10 Practical Plus Size Travel Tips for a Better Experience

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Travel can be an exciting and fulfilling experience for everyone, regardless of your size. But the truth is, if you’re overweight or obese, these plus size travel tips will come in handy.

That’s because you may have unique concerns and considerations when it comes to exploring the world.

In this helpful guide, you will learn some invaluable plus size travel tips and tricks to ensure that your travels are as comfortable, enjoyable, and stress-free as possible.

So read more below and get ready for another fantastic trip!

plus size travel tips
Plus size travel tips help address unique concerns and considerations you may have when exploring the world.

CONTENTS – In this article, you will learn useful plus size travel tips, including:

Traveling as an Overweight or Obese Person

These days, baggage isn’t the only factor where weight becomes a consideration when traveling.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given airlines the go signal to periodically weigh passengers themselves, along with their checked and carry-on luggage.

According to their circular, it’s merely to update data on average airline passenger weight to account for increases in the average weight of Americans. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) in the US are overweight.

It’s opening up discussions on weight discrimination and the many other issues people living with being overweight or obesity while traveling.

One systematic review has listed the many health risks that those with chronic health issues — conditions that last more than a year and require ongoing management — face when traveling internationally.

For overweight or obese individuals, hypoxemia (low oxygen levels) is a risk at high altitudes, like on flights; venous thrombosis (blood clots in the veins) can also result from long periods of immobility.

Moreover, airplanes are often designed with seats, toilets, and aisles to fit as many passengers as possible, making it hard for overweight people to navigate the plane.

Some American airlines even require passengers of a specific size to purchase two adjoining seats if they significantly encroach on the space of the passenger seated next to them.

On top of all this, a study found that 41.8% of people with class II or III obesity have to deal with perceived weight bias in their destination countries.

Finding ways to make traveling less stressful for plus size travelers is essential.

But first, let’s talk about long term weight management solutions.

Long-term Weight Management Solutions

nearly 1 in 3 adults in the US is overweight
In the US, nearly 1 in 3 adults (30.7%) is overweight. (Source: National Institutes of Health)

If you’re struggling with excess weight, you might be working toward a long term weight management solution.

Being overweight or obese is a chronic health issue, though travel-related inconveniences are certainly low on the list of reasons to address it.

A new study published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes found that people who lost weight through behavioral programs lowered their risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This lower risk persisted for years, even when some weight was regained.

This is why some seek medical help in order to help with their weight. Those managing these conditions should seek solutions supervised by a doctor if they want to pursue medical weight loss.

While this cannot replace healthy eating or lifestyle changes, medication can help address biological factors that impair long-term weight management, including underlying medical conditions. For instance, hypothyroidism can interfere with weight loss – or even cause weight gain.

FDA-approved medications, such as Saxenda and Wegovy, can be used with proper diet and exercise to see positive changes on the scale and in overall health.

Of course, if weight loss isn’t an option you’d like to explore, there are plenty of ways to improve your traveling experience.

Let’s talk about the best plus size travel tips you should know.

10 Practical Plus Size Travel Tips

To avoid travel-related hiccups as an overweight or obese individual, it’s extremely important that you plan and book in advance.

  1. For air travel, you ideally want to pick an aisle seat so you won’t have to squeeze past anyone if you need the restroom.
  2. Check out the airline’s seat sizes, which can vary greatly between airlines and seating class. Some even offer wide economy.
  3. Seats with extra legroom may cost a bit more, but for long-haul flights, it could be well worth the investment.
  4. You’ll want to tick the option for a seatbelt extender during pre-booking to avoid having a potentially awkward conversation with a flight attendant. If you’re a frequent traveler, you may even opt to buy your own.
  5. There are ways to travel more easily while saving money in the process. For instance, traveling during off-peak season is cost-efficient and may mean fewer occupied seats on the plane, This could give you more room free of charge.
  6. You can reduce the space larger clothing takes up in your luggage by using vacuum storage bags. Bring along the manual pump for repacking. A good one can minimize items as much as 80%!
  7. Pack an anti-chafing balm for thigh-rubbing, which can be exacerbated by lots of walking at the airport and at your destination. Carry a small tub with you in your backpack or purse, and reapply as needed.
  8. Wear comfortable clothing for your travels, choosing outfits that won’t be too restrictive and will help keep you cool. Leggings paired with a cute T is always a great look for travel, and comfy, too. Choose comfortable shoes, as well.
  9. More and more companies are also crafting size-inclusive trips you might consider. These are designed with comfort and accessibility in mind and allow you to travel with like-minded, non-judgmental peers.
  10. Be confident and advocate for yourself while traveling. Everyone deserves to have a positive travel experience.

Final Thoughts on Plus Size Travel Tips

Don’t let being a plus size traveler hold you back from exploring the world and creating incredible memories. You can embark on your adventures with confidence and enjoy every moment to the fullest.

With these plus size travel tips, you’ll be able to avoid uncomfortable situations – without missing out on a good time.

all sizes deserve to enjoy travel

Jackie Gately at the beach


About the Author: Jackie Gately

I'm Jackie Gately, your travel confidante and the creative force behind Enjoy Travel Life, awarded the "Best Casual-Luxury Lifestyle Blog (USA)" in Travel and Tourism by LUXlife Magazine for four consecutive years.

With 25 years of published expertise, I'm a seasoned writer, editor, and photographer curating inspiring travel guides and lifestyle tips for empty nesters. I hope to kindle your spirit of exploration, encouraging you to overcome obstacles and turn your dreams into reality.

Learn to minimize your pre-travel angst and maximize the joy of exploration with insights from my experiences. Let's make every adventure a celebration of this exciting phase of life! 

Follow my social channels for more inspiration.


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