10 plus size travel tips

#TravelingWhileFat: 10 Plus Size Travel Tips To Get You Ready to Travel in 2020

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Plus Size Travel Tips…

New year, new adventures, which may mean plus size travel.

As a plus-size person, travel can be daunting but it’s possible. Search the hashtag #plussizetravel on Instagram and you’ll see tons of images of plus-size people traveling and seeing the world. 

Your size should never stop you from traveling and getting out there in the world.

So we reached out to the following plus-size travel bloggers to share their travel tips, along with some tips from myself, who at a size 26/28 with 66” hips, has traveled the world too!

We hope these plus size travel tips will inspire you to book that ticket and just go!

#1: Research your trip before you go.

“Everyone can travel regardless of size. The key is to research your method of travel, destination and activities you want to do. Visit SeatGuru if you’re wanting to find the width and pitch of an airplane seat and The Man In Seat 61 for train seat configurations.  For destination and activity information, TripAdvisor and YouTube are great starting points in planning your trip.”  – Adrienne

“My #1 tip for plus size travelers is research, research, research!!! When you do the research, you can learn about weight restrictions, accommodations, and also first-hand accounts of other plus-size people to whatever destination that you visit. I believe that if you know what you are getting yourself into then you can manage your expectations. I personally visit Nomadic Matt, Travel Noire and check airline policies.” – Jeff

“There are many plus-size travel bloggers that share their travel experiences in-depth, which can be a huge help.  You can also listen to the Plus Size Traveler Podcast, the first podcast dedicated to curvy travel.  Each episode, the Plus Size Traveler Podcast invites a fellow curvy travel blogger or body positive influencer to be their guest go-host to talk about a domestic or international travel destination and an essential travel item or topic.” – Adrienne

#2: Look into seating prior to traveling.

“My favorite plus size travel tip is to research the type of seats your plane offers. Most every plane I’ve ever flown on has an armrest in the aisle seat that has a special release button that allows it to fold all the way back. They have to be down during take-off and landing, and you need to watch for carts, but on a five-hour flight, it can give you the extra space you need to be comfortable without encroaching on the person next to you. – Seth

“If you’re worried about the width of your seat on an airplane, if you will have in-flight entertainment during your international flight, or if your window seat actually has a window, SeatGuru can help you. SeatGuru is an online resource that details the layout of most planes. It’s easy to search by airline and flight number. 

You’ll be able to find the dimensions of your seat and legroom. You’ll know where to find the nearest restroom and if it makes sense to upgrade for more space. The gold is actually in the Guest Reviews. This is where you’ll learn if your tray is stored in the armrest or on the seat in front of you. You’ll also be able to find out if your entertainment monitor is having issues or if you’re the one window seat without a window to peer out of.”   – Annette

“When you select a seat during your ticket purchase, purchase an aisle seat. For me personally, I love the window seat because I can look outside. However, if the flight is going to be crowded, I take comfort over the scenery any day! You’ll have more arm space when you’re sitting in the aisle. Not only that but the armrest at times is movable in the aisle seat. Which gives you more space! Just watch out for the food carts.” – Raphael

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Hey everyone. This is a BIG DEAL post for me. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I do posting this. I'm nervcited so please be kind. 😬⁣⁣⁣⠀ ⁣⁣⁣⠀ This look is designed by me and manufactured by @tba_phenomenal. I wanted a linen outfit because I'm not always comfortable wearing shorts to the beach anymore. I have a circulation issue that causes dark areas on my legs. It's embarrassing to watch people stare so I rarely go to the beach or wear shorts anymore for that matter. This was a light material that felt very comfortable on, it was breathable and would allow me to go to the beach in style while still wearing pants. ⠀ ⠀ Men. 👏 Have. 👏 Body. 👏 Image. 👏 Issues. 👏 Too! 👏 We are valid and it needs to be ok for us to talk about. This look is about more than just taking pictures. It means I can feel comfortable doing something I don't normally feel comfortable doing and it was very empowering. I couldn't find what I wanted in any big and tall stores, so I made it. It's sad that it had to come to that but until more brands start to step up to the plate and take these coins, there will continue to be opportunities for us to show what we're made of. Who knows, maybe I will just start helping other guys achieve a look they have always wanted to try out! 🤔🤷🏽‍♂️ ⠀ ⠀ Alright. It's 3:30 a.m. and I'm rambling. Time for bed. If you read this, tell me another color you would want to see this outfit in in the comments! 👇👇👇⠀ ⠀ This is 2/3 of the series for look number 1. This is more of a daytime vibe. I wanted a linen outfit because it just screams beach shoot. I went with a tunic top with angled sleeves. The pants are actually joggers that cinch at the ankles (even though you can't see it lol) and the pockets have zippers so everything stays in. The waist is elastic with a cool cord lock drawstring!⁣⁣⁣ This is my 90s, R&B music video, Boyz II Men vibes right here. Do you feel that? ✌🏽💚⠀ ⁣⁣⁣⠀ To be continued…

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“It’s also important to make sure that you ask about stationary plates between seats. I’ve made the mistake a couple of times by picking a front row or exit row seat, however, Frontier has metal plates that don’t move in between each seat and dug into my hips for 5 hours.” – Seth

“Did you know that Southwest’s Customer of Size Policy allows plus-size travelers to request additional seats so that they are comfortable while flying the friendly skies? The thing that makes it even friendlier is that they offer additional seats for FREE! 

There are two ways to go about it. You can call before your flight and ask to use the Customer of Size Policy. They will charge you for the additional seat/s but will reimburse you when you contact them after your flight. The other option is to request to use the Customer of Size policy once you arrive at your gate on the day of your flight. However, with this option, there is the risk that the flight is sold out and there are no additional seats. In that case, you can wait for the next flight with ample space so that you can fly comfortably.”  – Annette

#3: Dress comfortably.

“Wear shoes that slip on and off easily but you can run in if you need to.” – Seth

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Proof I have come a long way in my self love journey… I haven't worn a swimsuit for years and three years ago, I wore a swimsuit again and it was such a freeing and terrifying experience at the same time. It's freeing to not let the opinions of others stop me from wearing what I want. But terrifying to venture out of my comfort zone. I now own many swimsuits and even wore two piece last year in Cali. But this moment.. Three years later… I felt so free and it was at a public beach in Cancun of all places! No one stared or gave a damn about me wearing a swimsuit. I felt normal and HAPPY with my arms out, legs out, feeling myself, LOL. This is what living my best life is all about, feeling free and being happy, regardless of what others think. Some may not find me attractive or wonder how I could show my body in public. But that's their opinion. All that matters is how I feel about myself. That's the only validation I need. Life is short, wear the swimsuit and show off your fly self. If I see you, expect a high five, a bow, a salute and a "You go, Girl!" Swimsuit: @boutiqueplusswim @jcpenney / Skirt coverup: @alwaysformellc #celebratemysize #whatfatgirlsactuallywear #wearwhatyouwant #fearlesslyjustme #plussizeswimwear #boutiqueplusswim #afmsquad #selflovejourney #believeinyourbeauty #youareworthy #fashionisforeveryone #plussizetravel #fatgirlstraveling #fatgirlscan #liveyourbestlife

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“Wear clothing that’s comfortable and soft, with stretch. Also, make sure you bring a sweater or light jacket for those times when it gets chilly on the plane. That sweater can also double as a blanket, pillow (rolled up) or even as a mock tray folded on top of your purse/bag on your lap, leaning toward the back of the seat in front of you. I also make sure I am wearing pull-on pants so if I need to use the restroom on the plane, I can be able to pull my pants down and up easily in a very small space.” – Marcy 

#4: Wear compression socks.

“A must for me is to wear good compression socks. Especially on long flights, you don’t move much so compression socks help your blood to circulate, which is going to reduce the amount of swelling and achiness in your legs, as well as protect you from clots. It’s just a good idea all the way around!” – Seth

“It’s not good for us to travel and sit for a long time. Compression socks will help reduce leg swelling, discomfort, and blood clots from forming near the skin’s surface.” – Raphael

#5: Do not be afraid to ask for a seat belt extender!

“For the most part, all airlines have seat belt extenders, which allows the plus-size traveler to safely wear their seatbelt by extending the one that’s on the chair. All you have to do is ask the flight attendant. But if you’re like me and try to be prepared for anything, you can easily purchase a seatbelt extender online on Amazon.” – Raphael

#6: Pack the essentials.

“Pack an empty water bottle and your own snacks, and keep things that you need to access easily (like aspirin, gum, chapstick, headphones) in a small bag under your seat.” – Seth

“Always pack your chafing cream! A good chafing cream can save you thighs from that horrible thigh rubbing on a hot humid site-seeing day. No need to feel confined to always wearing long pants, free yourself, rock dresses and shorts anytime you want. My go-to cream is the Monistat Chafing Powder Gel. Perfect carry-on size! Pro tip: it can also double as a makeup primer.”  – Kenisha

“As a curvy traveler, it’s so important to me to be comfortable while traveling. Nothing ruins my mood more than being in a situation where I am far from home and I am not fully comfortable! There are three things I need in order to have an amazing time while traveling. First, comfortable walking shoes. I will choose comfort over style any day! Especially when I am traveling and plan on doing a lot of walking.

Second, I always pack my Mega Babe Thigh Rescue, which has been a total game-changer for me. I have tried so many products out there and old wives’ tales; I’ve even tried deodorant and nothing has worked as well as this product! Third, I always pack a great camera! Now that I am feeling confident, I want to be able to snap pictures and enjoy the experience. Traveling already takes you out of your comfort zone, the last thing anyone needs is to feel uncomfortable physically as well! That’s why it is so important to be prepared with things that will make your trip so much more enjoyable.” – Fabiane

“Comfortable shoes are key! I personally love Vionic, Vivobarefoot, Teva and Merrell for walking long distances and sightseeing. When I travel to an event for work, I always figure out a way to incorporate my sneakers into my look. I usually go for Adidas, PUMA or Steve Madden, which always has fun colors and prints to choose from, while being very comfy as I stand for hours.

I also pack an outfit in my carry-on along with with some underwear, an extra bra and an extra pair of shoes, in case my checked-in luggage gets lost. It’s tough to find plus size clothing in a foreign country but if you have an extra outfit, you can always wash your clothes in your hotel room and create a few outfits from 2 looks (the one you wore on the plane and the one you packed). I always carry some makeup, lotion, my allergy medication and my tech stuff with me in my carry-on as well.” – Marcy

#7: Call the airline prior to booking your ticket.

“As a plus-size traveler, I am very honest and will call the airline directly before purchasing a flight. I’ll let the airline know that I am a plus-size traveler and I’ll ask if they have any services that will ease and make my travel experience comfortable. Certain airlines do cater to the plus-size traveler, such as Southwest with their Customer of Size policy.” – Raphael

#8: Don’t be afraid to ask! Look into weight/size restrictions before your trip, when it comes to activity/hotel stays.

“Before booking day trips and excursions, double-check for weight and size restrictions. Some activities like zip-lining, parasailing and even kayaking, can have weight restrictions. There’s nothing more humiliating than arriving at an activity excited and ready, only to be told you’re over the weight or size restrictions and unable to be accommodated. So do the work and reach out to the tour operator to get all of the information you need before you book.”  – Annette

“Need a bigger size in the hotel robe? Just ask. Unsure if the exciting travel activity has a weight limit? Just ask. Feel like you might not be able to handle the group hike? – ask how many steps it is. For years, I was often scared and embarrassed to ask for what I needed and would make decisions about travel based on fear or not wanting to leave my comfort zone.

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It’s almost 2020 – so let’s get some real talk on Telluride: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly 🤍 The Good: friendly people, great skiing, cute, old town with good shops and restaurants – tagged my faves in the pic 👎🏼 The Bad: Altitude sickness!! Despite feeling prepared and informed about how to manage the altitude (long story short it’s about hydration) – it was a major factor that I struggled with the entire trip, after my first sleepless night I woke up with a headache that did not go away for the duration of the trip – I constantly drank water, avoided anything dehydrating (no coffee, no alcohol) slammed vitamins and ibuprofen and aspirin and still felt semi-miserable the whole time, for me this meant I only skied one day – which per my doctors recommendation was still one day too many as I learned that I have some degeneration in my knee from an injury I sustained a year ago as well as anemia for the first time in my life! While it hit me the longest, most of my family struggled with the altitude for at least 1 night and some had worse days than others 🥴 The Ugly: sleepless nights, headaches, and nausea meant I wasn’t the most pleasant camper in Telluride, but tried to still make the best of it. Some days it just felt like my body was failing me and the simplest of tasks was impossible. Sometimes even the most special, luxurious trips are challenging in their own way and Telluride was definitely physically challenging in unexpected ways and the ugly truth is I couldn’t wait to get home! 👊🏽 Swipe to check out this plus size snow princess skiing into the new year like ⛷ . . . #travelbeyondsize #plussizetravel #plussizetraveltoo #telluRideorDie #plussizeski #plussizeskier #fatgirlsskiing #fatgirlstraveling #fatwanderbabes #fatgirlstraveltoo #travelincusivity #traveltelluride #visittelluride #tellurideskiresort #tellurideski #downtowntelluride #unlikelyskier #unlikelyhikers #altitudesickness #plussizetravelblogger #turtlefur #projectwarmth #ambassatur #telluridecolorado #thegoodthebadandtheugly #beautybeyondsize #2020 #2020goals

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Sometimes we limit ourselves for fear of asking a simple question that may alleviate anxiety or solve an issue. Sometimes it’s because of embarrassment, fear of revealing yourself, or perceived weakness. But information is power and that’s why seeing plus-size ladies in the travel industry asking these questions, researching these possibilities and showing how exciting and limitless this world of travel is for people of all shapes sizes and abilities is so important. Instead of limiting yourself by convincing yourself that something isn’t for you or you won’t be able to do it, just ask! You may be pleasantly surprised more often than not.” – Sarah

#9: Arrive early at the airport.

“If you give yourself time at the airport, you’re not rushed and can use the bathroom before you board — especially if you don’t want to use the smallish airplane bathrooms. I also bring an empty water bottle with me that I can refill near the bathrooms, where most airports have a filtered water fountain.

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Traveling as a plus size person is not easy. For me, it's anxiety-filled from the time I check-in to when I arrive. And as someone who travels solo most of the time, the anxiety stays with me throughout my trip. You never see that anxiety, though. I always have a smile on my face. The moment I decided that I had just as much a right to travel as anyone else was the moment I decided to not let my anxiety hinder me from seeing the world. I have a right as a human being to take space and live. Do I still feel anxious? Hell yes! I worry about who will sit next to me on the plane. I worry about how I will be received by the flight crew when I ask for a seat belt extender. I worry about so many things since people tend to judge you by looking at you and if you're fat, well, we all know how that goes. But the more I travel, the more I learn about myself and the more practice I get at dealing with all those factors and the anxiety surrounding it. My dad used to tell me, you will never know until you try. So I keep trying. And guess what? I worry less now and just keep traveling more. So I felt it was appropriate to rock this tee from @aveplus during my #LasVegas trip because it is a reminder to myself and others to not let worry seize your life and stop you from getting out there and experiencing life, one moment at a time. #ad #plussizetravel #solotravel #solotraveler #travelwriter #travelblogger #latinainfluencer #latinablogger #fatacceptance #fatactivism #selflovebringsbeauty #nowrongway #thehappynow #andbloom #travelingsolo #fatgirlstraveling #anxiety #dealingwithanxiety #bodyacceptance #fearlesslyjustme #beingfearless #livefully #exploretheworld #travelmore #yourconfidenceisshowing #avenueplus

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You can also take advantage of pre-boarding, meant for passengers with young children and anyone who needs extra assistance or time getting onto the flight. This will give you time to get comfortable/settled and ask for a seat extender as you board.” – Marcy

#10: Don’t worry about what others are saying or thinking of you. Enjoy your trip!

“I’ve been to countries where people immediately stare at me or mock me because of my size. Don’t let them bother you during your trip. Enjoy the sights. I mean, I’m not going to see these people ever in my life again so why would I let their ignorance bother me?” – Raphael

Now that you are armed with all these amazing plus size travel tips and information, what are you waiting for? Travel and see the world in 2020!

Where would you like to travel to in 2020? Follow us on social media and let us know: @plusmodelmagFacebook  |  Instagram  |  Twitter

Featured image: Michael Poley of Poley Creative for AllGo, publisher of free stock photos featuring plus-size people

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