel has a pool, try this swimming interval lap workout and swimming pool exercises.
- Exercise Studio Freebies — Many gyms and yoga studios offer free passes as a way to lure potential new members. Before you leave for your destination, call around to see if any fitness centers in the area give out promotional guest passes. Keep in mind that you might have to take a tour of the gym while listening to a sales pitch to get this freebie. Also keep your eye out for yoga studios that offer free community classes or sports stores that help organize free group runs.