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My fitness packing list for (business) trips – the gym in my suitcase

In this article I want to introduce you to my personal fitness packing list for my (business) trips. In this way I make sure that I always have everything with me that I need for my training on the go and in general to keep myself fit and healthy on the go.

The location of the workplace is becoming less and less important for many. Anyone who lives in Munich can be sent to Hamburg for work next week. This can have various reasons and be short or long term. Travel activity increases massively, especially in project work.

Being on the road often brings certain challenges with it. Often it means temporarily living out of a suitcase again and again. You should think carefully about what you use this limited space for.

My fitness is important to me and I hope you do too. So let’s create good conditions so that we can work on achieving our fitness goals while on the move. Storing all your sports equipment in a small suitcase, along with all the other things, is not that easy. My fitness packing list should help you with this.

Why your packing list should be minimalist

As a management consultant, I was out and about in Germany every week. I’m still working on various projects and while I’m at other locations, I live in hotels. So that I can optimally carry out my hotel room training plan there, I have put together the following packing list. This has developed over several years. It should be a suggestion and not a specification for you. Ultimately, you have to decide what makes sense for you.

For example, it is important to me personally that I can put everything in my hand luggage. Checking in and picking up baggage at the airport always takes a lot of time, which I want to make better use of. Others may decide to take larger or multiple pieces of luggage with them.


How many things there are that I don’t need. Socrates

Since I have consistently asked myself what I really need, I travel a lot easier and more carefree. I can only advise you to give it a try. Most people pack so much that they don’t need and then no longer manage to fit their sports gear into their suitcase.

My packing list – I’ll take everything with me

In the picture you can see everything that I usually pack in my suitcase. In addition to a suit, shirts, underwear and a toiletry bag, my sports and fitness equipment makes up a little over half of the volume in my luggage. These are mainly sportswear, shoes, training equipment but also nutritional supplements , which I always have with me when I travel.


I will particularly focus on my equipment when listing it here. I have tried to structure everything thematically so that you can get an overview more quickly and read in detail what interests you most.

Fitness packing list part 1: Sportswear

The right clothing often makes my life easier than I thought it would before. If I have the right clothes with me, that alone often makes it easier for me to actually do my training as planned. The following sportswear ends up in my suitcase. Of course, the content described differs from time to time in this category in particular. For example, I adapt it a little to expected weather conditions.

Base layer for any weather

As a base layer, I always have a Cold Gear compression shirt * and my Cold Gear leggins * from Under Armor with me for running in the cold season. If it’s cold outside and you still want to train in the fresh air, then a warm, close-fitting layer of clothing with good moisture transport is worth its weight in gold. If I expect very warm weather, I do without it.

Comfortable running shorts

In addition to training with your own body weight , running is the best sport that you can easily do on the go. Therefore, pack a pair of running pants that are most comfortable for you when running. This is the most likely way to actually do it. By the way, I bought my two favorite running pants at Tchibo and Lidl. I think it’s important that you use pants with reflective elements. Especially when you run early in the morning or late at night, you can never have enough reflectors on your body. If in doubt, it’s best to get a reflector set * with a running vest and reflective straps.

Matching sports shirts

Here, too, a light color and / or with reflectors makes sense for running in the dark. This is especially true if you wear the shirt as a top layer, i.e. don’t wear a jacket over it. For training in a hotel room or a fitness studio, that shouldn’t matter, unless you’re jogging there in the dark. 😉

A waterproof windbreaker running jacket

When it gets really cold, I wear a water- and windproof running jacket * as a third layer when running. Here, too, you should pay attention to high visibility in poor lighting conditions when buying. Alternatively, you can of course also use the additional reflectors * mentioned above.

Second part of the fitness packing list: shoes and socks

It is extremely difficult to make a universal recommendation for running shoes. You have to find out for yourself which shoes are the best for your running training. That depends on the shape of your foot, your running style and the type of training you do. It can make a difference whether you want to run slowly or faster . The distance and your body weight also play an important role. heavy runners in particular have to pay attention to a few things when they want to start jogging and are looking for the right shoes. The best thing to do is to seek advice from a specialist shop with a running analysis.

For training equipment on the go, it is also ideal if your shoes are light, easy to clean, made of a quick-drying material and can be stowed away to save space.

If you don’t walk through the dirt in your shoes and keep them clean, then using the same shoes for training in the gym shouldn’t be a problem. I always brush mine properly before I put them on for indoor training and I haven’t had any problems with that yet.

I also attach great importance to the right socks when running, in addition to the shoes. I swear by the FALKE running socks *. I haven’t found any better ones for regular running training.

Running accessories on my fitness packing list (part 3)

In addition to the absolutely necessary clothing, I also have one or the other running accessory that I always pack. A few things could also be assigned to the clothing category. However, since I would not otherwise wear these things, I decided to use this categorization for my fitness packing list.

A bright headlamp

A good headlamp is essential for running in the dark. As silly as that may look, it just doesn’t work without it. For a long time I had a very simple headlamp that also served its purpose. However, for a few years now I have switched to a Silva Trailrunner headlamp *. I am very satisfied with this because it is really very bright and reliable.

Silva Trail Runner II Stirnlampe

A multifunctional cloth / tubular cloth

Since I discovered these multifunctional towels for myself, I no longer want to go without them. Just try it out, these wipes are incredibly versatile. The original is from Buff *, but I mostly got mine as a finisher at running events.

Running gloves

Especially in the cold season, or otherwise for training very early in the morning, when the temperatures point towards zero or below, I always have a pair of extra gloves with me for running. These should be thin and still keep you warm. The last time I was in the US, I got myself a pair of Timberland Running Gloves with touch functionality from the Blackfriday sale, they don’t seem to be available here. However, there are cheap and good running gloves with touch function *.

A hat suitable for running

Also for the cold days, I always have my Wisconsin Badgers hat with me, so that my ears don’t freeze while running. It is used around the same time as the gloves. The hat in the photo is from my student days. Go Badgers!

Headphones with good sound and fit

I can’t miss good music to train or a good fitness podcast on my ears. Of course, you also need a pair of good headphones for this. Since there are so many different models, I compared popular models in a Bluetooth sports headphones test . By the way, the test winner was the Plantronics Backbeat FIT *, of which I have now personally bought the second pair.

Fitness packing list part 4: Training accessories

In addition, some training equipment ends up in my suitcase. I can’t wear that, but it is very useful for my training or it helps me to maintain a good and healthy diet more easily.

A few thera bands in suitable strengths

Some time ago I once wrote an article that I never leave the house without my Theraband . Although the title was meant as a joke, I consider these resistance bands to be very valuable training tools. With their help, many additional exercises can also be carried out on the go without weights. Other exercises can be specifically made more difficult.

A good and portable sling trainer

Another tool that should not be missing on my fitness packing list is a sling trainer. The gym in my suitcase is firmly equipped with it. With this simple and portable training device, many additional functional exercises can be done. I appreciate the addition of classic bodyweight training.

I always have the eaglefit Exclusive with pulley * with me in my suitcase. From my point of view, this is a cheaper alternative to the aerosling ELITE *, which emerged as the winner in our big sling trainer test .

Robust training gloves

These are recommended for training with the Thera-bands so as not to rub your hands. It’s also good to have a pair of gloves with you when you get the chance to train in a studio. I used to have a couple of simple but robust leather gloves by C.P.Sports * with me. So that these are also suitable for training outside, it was particularly important to me that they are robust. You can find out which gloves I use for my training today in my fitness gloves test here on the blog.

A couple of stable food storage boxes

For storing the protein powder for my protein shakes and (in the bulk phase) of my instant oatmeal, which I always have with me, I bought a pair of large, stable storage boxes from Ikea. The great thing about these boxes is that I can misuse them and use them as push-up grips. This gives me a wider range of motion for my push-ups, for example.

You can find out which nutritional supplements I also recommend (especially for on the go) in my article about useful supplements (for on the go).

And that all fits in your hand luggage?

This is what my packed suitcase looks like (exemplary):

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Fits perfectly right? And yes, it also fits perfectly in hand luggage! 🙂

What else is on your fitness packing list?

Now I have described in detail what I carry around with me every week. I am provided with the listed items and can do my training anytime and anywhere. From running to strength training, my fitness packing list helps me to map my entire training spectrum on the go.

Even the hypertrophy training , which you should concentrate on if you build muscle mass , is much easier to do with these additional tools on the go.

Whatever you ultimately take over from it, the main thing is that you find the things that help you to keep fit and healthy on the go. Because one function is important above all: the right fitness packing list helps you to overcome your inner weaker self and to take away many excuses for keeping you from your training while traveling.

What do you think about it? Do you have anything else that I forgot and should definitely recommend taking it with me? Do you have an extra tip about the respective things? Feel free to write it in the comments.

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