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5 Tips to Take Pilates on Vacation

Updated: Jun 9

I like to leave it all behind when I go on vacation.  How about you??


When we first started traveling again, I would find myself packing and thinking:

  • I'll be so busy I won't have time for Pilates.

  • I'll be walking so much, I'll already be getting my movement in. Probably don't need my props.

  • I've already packed too much. No room for my Pilates props.

  • Hotel floors are icky. I don't want to be on the floor. Ew ew ew!


After a couple of trips, I quickly realized:

  • There's always time for Pilates.

  • No matter how much walking I do - I need at least SOME Pilates movement time.

  • There's plenty of room for some of my favorite Pilates props in my suitcase.

  • Hotel floors are icky, but I can work around that.


Here are my 5 tips for taking Pilates on vacation with you!

Pilates Magic Circle

Tip #1 - Make Time for 5 minutes


There's no required time for Pilates. And no one is keeping track of your Pilates practice, except maybe you. Even as few as 5 minutes can make a huge difference in your practice.


Keep reading because I give you suggestions below that can easily get you to 5 minutes of very beneficial Pilates exercises while you vacation!!!


Tip #2 - The More you Walk the More you Need Pilates


Pilates helps us build strength and flexibility at the same time. Pilates can help us stretch things out and feel powerful after a long day of vacation walking.


I typically wear different shoes than my normal working day shoes when I'm on vacation, especially if my vacation is during the summer months. Since I have different shoes on, my legs end up feeling sore in different places.


Taking that 5 minutes I talked about in Tip #1 can help me from feeling stiff and sore while on my vacation.


Recommended Exercises while Lying in the Middle of the Bed:

  • Single Leg Circles with a resistance band

  • Leg stretches 1, 2, and 3 with a resistance band

  • Point and Flex the foot with a resistance band


Tip #3 - Make Room for 3 Pilates Props


I have an entire video where I shoved 10+ props into a purse*, so I know I can make room for 3 Pilates props when I go on vacation. If you can fit 3 Pilates props into your suitcase, you are giving yourself some options to go with the flow.


*If you want to see the video, head over to my YouTube Channel!!


Recommended Pilates Props for Vacation:

  • Fabric Resistance Band

  • Magic Circle [no groaning!]

  • Deflated Small Ball


Bonus: Massage Ball for release work. Stand against a wall and roll your shoulders, back, and butt out after a long day!


Tip #4 - Make it Magical


You don't have to vacation to Disney to make your trip magical...you just need to pack your Magic Circle.


[I repeat - no groaning allowed]


Recommended Pilates Exercises using a Magic Circle:

  • Standing Arm Presses

    • Hold in front of the chest: 8-10 pulses

    • Hold higher than the chest: 8-10 pulses

    • Hold lower than the chest: 8-10 pulses

    • Place on the hip: 8-10 pulses [switch sides and repeat]

    • Hold behind the back: 8-10 pulses

  • Standing Leg Presses [create stability by placing your hand against a wall]

    • Place the circle above the ankles

    • Stand on one leg while lifting the other

      • Press the lifted leg into the circle: 8-10 pulses

  • Seated Thigh Squeezes

    • Place the Magic Circle between the legs; above the knee

    • Squeeze and release 8-10 times

*Yes, this is just like the old thigh master!


Tip #5 - Use a Chair or a Wall Instead


This goes back to those intrusive thoughts I have about the floor being icky!!!


You already saw in Tip #2 that we can use a bed and a resistance band to get some work in and in Tip #4 I mentioned some standing work, but you can also take your practice to a chair or to the wall.


Recommended Exercise Set for the Wall:

  • Arm Series!!!

    • Take an extra towel and roll it up and shape it like a Foam Roller. Place it long ways behind your head and down your spine.

    • Keep the head and ribs reaching into the rolled towel while you do the following:

      • Arm Circles both ways [slower than you think]

      • Open and Close of the Arms [make a "t" with your body]

      • Open and Close 1 Arm 3x, then switch and do the other side

      • Open and Hug [open the arms into a "t" and then bring the arms in and "hug" yourself}

      • Swimming Arms [one arm reaches towards your ear whil the other lowers towards your hip & switch]


Recommended Exercises Seated:

March Matness 2024 Playlist with Seated Variations




I will be taking Pilates with me on vacation from now on...how about you?


Please leave a comment below if you have any favorite vacation Pilates props or exercises!

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