When traveling as a plus-sized person, some challenges and insecurities could arise. Useful travel information for the plus-sized community is very scarce out there, adding even more paranoia and fear to bigger travelers. But that doesn’t mean that plus-sized people cannot leave unique travel experiences and being comfortable when they go abroad. Here are some useful tips that can help explorers with a few more pounds during their trips!
1. Pick the right airline
Flying when being overweight can be uncomfortable, so be sure to check out what are the best airlines for plus-sized travelers. You should also check if the airline has any specific policy for passengers of size and the details of it: This will avoid having bad surprises when boarding. Airlines have different names for their policies; search for policies named “passengers of size”, “obese policy”, “overweight policy” or “plus size policy”.
Good news: Airlines with inclusive policies are increasing. For example, Southwest has policies that don’t make you pay more just because you’re bigger. The airline will provide you with an additional seat for free if there is a spare seat available.
2. Ask for a seatbelt extender
All passengers can request a seatbelt extender for their flight. In this way, the seatbelt will be less restrictive and tight, while still abiding to safety measures. You can ask for one directly to the flight attendant when you have boarded the aircraft. Seatbelt extensions are becoming more and more popular among airlines, so you should not encounter any problem whatever your destination.
3. Look for the right aircraft
Before buying your plane ticket, check out the airplane type and the seat width for each cabin. New planes are normally more spacious and comfortable and have larger seats, so try to look for flights on the Boeing 787 or on the Airbus A350.
4. Plan ahead your trip
The notion of inclusive travel is not eradicated in every country. This is why you should do some research before your trip to set your expectations and get ready for possible inconveniences that might arise. In particular, check out for weight sensitive activities (such as parachuting), ask questions in advance, and review the activities’ requirements. In some countries, it can also be difficult to find plus-sized apparel, so make sure to pack everything you need to avoid disappointing shopping experiences at your destination.
5. Connect with plus-sized travel bloggers
There are so many plus-sized globetrotters out there! Connect with some travel bloggers to find out more about their experiences as plus-sized travelers and to get some inspiration! Here are some cool accounts you should follow: Kirsty Leanne, Jeff Jenkins, Samantha, and Fat Girls Traveling.
6. Travel as much as you can!
Don’t get the fear of being judged stop you! Traveling is a way to boost your confidence, expose yourself to the world’s diversity, and force you to move out of your comfort zone. So leave at home your anxieties and insecurities and jump on a plane!