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On-the-Road Fitness: Hotel Room Exercises

Hotel gyms run the gamut from sparkling to shoddy, and it’s not always easy to know what you’re getting into. One hotel might define “fitness center” as a muscled Olympian palace, while another interprets it as a humid single-machine cell. One offers a pool and personal trainers, while another won’t even throw in a towel. So how do you cope with the disparities? And what if there’s no gym at all?

Your best bet is to build an exercise routine that doesn’t involve a gym (or a hundred-pound suitcase). Work with the room around you and try these adaptations of standard gym exercises next time you’re on the road. And don’t worry–you don’t need to be an Olympic lifter to pull them off:

Monterey: Sea Otters, Kayaks, and Cannery Row

My first visit to Monterey was as a kid. My parents had packed up the crew, ironed out a roadmap (oh, the pre-GPS days), and driven up from Los Angeles to the chilly seaside city in one long shot. All I remember from that trip is the heavy, salty air and the slippery bat rays mooning around in their water enclosure–but even so, those memories managed to stick.

When I went to Monterey this past weekend, it was a much shorter drive in much warmer weather, but the childhood excitement was still there. After a struggle with parking (check ahead for open garages, wise travelers!), we were out of the air conditioning and into the bone-warming sunshine of Cannery Row, where about a hundred seafood restaurants and ice cream parlors flank the sprawling mass of the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

7 Free Ways to Beat Airport Boredom

One of my favorite opening lines to a book, from The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, reads: “It can hardly be a coincidence that no language in the world has ever produced the expression ‘as pretty as an airport.’” Unfortunately, I don’t think the same can be said about the expression, “as boring as an airport.”

Anyone suffering through a particularly bad flight delay (or worse, cancellation) is going to experience two things before they finally board: (1) a sudden renewed faith in Murphy’s Law, and (2) near-crippling boredom. And if–reaffirming the former–your book is mind-numbing, the power outlets have been spoken for, and your wallet’s a bit thin, I suggest making your own airport adventure:

Dare to Dine: 4 Meals for Fearless Travelers

I’m not the most “touristy” traveler. I often bypass museums in favor of wandering around dive bar districts, I never buy souvenirs (much to my friends’ and family’s chagrin), and I usually spend more time with the locals than I do with the tour groups. But there is one die-hard gawker part of me–the part that demands that I sample every bizarre local food, beverage, or beer that I can find.

So, yes, I’ve endured headaches from Chilean jote (red wine and Coca Cola), cringed a little at kefir (a fermented milk drink), and rather enjoyed pan-cooked alpaca (a cousin of the llama). And once I make it out to the rest of the world, I’m definitely checking off these four “fine” dining options as well.