Ladies and gentlemen, the moment I have been waiting for has arrived: I finally used a layover for something productive! I typically use my extra time in airports to wander around looking for the most delicious, calorie-dense food in my terminal, but this time was different. I had a planned stopover in Baltimore (BWI) en-route from Boston to South Florida for my cousin’s wedding. Not two days before I left, I was casually watching some Instagram stories, and there it was- in the middle of @busybeingshasha’s story: the first airport gym. I sent her a quick “thanks for sharing” and she told me that it was located in Concourse D. Just as luck would have it, I was flying JetBlue and would be both arriving to and departing from Concourse D. It was fate; meant to be.
Roam Fitness in Baltimore Airport is the first to open, with plans for future fitness centers in other major US airports (looks like they’ve got their sights on JFK, CLT, PIT, ATL, DEN, and SFO). Before I arrived to the airport, I hopped on the world wide web and snagged a day-pass at a reasonable $25usd.
I know what you’re thinking – “But Katie, you focus on budget travels, how can you justify $25?”
Totally valid point. First off, I wasn’t joking about my habit of gorging between flights And, second, there will occasionally be times when I feel ok about spending on something other than the essentials in the name of physical or mental health and wellness. [I should note that, as far as I know, the $25 rate is a promo – looks like a day pass may regularly be $40.]
Roam is located between the security checkpoint and the gates in Concourse D – so you would literally have to try to miss it. At the time of my visit, the facility was open and fully functional, though staff noted that there were a few finishing touches to be completed. I probably wouldn’t have noticed. The only thing that might cause some potential clients to be a little wary is that the facade glass was not frosted – however, one of the employees mentioned that it was likely in the works. They verified my day-pass and had me sign a location waiver (totally fair). After a little more friendly chit-chat and questions from me, I was assigned a locker to keep my carry-on (which for me, was my actual travel bag… #backpackfolife) and directed to a place where I could change. I had brought my own gear, but get this – they have rental clothes from lululemon available – and this is i n c l u d e d in your daily/monthly/yearly pass/membership!! I kinda regret not taking advantage of this service because… well, the tank they’re showing on the site is super cute. They have a solid range of items for both men and women. And before you start in on the “ew rentals” – I took advantage of that option at my gym in Korea for 4 years. The modern invention of washers has been magical for getting dirty clothes clean.
I started on one of the treadmills, but I had the choice of treadmill, elliptical, bike, and some newfangled thing that I have no idea what it’s called (it’s in the pictures). I then moved on to a few upper-body free weight exercises with a few planks thrown in for good measure. I finished off on the treadmill because I needed to run up my step count for the day.
Once I was done, I was ready for a shower and had low-to-moderate expectations. Because the place was slow, I was able to reserve a shower when I arrived; however, when business picks up you’ll want to get in the habit of booking in advance. This is included in the price of the pass, but given the limited space they want to encourage patrons to think ahead. Having a keen awareness of your flight status is always a good thing – but if you forget your exact departure time or gate, no worries because they have a live departures board in the workout area.
I’m sweaty… now what?
The shower rooms were, fine I guess. JK – LOL! They were amazing. I wish my bathroom at home was this nice. First off, I was a little startled by the motion sensor toilet cover that slowly opened, welcoming me to sit; I was then soothed by the lovely heated seat, and finished off the experience with being completely confused by how to flush. I went through a whole range of emotions in like 90 seconds – and it was wonderful. The showers themselves are equipped with a luxurious square waterfall-like shower head and a really nice set of Malin-Goetz shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. The towel was larger and nicer than mine at home, and there was a good stash of cotton swabs, razors, mouthwash, and even a cheeky little Amazon Echo Dot laid out on the counters. Hindsight being what it is, I should’ve had the Dot tell me jokes while getting ready. The counter was further equipped with hand soap and body lotion (because dry skin on flights is the worst).
The shower room usage is limited to 15 minutes, which is more than sufficient to get clean and dressed. Outside the bathrooms there is a large mirror to finish primping and its stocked with some extra goodies – just in case you forgot at home: shave gel and cream, spray deodorant, hairdryers, and (nearly lost my mind when I saw this) a jar with tampons. This is a company that gets it.
I pulled myself together in record time and stopped on my way out to say thanks to the staff. I walked away glad to have had that extra workout and feeling really excited about this brand. I felt that it was a great value for the price, though I’m not sure that I could swing a $40 day-pass and wouldn’t likely be passing through airports often enough to do the monthly/yearly memberships. But I never say never.
The facility is really nice and decently stocked, and the staff was super great, too. Especially with budding companies, sometimes there can be a little hesitation on the part of potential customers; but the folks I encountered were all really warm, welcoming, and engaging- both with myself and curious passersby. I think this is going to be huge and I’m really glad I had the opportunity to try it out! Hopefully I can plan a few more strategic stopovers when Roam has expanded- could be a fun challenge to see how many airports I can workout in.
TL;DR : A great new airport gym, Roam Fitness, has popped up at BWI. I tried it, loved it, and both the staff and facility exceeded my expectations. If you’re flying to, from, or through Baltimore – definitely stop by and check them out.
This is not a sponsored post. Even if it was, I’m honest.
- Do you prioritize exercise on your travels?
- Have you ever snuck in a workout at the airport?
- What are some of your favorite body weight moves?
- What is your #1 “bored at the airport” treat? (Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about lol)