If you’re planning a trip and still want to get some exercise in, and especially if you travel a lot for work, you’re going to need the best workout equipment for travel. Not every hotel has a decent gym, and if you’re staying at an Airbnb or with friends you might not have access to any workout equipment at all!
Best Workout Equipment for Travel
There’s something about travel that always seems to destroy all routines in life, including your workout routine. If that sounds like your life, then packing workout equipment in your travels is a must! Even if you do something small each day you can keep up your fitness routine and continue to work towards your goals. Even at a home away from home.
So if you’re looking for something to take on the road, I’ve got you covered. I chose travel-friendly workout equipment based on the following criteria:
- Travels easily (duh)
- Can fit in small suitcases (because who travels with checked bags nowadays)
- Workout can be done in small spaces (like a hotel room) or at a park
- Easy and convenient
- Not too heavy
Why exercise while traveling
The most simple answer to this question is to not break up your exercise routine. But everyone knows there’s a lot of benefits to exercise. Everything you enjoy about exercise at home like having more energy or feeling better about yourself still applies while traveling. Even if you’re on vacation, having that morning workout will set the tone for the whole day. If you’re traveling for business or work it’s even more important to exercise for your productivity. If you have fitness goals you won’t feel like you’ve slid while away, too.
What if I’m walking all day while on vacation?
As you may (or may not) know, I’m a huge Disney fan and try and hit those theme parks every year or two. Last time I was there I regularly put 20,000 steps on my Fitbit. It was an amazing workout just walking around the parks! But I also was eating like I was on vacation, so I didn’t really come back any healthier.
Besides your fitness goals, though, a morning workout does more than burn calories. If you are going to be walking all day, a great morning stretch can help avoid cramps and discomfort as your trek around. In the evening, a short yoga session might help you wind down after a long day so you can rest.
Should I bring workout equipment traveling?
Maybe. It depends on your personal fitness style and what kind of exercises you do regularly. If you’re spending a week at a hotel with a fully equipped gym, for example, you probably don’t need to bring anything special. But, if you’re staying with family or friends, or at an Airbnb, then there might not be much if any workout equipment is available. In those cases, I definitely would recommend taking something along!
Fitness Insanity Resistance Band Set
Fitness bands, also known as stretch bands, are one of my favorite pieces of exercise equipment. They also travel extremely well! You use these elastic bands to do all kinds of resistance training and stretching. Personally, I used them as a dancer for muscle training. This set is nice because it comes with multiple resistances and even a handy bag to keep everything in.
- Easy to travel with
- Can be used in small spaces
- You can do a wide variety of resistance-based exercises and stretches
- Bands don’t give you as much “weight” (resistance) as a free weight
- Handles have to be changed out if you change resistance
- Quality is a bit lacking, but the set is inexpensive (chosen for travel, not everyday use)
Normally I wouldn’t recommend anything that’s a gimmick, but this one is small and inexpensive enough that it might make a great travel buddy. Use this ab roller to work your abs by gripping the handles and rolling forward. Don’t be fooled, it’s a tough workout! Great if you want to work for that muscle group while traveling.
- Good quality core workout
- Includes a knee pad and free e-books (digital products are great for travel)
- Works well on a variety of surfaces
- Only does one specific type of exercise
- Grips could be higher quality
- Hard to use if you’re a beginner
This portable workout equipment does take you outside, but if you’re training for sports or like to do cardio and movement-based exercises you might want to pick this up for your next trip. It’s quite simple in concept: find an open space and just unfold the ladder. If you’re on grass, it also comes with some pegs to hold it in place. The activity cones are a nice touch too, so you can add in some squats or change your workout up a bit.
- Great for agility training especially if you play sports
- HIIT or cardio workout
- Comes with a carrying bag
- Not as compact as other travel sports equipment
- Needs a lot of space to set up
- Tangles easily
Quick Sweat Dice
Although not quite workout equipment, I love these for those days where I’m not really motivated to work out. Instead of doing a planned exercise, let fate decide. All of these workouts can be done without any special equipment and in fairly small spaces. Perfect for a hotel room! As a bonus, each exercise has a QR code you scan that takes you to a video demonstration.
- Very travel-friendly
- Great motivator if you struggle to exercise while traveling
- You can do this with friends or travel roommates
- Can be a whole-body workout
- Not actual equipment (all exercises are without equipment)
- Writing is small and might be hard to see
- Going online might be inconvenient if you’re somewhere without wifi
If you want something that’s very compact for travel but will make your life a lot easier, this is definitely it. These don’t do much… And somehow do everything. Put them on the floor where while doing floor-based bodyweight exercises. They’re designed to make your feet glide as you do different movement-based exercises.
- Small, light, and compact; great for travel
- Can be used on hardwood, tile, and laminate flooring
- Use them on your feet or hands depending on the workout
- Doesn’t work on carpet
- They have smooth fabric for gliding but aren’t very supportive
- Need a fair bit of floor space to do these exercises
Adjustable Jump Rope
What’s inexpensive, it’s easy to use, compact, and doesn’t take up space? A skipping rope! This is a staple in my workout equipment collection and I absolutely love it as a quick cardio workout. If you’re not a runner like I am and want something you can do with very little space, a skipping rope is perfect. Plus they fold up small and travel well, perfect to get moving wherever you are.
- You probably already know how to use it
- Compact and lightweight for travel
- Only does one type of exercise
- Hard on the knees (requires jumping)
- You need a somewhat open space to do this exercise
Ring Fit Adventure
This one is kind of dependant on whether or not you own a Nintendo Switch, or are thinking about buying one. I usually take mine traveling anyway, so it’s no big deal to toss in the lightweight accessories for RingFit Adventure. Since the Switch is portable, you can play this anywhere and it hardly requires any space at all. Plus it’s fun!
- A lot of fun and hardly feels like an exercise
- Works a wide range of muscle groups plus cardio
- Easy to travel with and lightweight
- Very pricey (requires a Nintendo Switch game console)
- Game console and controllers must be charged before use
- Not as “mature” as other exercises (but still good for adults!)
What is the best workout equipment for travel?
Personally, I would like to tell you that Ring Fit Adventure is the answer, but because you need to buy a Nintendo Switch to use it it’s definitely cost-prohibitive for most people. If you already own a Switch, though, definitely consider picking it up.
The best workout equipment for travel is resistance bands. These bands are so versatile and easy to travel. As travel companions, they’re lightweight and don’t take up much space in your luggage. You can just pack the resistances you use regularly to save on space, too.
I love that you can do a full-body workout with them, plus stretching. When you’re traveling it can be hard to get the true gym feeling when there isn’t one. By adding resistance bands to your luggage, you can at least somewhat simulate the strength training of lifting weights and doing other weight resistance training.
They’re also ideal as a stretching companion to help you get a good, full-body stretch. So even if you’re not trying to do a hardcore workout on your vacation you can still get ready for the day or wind down in the evening. If your travel plans include several hours sitting in a car or on a flight you’re definitely going to appreciate getting a good stretch in after!
Hopefully, you find the best workout equipment for travel before your next trip! Even if you’re not going away, a lot of this travel exercise equipment is also great for working out in any kind of small space.