The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

Expert advice on how to keep up your fitness routine when on the go.

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The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

Trying to keep up your workout routine while traveling can feel nearly impossible. With time changes, jet lag, and unfamiliar gyms (or lack of equipment altogether), it can be hard to make breaking a sweat a priority, even if it's something you enjoy. What might help is a shift in mindset and a few simple items to pack in your suitcase, so we asked professional fitness trainers for their expert tips on staying motivated while vacationing. 

Setting short-term goals is a key tip that Joe Allen, Barry’s X Senior Instructor, advises. Even if it’s a walk around the block or 20 minutes on the hotel elliptical, it’s something. He also suggests if you are traveling with friends, find a buddy to keep you accountable and entertained. Deja Riley, a Lululemon Global Ambassador and MIRROR trainer, also emphasizes the benefits of keeping exercise sessions brief and in the mornings for an energy boost. “Get your workout done early, so you can enjoy the rest of the day,” she says. Making it a morning workout is advice all the trainers we asked agree on. “Tick it off your list," Or Artzi says, a Group Fitness Trainer at Equinox. She continues, "It will make you more productive, and you get the entire day to experience the new place you’re visiting.”

Shaking things up can help you feel motivated as well. Liz Van Voorhis, founder of FIT COLLECTIVE, The Collective Space, and FITxLIZ, suggests using the Classpass App in new cities to find a workout. “Taking classes also helps you connect with locals, who will give tips for the best restaurants and places to go,” Voorhis says. Consider travel as an opportunity to try something new, including forms of exercise. For example, Allen had fun with beach and pool workouts in Jamaica, while Group Fitness Manager at Equinox, Waz Ashayer, tried Muay Thai in Thailand. “There are so many options available for exercising, and you could discover a workout you fall in love with!" Ashayer says. 

And while bringing activewear and athletic gear on vacation can help you get your workouts in, the trainers we interviewed also emphasized finding balance. “While I make sure I move my body almost every day on the trip, [I] give myself grace if I miss one or two workouts,” Riley says. Artzi shared the sentiment: “Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you can only squeeze in a long walk or a quick 15 to 20-minute session, remember that a little movement is better than none.” 

Whether you plan to attend a fitness class in a new city, go on a run near your Airbnb, or work out at the hotel gym, the right gear is essential. All our trainers shared what they bring with them to stay on top of their routines without weighing their suitcases down with extra bulk. Keep reading for their top product recommendations.

Sportneer Adjustable Ankle Weights

The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

Amazon

Ankle weights are effective and easy to travel with because not only can you use them around your ankles, but you can walk with them on your wrist if you’re on a treadmill or going on a hike,” Allen says. These durable, neoprene ankle weights from Amazon that Allen recommends are a great option since they come in a set of two and offer a range of 2-10 pounds together (read: each ankle weight reaches a maximum of 5 pounds). Adjust the weight by adding or removing the inserts to increase the difficulty of your workouts.

To buy: amazon.com, $29 with on-site coupon (originally $30)

Hyperice Hypervolt Go Massage Gun

Deep Tissue Percussion Massage Gun

Amazon

“A massage gun or ball helps with recovery and reduces muscle soreness and stiffness," Artzi says. "It doesn't take up that much space and is also the perfect way to give your body much-needed love after a long flight,” she continues. This model from Hypervolt is cordless, and comes with two head attachments to target sore areas. It has a sleek, easy-to-pack shape, and since it only weighs 1.5 pounds, this massager will easily fit in your carry-on or checked luggage.

To buy: amazon.com, $129 (originally $159)

Stretch Activewear Travel Liquid Detergent

The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

Amazon

"I throw in some travel packets of sports detergent so I can hand wash workout wear if needed and pack fewer pieces of activewear,” Van Voorhis says, who recommends Stretch Activewear’s Travel Liquid Detergent. Single-use packets of detergents come in packs of 20, so you can always have one in your carry-on bag. The formula is gentle, odor-eliminating, and won’t leave a residue on your clothes. It’s also incredibly simple to use either in a washing machine or for handwashing in the hotel bathroom sink.

To buy: amazon.com, $20 for 20 packets

Apple Watch Series 7

The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

Amazon

“I use my Apple Watch to track my fitness data and to keep myself accountable. It’s completely personalized and encourages me to close my rings each day,” Assayer shares. The latest model, the Apple Watch 7, is not only more durable than previous versions but it also has a larger display, making it easier to type. Apple also upgraded the health app and sleep tracking, which will be useful with time changes while away from home. Lastly, the charge time is faster, which will be appreciated when you have a packed vacation schedule.

To buy: amazon.com and apple.com, from $399   

Lululemon Chargefeel Mid Women's Workout Shoes

The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

lululemon

“When I tell my clients what to pack, I tell them to pack cute workout outfits so they can take pictures at their beautiful destinations,” Riley says. She continues, “I really believe that if you look good, you feel good! Versatile footwear is a must, so I can wear it for all purposes and won't overstuff my bag.” Made for both training and running, Lululemon’s new Chargefeel shoes will support you for all your vacation activities. The neutral colors will also seamlessly match both your active and sightseeing outfits.

To buy: lululemon.com, $148

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set

Whatafit Resistance Bands Set

Amazon

Besides workout clothes that fit the terrain, Allen always packs a variety of resistance bands that are easy to travel with and work with different muscle groups depending on how you use them. “Circuits can also be very useful in terms of maximizing your time,” Allen says. “If you were to do five bicep curls, five shoulder presses, and five squats with the long resistance band all in one minute for as many reps as possible, you’ll definitely feel the burn!” This set from Whatafit includes five adjustable resistance bands, two handles, a door anchor, an ankle strap, and a bag to store them in, so you can take a few or all of the pieces. 

To buy: amazon.com, $23 with on-site coupon (originally $40)

Kinesiology Therapeutic Athletic Tape

KT Tape Original Cotton Elastic Kinesiology Therapeutic Athletic Tape

Amazon

KT Tape is always in my bag in case I need a quick fix,” Artzi says. “[It] provides muscle support and pain relief so I can stay active no matter what might happen while I’m out and about.” Available at Amazon, this athletic tape lasts one to three days, won't budge in water, and is available in beige, black, and a few bright colors. From back pain to plantar fasciitis, this will help you recover faster from any travel aches and pains. 

To buy: amazon.com, $11 (originally $16)

DLGJPA Women's Quick Drying Water Shoes

The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

Amazon

"For a recent trip to Thailand, I found these water shoes that look like sneakers, and I’m obsessed!” Van Voorhis raves, adding, “You can comfortably wear them to walk around and then trek through a stream or waterfall. They dry very quickly and are super lightweight.” Constructed from mesh with a midfoot webbing system and a soft and breathable outsole, the fit of these water shoots are comfortable and flexible to provide a strong grip. They’re available in 29 colors, including a few fun bright and neon options to give a pop of color to your vacation wardrobe.

To buy: amazon.com, from $27

Lululemon Back to Life Sports Bottle 

The 9 Workout Accessories Professional Trainers Always Take on Vacation

lululemon

“I’m making it a point to use less plastic at home and while traveling, so I always bring a reusable water bottle when I travel," Artz advises. She adds, "Hydration is key, and important to track to make sure I’m hydrated as part of a balanced routine." Designed to be carried on the go, this travel bottle will slip right into your carry-on tote. Plus, the leak-proof lid is easy to open and close for quick sips.

To buy: lululemon.com, $48

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