If you spend a good chunk of your time on the road, keeping up with fitness routines can be hard!

There are many reasons traveling sets people off their course of health and fitness; from disrupted schedules, jetlag, and buffet tables of food, there always seems to be an excuse.

A big one is, “I don’t have room to pack tons of workout gear”.

I get it.

Travelers have limited space, especially as we pack lighter to avoid airline baggage fees. Luckily, these five items take up almost no room in a suitcase. Many of them have more than one use. And all are helpful for sticking to routines while traveling.

A Lacrosse Ball

I love this combo of lacrosse ball and spiky massage ball for ultimate benefits

This is the perfect tool for easing sore muscles and stimulating blood flow. It is important to stretch and roll out muscles after a tough workout. It’s also beneficial to stimulate muscles when sitting for a long time (like on an airplane).

What do you do with it? Use the ball to massage your feet on long plane/train/bus rides. Use it to roll out sore back/leg/butt muscles. Here are five ways to use a lacrosse ball.

*Bonus* The lacrosse ball works as a drain blocker if you need to do some laundry in a hotel sink!

Jump Rope

jumprope for exercise

photo by Lokan Sardari via Flickr/CC 2.0

This is the ultimate portable workout! Jumping rope can burn eleven calories a minute, gets your heart pumping, and leg muscles flexing. Work up a good sweat with just a few minutes of jumping rope.

What do you do with it? Include jump rope into a circuit workout, or dedicate 10 minutes each day to it.  Here are seven workouts you can do with nothing but a jump rope.

*Bonus* A jump rope is a makeshift clothesline. Stretch it across your hotel room and hang up clothes to dry.

This jump rope is my favorite. It’s traveled to 12 different countries with me! Super easy to pump out those double unders!

A Smartphone and Fitness Apps

A smartphone is useful for more than just listening to music while exercising. It keeps track of steps, plans workouts, helps navigate, and motivates.

My most useful apps:
Interval Timer – Set the timer to different intervals. I set it to 18 x 30 x 10 for a 30 second Tabata workout.
Pedometer App – Track your steps for the day.
Run Keeper – See how far you go, and have the added benefit of not getting lost.
12 Minute Athlete – I like this app for the guided workouts.

Resistance Bands 

Resistance Bands are so versatile! They come in many sizes, add resistance, stretch, and assist in body weight movements. Bring a few, or choose one that you think would benefit you and your workout goals.  The best part, these foldable rubber bands take up no room in your suitcase!
What to do with them? Resistance bands are able to perform tons of functions in your workout. Anchor the band to a door or sturdy pole, and you have got makeshift weights. Tie it to a pull-up bar and assist your pull-ups. Ramp up your run with the band anchored around a pole and tied around your waist. Use the band to stretch sore muscles, and even double up with a friend and use the band together.

** There are so many resistance bands out there. This pack comes in four different resistances.** 

Versatile Workout Clothing 


One of the biggest struggles for fitness minded travelers? We have to pack regular clothes AND workout clothes! This means we have to be particular when choosing what goes into our luggage. There is no need to bring yoga clothes AND running clothes AND hiking clothes. Clothing that can work for every kind of activity is what we need.

This means clothing that is “technical” (quick drying, lightweight fabric and washable). Think reversible sports bras, high quality leggings and attractive sweat wicking shirts. You want these things to have more than one use as well. Meaning you feel comfortable wearing it to work out AND as during regular activities.

It’s important to remember that every person is different. For example, I have no problem wearing flashy running sneakers with a maxi dress. I know that would not fly for a lot of people. So think about your workout and non-workout habits on the road and plan accordingly.

Some of my favorite brands for great sweat wicking, attractive clothes are Under Armour, LuluLemon, and Lucy. A simple shirt like this, combined with these pants (these are some of my favorite leggings. They don’t fall down during burpees!) easily goes from climbing a mountain to dining in a restaurant!

What are some other fitness items you can easily put in your suitcase?

**If you purchase anything from the links, I get a little extra moolah – at no cost to you!

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Keeping up with a fitness routine while traveling can be tough! These 5 (easily packable) items throw all excuses for not exercising out the window!