You? Make up excuses not to exercise? Never. But have you ever heard this one from, say, a relative or friend? I try. I try, goes the plaint. But getting to a gym to work out while traveling is (pick one) too difficult or too expensive.

Putting aside the assumption that you need a gym to exercise (hey, the sun's out and the trails beckon), what's wrong with this statement? It overlooks long-standing reciprocity arrangements like that created by the International Health, Racquet and Sportclub Association (IHRSA), a health club trade group. IHRSA's Passport program allows members of many gyms to use thousands of health clubs, including those of other chains, around the country and beyond. They don't get in free, but rates are discounted.

"It's something I don't think a lot of gym members know about," said IHRSA's Brooke MacInnis.

Travelers can log on to to learn if their gym is a Passport member and what clubs participate in the area they're visiting.

On the steep end, these might include, say, Santa Fe's Quail Run Association, a swank private club that admits Passport members for $20 a visit. (Call him ahead, says membership director Leonard Rivera, and he'll cut you a better weekly deal.) Head to Toledo and $12 will get you in the Wildwood Athletic Club. In Manhattan, the New York Sports Club charges $15 a head; your spouse and child are also welcome, if you accompany them.

There's no chat this week. But write to us at We'll be back online with you Thursday, June 10. Happy moves until then.

-- Susan Morse

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