Traveling under any circumstance can be trying; but, plus size travel can be downright disheartening.
Challenges of Plus Size Travel
Plus size travel can be difficult for several reasons:
- Seating may be uncomfortable…or worse yet, it may not be structurally safe. (Breaking a chair in a restaurant can be really embarrassing!)
- Activities might be restricted…either by your preferences (“I don’t think I would look good doing that”) or by weight or size restrictions (“The weight limit for this ride is 250 pounds.”).
- Spontaneity is not possible…you need to do a lot of pre-planning to make sure that you will “fit” in your vacation.
But, don’t give up. Travel can be fun. And, it can be easy. You just need to plan ahead, do a little research, ask a lot of questions and don’t be afraid to step up and do what is necessary for you to have a good time.
Planning for Better Plus Size Travel
Planning is key to having a good time on your next travel adventure:
- Research accommodations before you leave home. The key is to know what you are going to see before you see it.
– Looking for a wide airline seat? Ask the airline reservation clerk for the type of plane (i.e. Boeing 747) to be used for the flight you are considering. Then, use Seat Guru to check the seat dimensions of that type of plane.
– Want to find a centrally-located hotel so that you can avoid a lot of walking? Check the hotel’s website for info on transportation to nearby attractions. Use Google Maps to determine the distances between your prospective hotel and specific attractions you plan to visit.
– Going to a theme park with the kids? Check out our theme park tips here on GrandStyle and call or email to the park’s customer service people to check out their special accommodations for larger visitors such as electric scooters, rides without weight restrictions or larger size clothes in gift shops.
- Plan ahead for fashion shopping. Do a little Internet searching to find the stores that carry your size at your travel destination. Going to be in Europe or Asia and want to shop for clothes or shoes? Know what size your dress and shoe size converts to using the sizing guidelines of your travel destination.
Make Your Own Good Time
- Try new things. Don’t avoid activities just because of your weight. If you are over the weight limit for para-sailing or zip line adventures, then try something else that you’ve never done before like jet skis or a gourmet cooking class.
- Wear comfortable shoes. You won’t be happy and having a good time if your feet hurt.
- Speak up. Ask for what you need. Is your assigned bathroom too small in your hotel or cruise ship room? Ask for a disability accessible stateroom. They are bigger, giving you more room to move around, and they are usually closer to the elevator (cuts down on the amount of walking you have to do!).
- Don’t squeeze into a seat if you don’t have to. Select an airline flight with a plane that has wider seats. When being seated in a casual restaurant, ask for a table instead of a booth. Renting a car? Try it out for size BEFORE you “sign on the dotted line” of the rental agreement.
- Use seat belt extenders to be more comfortable in a car or on a plane.
Get Involved in the Fun
- Take snacks. Changing time zones, long flights, being in hotel rooms without a fridge can all cause you to be hungry between the local meal times. It’s hard to find nutritious snacks on the road; so, to avoid getting stuck at a fast food joint, everyone (not just kids) should have ready access to fruit, protein bars, zero calorie drink powders or other healthy snacks.
- Don’t hesitate to show bare skin in the summer. Wear a swimsuit. Show your bare arms. The key is to enjoy your vacation and stop worrying about what other people might think.
- Make sure you are in your travel pictures. Don’t avoid pictures because of your weight. Instead, hand the camera or cell phone to someone else and let someone else capture the fun moments of your trip – with you in the center of the fun!
Enjoy your trip!