Hotel Workouts You Can Do on Vacation

Vacations are typically a time when we take a break from our daily routine. We can let go of the stress of normal life and take a step back from reality. This break from our schedule is important for our mental health, but it’s important to make sure that our physical health doesn’t suffer along the way. There is plenty you can do from the comfort of your own hotel to stay on track with your fitness goals while enjoying all the benefits of your time away. 

You might find it surprising, but you can do a killer workout by simply making the best use of your time and surroundings. Check out the following tips for an effective hotel room workout, and then try the workouts included. They promise to have you dripping sweat and ready to enjoy a vacation without the fear of losing out on your fitness progress. 

After reading this, your biggest worry will be the importance of sunscreen reapplication when lying on the beach.

Make the Most of Your Available Equipment

Best Workouts From your Hotel

Many hotels do have a small gym located somewhere in the building and, if they do, you likely have a decent amount of equipment available for your workout. With that said, you are probably not the only person who will want to make use of that space and its contents. If you are unable to use the hotel gym, or if they don’t have one in the first place, you want to be prepared to still get a workout in by using what is available to you. Take a look around your room, and you’ll notice luggage, furniture, and yourself. Duffle bags or smaller suitcases are great for adding weight to leg exercises. There are several different squat and lunge variations that you can perform simply by changing the position of the weight. For example, you can try suitcase lunges where you hold a weight on one side, overhead squats where you hold a weight above you, or front squats where you hold a weight near your chest. You can even add resistance to a glute bridge by putting a bag on your waist.

Maybe your luggage is too heavy or oddly shaped to use in different exercises. This doesn’t have to stop you! Most hotel rooms have a chair that can be a versatile prop for different movements. Some easy exercises using a chair include triceps dips, inclined or declined planks, push-ups, split squats, chair squats, and step-ups. This list is certainly not all-inclusive, but it gives a good idea of just how much you can do with one simple piece of furniture.

When all else fails, your body is really the only tool you need for a killer workout. There are a plethora of body-weight exercises that will work your entire body and leave you dripping sweat. 

Some ideas are push-ups, squats, lunges, floor dips, flutter kicks, jumping jacks, leg raíses, mountain climbers, planks, and bicycle crunches.

Lack of equipment doesn’t need to be an obstacle that gets in the way of your ability to workout. 

You can do everything you need to with everything in your hotel room. Next, it comes down to how to structure your workout.

Make Your Workout Efficient

Tips for Working Out on Vacation

Even if you’ve got the motivation to create a workout from your hotel room, it certainly isn’t something you are going to want to spend hours on. You’ve got vacationing to do! Your goal is to get an efficient workout done in a short period of time so you can make the most of your day.

Two great ways to get the most bang for your buck are to do a total body resistance workout with cardio bursts or a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. Both will help you to burn calories long after the workout is complete, meaning you can enjoy more of your vacation. Total body resistance means performing a workout that recruits all of the major muscle groups in the body. This doesn’t need to be accomplished with a single exercise but rather an accumulation of the entire workout. Adding in a few cardio exercises increases your heart rate, which increases your calorie burn.

HIIT training combines periods of work at a near-maximal intensity with a short period of rest. These workouts are normally shorter in duration, but the intensity delivers everything you need from your workout. You can choose whatever time interval you want, but what’s important is that when you’re working, you’re doing so as hard as you can. Completing a total body or HIIT workout means that you can maximize your results in a shorter amount of time. This leaves you with more time to enjoy your vacation guilt-free.

The Workouts

The following two workouts focus on making the most of equipment and time. Both take less than 30 minutes, use minimal equipment, and maximize effectiveness.

Best Workouts While Vacationing


Workout #1

First up on our hotel room workout tour is a total-body workout with cardio bursts that contain 12 exercises and lasts 25 minutes. Each exercise is performed for 45 seconds followed by 15 seconds of rest before moving on to the next. 

Once you have completed all 12 exercises, rest for one minute and then repeat in reverse order.

  • Push-Ups
  • Alternating Reverse Lunges
  • Bicycle Crunches
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Squat to Shoulder Press (using a duffle bag)
  • Glute Bridges
  • Flutter Kicks
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Triceps Dips (chair or floor)
  • Sumo Squats
  • Leg Raises
  • Plank Jacks


Workout #2

Next up is a workout that focuses on HIIT. A popular timing method known as Tabata timing includes 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest for eight rounds. For the purpose of this workout, each set will be referred to as a Tabata, each of which lasts four minutes. Each Tabata in this workout contains two exercises, one strength, and one cardio. 

You will alternate these exercises every round, so the strength exercises will be on the odd-numbered rounds and the cardio on the even-numbered. There are five Tabatas in this workout. 

Rest for one minute between Tabatas before moving on to the next. The total time for the workout is 24 minutes.

  • Push-ups and Squat Jumps
  • Bear Hug Squats and Plank Jacks
  • Triceps Dips and Jumping Lunges
  • Russian Twists and Step-Ups
  • Glute Bridges and Burpees

As you can see, neither workout contains overly complex exercises. By simply playing with the timing and making use of what’s available, however, you can complete an extremely beneficial workout and not waste your entire day.

Enjoy the Rest of Your Vacation

You don’t need to work out every single day on your vacation. In fact, rest days are good for your body. Try to complete one of these workouts every other day and then give your body time to recover. It can even be helpful to do it first thing in the morning

You’re in your hotel room anyway, and it never hurts to accomplish something right away. And once your workout is done, you can enjoy the rest of the day’s activities. 

Whether you’re seeing the city sights or taking in the tropical beaches, you can rest easy knowing that your return to everyday life will not include a setback in your fitness goals.

About the author

Dan Chojnacki writes about fitness and healthy living for the life insurance site, Dan has been a certified personal trainer (NETA) for nearly a decade and is currently a group fitness director in Green Bay, WI.

Dan Chojnacki

Dan Chojnacki