Friday Fitness Tip on the Fly - active travel tours

When you're on vacation in [insert here], you'll likely have the opportunity to book a vast array of unique tours to hotspots, ranging from Hobbiton to the Tower of London.  Aside from the convenience of having a preset itinerary and the knowledge of a guide, tours can also present themselves as fitness activities.  If you're in Hawaii, swimming with the dolphins for hours on end can burn a significant number of calories as you attempt to keep up with one of the most agile marine mammals on the planet.  And a hiking tour of Mt. Cook in New Zealand would be the equivalent of a week's full of stairmaster workouts.

Now this will be quite the workout....

Nature tours

Nature tours are a sure way to ensure that your legs are always moving.  You'll be sure to trek through forests and mountains as you explore the best that Mother Nature has to offer.  A full day of walking is a definitely a good workout, and you'll have the added benefit of witnessing natural wonders.

Biking tours

I've covered how the bike should be your best friend while traveling.  Bike tours abound in inter-city areas like downtown Paris or Seoul.  They are definitely a great way to experience the city feel personally at a modest speed that walking wouldn't necessarily be able to cover.  But biking isn't limited to cities as you can also find mountain biking tours in Tahoe and even road bike tours in the countryside.

Bike tour of Kanazawa City in Japan

Kayaking and swimming

In tropical destinations, you're bound to have snorkeling and SCUBA tours across the board.  But you don't need to be in the tropics to go kayaking, which is an awesome way to explore Alaska's pristine waterways.  Both water tours are a sure way to keep you active, especially when you're chasing down sea turtles (no touching!).


This one's a no-brainer.  Depending on the incline, you could be looking at the longest and hardest leg day of the month.  But there's nothing as rewarding as hitting that summit with that beautiful view and that sense of accomplishment.

Nothing like the fresh breeze of hitting the summit at the Koko Crater Trail on Oahu

Tour or self-guided?

Whereas you don't have to actually book a tour to experience these activities, it certainly does help to have a knowledgeable guide in a destination that you may be visiting for the first time.  Furthermore, tour packages often include the equipment suck as snorkels, kayaks, and bikes, so you also won't have to go out of your way to rent or bring them in your heavy checked bags.  But if you frequent a certain destination or simply like the freedom of self-exploration, then renting a bike or going on your own hike may be the better way to go, and you'll probably kill more calories as a result as you won't be restricted to a timed itinerary.

Bottom line

We all know the challenge of staying active while on vacation, especially if your hotel doesn't have an outfitted gym.  But booking tours or experiencing outdoor activities on your own are excellent ways to stay active while also enjoying the best that nature or the city has to offer.  And there's nothing like coming face-to-face underwater with a gentle giant.


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