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UK Travellers Are The Most Idle Across All Of Europe When It Comes To Working Out On Holiday

Fit strong muscular woman wiping sweat from her forehead after hard core outdoor cross workout training

Travellers from the UK are amongst the ‘laziest’ when it comes to working out on holiday compared to holidaymakers across the rest of Europe, the Middle East and South Africa.

The new research, from travel loyalty programme Marriott Bonvoy, found that nearly half of people (47%) don’t work out at all when on holiday, even though a third of these (31%) proactively exercise at home.

Attitudes to working out on holiday across Europe, the Middle East, and South Africa: 

  • UAE – 92% proactively work out on holiday 
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia- 91% proactively work out on holiday 
  • South Africa – 80% proactively work out on holiday 
  • France – 78% proactively work out on holiday 
  • Spain – 74% proactively work out on holiday 
  • Italy – 73% proactively work out on holiday 
  • Germany – 66% proactively work out on holiday 
  • UK – 53% proactively work out on holiday 

However, for the 53% who do workout on holiday, looking after their mental health is their biggest driver. Nearly half of those (42%) said that they exercise on holiday because it is good for their mental wellbeing and helps them to return home in a better state of mind, a trend most prevalent amongst women (49% compared to 36% of men). Additionally a fifth (22%) do so as it allows them to spend time alone and prioritise their self-care (26% of women compared to 18% of men).

It seems that UK travellers like to indulge on holiday too, with a third (33%) exercising because they feel the need to burn off the extra calories they consume through the unhealthy food they eat and alcohol they drink while away. 

A fifth of all UK travellers (22%), agreed that if they don’t exercise while on holiday they feel unfit, and a fifth again (21%) feel overweight when they return home. Furthermore, nearly a fifth (18%) feel guilty if they don’t exercise while away. 

Top exercises Brits like to do on holiday:

  1. Swimming (47%)
  2. Working out in the hotel gym (42%)
  3. Going for a run on the beach (32%)
  4. Going for a run in the local area around the town (26%)
  5. Working out in my hotel room (19%)
  6. Cycling (16%)
  7. Yoga (15%)
  8. Working out in an external gym in the local area (15%)
  9. Doing non-equipment-based exercises in my room e.g. situps, squats, press-ups (14%)
  10. Sports, such as tennis, badminton, squash etc (14%)

In order to make it easy and efficient for travellers to workout, whether on holiday or travelling for work, Marriott Bonvoy has partnered with FitnessOnDemand™, a worldwide leader in on-demand fitness and wellness content for hotels, hospitality, and fitness clubs.

The partnership offers members free access to a range of virtual fitness classes that people can access from the comfort of their hotel room, the beach, the pool or the hotel gym, either online or via the FitnessOnDemand™ app.

Despite the best of intentions, nearly three-quarters (72%) of people who exercise on holiday have suffered a workout faux pas. A fifth of people (21%) have suffered from heat stroke when exercising in the sun and a fifth (19%) have got lost when going for a run or cycle in the local area.

Top exercises Brits would like to do on holiday but feel they can’t:

  1. Yoga (18%)
  2. Gym (17%)
  3. Meditation (14%)
  4. Sports (11%)
  5. Cardio workouts (12%)
  6. Pilates (10%)
  7. Zumba (9%)
  8. Spin class (7%)
  9. Circuit training (7%)
  10. Aerobics (7%)

Furthermore, nearly a fifth (17%) felt uncomfortable in an unfamiliar gym, and more than one in ten (13%) have been worried about embarrassing themselves as they didn’t know how to use the hotel gym equipment. 

When it comes to people’s most popular form of exercise on holiday, swimming takes the pole position (47%), signalling how important a good swimming pool may be to UK travellers.

The next most popular form of exercise were found to be working out in a hotel gym (42%), followed by going for a run on the beach (32%). A fifth (18%) would like to take up yoga and 14% would like to do more meditation on holiday, but don’t feel they are able to, possibly because they don’t have access while away. 

Neal Jones, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer, Marriott International – Europe, Middle East & Africa: “Keeping up with exercise regimes while on holiday or business travel may feel like a big effort for some, but it doesn’t have to be a chore.

You don’t even have to go to the gym. Just 20 minutes of light exercise in your hotel room can have a significant impact on your mental and physical wellbeing and can help to assuage those feelings of guilt of not working out while away from home. 

We’re delighted to offer our members access to FitnessOnDemand™, to make it as easy as possible for them to workout wherever and whenever it suits them. Plus, they can take part in classes such as meditation which they may not have tried before and come back home feeling completely refreshed.”

Marriott Bonvoy Members will be offered seven-day access to the FitnessOnDemand™ workout platform every time they stay at a participating hotel. Over 450 hotels and resorts across Europe, the Middle East & Africa are offering this new Marriott Bonvoy member exclusive benefit. 

The programme can be used in the hotel room, by the pool, on the beach and in some hotel’s fitness facilities, giving full flexibility. 

“It’s easier when you are travelling to stay on track with your fitness goals when you feel a class or a workout is familiar and similar to the activities you enjoy in your own gym,” said Uday Anumalachetty, Divisional Vice President, FitnessOnDemand.

“Members at participating hotels can now access any one of hundreds of core-strength, cardio and speciality classes that feel just like the classes they take at home, making it quick, easy and painless to press play and workout.”

To enrol in Marriott Bonvoy and discover how to blend travel with staying on track with exercise visit

To access FitnessOnDemand™, members simply scan a QR code provided by the hotel, complete their registration details to receive a verification email and connect online or via the app.