Travelling and backpacking are probably some of the least conducive activities to maintaining your gains, let alone making gains. But with some prior planning and preparation it’s possible!

Here’s what I take with me

1. A pair of trainers that are sturdy enough for light hiking/trekking
2. A good quality ergonomic backpack
3. 2x Tupperware that fit within each other
4. Protein shaker – more sturdy than a plastic water bottle and saves you trying to funnel protein into a tiny necked bottle
5. LDNMuscle clothing and some pants
6. Resistance band – strong enough so that you can work out arms, yet not so strong that you can’t do lateral raises
7. Penknife/Leatherman with a tin opener – this can be tricky of you are only taking a carry on backpack as security aren’t supposed to let multitools onto the plane, I advise taking a small, cheap penknife with a tin opener incase it does get taken of of you
8. Watch for doing HIIT intervals & headphones
9. Multivitamins & BCAAs

Other items you may want to take:

Whey – a great emergency source of protein, usually consume at breakfast as hostel breakfast tend to consist of bread alone. Usually take 10-15 30g servings – take this in your Tupperware/shaker and transfer to zip lock bags on arrival to free up Tupperware space on arrival to your first destination (you can pick these up at airport security and I advise double bagging!)
Steri-pen – sterilise water from any source so you can avoid getting ill from water-born bacteria
Sennacot – block yourself up if you get diarrhoea, allows you to absorb some nutrients from the food you eat
Head torch

Hostel tips

Stay in hostels with cooking facilities/a kitchen to save yourself money and allow you to prep meals for excursions
Always label food that you put in communal fridges! This reduces the potential of someone else eating it/throwing it away
Prepare food in the morning before you leave the hostel – food left in the fridge overnight is very likely to be eaten by someone else overnight
If are sleeping rough, try to make sure it is somewhere clean and sheltered – being cold and wet with bad sleep in unsanitary conditions is a recipe for getting ill

Eating tips

Prepared meals will last for about a day if not refrigerated – less than this in warmer conditions
If you are going to be away from cooking facilities/restaurants for longer than you meals will last, stock up on tinned fish/meat to tie you over
Don’t feel bad about taking bread/leftovers from restaurants – every little helps
If particular food makes you sick easily, or you you have a weak immune system, try to avoid that particular food and street vendor food. Don’t go eating those types of food just because everyone else is or because it is the local delicacy/looks interesting
Wash your hands before eating. A lot of cultures eat with their hands and it is easy to get ill if you aren’t used to unsanitary conditions
Try to avoid consuming too much alcohol!
You have to take an IIFYM approach to (an extent) with your diet, sometimes eating only 2-3 times a day – higher quality carbohydrates can be hard to come across, chances are you will end up eating a lot of bread or other low quality carbs. This is a lot lot better than forgoing a meal because chips are unhealthy, just try to hit your daily macros
If you are caught without any protein, take 5-10g of bcaas with your meal to initiate protein synthesis

Workout tips

You can workout while travelling if you have the inclination/are smart about it. Make use of your backpack and the resistance band for smaller muscle groups – for the larger muscle groups, find a suitable bar/tree branch for pull/chin-ups & if you can find a willing partner, you can perform partner resisted exercises
If you can workout in a gym, don’t be afraid to work our for longer than 60 minutes at a time. Whole or upper/lower body workouts with at least 2 exercises per body part should be enough to maintain your conditioning – just be sure to eat enough in the 24-48 hours proceeding your workout

Coming home tips

Allow your body to recover from jet lag and readjust to home when you return from your travels, before starting training again
If you have been away for more than 1-2 weeks, it is likely your metabolism has slowed/adapted to a lower kcal intake than you were on before you left. Be sure to build your kcal intake up slowly to allow your metabolism to re-adapt and build back to the same volume of training you were performing before travelling

Those are my key tips for maintaining your gains while travelling, but remember – you will have a much better time if you aren’t trying to be a gym nerd all the time. Find the right balance and safe travels!