5 recommendations for gym equipment on the go

It can be such a massive issue when you’re traveling; being able to stay in shape whilst constantly on the move. It’s so easy just to use the fact that you’re constantly on the move as an excuse not to work out; “it’s impossible, there’s no gym, I’ll go for a run on the beach tomorrow and join the gym when I get home”. However, by that point you’re probably so demotivated and out of practice, the run you plan on doing never happens and by the time you get home, you’re so out of shape that the thought of working out and getting back to your previous shape seems impossible.

When we were back in London, we both had gym memberships and so the guilt of not going drove us there 5 times a week. Now, being on the move all of the time whilst not having a gym to go to are just a few of the excuses we have used not to work out. Added to this, I’m also in the process of trying to recover from a big shoulder injury and having tennis elbow (in both elbows 🤦🏼‍♂️) but I’m very slowly making improvements. However, we were inspired by our friends @ourtodays (check out their blog www.today-here.com) who kept a strict workout regime throughout the whole of their central and South American travels whilst we traveled besides them making excuses! So this time, we decided to make sure we integrated working out into our travels and made sure excuses weren’t possible by having the right equipment to workout.

Before making our choices, we felt it was importable to have something we can fit in our suitcase that 1. didn’t take up too much room and 2 didn’t weigh too much; we have tried all of the below and each have provided significant benefits in terms of keeping us fit whilst away:

1. Resistance bands 

After a strong recommendation from a friend of mine, I bought these bands by Bodylastics and they have fast become my favourite piece of workout equipment. I actually think that after using these bands, I won’t ever need to join a gym again; they produce the same results and you won’t get any of the injuries associated with lifting heavy weights. There is a green, yellow, red, dark blue and black band, each providing a certain level of resistance and thus re-creating the effect of lifting a certain weight. They actually label on each band, what the re-created weight is and therefore you are given a good idea of the level you are at. You can combine the bands to give you a higher weight and so even if you are a professional body builder, you can make these bands work for you. They come with a door anchor that you fix in between the door and the frame and you can do all your exercises from there so as long as you you have a door that closes, you’re good to go!

The set of bands come with exercises for your chest, back, biceps, triceps, shoulders and abs, using only resistance cables. They also have a lot of exercises on their website as well as countless exercise programs on YouTube.

What extra do you need? Just a door that closes!

2. Water weights

After annoying our friends, @ourtodays  and using their water weights I made the decision on the last trip to buy Pearl Sport’s Water Weights. They are perfect in terms of space saving equipment that barely weigh anything (other than the screws and bars) so you can practically have a gym in your bag to take with you wherever you go.

I used these on our last trip (on the occasions I wasn’t making excuses) and loved them at the time but have opted for the resistance bands on the current trip. My recommendation would be to pick only one out of water weights and resistance bands because you can achieve the same results with both.

What extra do you need? Only water

3. Skipping Rope

I like to have a skipping rope with me as it takes up barely any room, it’s light and its easy to fit in between your sets as part of your main exercise program. For example, if I’m doing shoulder exercises, I will use my 90 second rest in between sets to do 60 seconds of skipping so that my heart rate is high and I’m able to combine my muscular workout with an aerobic one. This is great for keeping lean whilst building muscle and is definitely something I will be using for the remainder of our trip.I made the decision by buy mine from Beast Mode, again through a recommendation from a friend but there are so many out there, you won’t be stuck for choice!

What extra do you need? Nothing, I would just suggest trying to get some space to actually skip but this can easily be done in a hotel room.

4. Sliders 

I hadn’t ever thought of using these before Sophie brought them away on this trip and now we both use them at least once a week (Sophie uses them every day) for a short leg / glutes work out. If you don’t know how these could work, take a look at the below YouTube clip of a short workout that we do regularly; believe me, it BURNS!

Again, other than providing an intense, targeted workout, this piece of equipment takes up a tiny amount of space in our luggage and weighs nothing; there really is no excuse not to pack it! After a lot of research, Sophie bought the Elite Core Sliders but again, there are a lot of other options.

What extra do you need? Just a bit of space to do actually do the exercises.

5. Exercise Mat

In my opinion, this piece of equipment is a must if you’re planning on working out whilst you travel. I’ve owned a few yoga mats and the one I’ve bought this time (Maximo Exercise Mat) seems the most durable and comfortable and therefore one I would recommend for long-term traveling. It is slightly annoying in terms of the space it takes up but if you’re clever with how you pack, then it isn’t much of an issue. Having a yoga mat in hot countries where most floors aren’t carpeted is an absolute godsend and has pretty much saved me from a hell of a lot of knee pain!

Whilst I do actually try to do yoga once a week, I will use the mat most days for an abs workout and once a week for a legs workout and has therefore proved incredibly useful for a number of purposes. Also, if we are ever near a beach and I want to workout there then I will usually take the mat with me as a towel is normally too unstable and just not practical.

What extra do you need? Nothing!



  1. Annevé
    December 13, 2018 / 10:27 pm

    Ha! Great you are building up slowly and working out! My physiotherapist says your bodyweight is the most important fitness tool 😉

    • traveldecent
      January 2, 2019 / 2:05 am

      Hey! thanks, yeah that’s definitely the way! what kind of bodyweight workouts do you do?

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