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The VIP Lounge | Denise Austin

The VIP Lounge with fitness guru Denise Austin

From left: Katie, Denise, Kelly, and Jeff Austin on safari last year in South Africa’s Kruger National Park.

Fitness guru Denise Austin loves going on safaris in Africa, but is hoping to get to the Italian Riviera in the not-too-distant future. Austin, 62, is a pioneer in the fitness industry. She has sold more than 24 million exercise videos and DVDs, authored 12 books on fitness, and starred in long-running television fitness show. Austin and her daughter Katie, 25, a fitness enthusiast, author, blogger, and model, are hosting a waterfront retro aerobics pop-up at the Boston Harbor Hotel at 11 a.m. on Sept. 7. Following the 50-minute workout — during which Denise will focus primarily on low-impact aerobics and her daughter will offer a more “high energy” version — participants are invited to an after party (also at the hotel, and hosted by KEEL Vodka) where drinks and healthy snack food will be served. Tickets to the after party cost $30 and may be purchased on Eventbrite. “I am so excited to be headed to Boston to partner with KEEL Vodka, the Boston Harbor Hotel, and [a Boston-based tech startup] to put on this workout event with my daughter Katie,” said the mother of two, whose other daughter, Kelly, is 29. “Boston is one of my favorite cities, so we hope to see you there.” We caught up with Austin — a San Pedro, Calif., native who lived in Alexandria, Va., for 32 years before moving several years ago to Manhattan Beach, Calif. (where she lives with her husband, Jeff Austin, a sports attorney) — to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination? My favorite vacations have been going on safaris in South Africa with my husband and daughters. Seeing the animals in their real habitat with my family was an amazing life experience.


Favorite food or drink while vacationing? I love to try the local foods of whatever city I am in. I definitely still try to eat as healthy as possible on vacation, but it’s OK to indulge. That’s what a holiday is all about.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t? I would love to travel to Cinque Terre in Italy to walk the coastal towns and eat the wonderful foods along the way — a great way to travel while working out.


One item you can’t leave home without when traveling? I cannot leave the house without lip balm and coconut oil. Airplanes dehydrate us, so keep moisturizer in your carry-on.

Aisle or window? Aisle because I drink lots of water on the plane, so I have to get up a few times during a flight — which is also great for circulation.

Favorite childhood travel memory? Our family would go as kids to Palm Springs to enjoy the warm weather in the winter, to enjoy all the outdoor activities. I am carrying the tradition on with my daughters and extended family, as we go every Thanksgiving.

Guilty pleasure when traveling? I love myself a good cocktail!

Best travel tip? For every hour you fly, drink one glass of water. Then, when you land, you will be hydrated and ready to go with energy. It’s a perfect way to help you fight jet lag. Also, making sure you keep up with your workouts when traveling.