When on holiday, your fitness routine can easily stray, and travelling can put our bodies through a lot with time zone changes, long layovers, and packed schedules. That’s why celebrities like Katy Perry and Lady Gaga have turned to personal trainer and Fitbit ambassador, Harley Pasternak, to keep them in shape while on the go.

Here are his top (celeb-approved) tips to keep your routine in check while you travel.

Lifestyle Photo of Harley Pasternak wearing a Fitbit watch. Harley is doing a reverse lunge on a hiking path with panoramic views of hills in the background
Holiday health tips from Harley Pasternak to help keep you on track © Fitbit

1. Focus on sleep

Sleep can be a challenge when you are in a different time zone or sleep environment. That’s why Pasternak recommends travelling with a sleep tool kit. “My tool kit includes an eye mask, earplugs, an app on my phone for White Noise, CBDmedic cream (so my lower back arthritis doesn’t keep me up all night),” he told Lonely Planet. “Plus, my Fitbit Versa is an easy way to track how well you’re sleeping and can help you get back to a more consistent bedtime routine upon your return.” Also avoid drinking too much alcohol, especially on activity-packed days, as it will have an impact on your ability to fall asleep.

A group of people in a restaurant sitting around a round table and laughing with shared plates in front of them.
Order plates to share with friends on holidays to keep your diet varied and balanced © Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock

2. Balance your plate

Monitoring exactly what you’re eating while on vacation shouldn’t be a priority; holidays are about indulging. So instead focus on creating a balanced plate for most meals. “Each meal should be loaded with fiber, healthy fat, and quality protein,” said Pasternak. “Fill up on the right foods, and you’ll be less likely to overeat on refined carbohydrates and deep-fried foods.”

3. Pack healthy snacks

Another good rule of thumb to follow to avoid sitting down to a meal ravenous and ordering unhealthy options is to bring snacks. “Pack healthy snacks to eat while you’re on the go instead of purchasing processed foods,” he added. “When I travel, I usually carry packets of almonds and cashews, which keep me fuller for longer – that way I’m making smart decisions and don’t give in to sugary snacks that aren’t fulfilling.”

Hundreds of people using Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, one of the busiest crosswalks in the world. The photo is taken at dusk and is a long exposure shot, so the people are a little bit blurred by movement
Your steps will soon rack up on a sightseeing holiday © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

4. Walk, walk, walk

The easiest and most effective thing you can do while on holiday to keep up with your fitness is just to walk. “Instead of taking Ubers or Lyfts everywhere, walk to see the sights or to your meals throughout the day,” said Pasternak. “It’s an easy way to not only get your steps in but enjoy the scenic views of your destination.” And you can do this even while you’re waiting for your flight.
“Instead of opting for another episode of Netflix, take laps around the airport to help keep your step count up and your blood flowing.” The goal? Aim for at least 12,000 steps a day.

5. Always have breakfast

Recent research suggests that skipping breakfast is bad for your heart health. Plus, it can set the tone for how you’ll eat the rest of the day. “To save time, I try and order my breakfast the night before each day so that it wakes me up in the morning with a knock on my hotel door,” said Pasternak. “That way there’s no excuse for missing it.”

A hand holding a steel water bottle in front of rolling hills covered in coniferous trees.
Packing a reusable water bottle is a must © Zyoma / Shutterstock

6. Stay hydrated

With all the activities you’ll be doing, it’s easy to get dehydrated. Make sure to pack a reusable water bottle and keep it topped up throughout your travels to avoid the effects of dehydration. “After getting off a flight, especially, I lean towards an electrolyte-filled beverage like a Propel to rehydrate,” says Pasternak. You should also try to minimize salty foods and caffeine while you’re on the airplane because it could wreak havoc with your hydration status.

7. Have a hotel room workout

Even if you don’t have a gym, there’s plenty of exercises you can do in your room to work up a sweat. “In addition to walking, there are several ways you can get a good workout right in the comfort of your hotel, including sticking to body weight exercises,” said Pasternak. “Examples include hip thrusts, a reverse lunge, pike plank, Superman, and push-ups to challenge the majority of your body’s muscles. Try doing three sets of 20 repetitions of each of these.”

A woman stretching in a hotel room with their back to the camera in front of a floor-to-celing window overlooking a pool. They are wearing black leggings and a sports bra with a psychedelic yellow trim
Body weight workouts are possible anywhere in the world © Roman Kosolapov

Another option is to bring easy-to-pack workout tools like slides and TRX straps. “Whenever I travel, I always bring these two with me,” he added. “They are great to use in your hotel room and do exercises that hit your entire body. Slides are great for pipe planks and prone hamstring curls, while the TRX suspension straps are unbeatable for back rows, jump lunges, and hamstrings as well.”

8. Cut yourself some slack

Remember you’re on vacation! So, don’t stress if you stray away from your typical diet and fitness regime. “Do the best you can do given the circumstances you’re in,” said Pasternak. “Last month, I was on a 16-hour flight one day and did not meet my step goal and had very little access to healthy food. I didn’t beat myself up over it. Some things are just out of your control.” The key is that when you get back home, get back into your regular healthy routines and don’t let a few days ruin your positive momentum.

Get more travel inspiration, tips and exclusive offers sent straight to your inbox with our weekly newsletterMake sure you're ready for anything with travel insurance from our trusted partners.

Explore related stories

Active senior husband and wife love playing Surfing in Early morning at Izu Peninsula UNESCO Global Geopark Japan


The top 5 day trips from Tokyo for hikes, hot springs and surf

Mar 22, 2024 • 5 min read