Let’s be honest: for most of us, the thought of working out while we’re on vacation is nothing more than a dream. We can barely make ourselves vacate our poolside lounge chairs for more than a few minutes at a time, so how are we supposed to motivate ourselves to get active and keep up with our exercise routines?
Well, the process of motivating yourself begins before you even embark on the trip. Planning ahead for workouts and packing the right items will help you start your vacation out on the right food and encourage you to get moving, even when you don’t want to.
Here are the best items you can pack to kick-start your vacay workouts. Toss them in your bag so that they can serve as useful reminders of your fitness goals.
Whether you’re vacationing at the beach or in the mountains, it’s impossible to get active if you aren’t equipped with the right kind of footwear. Grab your favorite pair of exercise shoes and place them at the top of your suitcase so you’re forced to look at them and remember to at least go for a walk, if not a run.
» Read More: Custom Lace Your Running Shoes For Pain Relief
If you have long hair, exercising without a hairband is pretty much impossible. Make sure to pack elastic hair ties, headbands, dry shampoo, and all of the other products your hair requires after a sweaty stint at the gym.
An office favorite is Owl Be Sweatin' headbands, they adjustable, non-slip to fit your active lifestyle...perfectly.
The cuter your workout clothes are, the more you’ll want to flaunt them while you’re on your trip. Try to match your outfits to your environment so you’re even more likely to don workout gear. For instance, pack your light tank with tropical flowers for your beach trip or your new NorthFace jacket for your outdoor runs in a national park.
You never know what your vacation schedule will look like, so you might have to squeeze a trip to the gym into the middle of your day. That means you’ll need to remedy any eyeliner, lipstick, mascara, or foundation that’s smeared by your sweat. Keep a packet of makeup-removing wipes on hand so you’re always able to clean up after a workout.
If you’re going to work out, then you’ll need to stay hydrated before and after your exercises. Bring your reusable water bottle so you can fill up wherever you are and have it nearby while you’re at the gym.
Going to the gym without music is like embarking on a road trip without snacks: completely pointless. Double-check to make sure that you’ve stuffed your favorite pair of headphones in your bag so that you can listen to tunes, podcasts, or whatever floats your boat while you’re in the gym.
There’s nothing worse than realizing you brought workout shoes, but you don’t have any socks to wear with them. Grab at least a handful of ankle socks to wear with your tennis shoes whenever you do head to the gym or out on a run.
Moderate-intensity rope jumping — about 100 to 120 skips per minute — burns about 13 calories a minute, according to the "Compendium of Physical Activities". This mode of exercise uses more muscle groups than jogging, and challenges your balance, and coordination — especially if you practice drills that require extra hand and foot skills. Plus, a jump rope easily folds up and fits inside your tennis shoes to save space.
Running outside is a great way to see a new destination without skimping on your fitness ambitions. However, exercising outdoors means you’ll need to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Wear a baseball cap that covers your scalp and forehead, then slather plenty of SPF 30 on your arms, legs, and face to ensure you don’t wind up with a painful sunburn.
It’s always a smart idea to toss some Advil or Tylenol in your bathroom bag, just in case you push yourself extra hard in the gym and end up sore. Plus, you might have a bit of a headache after one too many mimosas, so you may need to pop a pill in order to head to the gym. If you need other medications to stay healthy and safe when working out, be sure to pack those, as well.
Many exercisers can’t live without their trusty armbands that strap their phones to their body while running, lifting weights, or engaging in other physical activities. If you’re one of those people, don’t leave your band at home.
Lacy thongs or granny pants have no place underneath your workout pants. Pack a few pairs of your favorite athletic underwear so that your yoga pants fit just right and don’t reveal any unflattering panty lines. You’ll also want to bring one or two sports bras so that everything stays where it should while you’re bouncing around in the gym.
This is an easy choice. Resistance bands are practically weightless and take up a tiny space in your suitcase. These little powerhouses pack quite the punch. They can be used to target almost any part of your body—and unlike dumbbells, resistance bands allow you to maintain tension throughout a rep’s full range of motion.
» Check out out Zone-by-Zone Resistance Band Workout.
If there is even a slight possibility that you’ll be on your period while you’re traveling, you’ll need to prepare for that. Toss a box of tampons in your luggage so that your time of the month won’t hinder your workout goals. Oh, and throw in some Midol as well in case your cramps make a nasty appearance.
» Read More: This is Why You Shouldn't Store Tampons Too Long
A laptop? For vacation? Yes. As long as you’ve got an internet connection—you have access to watch workout videos on streaming services like Daily Burn. Search for workouts that are equipment free that you can do right in your hotel room. Get your workout in early so you can relax the rest of the day.