Pro Tips For Taking Fitness Classes While Traveling

by | Jul 10, 2019 | Fitness, Travel | 2 comments

There’s a lot to love about traveling. Seeing new places, experiencing different cultures and different foods, exploring interesting local spots. But one of my favorite things to do when I travel is to hit up fun and different fitness and yoga classes, so I’m sharing my list of pro tips for taking fitness classes while traveling. These tips will save you trouble, time and money, and will get you moving in a fun way while you’re traveling.

When you travel, you tend to eat heavier and might not move as much as you normally do or would like to. I always feel better when I exercise my body at least every other day when I’m traveling. I notice a huge difference in both my digestion and my energy levels when I move versus when I don’t. (Click here for more healthy travel tips.)

Usually I’ll take a spin class, a hot yoga class or just go for a 30 minute run (click here for tips for getting started with running). I also always travel with this resistance band because it’s light and easy to pack, and you can do a ton of different exercises with it.

I’m a yoga teacher and have also taught group fitness classes in the past (spin and barre), so I know a thing or two about group fitness classes and how they work. Read on for my pro tips for taking fitness classes when traveling.


1. Look At Online Class Schedules Ahead Of Time

If you know which studio or class you’d like to hit on your trip, look it up online before you leave. If you aren’t sure what’s available in the area, google “hot yoga classes in Tribeca” or whatever terms are relevant to your trip details and what you’re looking for. A few things to note:

  • What days and times do they have classes?
  • Does the studio have multiple locations and is one of them closer to where you’re staying? Pay close attention to the specific studio or area before you book anything. Consider whether you’ll have time to wake up, dress and walk or drive to the location in time for the class to start.
  • Do they accept walk-ins or must you have a reservation booked in order to secure a spot in the class you’re interested in? In many of the well-known studios in larger cities, the classes fill up and you must book a reservation in advance to attend the class.
  • Also note if they have an app you can download that might make it easier to view and book classes and locations.


2. Find Out If New Students Get A Free First Class

Many studios have some kind of a new student special and some will even offer your first class free. This actually happened to me at Exhale in Chicago a few years ago. I was pleasantly surprised when I got to the studio for a hot yoga class I had pre-booked ahead of time, expecting to pay $35 for, and was told that it was free to me as a new student. (Exhale has locations all around the U.S., so it’s definitely worth checking out to see if there’s one where you’re visiting next.) It’s always worth a shot to ask!


3. Ask About The Cancellation And Refund Policy

Be sure to ask about the cancellation and rescheduling policy. Every studio is different, but most studios have at least a 6-12 hour window that you must cancel within, or you lose the class. At some larger and busier studios, the cancellation/rescheduling policy is the day before. Also, find out what happens if you purchase a class and can’t make it. A lot of classes are non-refundable so be sure the class time and location works for you before you book.


4. Find Out About Equipment

Does the studio charge extra to rent a yoga mat, a towel or cycling shoes? Do they charge for water? If so, consider bringing your own water or hand towel from your hotel as these charges can add up quickly. (Just be sure to return your hotel towel if you borrow it for class!) I have a small hand towel that I received as a new student gift at Free To Be Power Yoga in New Orleans, and I pack it every time I travel so I can use it at studios, rather than pay $5 to rent a hand towel, in addition to whatever the cost is for the class.


5. Be Sure To Pack Appropriate Clothes For Your Class

For most classes, all you need is a sports bra and tank if you want it, leggings or fitted shorts and possibly running shoes. Bonus tip: I always wear my running shoes on the plane because they take up so much room in my suitcase.


6. Plan Your Travel To The Studio

This is one of my most important pro tips for taking fitness classes when traveling! Be sure to find out how early the studio recommends you arrive before class starts. As a group fitness teacher, I can tell you that you’ll want to give yourself some time arriving at a studio or class format that’s new to you. Do NOT show up for an 8:00am spin class at 7:55am if you’ve never taken spin and don’t know how to set yourself up on a bike. Plan your travel so you can arrive at a studio that’s new to you at least 15 minutes before the class starts (maybe more). You’ll be much less nervous and you’ll feel more settled if you can take your time putting your things away in a locker, use the restroom, chat briefly with the staff and get set up with your equipment before class starts. You might even have time for a quick mirror selfie before it’s go-time! (Kidding…kind of.) Major pro tip – enter the studio destination in the Waze app before you go, and find out how long it will take you to walk or drive to the studio with traffic for the time of day you’re planning to go. Waze will even remind you when you need to leave.

Now over to you! What tips do you have around fitness when traveling? Do you enjoy taking new fitness classes when you travel as well? Please leave your comments and tips in the comments below!

Elizabeth Finch Wellness is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


  1. Lisa

    I love taking fitness classes when I travel! I’ve been visiting my son in Chicago and did a free CycleBar class! We did tons of walking, so I never felt guilty about eating!

    • Elizabeth

      I love that Lisa! You’re right, it feels so much better physically AND mentally when you’ve moved your body on vacation. No guilt! Just seeking balance. And that’s awesome that you were able to score a free class!


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