August 13, 2021

5 Tips For Plus-Size Travel Planning

There is so much research that goes into planning a trip. Not only can this process be overwhelming, but it can also require a lot of time. As a plus-size traveler, travel planning can be even more time-consuming. And, as a bigger person, traveling can be intimidating in general. 

A lot of people don’t even know where to begin when it comes to travel planning as a plus-size traveler. What are the right questions to ask? What policies should I look into? Does this attraction have a weight capacity? There are so many questions, and it can start to feel overwhelming. Well, I’m here to show you it doesn’t have to be! Below I have listed 5 helpful tips and tricks that will make planning a trip a little less stressful. 

1. Research Guidelines of Airlines

Even though all airlines are different, they all have fairly similar policies. It’s important to research each airline before booking a trip. Because although they’re similar, each one has slightly different policies. For example, if you’re flying United, you have to be able to fit into the seat with both armrests down, and not intrude on the seat next to you. And, the general rule on American is that if a passenger’s body extends more than one inch beyond the outermost edge of the armrest and a seatbelt extender is needed, then another seat must be purchased.

Many of the airlines require you to purchase an extra seat if you’re unable to sit comfortably, you need a seat belt extender, or surpass the armrest. These policies are important to know so that you’re not caught off guard at the gate. If you book a ticket, knowing the policies, you won’t run into any surprises.

2. Be Prepared for Extra Costs 

There are a few options aboard airplanes for bigger people, like me. Airlines offer seats with extra legroom, first-class seats that are wider, and the option to purchase two seats. The bad news is that they all cost extra. Unfortunately, you’ll need to be prepared to pay more for these options. However, the fact that they’re available is comforting.

3. Book Early 

This is a huge one. I know this isn’t always an option. A lot of people book last-minute trips. However, if you can, I would highly recommend booking early. Aisle seats are usually the first to be booked, aside from window seats. These are the best seats for plus-size travelers. Also, sometimes if it’s early enough, exit rows seats are free of an extra charge. These are the seats with extra legroom, which is essential for plus-size people. The last thing you want is to be put in a middle seat where you will most likely be uncomfortable the entire duration of the flight. 

4.  Plan Ahead for Attractions

I always do a lot of research before booking attractions. This is important because you want to be prepared for what’s to come. For example, if an attraction or excursion requires a lot of exercise, I need to be prepared for that. Also, there are attractions that may have a weight limit, so it’s important to know that ahead of time. 

5. Know Your Limits

As a bigger person, I know my limits. There are tours and excursions that are more exhausting than others. However, I like to give everything a try! I usually like to stick with tours that allow a “go at your own pace” approach. This way, if the activity is more rigorous, I can take my time. However, everyone is different. I just don’t love the pressure of having to rush through an activity, I want to enjoy every minute!

After planning so many trips, which you can read about on Big Guy Big World, I think I’ve finally mastered the art of travel planning, especially as a bigger person. I know the questions to ask, the policies to be aware of, and my personal limits. Traveling should be fun and exciting, not overwhelming and stressful. That’s why I hope this entry has helped as a starting point to planning a trip as a plus-sized traveler. If anything, I hope you feel inspired to get out there and see the world no matter your shape or size. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on traveling the world.

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Big Guy Big World is a travel blog, following Mark Jacoby’s journey as a big guy on a bigger journey, exploring the world during a global pandemic. Follow along as we experience some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic places.

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