I love to travel! With good intentions I always pack my gym clothes as I hate to lose traction with my diet and fitness commitments (or lack of). Unfortunately, this is easier said than done and once vacation mode kicks in all bets are off.
Instead of doing guilt about avoiding the hotel fitness center on vacation, I just make sure I walk as much as possible wherever we go. You are probably doing some walking anyway depending on where you are so don't underestimate the impact of all those steps. This is how I get my steps in on vacation....
The beach - I love the ocean, so anytime we head to a beach destination it doesn’t feel like a chore to get up early and take a walk on the beach, or end the day that way.
The City - What a fantastic way to explore a new city… walk it. We have walked all over New York City, downtown Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, and many more. When we stayed in Chicago last year our hotel was on the outskirts of the city so it was an added bonus to have to walk to public transportation. This is something we consider when choosing hotels and such. Once in the city, all you need is a smart phone with battery life to explore it all. We walked for hours and it is such a friendly walking city, we could have walked for days!
Family Vacation – There is always someone willing to get up early for a walk.
Business - Sometimes attending a work conference doesn't allow much time for exploring outside of the hotel. In that case I definitely use the treadmill. I do not like crowds at the gym so my routine is to scope out the fitness center on day 1 and determine what time of day works best, less traffic, etc. Typically it is very early in the morning and I can be in and out before everyone else has eaten breakfast. Depending on the location of the work event, I will try to explore my surroundings or walk around the vicinity.
TIP: Before venturing out in an unknown city when traveling, it is a good idea to scope out the lay of the land via the web, concierge or others who know the area. I had some time to kill once during a work function in a new city and just started walking in hopes of stumbling upon some shopping. In a very short period of time it had become clear I wasn't in a particularly safe area and I remember feeling a small surge of panic. This was also before smart phone popularity so I had no means to reach anyone. Needless to say I would not do that again. Take a buddy and/or do your homework!
Here are some of my favorite cities to walk... click on the links for cool walking ideas.
* San Francisco - of course San Francisco holds a special place in my heart. Bias aside, San Francisco is an amazing and beautiful city with gorgeous views of the bay, Golden Gate and Bay Bridges, breathtaking hills, unique architecture, shopping and food to die for!
* San Diego - Being the home of one of the Susan G. Komen 60 mile 3 day walks, I've had the privilege of walking this city many times. It is surrounded by beautiful coastline, parks, great food, city nightlife and has the Southern California feel.
* New York - Being an East Coast girl at heart, I love New York City and there is so much to do and see. Each section has its own unique charm and history. You can spend a whole day just walking through Central Park! Landmarks are abundant and if you love to people watch, there is no better place.
* Las Vegas - I'm not a huge gambler so visiting Vegas for me is more about checking out the hotels, walking the strip from end to end, people watching, etc. If the strip is not your thing, there are a lot of hidden things to do here that don't involve casinos.
Remember whether a long weekend or an extended true destination vacation... there is always a way to walk.
Don't forget to pack the right walking shoes. I made the mistake of bringing new flats with me that had not been previously worn and paid the price!
Remember to pack comfy walking shoes. I've made the mistake of bringing new flats with me and learned quickly that was a bad move as they had not been worn at all prior.
What's your favorite city to walk?