How To Start Running While On Vacation

Inma running in a Ribeira beach – Galicia, Spain

Have you ever considered running while traveling? If you are wondering how to start running while on vacation, this article will show you the way.

For some, running is an escape, a chance to be by themselves, to think things through, and to release some stress. However, for others running is a less enjoyable activity, perhaps only running to stay in shape or to lose weight.

Regardless of your reason behind running, there are many benefits to regularly lacing up and stomping the pavements – that includes while traveling too – you’re not getting off that easily.

This article will explore the many benefits of running, will discuss why you should consider running while traveling, and will finish by highlighting five tips to help you start running while on vacation/traveling. 

What are the benefits of running?

If you currently run, you likely know the many benefits of running. However, we’re going to assume you’re a complete newbie (hope you aren’t offended!). 

Benefits of running include:

  • Help maintain a healthy weight
  • Improved quality of sleep
  • Better mental health

We will now break these down one by one, beginning with weight-loss/maintenance.

Help maintain a healthy weight

It likely comes as no surprise that regular running equals weight-loss or maintenance. That is if you’re consuming fewer calories than you’re burning.

For some, running is exactly that: A way to stay in shape year-round, to burn a few extra calories, and to stay in good health.

This too is a fantastic reason to run while traveling: keeping in shape both mentally and physically.

Improved quality of sleep

Exercising throughout the day tires us out. After all, we are expending energy. For most, this decreases the time it takes us to fall asleep, while also improving your quality of sleep.

Sleep is essential for optimal recovery, whether you’re an elite athlete or enjoy one or two runs a week, proper recovery is essential. This reduces your risk of injury and allows you to perform your best in each run. 

Not only will your running be more enjoyable, but you’ll also be getting more out of it. The faster and/or further you can run, the more calories you’ll burn, the more sights you get to see, and the more fun you get to have on the way. 

Better mental health

Regular exercise, including running releases endorphins – these are also called “feel-good hormones”. You’ve likely heard the term “runners high”, this is a result of these endorphins being released into your circulatory system, lifting your mood and reducing your perception of pain.

This may contribute to reduced anxiety too, putting worrisome thoughts behind you, focusing in the moment, or on more important things.

Okay, now that we’ve covered the basic benefits of running, why should you take up running while traveling? What is there to gain?

Why you should consider running while traveling

Alongside the physical and mental health benefits listed above, there are many other benefits to running while traveling.

These include:

  • Sightseeing at it’s finest
  • Contribute to making your trip as sustainable as possible
  • Keep in shape for when you return home
  • Erase those calories that “don’t count” while on holiday
  • Get a fantastic suntan

Once again, these will now be broken down one by one. 

Sightseeing at it’s finest

Running while traveling allows you to see much more than the regularly scheduled tour buses, walks, and runs into the local town.

This is your chance to explore the history, local monuments, beaches, trails, and everything in-between. You might even catch the sunrise if you get up early enough, although we wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t… you are on vacation after all. 

Contribute to making your trip as sustainable as possible

This one is a no brainer, the more you use your own legs, the less you need alternative means of transportation avoiding the carbon footprint attached to most of them.

Related read: How to travel without flying – My next 5 trips

Keep in shape for when you return home 

There’s no worse feeling than not exercising for a while, heading to the gym, hopping on the bike, or lacing up your running shoes and being out of breath within the first thirty-seconds. It sucks.

So, why not stay in shape while on vacation? It doesn’t have to be as intense as your regular training schedule, perhaps only a couple of runs a week. 

You’ll have a chance to catch the sunset, see various landmarks, and save on the sucking once you get back home and head out the door in hope of erasing that “holiday-bod” (yes that’s now a term…). 

Erase those calories that don’t count while on holiday 

We’ve all heard the saying “oh those calories don’t count” whilst on holiday. However, instead of working extra hard in the gym once you get home, why not take up running while away?

Even if it’s once or twice a week, you’ll maintain your fitness, burn some calories (yes this means you get to eat more cake…), and allows you to enjoy your holiday that little bit more.

Get a fantastic suntan 

Finally, you’ll also get a fantastic suntan. Heading out for a couple of runs per week in the heat is a great way to build up your tan, chasing that golden brown look co-workers will no doubt be jealous of. 

Be sure to wear sunscreen not to burn, we doubt they won’t be too jealous of that…

So, how do you start?

Tips to help you start running while traveling 

Are you convinced? Are you ready to start running while traveling? 

Now that you know how fun, valuable, and exciting running can be while traveling, we’ve put together five top tips to help you start – because let’s face it, it’s no easy feat.

  1. Don’t think just go
  2. Research local running routes 
  3. Make use of hotel and resort fitness centers 
  4. Set a routine 
  5. Don’t be afraid to enjoy your runs, not every run has to be a sweaty intense workout 

Starting is the hardest part, as with many things in life. However, once you get going and have some momentum behind you we think you’ll begin to enjoy it, reaping the many benefits it yields.

1. Don’t think just go!

Too often we overthink things, don’t let starting to run be one of these. Pack your running shoes, a pair of shorts or two, and a pair of shades – it’s time to stomp the pavements vacation style.

Instead of planning how far you’re going to run, sometimes it’s best just to go – see where your run takes you, run so far out, and turn around once you begin getting tired.

Just make sure you know your way back.

2. Research local running routes

While just going for a run works most times, other times you’re going to want to research the best local running routes – especially if you have no idea where you are or where to run.

You can use Strava to do this, looking up courses others have made and having a go at these yourself. 

This is a great way to find the best trails, routes, and runs in the local area – allowing you to gain the full vacation experience.

3. Make use of hotel and resort fitness centers

Sometimes, especially while abroad, it’s quite simply too hot to run. In this case, we recommend making use of hotel and resort fitness centers.

You can get in a run on the treadmill while enjoying aircon, perhaps even getting in a weights session or two if you’re particularly eager.

4. Set a routine

Routines are important – not only when on holiday but in life. Without a routine, many find themselves lost and without purpose.

When it comes to running, we recommend picking a time each day or two to three times a week to run, whether that be early in the morning before the sun rises or late at night once the sun has set (this is when it’s cooler).

Creating these routines increases the likelihood of you actually running, not feeling guilty the next day for skipping a run or workout. 

5. Don’t be afraid to enjoy your runs, not every run has to be a sweaty intense workout

Finally, remember you’re on vacation – every run doesn’t have to be a sweaty intense workout. 

Run to enjoy yourself, don’t exhaust yourself. Whether you run for ten-minutes, thirty-minutes, or an hour the choice is yours – but don’t stress yourself out about it.

It should be fun, not a burden – treat it like that and it’ll take care of you. We promise.


Running is highly accessible, making it the perfect form of exercise when traveling. This allows you to see new places, to stomp new beaches, new routes, trails, and roads, perhaps even meeting likeminded runners along the way.

Ditch the sandals and pack a pair of running trainers, allowing you to sightsee, get a fantastic tan, and, of course, eat more chocolate cake…, great, we know.

Keep reading: Why You Should Take Up Running While Traveling The World