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As full-time van lifers, we know how important a gym membership is. Finding the best gym membership for van life allows you to kill two birds with one stone. Access to the gym keeps you fit as you travel and at the same time keeps you clean, a benefit not just for you but for everyone you come accross.
We also think finding a gym (and actually going) can add a bit of normalcy and routine into your less-than-structured life.
In this blog post, we are going to take a look at the most popular nationwide gym memberships in USA to see how they stack up for van life. Factors that we have considered in our assessment of the best gyms for van life and travelers include:
- Number of facilities and location of facilities
- Cost per month, including annual fees and enrollment fees
- Whether the gym membership requires a commitment or can be purchased on a month-to-month basis
- Quality of the equipment and diversity of offerings
- Other perks with your membership plan.
These are our own opinions and thoughts on what we think are the best gym memberships for van life and van lifers. And what is relevant and important to us might not be so important for you. So make sure to do your homework and consider taking advantage of the free trials that most gyms offer for newbies!
The Best Gym Membership for Van Life: Planet Fitness
Topping our list of the best gym membership for van life is Planet Fitness. Planet Fitness is setting the bar high for gyms across the nation with over 2,000 locations nationwide in every state, Canada and now in several Central American countries. The large network of Planet Fitness means finding a Planet Fitness outside of a metropolitan area won’t be too difficult, especially throughout the eastern half of the United States.
Each gym offers high-quality equipment that is maintained and cleaned on a regular basis. Planet Fitness offers rows of cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights, circuit training, group classes, and more. Showering at Planet Fitness is also a dream with great facilities to suit your cleanliness needs.
Not only is Planet Fitness one of the best gym memberships for van life, but it is also one of the cheapest of all of the nationwide gyms with showers. For only $22.99 per month, plus an annual fee of $39, you can enjoy access to all of Planet Fitness gyms. The only downside is that free access to gyms beside your home gym is limited to 10 times per month and each subsequent entry is subject to a $5 franchise fee. So if you plan to travel far from home and use the gym more than 2.5 times per week, you will need to calculate the additional fees.
It still works out to be a great deal. Showering at Planet Fitness plus a visit to the gym works out to be less than $3 per use even if you only visit the gym the allotted ten free times. And you are likely not going to be able to find a cheaper shower than the one at Planet Fitness for less than the $5 it will cost you for each additional visit to the gym.
An added bonus of the Planet Fitness PF Black Card membership? You can bring a guest each and every visit. You heard me. That is two gym memberships for the price of one for those van life couples out there!
The PF Black Card membership also has other added perks such as fuel discounts. Planet Fitness has teamed up with Shell to provide fuel discounts which include 25¢ per gallon off your first fill-up after registering for the Fuel Rewards program and then 5¢ per gallon on each fill-up afterward. What better perk could you ask for as a #vanlifer?!?
Planet Fitness only offers one-day trials unlike some of the other best gyms for travelers.
Reasons To Skip Planet Fitness
– Annual fee of $39 is not included in your monthly membership cost
– Payment by checking account only (sorry, no credit cards)
– Smaller footprint outside the US than some networks
– PF Black Card includes only 10 free entries per month to gyms other than your home gym ($5 franchise fee for each visit after 10)
The Best Gym Membership for Travelers: Anytime Fitness
Easily the best gym membership for world travelers is Anytime Fitness. Anytime Fitness is unique in that you have access to use facilities globally. Many other nationwide gym memberships with showers tout this fact, but Anytime Fitness actually has lots of global locations. That means, if you purchase an Anytime Fitness membership in your hometown, say Dublin, GA, you will be able to use this access in Australia, Italy, India, and literally anywhere else in the world you wish to travel.
Anytime Fitness also has the most locations of any of the other gyms on the list which means makes Anytime Fitness a bit more accessible than some of the other nationwide gyms with showers. One of the downsides of Anytime Fitness is that their facilities are not uniform meaning you could have great equipment and facilities in one location and less than ideal facilities at the next.
Each Anytime Fitness gym does, however, include access to showers making it yet another great gym for van life.
Prices for Anytime Fitness vary depending on where you sign up but based on Anytime Fitness’s website are on average $41 per month. Anytime Fitness also requires an enrollment fee and key fob fee which costs roughly $85 per person but again depends on your location and if any promotions are being offered at the time (and decrease on a per person basis slightly if joining as a pair). Lastly, you will need to make a commitment with Anytime Fitness as many of the locations only offer 6-, 12-, and 18-month plans.
You can sign up for an Anytime Fitness free trial pass that gives you access to Anytime Fitness for seven days before committing to their membership plan.
The Cheapest Gym For Van Life: Crunch Fitness
Topping the list as the most affordable and cost-friendly option of all the best gyms for van life is Crunch Fitness. Crunch Fitness prides itself on offering high-quality cardio and strength training equipment and world-class professional trainers for an incredibly low price making it affordable to everyone.
Their tagline “No Judgments” means there is room at Crunch Fitness for all shapes and sizes, ages, genders, and walks of life.
To gain access to their 365+ locations, you will need to purchase a Peak or Peak Results membership that starts as low as $21.99 per month for the Peak membership and $29.99 for the Peak Results membership at most locations nationwide. Perks of the Peak Results membership include:
- a free guest with every visit to your club of enrollment
- spin classes
- the HIIT Zone (high-intensity interval training) classes
- certain spa services.
Outside of the monthly membership fee, Crunch Fitness charges an annual fee of $39.90 with each sign-up as well as an enrollment fee.
Crunch Fitness offers a limited 3-day trial if you want to give it a test run to see if Crunch Fitness is the best gym for van life for you!
Best Gym Membership for Flexibility: Class Pass
Despite not being officially a gym membership, we think it is worth including Class Pass in our list of the best gym memberships for van life. Unlike other gym memberships where you buy a monthly subscription to use their facilities with Class Pass, you buy a certain number of credits to be used at a wide array of fitness centers and studios globally. It allows you to do yoga one day, barre the next, weight training, and more all with a single “membership”.
Class Pass is available globally in over 2,500 cities across 28 countries. The number of credits required for each booking varies depending on the activity. As an example, visiting a gym would typically cost one credit whereas hot yoga could be as expensive as seven credits per class.
Class Pass is an aggregator for smaller, boutique fitness companies across the world which means you may not find a shower in each location taking it down a notch on our barometer for the best gyms for van life. If you are more concerned with working out than staying clean and love the diversity class pass offers, then Class Pass may be just for you.
Outside of gym memberships and access to workout classes, credits for Class Pass can also purchase massages, blowouts, manicures and pedicures, lunch (or dinner) from health food stores, and almost anything in between as long as it falls into the health and wellbeing department.
Class Pass offers a free trial for new members which includes 10 credits to book classes for free over the course of 14-days. A great way to test the waters before taking the plunge! After a free trial, you will easily see why Class Pass is one of the best gym memberships for travelers.
Other Nationwide Gyms with SHowers Considered
The above list of the best gyms for van life excludes gyms that after detailed research, we didn’t think quite made the cut or ticked all the boxes, mostly due to location. Gyms that while describe themselves as nationwide gyms really only have a presence in large metropolitan areas such as New York or LA or while nationwide only give you access to the particular gym that you have signed up for. Examples of these nationwide gyms that we have excluded from our list of the best gym memberships for van life include:
Which Gym Membership for Van Life Is for You?
Each gym on our list of the best gym memberships for van life can be great for you depending on what you are looking for. If you are looking for the most locations (including international locations), regardless of equipment quality, Anytime Fitness is your best bet.
If you want high-quality equipment at a low cost with great showers, Planet Fitness ticks all the boxes.
If you are after the absolute cheapest gym for travelers you can find, Crunch Fitness is the winner here.
And, if it is diversity in workout options, then Class Pass is best.
Hopefully, you can find a gym to suit your needs in our list of the best gym memberships for van life (and best gyms for travelers). Let us know in the comments below!