A change of scenery offers the perfect opportunity to try out new fitness experiences (Photo: Marriott International)

A change of scenery offers the perfect opportunity to try out new experiences – and that applies as much to fitness as to anything else. You might enjoy a morning swim in the pool rather than a jog, for instance, or take that pre-breakfast run along the seafront instead of round your local park. And being in a new destination means you can introduce the freshest of new-to-you local ingredients into your diet. If you want to maintain peak fitness – and wellness – while away from home, here's how to do it. 

Sketch out a fitness schedule ahead of your trip


Working out in a new landscape can really put a spring in your step (Photo: Marriott International)

Your destination is bound to offer inspirational new fitness opportunities, so it's wise to plan ahead in order to make the most of them. Do some sleuthing to see where locals like to exercise, for instance – there might be outdoor gyms or scenic running trails that don't show up in the usual destination guides online. When staying at a Westin® Hotels & Resorts property, you can consult a dedicated run concierge during and even ahead of your trip.

If you work out with weights, check out the facilities at your hotel's gym. Get excited about your hotel's top-notch pool facilities and check whether there are any outdoor swimming spots in the vicinity. If two-wheeled exploring is your thing, look into the bike hire options nearby – your hotel might well offer this service.

In terms of nutrition, check out the eating and drinking options available in the destination, especially if your diet has particular requirements. Many resorts and hotels offer a range of cuisines, so it's time to get inspired – there's nothing quite like dreaming of the delicious meals that await you in a new destination.

Get fit exploring your new surroundings


Going for a jog gives you a totally different perspective on a destination (Photo: Marriott International)

One of the best things about holiday exercise is that staying fit can be combined with exploration. On an early walk or jog, you see a destination coming to life for the day: staff setting up café tables, shops opening up, and locals taking their dogs out for a morning walk.

Hitting the pavement gets you into the heart of a destination. If it's not how you usually work out, simply take it easy – the movement benefits the body, while glimpses into local life can be truly mood-enhancing. Many travellers love feeling they've experienced more than what the guides suggest, and this is a great way to do it. Some even combine their love of travel with their passion for marathon running.

Destinations with relatively flat terrain, like Berlin, Seville and Paris, lend themselves especially well to this kind of exploration. If you like the challenge of hill running, look no further than Athens, Edinburgh or Lisbon

Remember, too, that certain destinations lend themselves especially well to certain activities – you might go rappelling in the wadis of Oman, for instance, or perhaps embrace skiing in Switzerland or Spain, or sailing in the lapis-blue waters of the Mediterranean.

Throw your weight around


You can do lots of effective exercises just using your own body weight (Photo: Marriott International)

When travelling, whether for business or leisure, your schedule may be relatively tight, but you can be creative with your time – and your body weight! After all, exercises such as squats and sit-ups can be done with no equipment in the privacy of your own hotel room. The same may be said of burpees and planks. You don’t necessarily need any equipment at all to create an effective workout: you can use your own body weight as resistance. 

Get into the right gear


Be sure to check what equipment and kit you might need to take with you on your trip (Photo: Marriott International)

If your routine will be water-based, don't forget your swimmers and goggles. Rocky, hilly landscapes may require hiking boots. Whether you plan to hit the gym or run outdoors, breathable gear and supportive trainers are must-haves. And if you're a person for whom a workout didn’t actually happen unless your fitness tracker recorded it, pack that first!

A new destination may also offer brand-new activities. This could be your chance to try surfing or any number of adrenaline-pumping activities, so check what equipment is needed and whether it's included in the activity booking.

When packing, bear in mind that sportswear is comfortable to travel in, and chunky hiking shoes are better for your feet than filling up your bag. Kits such as skipping ropes and resistance bands need blessedly little space. 

Embrace fitness tech


Marriott Bonvoy's Fitness on Demand™ platform offers a brilliant selection of virtual workouts to keep you motivated (Photo: Marriott International)

Your usual exercise may depend on an instructor, set routine or familiar environment, but try not to let their absence derail you. If you’re someone who thrives under guidance, being a Marriott Bonvoy member allows you to take advantage of access to a free 7-day trial of the Fitness on Demand™ platform, with its huge range of virtual workouts and classes.

Eat and sleep your way to feeling good


A good night's sleep is key to all-round wellbeing (Photo: Marriott International)

Visiting a new destination is an opportunity to try some deliciously healthy new food. A coastal spot is bound to offer sparklingly fresh seafood, which is a fantastic low-fat, high-protein choice. Elsewhere, look out for salads made with the freshest local ingedients. Eating 'local' can open your eyes to the benefits of eating seasonally, too – a habit worth taking home with you.

Sleep is also key: it's much easier to make positive lifestyle choices, such as nutritious breakfasts or early workouts, when well rested. If your sleep patterns are disrupted by travel, try tuning into a calming podcast or using a meditation app to help you switch off. Pillow menus, where available, are also worth a look, offering features such as additional neck support or a calming aromatherapy scent.

Published: March 20, 2024

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