My co-workers always bitch about feeling out of shape after going on vacation... I can't relate, I always get in better shape on vacation & here's how:
  1. Plan to have a healthy-ish but indulgent vacation. Don't just hope to stick to your diet or whatever.
    For excellent advice regarding goal setting & achieving in general, check out Gretchen Rubin's "Happier" podcast. Put your work-out on the itinerary if you're anal & print out itineraries. Build it into your day. Don't make it an afterthought.
  2. What kind of exercise do you enjoy or wish to try? Vacation is about re-energizing & getting out of your dull 9-5 bullshit. This is a good time to explore the limits of your comfort zone.
    Do you like yoga? Do a yoga retreat. There are discounts if you room with multiple people so bring a friend or make some new ones. I didn't know anyone on any of my retreats & now I have a bunch of new friends. Cheaper than a lame ass Caribbean cruise AFAIK. Like running? Find a running group in the city you are visiting or ask at a local running shop or go out & explore... You get the idea. Google is your friend. Try a new experience. If it sucks, it might still make for a great story.
  3. Stay in a place conducive to your goals.
    My last few trips I've rented apartments & cooked healthy meals from the local markets for 2 out of my 3 meals a day. Saved a ton of money. Tried some new foods & had a super fun time grocery shopping. Even learned some new foreign words & phrases. Staying in a walkable area with beautiful parks & bike paths or in the middle of nowhere with nice hiking terrain means that exercise is not an item on the to-do list but rather an integral part of your vacation.
  4. Be prepared.
    Know what you need to pack for the activities you plan to do. Obviously check the weather. You should do that anyway. Exercise clothing is designed to be lightweight & quick drying so it's really excellent for travel anyway. You look less stupid walking around in athletic shoes if you're wearing athletic clothing anyway. And athletic clothing looks better on you when you're more or less in shape. (I'm a New Yorker & therefore an expert judge of tourists).
  5. Walk & take public transit as much as possible. Rent a bike or a kayak. But not a Segway. Those are foolish.
    I'm a solo female traveler, so yes I recognize that safety is the highest priority so be careful & use your best judgment. That being said, there's still a lot of amazing places that are super safe where you can do this. Frankly, I'd rather not spend money within an economy that doesn't treat women like actual human beings. Also, black & white photography is a big hobby of mine-- if I drove or took taxis everywhere I'd miss most of the amazing scenes that I'd photograph.
  6. Indulge strategically.
    Eat dessert everyday (especially if you're walking around all day and/or in Italy; gelato or sorbetto is not as wonderful or as plentiful outside of Italy). Skip the garbage & junk food you can get back in the States (or wherever you're from). If I see you at McDonalds I will cut you.
  7. Bring your own snacks.
    To the airport for sure. But also bring water bottles to refill if the water is potable so you're not generating more trash or buying sodas. Find a local health food store or market & buy raw nuts in bulk & fresh fruit etc. I have food allergies & I can always find something delicious so your picky ass will be fine too. Don't get stuck buying price gouged junk at museums or tourist traps! It's usually not anything special or it's cheaper a block over. Also applies to road trips!
  8. Take breaks.
    Traveling can be stressful & exhausting, especially with other people. When I went on family road trips as a kid, we always kept frisbees & a soccer ball in the car & at rest stops we would run around for a bit & goof off. Add naps to your itinerary. The point of vacation is relax & rejuvenate. If you're running around like crazy & stressing everyone out, take a few things off the daily agenda. In a beautiful nature area? Try meditating outside. Napping in a hammock by the ocean is the BEST.
  9. Try to pack smart.
    Don't throw out your back getting your overstuffed suitcase into a taxi. If you need to look good on vacation, only bring clothing within a single color palette-- you won't need to pack as much stuff. I wear all black most of time (not in the summer though) so I bring 2 pairs of black shoes (dressy & casual, maybe a pair of sandals if it's warm) and my running or hiking shoes depending on where I'm going.
  10. Get online.
    Obviously the most convenient way to research activities or connect with locals for advice. But if you have Internet access & a little bit of space you can compensate for a lack of amenities or options. There's a bunch of online, on demand exercise classes these days. Try them out. Apps & wearables like FitBit or Jawbone can help you meet your fitness goals while traveling for business or pleasure.
  11. Don't set yourself up to fail.
    Stop with the negative self-talk. It's boring. And when you screw up it just proves that you were "right".
  12. Have fun!!!!!
    Obligatory concluding list item.