Whether your trip is for work or play, the struggle is real when it comes to keeping up with a workout routine during travel. Between seedy hotel gyms (or no hotel gym at all), laborious research for a local yoga class, and Googling safe run routes in a new city, the very thought of working out in foreign territory can be exhausting.
The good news is that—assuming you actually want to work out—you can squeeze in a sweat session from your Airbnb or hotel room without much logistical effort at all. These seven pieces of equipment are easy to throw in your car or slip into your carry-on for on-the-go workouts, wherever your travels are taking you.
We regularly shout our love for resistance bands from the mountaintops. They’re affordable, lightweight, and an ultra-effective way to add resistance into your workout (in even the tiniest hotel rooms). No clue what to do with these magical oversized rubber bands? Grab a set—we love these from Fit Simplify—and check out our list of resistance band strength-training exercises.($11; amazon.com)
Don’t be fooled—sliders are pretty unassuming, but they pack a real punch by challenging your stability and core strength during bodyweight workouts. This set is double-sided, so they’re nice and slidey on both hardwood and carpeted floors. Plus, they’re lightweight, flat, and take up basically zero space at the bottom of your suitcase or carry-on bag. Not many excuses left, huh?($10; amazon.com)
If you’re trying to keep up with your cardio routine while traveling, keep a jump rope handy. Just a 10-minute workout with a rope (like this one from Fitness Master) creates a calorie-burning cardio session that you can take just about anywhere. Unless, of course, your hotel room has hardwood floors—then take it outside so you don’t drive the people below you bananas with your jumping.While jumping rope is a killer workout, it’s a lot of impact on your joints. Make sure to tag on a warm-up and cool down to get the most out of your workout. ($10; amazon.com)
A flat and foldable agility ladder (like this one from GHB Pro) is one of the easiest pieces of athletic equipment you can find—just lay it out on the floor or in the grass and channel your inner pro athlete. Yes, it’s great for targeting your lower body and improving your speedwork. But most importantly, training on an agility ladder is basically like playing grown-up hopscotch, so it’s actually pretty fun.($12; amazon.com)
No access to a gym while you’re traveling? Check out these portable double-handled kettlebells from Kamagon. They fill with water or sand to weigh anywhere from 2 to 13 pounds and deflate for easy travel. So go ahead and take your kettlebell routine to the beach with you—unless, you know, you want to actually relax on your vacation.($43; amazon.com)
For the suitcase real estate value of a chunky sweater, you can bring your yoga practice to wherever your travels take you. This lightweight, foldable travel mat from Gaiam is great to have on hand for all of your horizontal workout needs. So the next time you’re feeling homesick for your favorite studio, pop on a free yoga video and flow it out. ($20; amazon.com)
7. An Endless List of Apps and Streaming Programs
Last but certainly not least, check out our favorite workout apps and streaming services—some require little to no equipment, and some are totally free, so keeping yourself motivated when you’re away from home has truly never been easier.
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Nina Bahadur is a freelance writer, editor, and consultant based in NYC.