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The runner’s wave is a universal welcoming language. Whether traveling in Barcelona, Charleston or Ireland, I always make a plan to wake up early and throw on my running shoes. It’s a great way to quietly explore the city, get a lay of the land and explore the sights and sounds before the hustle and bustle of the day begins.

Running while traveling also ensures you won’t lose any running gains you’ve made. It keeps you honest with mileage goals and helps burn the extra calories we tend to eat and drink on vacation.  I treat my runs similar to vacation itself. I slow down, get back to basics and just enjoy the feeling on the road.

As summer trips approach, follow these tips to maximize your vacation running enjoyment.

  • Get in the zone. Turn off your music and take in the sights and sounds around you.  Use this as an opportunity to just enjoy running. Don’t focus on mileage or time. Live in the experience.
  • Pack smart.  I always wear my running shoes on the plane. I also bring a small plastic grocery bag - it’s great to store dirty workout clothes. Consider bringing travel detergent so you can wash workout tops or shorts in your hotel sink and use more than once.  
  • Plan for hydration.  Flights or extra time in the sun can leave you dehydrated. Bring along a water bottle. I use a bottle with a filter so I can have fresh water no matter where I am. It keeps me hydrated on long flights and on runs.
  • Meet new friends. If you prefer not to run alone in a new city, look for a running group. When I was in Rome, I found a great running group using TripAdvisor. It’s fun to meet new people and also learn tips about restaurants or attractions in the area.
  • Hotels can help. Many hotels cater towards runners and provide running gear or shoes for rent. If you forget something, check. Hotels may also offer group runs or maps with local running routes.

Where will you run take you next?  I’m headed to Prague and can’t wait to get out and explore the city.


Aaron Hewitt PA-C (insert link:, is a Physician Assistant with OrthoCarolina’s Sports Medicine Center.  He is a former Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Minnesota Vikings (NFL), and is an orthopedic provider for UNC-Charlotte and Myers Park High School. He also is a Physician Assistant Team Lead for Sports Medicine, Spine, Hand & Pediatrics and a Clinical and Surgical Preceptor for Physician Students.

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