12 Tips on how to be in shape for your next vacation

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Have you ever thought about using your next vacation as a motivation for your fitness goal? Check these 12 tips on how to be in shape for your next vacation and get inspired.

Who doesn't love vacations, right? Vacations are to take it easy, be carefree, get out of your routine and make the most of each day.

In order to make the most of the each day and take full advantage of your vacation, I think you wold agree that having a great energy level is essential.

As an athlete my fitness goal is preparing for a competition. But when I am getting ready for a trip, my personal goal becomes my trips. Incorporating a long hike or trek during my trips is a great goal as well as a great way to explore a new country.

It also keeps me motivated to be active before and during my vacation in pursuit of my fitness goal. It is a win-win.

It doesn’t matter what exactly your personal goal may be, just use your vacation of a lifetime to drive your mind to a goal and work on a plan that motivates you.

Every year I challenge myself to go somewhere new, and to do something physically demanding during my vacation. For years this has been a big deal for me to get ready for a personal fitness goal.

The idea of being physically and mentally prepared, combined with the excitement of exploring a different part of the world is a great feeling to push me outside my comfort zone, and I am here to motivate you to do the same, with these 12 tips on how to be in shape for your next vacation.


✔︎ You may want to look good in that bikini during your vacation at the beach or on a cruise

✔︎ What about being active and keeping up with your kids during all the exciting activities

✔︎ Maybe you have a personal goal to go on a trek during your vacation

✔︎ Or maybe your goal is to hike a mountain in the Himalayas in the high altitudes

✔︎ It can also be to feel good during your vacation, while you are planning to climb the stairs in those places that you dreamed about – the Eiffel Tower, the Duomo, the Vatican, the Inca stairs on the Montana Machu Picchu or that temple in the top of the mountain somewhere in Southeast Asia…

Best shape for your next vacation

1 - You must enjoy your fitness journey

This is my number one advice. You must enjoy the journey, and I cannot emphasize this enough.

If you get started on something that doesn’t make you happy, it won’t be worth it. Enjoying it is the key to keep pushing yourself.

You must find a way to enjoy exercise.

If you hate the idea of hitting the weights at the gym, you should find something different that you feel excited about doing, and that make you look forward for that time of your day.

What about outdoor activities such as a nice power walk, running or a bike ride? Maybe a yoga or dance class. You can join a workout group and exercise in parks or at the beach. Swimming lessons, scuba dive, mountain climbing…. There are so many choices, and you can find something you’ll enjoy.

fitness plan for my next vacation
Take your workout outdoors

2 - Start with a Plan - Workout + Diet

Be realistic with your plan. Jumping into an intense routine can lead to disappointment, or even worse, injury yourself when you  cannot keep up with it.

After you decide what exercise fits better your needs and you feel comfortable with, it is time to plan ahead.

How many times per week, what time of the day works better for you and try to mix some different activities so you don't feel burned out.

Keep in mind that exercise and balanced meals complement each other.

When you combine both, you won't just start to look better, but most importantly, feel better. You will start to have higher energy levels, improve your well being, have better concentration and the list of positive things can just go on...

Make sure you balance your meals between clean carbs, lean protein, and good fat. Stick to 3 main meals per day, have healthy snacks between your meals, drink plenty of water, and don't consume high sugar and processed food.

These healthy habits should be a great start not only for you to achieve your fitness goal for your next vacation, but also are habits that over some time following will allow you to be in shape without putting in a lot of effort.

Follow me on YouTube for more ideas of workout on-the-go

getting ready for my next vacation
Choose whatever workout is the best fit for you

3 - You need to be consistent with your plan

The most important thing you can do is plan, execute and be consistent towards your fitness goals.

Don’t let that busy day to be an excuse to skip your training or workout day. If anything gets in your way, make your fitness goal be a high priority.

A busy day ahead of you? What about getting up earlier to make up that extra hour in your day?

The important thing is to keep moving...

4 - Track your progress

This is key, and one of the most motivational things you can do to achieve your goal.

If your target is to lose weight and feel better about yourself, take pictures once a month and compare your progress.

If you trying to get faster and stronger, track your timing and strength progress.

Note: The scale shouldn’t be the only way (or the primary way) to track your progress.

tips to be in shape for your vacation
The best way for the success is to be consistent with your fitness goals

5 - You must be your biggest motivation

Don’t base your goals on anyone else. Do it for you!

It can be frustrating when we try to do things based on others. You are doing this primarily for yourself and your personal achievement.

As an example, when I was getting ready to hike the Annapurna Base Camp in the Himalayas, some people said to me that there is no way to train for high altitude trekking, as I may be affected by the altitude and not be able to hike it. I didn’t let this demotivate me. There are plenty of ways to prepare physically and mentally for my goal, and I kept pushing my limits to achieve my personal goal.

Quit the negative self-talk, and don't be too hard on yourself. Acknowledge that while you may have gone off course today, you will do better tomorrow.


6 - Find a partner

If you find it’s boring or you need some extra motivation, finding a partner is one of the best alternatives.

I always train with my husband and we prepare for our trips adventures together, and I find us pushing and motivating each other.

Like minded people have the benefit of making exercise infinitely more fun.

fit couple getting fit for the next vacation
Working out with a partner is one of the best ways to be motivated

7 - Respect your limits

It’s important that we push AND respect our limits.

To have a fitness goal during a vacation doesn’t mean to go from no training and suddenly target to climb Everest.

You’ll always find something that fits your personal goal and for you to push your limits to progress. Take step by step and work on a bigger and better target for the upcoming trips.

Give yourself some time to adapt to the new routine. Don't expect to see results in a few days and start to work out a week before you leave on vacation. Depending on your fitness goal for that vacation, make sure you plan accordingly.

Be stronger, faster, better than yesterday…and Live your Best Life in the present!

Motivation is to explore the new
Never stop exploring...
Hiking to get in shape for my vacation
Hiking the Himalayas was one of my biggest fitness goals

8 - Prioritize your health & fitness

It is so easy for us to be catch up on the busy lifestyle between work, family, social engagements and other priorities and while all these things get in the way of your health and fitness plan, you need to prioritize your days.

This mean that you may wake up 1 hour earlier in your day to make that time to take care of your health. It is not an easy habit, but once  you start it and build up the habit, it will become harder not to exercise, just because you become so used to prioritizing in your life.

Reserve some time during the weekend to prepare your meals, therefore you will have planned and followed your health meal plan for the week.

Glacier climb Skaftafellsjokull with Icelandic Mountain Guides
Incorporate a physical activity during your vacation is a great fitness goal

9- Be confident

You can do it! Whatever you set your mind to, you will achieve success! From each experience, you will be stronger, wiser, and more confident than before.

Appreciate your body and your health. The human body is amazing and a pretty awe-inspiring machine.

10 - Be proud of yourself

Yes and yes! Be proud of yourself.

Pat yourself on the back at the end of each training session, or give yourself credit for taking that step towards your goal. The feeling of achieving your goals is something that no one will never take away from you.

Imagine yourself completing your fitness goal and put your mind toward it! When you are back from your vacation, you will have an amazing story to tell your friends and family and you’ll motivate everyone around you.

Hiking the Himalayas
Being fit to be able to hike and carry a heavy backpack during your vacation
Hiking and getting in shape
A typical day pack for a long hike

11 - Your main goal is to have fun

Enjoy the journey and focus on the positive – hey, you are working hard and feeling better, stronger, faster…and, you are about to go on your amazing vacation. It is all fun, right?

12 - It is more of a mental challgent than physical

Find a real meaning for your next fitness goal and ask yourself: Why I am doing this?

Whether you are an athlete or someone who is looking for an adventure, facing any challenge is a mental exercise. Do not neglect your mind (conscious and subconscious) as something to exercise.

When you envision a goal, it becomes your new reality.

Picture yourself multiple times per day achieving your goal. Before you start a physical exercise, picture yourself doing it successfully (crossing the finish line, lifting a weight, hitting a yoga pose, finishing a swim, etc.). Picture it in your mind in full color! Feel the accomplishment!

While you are doing exercise, imagine you are climbing the mountain, strolling on the beach, or walking around that romantic city seeing ALL the sights. Use your mind and your body and dreams will come true. Unlock the power to create your own reality through your conscious and subconscious mind!

Hiking during my vacation
Hiking one of the tallest dunes in the world in Namibia

Conclusion on how to be in shape for your next vacation

Make healthy habits part of lifestyle.

Have a plan and be consistent. Don't follow every diet that comes along. What works for me, may not work for you. You are the only one who can tell what healthy habits and workout plan works best for you.

The key to get into shape and remain in shape is to be consistent with your plan and listen to your body. What makes you feel good? What keeps you feeling full and energized throughout the day? What helps you kick ass and fell motivated during your workouts? What keeps you feeling good and looking fit?

If you learned to answer these questions for yourself, you will soon be on the road to embrace healthy habits as your lifestyle.


  • Walk: whenever it is possible, get those steps
  • Take the stairs: Always
  • Get up and move: Whenever you can.
  • Choose active vacation: Incorporate hiking, kayaking, swimming, biking...there are so many choices to be active!

Last but not least, get back on track when you return from your vacation. Don't forget that your next vacation is a great motivation to get started to be in your best shape, but you can, and should continue to work on your fitness goal after you return from your vacation.

This is your new lifestyle...you can do it!

Hiking in New Zealand
One of the best hiking in the world, Tongariro in New Zeland


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Hi, I am Paula

Marketer, Blogger & Athlete

I'm a Brazilian native who calls U.S. home. A world traveler, adventure seeker, and an athlete who is always in search of authentic and real-life experiences.

I am passionate about cultural immersion, responsible traveling, and to empower people to live a Healthy Lifestyle. Let's Pin the Planet together!

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8 thoughts on “12 Tips on how to be in shape for your next vacation

  1. Ryan K Biddulph says:

    Look at those guns Paula! Well done. You gotta enjoy the fitness and travel journey to keep with it. I have been fit since I was 5 years old; first basketball, then bodybuilding, now jogging, walking and yoga. At 43 years old I can jog 12 miles or longer with ease. Loving the fitness journey is the way to go.

  2. Fiona Mai says:

    This is such an inspiring post. I agree with all of your tips, especially the one about making a plan and sticking to it. Too often we hold an “I’ll work out later” mindset and think we’re too tired and lazy during a vacation to move our body even just a bit. It’s therefore very important to have a clear plan with goals and be consistent.

  3. Maggie says:

    I love this!! I’m a fellow gymaholic. Even though I do actually love the act of working out, one of my favorite benefits is the ability to do cool things on my travels and not be limited by my fitness. My family loves to hike and do adventurous things, so that’s motivation for me to continue to be in good physical condition.

    • Paula Martinelli says:

      HI Maggie – you are so right, making change on how active we can be when we travel is the best part. Hiking, trekking, walking or any other activity while we explore a new place is so exciting and so good for our body and mind. Keep up the great work girl!

  4. Ophelie says:

    Seeing you is a great example: I am sure if I travel with you I would want to work out every day! I like to workout at home but I usually do not workout when I travel (except for hikes) because I simply do not have the time. This is motivating though!

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