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Packing efficiently for working out during travel

In my former (aka pre-baby life), I traveled constantly. I was gone at least one full week a month and usually had a few random trips scattered throughout the rest of the month. Since then, things have obviously changed, though I still travel once every six weeks or so for a few days. All this to say is that, without tooting my own horn, I know how to pack a suitcase. It is my single mission to never check a bag if I’m traveling less than a week. That said, if you’re planning any sort of active vacation, you’re packing list typically doubles with all the extra gear you’ll need. Here’s how to keep the packing list in check, while still bringing (nearly) everything you’ll need for a quick trip.

  • Wear your bulkiest items. Now this has left me with some very unfashionable plane outfits, but it is all for the sake of packing efficiently. By far the most space-consuming item are my running shoes, so on my feet they go. In keeping with this theme, sometimes this means I’m wearing them with my skinny jeans. Yes, they look ridiculous, but you know what else is ridiculous? Waiting for your luggage when you could be working out.
  • Assess your needs. How much are you really going to be working out and what will you do? If you’re going to be doing some in-room YouTube or DVD workouts, think about what you really need? Do you need to pack a full outfit of shorts/pants, sports bra and top? I’ll be honest – and perhaps TMI – and tell you that I’ve completed many a hotel workout in just a sports bra and some underwear. No one will know (unless you blog about it). Also, if you’re only doing hotel workouts, you might be able to forgo the bulky shoes, and with it, the oh-so fashionable plane-ride ensemble.
  • Make friends with the sink. More applicable for longer trips without access to laundry facilities, but if you want to make everything fit, you’ll need to be resourceful. Bringing along some individual packets of laundry detergent and using the sink to wash some clothes will obviously make your limited suitcase go a bit further and longer. Same goes for if you don’t want your suitcase and other clothes to smell like a giant stinkfest on the way home. Downside is that sometimes it takes a long time for soaking wet clothes to dry, so wring them and dry them overnight in a towel, then use the hotel hair dryer (who has room to pack their own?) – from a safe distance, no burnt clothes here – if you need a quick fix.


With just a little resourcefulness and planning, anyone can avoid the long baggage check lines and simplify their travel a bit. When that happens, all that time saved can be used to workout, or order room service – whatever your preference!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing