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10 surprising ways to be active on vacation

You’re finally on vacation! How about a sightseeing coach tour, partying on Majorca, or sizzling on the beach? Or would you soon tire of all that? We hear you. Fitness fans often want to stay active on vacation. Fortunately, you can work it into trips away with friends, your partner, or your kids. Read our 10 tips to discover how to make it work.

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#1 Snorkeling or diving

While your friends or family are lazing around on the beach, you can get active in the water. At many destinations, there’s a whole world to discover for those who venture beneath the waves. It’s a good idea start doing some breathing exercises a few weeks beforehand so you can hold your breath for as long as possible. Depending on where you’re spending your active vacation, you may even find diving schools that offer courses.

#2 Get out on the water

If you’re not that keen on going underwater, there are plenty of other sporting activities on the surface to enjoy. Surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing are firm favorites for getting active on a beach vacation. You can hire the equipment you need from watersports schools at your destination, and they’ll have plenty of courses on offer, too. You can also try water skiing or wakeboarding at some swimming lakes. A much cheaper alternative is simply to work on your swimming technique.

#3 What the beach has to offer

Whether you’re headed to the coast or a lake, there’s nothing stopping you getting active on vacation. Beach volleyball, beachminton (badminton), beach soccer, and frisbee are just a few of the fun options out there, and most of them require nothing but a ball. If your friends or family don’t feel like it, you can always join another group who are looking for someone extra to make up a team. You can also go jogging, horse riding, or beach sailing on the sand, and a whole lot more. Find out more about the best activities and snacks for your beach vacation.

#4 The mountains are calling

Skiers and snowboarders enjoy mountain pistes at their most exquisite in winter, and other popular mountain winter sports include tobogganing and cross-country skiing. These regions have plenty to offer keen athletes in summer, too, with hiking, trailrunning, and climbing galore. Going somewhere with a mountain railroad lets you combine different sorts of vacation and keep everyone happy. Those who want to get active on vacation can hike all the way up, while everyone else can take the train. Once you’re at the top, you can go for a stroll together, enjoy a spritzer on a mountain pasture, or simply drink in the glorious landscapes.

#5 Relax with yoga

If you want to combine fitness with relaxation on your break, then a yoga vacation is precisely what you’re looking for. You can now book whole trips centered around yoga. Alternatively, pack a yoga towel and download an online course before you go. You can begin every day of your vacation with a yoga session, leaving the rest of the time for whatever else you have planned.

#6 Cycling or a fun draisine trip

Cycling tours can take lots of different forms. You could plan a multi-day cycling trip, sleeping in a different place every night. Then there’s the choice between a long stretch on the flat or shorter trips over hillier terrain. And you can do all that without even getting on a plane: Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and other neighboring countries are all great for exploring by bike. Some ski lifts are even converted for cyclists to use them in summer, giving you access to special downhill routes. But go easy; this is one for real adrenaline junkies. Hotels and resorts often offer bicycle hire.

A draisine trip makes for a unique experience. This is where several bicycles are joined together to form a carriage that runs on rails. Even avowed couch potatoes can usually be talked into giving it a try, and it’s great fun for children, too.

#7 Grab your paddles

Whether you’re off to a lake, river, or the coast, why not hop in a boat and get paddling or rowing? You can usually hire a canoe or kayak without much prior experience. Stand-up paddling, or SUP for short, is all the rage these days. This is where you stand on a kind of surfboard and paddle across the water. A pedalo doesn’t involve paddles, but it’s still great fun to hire one, and it makes for great exercise! If you’re really keen to push yourself, just try to go a little faster than the other boats out on the water.

#8 Hike long-distance trails

Tackling a long-distance hiking trail is a great way to get active on vacation. Famous trails in Europe include the Camino de Santiago in Spain and Portugal, St Olav’s Way in Norway, the GR 221 on Majorca, and the West Highland Way in Scotland. But there’s plenty of hiking to be had in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, too, including the Westweg in the Black Forest and the Rheinsteig along the Rhine. The great thing about long-distance hiking trails is that you can do them all by yourself, without having to fit in with other people’s ideas of what a vacation should be. Here are 5 reasons why you need to go hiking.

#9 Bootcamp

If you want to get fit fast on vacation and don’t have time to plan it all out, then a bootcamp is a great choice. You’re on vacation in a fixed group, a bit like on a school trip. You exercise together every day and often eat together or go on excursions. This tip is ideal if your friends aren’t particularly interested in an active vacation. Bootcamps can have all sorts of themes, including crossfit, women-only, and detox to name just 3.

#10 Book into a hotel with a gym

When choosing your hotel, look out for a fitness suite that you can use first thing in the morning. While everyone else is having a lie-in, you can work up a sweat on the gym equipment. If you’re on vacation in a warm country, it’s usually still lovely and cool early in the morning. Perfect for a mini training session while on vacation. Some hotels also offer special packages that include great fitness and wellness options.

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