Rediscover fitness during your next vacation.

Many of us know we want to get more exercise. But we don’t know where to start, or we get discouraged when we can’t change our schedules to make time. Or maybe, we simply aren’t sure what will interest us. 

Vacations can be a perfect time to try new activities and routines to see which are the best fit. No matter your fitness level, the possibilities are endless. Here are some ways to make fitness the destination of your next vacation.

Book a walking tour

Many cities offer various walking tours that include pubs and breweries, restaurants, or architecture. Most major cities offer guided walking tours you can book on sites like Viator and TripAdvisor. See the sites, learn trivia from the knowledgeable guides, and get some extra steps in. Don’t see a tour that meets your interests? No problem! Stop by the local Visitor’s Center and build your own.

Make it an adventure

Head back to nature with a camping trip. Many state and national parks offer tent sites, yurts, and even simple cabins if you’re new to this kind of travel. Spending your mornings hiking and afternoons swimming is a great strategy for upping your daily activity level without tedious effort.

Experienced campers can stretch their skills by challenging themselves to train for a special hike. Because getting ready for a multi-day hike means you’ll need lots of smaller, local hikes, a family can fill an entire season of weekends with many preparatory day hikes ahead of the big trip.

Learn a new sport

Book accommodations at a resort that offers an activity you’ve always wanted to try. Whether it’s tennis, golf, surfing, skiing, or snowboarding, book a professional instructor to reduce your risk of injury and frustration. Start with activity time each day, then offset it with all the usual sedentary vacation activities—such as lying on the beach or getting that après ski massage.

Break out of your local rut

If you’re already active but feel stuck in a rut running or cycling in the same neighborhood, plan your next trip around bagging one of the country’s most scenic views. Maybe it’s the cycling rim of Crater Lake, trail running in the Grand Tetons, or jogging down a long stretch of a beach. Whatever your dream destination, having it to look forward to will help reinvigorate your training.

Make it a race

Plan your destination vacation around a race or bike tour. Not only will this motivate you to train for your race for months in advance, but after the race is over you can go exploring and see the local sites. Thousands of races are staged around the country every year, so it should be easy to find a race in an area you’ve always wanted to explore. 

Reduce your carbon footprint

One way to work in a lot more activity is to plan a vacation without the car rental. In most cities, bikes are enough to get you to all the tour hot spots, plus public transit and rideshare services can fill in the gaps. Making your next long weekend a “bikecation” won’t just strengthen your quads and toughen up your saddle; it will likely save you money on that rental car.


Exercise doesn’t have to be fast-paced to be beneficial. A yoga retreat can go a long way toward reducing your stress and improving your flexibility. Build strength and flexibility through the various poses, then follow each day’s practice with a relaxing massage, a delicious smoothie, and relaxing hike through the woods. Heaven!

Learn an obscure sport

For every well-known sport, there are others you may not have considered. What about booking a girl’s weekend in the next biggest city to learn rock climbing or aerial training? Aerial sports are a great way to build lean muscle and increase flexibility while increasing your confidence. Many larger cities have studios with beginner workshops, so it can be a great way to try something you don’t have back home. 

Prefer to stay closer to the ground? Many of those same studios also offer pole fitness classes that focus on athleticism. If you enjoy yourself, you can be the talk of the block when you set up your in-home studio.

No matter your fitness level, planning your next vacation around activity may be the perfect way to stress less and unplug more. With a bit of luck, something you try will make the journey back home with you.