One of the toughest things about keeping up an exercise routine while traveling is having the right equipment. Packing light to save the baggage fees can mean little room for bulky running shoes. That’s why I like the program from New Balance shoes and Westin Hotels to help people stay in shape when traveling.
I was very excited to try out this program during a recent stay at the Westin in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood. I did travel with my own things and I ran in them on my first day, using the New Balance-authored laminated route map supplied by the Westin. That was because I couldn’t get it together Thursday night to request the hotel’s items. But I was determined to give the program a whirl the next day.
Gear to Stay in Shape when Traveling
Friday night around 11 p.m., I called the front desk to ask about the program advertised with a sticker on my bathroom mirror as “Pack Light, Stay Fit.” The woman who answered asked my clothing and shoe size and within 10 minutes a gentleman appeared at my door and handed me this bag:
Upon opening the bag, I found these. The sports bra still had a tag on it.
The gear cost $5 to rent, making it absolutely irresistible. Even renting gear for three consecutive days costs less than checking a piece of luggage on most major airlines.
The hotel’s website says the gear includes a pair of socks that are “yours to keep,” but my bag was sock-free. I imagine that had I needed them I could have called down to the front desk and that would have been remedied.
Getting the Right Fit
The clothes were clean and fresh, as were the sneakers. I didn’t ask what they did to sanitize the shoes between guests, but it’s probably something similar to bowling shoes (just a guess).
The shoes were a little big–one of the caveats of ball-parking your size–but they were close enough and I didn’t feel like calling back down to switch them. They were fine with my own orthotics.
The shorts were a bit on the baggy side and a bit looser and longer than the style I usually wear. Better to err on the side of a more conservative fit to accommodate the majority of guests. The tank was soft and comfy. I chose to wear my own bra, mostly because I didn’t have the heart to take the tags off the brand-new one the Westin supplied.
Out for a Test Run
Early the next morning I suited up and was on my way! I enlisted two women in the lobby to take my picture before and after my run to give you all an idea of what the complete ensemble looked like. Pretty spiffy for rental gear, I’d say!
Image 4 (ginapicstitch)
More and more people these days are working to get and stay fit but it can be tough to stay in shape when traveling. The Stay in Gear program is the perfect solution to getting a run in while away from home, both in terms of not having to schlep gear or still being able to hit the pavement if we forget our shoes.
Note – I was not compensated by either New Balance or the Westin for this post. I paid to rent the running gear and participated in the program for the sake of my own research. All of the opinions in this post are my own.
Gina Vercesi is a New York based travel writer with an adventurous spirit and an unyielding sense of wanderlust. In 2009, Gina founded the Kids Unplugged Family Nature Club which has since morphed into a full-fledged family travel site focusing on unplugged adventures for families. Gina also writes about everything Disney at her other blog In the Mouse House.