It’s Hard to Stay on Track When I Travel for Work: Staying at a Hotel

Does traveling away from home interrupt your routine in a negative way? You may not know how you can stay on track with your nutrition and get a workout in too. Avoid the excuse of taking a break from your nutrition and exercise because it may lead to binging on higher calorie, lower nutrient food and doing zero activity.

Food Choices

Regardless of what’s available you should try to pack easy to prep or no prep protein sources because its the most difficult nutrient to consume in adequate amounts. Protein powder, collagen powder and protein bars are the some of the smallest and non-perishable items you can have on-hand. These will provide a good amount of protein for preserving muscle mass, and for a quick recovery option post-workout.

To consume fat and carbohydrate sources, you should have no trouble finding options in the hotel or nearby. Usually, they are highly processed though. This is where packing tuna packets, raw nuts, dried fruit, potatoes, rolled or quick cooking oats, canned items or fruit cups comes in. Think of your meals made with these items as mini-meals instead of snacks. One main protein source, one main carbohydrate source and a small amount of fat source. For ideas on how to cook oats with and without a microwave nearby, and baked potatoes, see our Instagram page for videos.

When eating out solo, choose a build your own fresh-ingredient, counter-service place like CoreLife, Subway, or Chipotle. These places also have mobile apps to order ahead.

For restaurants, order a main course protein, pick a couple sides like veggies and and maybe have an adult beverage. Take some back to the hotel if you have a refrigerator and microwave, would be ideal. Don’t be afraid to enjoy a great-tasting sauce with your lean protein and veggies. Let someone else’s culinary experience benefit your tastebuds, without overdoing it.

Lastly, eat a good breakfast, it sets you up to have the most successful day possible. Having a high protein, nutrient-dense breakfast will help ward off cravings and provide your brain the food it needs to function optimally. Breakfast is usually the easiest meal to find healthy options for. Our coaches’ favorite options include eggs, oatmeal, fresh fruit, greek yogurt, and a couple sausage links or bacon slices.


Your company may have a standard practice for which hotel you get to stay at. Join a hotel rewards program. The point system at many hotels offer upgrades. When hotels are quiet, you’ll have a decent chance of getting an upgrade if you ask nicely on arrival. You may pay for a standard room, but upgrade to a suite with better amenities or qualities. Even if you don’t travel often, being a member can increase your chance of getting perks, such as a complimentary breakfast or free parking.

Booking your stay online is convenient, but may not be the best way to get the perks. Call the reservation desk directly and be nice. Introduce yourself and let the staff know that you’ll be in town for work. Ask them what you can do to have a stay that promotes your healthier lifestyle and a place to exercise. For instance, asking for a room away from the elevator will keep it quieter outside your door, more conducive to sleep. Next, ask if the gym have a treadmill, dumbbells or is there a pedestrian trail nearby? The staff may offer complimentary breakfast or suggest a nearby restaurant. Gaining knowledge about your hotel and the local area will pay off big as you prepare for your trip.


If time is on your side, and your employer doesn’t have every moment of your trip planned for you, find time to exercise at least once on your trip. Having a minimum one workout will help you overcome the pressure you may put on yourself to workout daily. With daily workouts comes decisions on where to workout, what to do for a workout and for how how long. Decision paralysis often follows. If you usually attend a group class where you have everything planned for you, ask the coaches for help. Your coaches travel too, and they have apps, training plans and gym workouts saved I promise you!

Circuits are a popular way to workout in the hotel room or gym if there is space. Pick two each of upper body, lower body and core which you do in a circuit for x-amount of time. Aim for a minimum of twenty minutes. If you put in an eight out ten effort, these twenty minutes will give you a great workout!

A gym treadmill or bike are convenient, safe places to get the heart pumping and burn off the stress of your day. Make sure to pack your headphones and listen to some music that will pump you up. When indoor options seem gloomy, find a place near the hotel to do some walking or jogging. Even making circles around the hotel is an option when you want to feel secure away from home, but get some outdoor time.

Have you ever wanted to visit another gym on a one-day guest pass? Go for it! Our coaching team recently traveled to Chicago, our conference schedule left few fitness class options for us to attend. I ended up calling Planet Fitness. If we came in, Planet Fitness would charge us for each guest pass. However, if we visited their website we could sign up for a free guest pass. Be nice, ask for help and use the local knowledge to your advantage!

Coming Home After Being Away

Leaving home is just as tough as coming home sometimes. Make sure you have some frozen meals prepared to heat up when you get home and your fridge is empty. You might choose frozen, pre-cooked turkey burgers and a steam-in-bag of pre-flavored vegetables for example. Putting nutrition in your body helps you recover from the stress of travel and getting an improved night’s rest.

Your clothing will be wrinkled or will have touched your smelly, gym clothes during the packing process. The unpacking should be a priority when you get home. Our environment affects our stress level. Laundry is a quick task you can do to be ready for the week ahead. Schedule your next two days including a trip to the grocery store and food preparation. Be flexible, but don’t compromise your healthier routine for other people’s emergencies that might present themselves the next day!

Experiment, Fail and Feedback

Food, accommodations and exercise can keep you on track or leave you with a big-zero depending on how you plan for them. Like any changes you make in life, slow and gradual is the way to go for lasting habits. If you can get the right accommodations, you’ll find some of these tips easier to accomplish than ever before. This includes location, utilizing local knowledge, and preparing your hotel food before you leave the house. Eat better with confidence in the comfort of your hotel room!

What will you do differently next time? What might work? Experiment and test it. Failure is merely feedback that what you tried didn’t work. With a slightly different approach, success is around the corner.


Vault offers group strength and conditioning classes, personal training, online training, in-person nutrition coaching and online nutrition coaching. When you are on the road a lot, it’s hard to find a routine that will be consistent and sustainable in many different environments. We have trained coaches to meet you where you are to lead you with a caring hand to your best health. Visit our website to book a free No Sweat Intro. Tell us about your challenges and hear the ways we can build a short-term or long-term plan for you!

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