Hostelling around the place with little semblance of a consistent routine doesn’t necessarily lend itself well to laying off the beer or smokes, getting enough sleep, eating better or exercising, getting in shape and staying fit. Well, if exercising and staying fit is/was your ambition this year, fear not because there are plenty of ways to stay in shape while backpacking that won’t diminish your travel experience…in fact it can enhance your journey very much for the better.

Take time to eat well

I know it’s easy to grab that cheap pizza…..again, or that life-saving kebab or greasy burger - especially after a belly load of booze but you can easily manage to eat healthy if you try. Support local eateries yes, but be mindful of what you eat. Also, the vast majority of hostels have a self-catering kitchen and the lovely folk at reception will surely point you in the direction of good quality local produce. Why not embrace that ‘sharing is caring’ hostel cliché and cook & dine together with your new buddies? – Cheap, tasty and fun.




It’s one of the first skills you ever mastered. A brisk walk is a great way to burn calories and exercise so rather than hop on the metro or tram to get to where you’re going, give yourself the extra 20 minutes it takes to get there on foot and take in your surroundings. Or rent a bike. Of course you can always do a free walking tour, it’s a fantastic way to see and discover the real city, meet other backpackers and have a genuine, local point of view. You’ll clock up a good few miles without even noticing or feeling the burn. HostelCulture brings you more free tours than anybody else and we have free walking tours in Barcelona, Berlin, Budapest, Dublin & Prague so you’ve no excuse not to walk in these fantastic capitals.



Take the stairs

Ok, in some hostels you don’t have a choice - especially those housed in beautiful old buildings but the majority of hostels, particularly modern ones, will have an elevator. That is very tempting when you’ve trudged your way from the bus station carrying your life in a backpack under the baking mid-day sun, but you’re almost there, just a couple flights of stairs and you’ve earned the right to feel good about that well deserved cold beer.



Be adventurous, be active

Find yourself in a place that has options to go hill walking, trekking, maybe even a little climbing or canoeing? Go for it! Even if you’re not the ‘great outdoors type’ or an ‘activity’ person…just get over yourself princess. Besides, sweating out the toxins from last night’s pub crawl will be worth it.



Lazy workouts

There are plenty of quick and easy things to do throughout the day too. Do some jumping jacks or crunches while no-one’s watching or butt clenches while you’re standing around waiting for the shower. You can even workout in bed! Get yer minds outta the gutter…although a good bit of sexercise is obviously an awesome way to burn calories too ;)


Keep Fit & Travel

This is a really great idea from our friends at Gracia City hostel in Barcelona. Keep fit and travel is a project focusing on basic principles such as having a healthy and balanced diet, exercise and guided physical & healthy recreation in beautiful BCN.



Activities are guided by a team of certified professionals and are based on training outdoors using only your body weight while also training the body, mind and spirit to develop a rounded healthy lifestyle.

The package includes one week accommodation in Gracia City Hostel, nutritionist and motivational talk, explanation of exercises and nutritional guidance, schedule of activities, balanced meals, bicycle rental, a guidebook of trails and much more so if you’d like to kick-start your new healthy life of fitness while also doing a bit of travelling and visiting Barcelona this is absolutely perfect.



So guys and gals it is possible to keep fit and exercise while hostelling but ultimately if you find yourself not bothering your ass don’t be too hard on yourself, you’re travelling after all and there is of course always next year to ‘really’ stick to your resolutions. Happy travels.

By Mike Wrach