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It’s a common saying that I’m sure everyone at some point has uttered:

“Calories on vacation don’t count”.

Except, they do. And one of the challenges for people who are concerned with their fitness when they travel, is how to maintain their fitness routine and health, while having fun at the same time, and letting loose.

I mean, the whole point of traveling to Italy is to gorge out on pizza, pasta, wine and gelato! But the question is, how do you balance that out, so you don’t find yourself struggling to get back into a healthy routine once you’re home?

Active adventures have become a big trend in 2019, and many people are finding the same level of joy and excitement in fitness orientated itineraries.

Choosing Fitstays helps you to maintain a healthy lifestyle while on vacation, so without further ado, let’s jump straight into why fitness orientated travel is so important today.

Why Fitness-Oriented Travel is Important

Stay on Track With Your Fitness Target

Walking waterfall shoes RF

Most people complain about weight gain after taking a vacation or travelling for some time. This is because you eat more than you usually would when you’re at home, and you’ve got less choice when it comes to what you’re eating.

It’s very tempting to overindulge on delicacies when you’re on vacation, especially if in a place known for it’s food, pastries, or desserts (you can’t beat Austrian apple strudel!).

But, having a fitness orientated itinerary means you can essentially eat as much as you want, because you’ve burned it all off throughout the day. Ultimately, weight loss comes down to burning more calories than you’re consuming, so the more you exercise, the more you can indulge and not gain weight.

Pro tip: Instead of eating out all the time, consider booking a self contained apartment, or hotel room that comes with cooking facilities. That way you can visit local markets (and soak in the culture), still enjoy local cuisine, but control what you’re eating. 

The great thing about active adventures though is that you don’t even realize you’re exercising! Or, at the very least, you’re highly motivated by the challenge and don’t mind the burn for the reward!

And fitness travel doesn’t have to be a one-size-fits-all type of thing. Everyone has their own preferences for the type of experience that will get their blood pumping, whether that’s hiking, liveaboard diving, or taking a walking wildlife safari.

Active travel could mean hiking the Inca Trail to reach Machu Picchu, it could mean diving in the Great Barrier Reef, trekking in search of mountain gorillas in Uganda, or it could mean heading to India for a yoga retreat.

It’s Good for Your Mental Health

Cancun Mexico Megan

Not only is physical activity good for your physical health, it’s also good for your soul, and goes a long way to resolving stress, anxiety, and depression (which are unfortunately on the rise in today’s world. If you or someone you know is struggling with the mental issues mentioned above, is a great resource).

Traveling offers a real escape from the stresses of everyday life. It has been demonstrated that taking an active vacation can decrease stress and feelings of burnout, by giving you some space and distance from the sources of your daily anxiety.

And it’s fun! This may seem like the most obvious factor, but it should not be overlooked. Exhaustion is a product of uninspiring routines, but enjoyable, stimulating experiences generally lead to a more deeper sense of happiness.

According to studies, the endorphins released when you experience feelings of awe can trigger a huge mental boost. With active adventures available in stunning parts of the world (like Antarctica, Australia, Iceland), this type of travel almost guarantees an awe-inspiring experience.

Fitness travel boosts our zest for life, it improves our self awareness, and feeds our soul. It’s a great way to recharge, refresh, and leave stress and anxiety behind.

Meet People With a Similar Passion

Peru mountain treks

One of the most rewarding parts of active adventures / fitness travel are the friendships you make, and the people you connect with. If you’re passionate about fitness and outdoor adventure, you’re likely to meet other travellers who have the same interests and passion.

And this is true regardless of whether you’re solo and meeting people along the way, or have booked onto a customized tour specifically aimed at people looking for a fitness-oriented itinerary.

It can be much easier to get to know strangers while in a new environment, in part because there are so many things to talk about and you already have things in common. You’re also likely to maintain a healthy routine because you have people to keep you in check.

Adventures are a great way of bringing people together, and whether you’re hiking to reach the top of Kilimanjaro, or you’re exploring the Icelandic back country with horses, sharing the triumphs and trials of your personal journey with others forges a deep sense of connection.

This is a great way to develop your existing bonds with family and friends, as active travel itineraries encourage open communication, foster solidarity, and ultimately create shared memories which strengthens your relationship.

Image credit: Masa Sakano (CC BY-SA 2.0) via Flickr

Your Quality of Sleep Will Improve

There are many cultural differences in sleep practices.

Sleep is one of the most important aspects of enjoying a trip overseas; you need to be well rested if you’re going to enjoy a full day of adventure, but there’s no denying that travel often disrupts your sleep routine.

Having a fitness-oriented trip really helps with getting the rest you need, and makes it easier to adjust your sleeping patterns. As little as 10 minutes of aerobic exercise, such as walking or cycling, can dramatically improve the quality of your sleep.

Physical activity improves sleep quality, but it also increases duration; exercise bolstering your sleep because it reduces stress and tires you out by the end of the day.

Not Planning an Active Vacation?

If you’re not planning a fitness related itinerary, there are plenty of small ways to work exercise into your travel days. Consider walking instead of taking public transport, or joining a walking tour instead of a bus tour when sightseeing.

Not only will this improve your fitness, it’s also much cheaper!

If you’re heading to a resort to relax with margaritas by the beach, it’s likely that the resort puts on daily activities, so ask at the desk whether they have anything like aerobics, or beach-side yoga. Or choose to walk to a local restaurant instead of ordering room service.

If active adventures aren’t your idea of a vacation, it doesn’t have to be much, but try to incorporate little things into your day so that you’re not totally sedentary.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.



  1. Read to this article gives amazing experience. To have that kind of feeling must read this. It is very impressive.

    • Glad you enjoyed the article Rachna, I hope there are many active adventures in your future :)

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