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Hiking (well, leaping here) in New Zealand

With a month and change to go before I strap on my new Tortuga backpack to board a ten hour red eye flight to Europe, I’m freaking out. Not because I’m afraid of the current international climate, or because this will be my first long-term solo trip. These days, I’m Googling like mad for answers to my most pressing travel questions like, “How will I maintain my fitness routine abroad?”

See, after years of dabbling in the spectrum of sweat sessions – Zumba! HIIT! Running! Weights! – I’ve whittled it down to the stuff I know I can commit to without getting bored or feel like I’m wasting my time. The regiment: The Bar Method often, supplemented by a ClassPass membership for yoga and pilates and the occasional walk or bike ride around the nearby lake. It’s all incredibly convenient; it’s what works.

However, hopping from London to Madrid and Lisbon – with a side jaunt to the Azores – will challenge me to shake up my routine. Accepting this challenge, here are four strategies I hope will keep me toned and functioning abroad:

Resistance Band

They’re versatile, portable and won’t take up much space or weight in my backpack. A resistance band would be easy enough to wrap around a doorknob or participating body parts to get some quick reps in. I’ve used a band in pilates so I’m familiar with some basic exercises, and I suspect using it to stretch out my chest and shoulders after lugging said backpack around will prove therapeutic. Now Googling, “best exercises to do with a resistance band.”

The Outdoors

While I’m not planning to trek the Camino de Santiago this time around, seeking out some trails serves me three-fold: I can pinch pennies, get some heart healthy cardio and get my touristy thing on. I’ve been drooling over the volcanic crater hikes in Sao Miguel, the Azores’ largest island, and from the looks of Lisbon’s hills, just walking around the cobblestoned inclines will provide plenty of leg days. Theoretically, with the money I’ll save by opting outside, I can splurge on the real reason many of us Millennials travel: the food. I hear the pastel de nata and jamon calling my name already.

Streaming Videos

Studio workouts are my jam so I’ll be looking for low impact videos to keep me lean and limber between destinations and – let’s be honest – decadent meals. Thankfully, many national boutique fitness chains offer their experience online. With my itinerary, which will consist of work, play and getting lost – an inevitable consequence of traveling to foreign lands – the ideal video playlist will run 20 – 30 minutes and won’t require any props. Nothing beats live energy and on-the-spot corrections you get with a live instructor, but I’ll be leaning on these digital trainers to tie me over so it won’t be a complete uphill climb once I head back to the studio.

Drop-in group fitness classes

Speaking of awesome brick and mortar vibes, all is not lost. Since most of my plans involve using a metropolitan city as my base, I’m sure I’ll have no problem finding a yoga studio or other exercise of the moment to drop into on a daily fee. Past experience has taught me that the people working the front desk of my hostel are a wealth of information for all kinds of activities; most will even hand you a map and send you off on your way with a smile and a few insidery tips. Score.

How do you stay fit abroad? Leave me a comment with your tips!

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