Fitness and Fun on Vacation Header Image

Today’s fast-paced lifestyles can be super stressful, so it’s important to take a vacation to recharge, put life into perspective, and reconnect with loved ones.

Vacations are good for both your mental and physical well-being and can even reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

But how many of us take a break from healthy choices – as well as work – when we go into vacation mode?

We surveyed 1,001 employed people who vacationed in the past year to learn how exercise impacted their vacation and how they performed at work upon their return.

About 45% worked out on their last vacation, while more than half chose to pursue total relaxation. So is sipping mai tais on a pool float the best way to rejuvenate your body? Or should you stay active? Read on to find out.

Staying Fit on Vacation

Summer vacations rock – especially if you’re the type of person who likes to maintain an active lifestyle. But did you know that your choice of vacation impacts your likelihood of working out?

We found that people who stayed at a resort, camped, or went to the beach were most likely to have exercised on their last vacation.

Infographic on travelers who work out on vacation

If you’re keen to crush your fitness goals, travel alone. We found that with more time to focus on themselves, over 56% of solo travelers exercised on vacation.

In fact, 1 in 5 people who worked out on their most recent vacation said a travel companion had pressured them not to work out! Clearly, taking a supportive companion is a solid way to take great care of your body.

Combine Fitness and Fun on Vacation

How much fun did you have on your last vacation? If you like to train like a champ, chances are you had a blast.

We found that people who worked out on vacation were more likely to say the trip was very or extremely fun than those who took it easy.

Infographic on whether people who worked out on their trip had fun on their vacation

Walking, running, or biking around town proved to be the most fun, closely followed by a refreshing dip in the ocean.

On the face of it, a vacation may sound like a great excuse to put your fitness journey on pause. But, as our research shows, a change in scenery can present a ton of opportunities to stay in shape.

Why not hike a nature trail or bust out a high-intensity workout in a local park? You could even pack a resistance band along with your fitness headphones. Be creative, and a vacation can put you on the fast-track to fitness success.

Achieving Relaxation on Vacation

Any type of break can be relaxing, but we found that people who worked out on vacation were more likely to experience “extreme relaxation.”

According to our survey, popular activities such as aerobics and sports made for the most relaxing vacations. Pumping iron? It’s best to leave your dumbbells at home – those who lifted weights on vacation were the least likely to feel relaxed after getting home.

Infographic on whether people were relaxed on vacation based on whether or not they worked out

With so much free time, you might be tempted to pursue your fitness goals from sunrise to sunset. While motivation can be a powerful tool, don’t put yourself under pressure.

We found that people whose vacation workouts were equally strenuous as their everyday workouts were most likely to find it easy to get back into their everyday workout regimen.

Rather than try to make your vacation memorable by smashing your personal bests, maintain your usual pace. That way, you’ll continue to make those all-important incremental gains and return home ready to rock it out at the gym on Monday morning.

Stay Energized With Leisure Activities

As we’ve revealed, working out like a boss can make for a relaxing vacation – but leisure activities are also a great way to take care of your mind, body, and soul.

If you want to return from your vacation rested and glowing, fishing, camping, reading, or enjoying some fun at the beach can all prove beneficial.

Infographic on top vacation activities and correlation of feeling relaxed

We found that 95% of people who fished and nearly 94% of those who camped on vacation reported feeling relaxed after their last vacation.

Not surprisingly, queuing for rides and hotdogs at a buzzing amusement park wasn’t nearly so relaxing. Around 1 in 10 people who went to an amusement park felt stressed at the end of their vacation. To optimize your vacation, save yourself the cost of entry and hit the pool or the beach – you’ll soon reap the rewards.

Overcome the Post-Vacation Blues

We’ve all come home from vacation, slumped on the couch, and thought, “I need another vacation!”

To avoid the post-vacation blues, consider adding in some sporty activities. We found that people who broke a sweat on vacation were most likely to feel focused and productive when they returned to work.

Back to Reality

Taking a vacation may not always seem like the best career move, but getting rest and refreshment can make a big difference in your attitude toward work. You don’t have to jump on a plane to the Maldives, either. Even a short weekend getaway can provide significant work stress recovery. Plus, it’s a great excuse to buy new swimwear or hiking boots!

Future Vacation Fitness

Excited for your next vacation? Our survey revealed that travel trends can be broken down by generation.

Millennials, for example, were twice as likely as Gen Xers to be interested in skiing or snowboarding and three times more likely to be interested in surfing.

Infographic on whether people would be interested in trying new things on future vacation

It’s no surprise that millennials are the most outgoing and adventurous. They’re also the most likely to splurge on travel, with 33% of millennials willing to spend $5,000 or more on vacation.

From organic juices to vacations and fitness gear, investing in your future health is more valuable than ever.

Let FitRated Help You Hit Your Goals

Sleeping in and lying on the beach are popular vacation pastimes, but you can enhance your vacation – and wellness – by staying physically active. That way, you’ll get back home feeling energized and ready to build your best body.

No matter the season, FitRated can help you get results. We’re a small community of fitness fanatics who seek out and review the best fitness products and services. We take the stress out of buying fitness equipment and save you money. That way, you can focus on your fitness goals – and plan your next vacation!


For this study, we surveyed 1,001 employed people who’d gone on a vacation in the past 12 months using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service. 451 worked out on their last vacation, and 451 did not. The average age of our participants was 35.1, and they ranged from 18 to 87. The standard deviation was 10.2.

Participants were asked to choose up to three of the most appropriate descriptors of their last vacation. They were also asked to select all of the workouts they performed on their vacations.

In some situations, we grouped responses to simplify visualizations. We only included responses that had an adequate number of responses.


This study is based on self-reported data. This means there might be exaggerated or minimized information. This content is not weighted nor statistically tested, which means it is based on means alone.


Fair Use Statement

Did you enjoy discovering how to combine fitness and fun on your vacation? Awesome, please feel free to share this article and our findings for noncommercial purposes. To help the fitness community, please include a link back to this page and credit