Tips for Plus Sized Travelers

September 12, 2017

You’re ready for that well-earned vacation but you dread the flight. When boarding time comes, the dread turns to reality. You’re walking down the aisle to your seat hoping that the seat next to you is empty. It’s not. Squeezing into your seat, your hips barely fit and you know it’s going to be a painful flight. You try to turn your body and shrink yourself in the hopes that your neighbors aren’t silently cursing to themselves that you take up so much of their room. It’s time to buckle up and yours just barely fits. That was me, as a plus sized person, I know how painful and uncomfortable flights can be. That’s why I’m writing this, to help relieve some of your flight anxiety.

Related: Do I need travel insurance?

Here are my top tips for plus sized travelers

Tips for plus sized travelers1. Dress for Comfort

If I’m going to be stuck sitting in one spot for hours, I’m going to be comfortable. Don’t wear any tight fitting clothing and dress in layers so that you can take off a layer if it gets too warm. Slip-on-shoes are ideal for two reasons. First, they are easy to take off when going through airport security and second, they’ll give your feet room in case your feet swell during flight.

Related: Travel Discounts and Deals

Woman in slip on shoes

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For those interested in very convenient plus sized clothes shopping, read on, otherwise, skip to #2. I do a lot of my clothes shopping online and I personally subscribe to Stitch Fix. It’s an online styling service where I fill out my size and what type of clothes I like, along with my budget. Then a personal stylist picks five items and mails them to me. I made a Pinterest Board just to show my stylist what I’m looking for. I tell them about an upcoming trip and they’ll send me some clothes based on what I asked for. Anything that I don’t like I send back for free. It’s extremely convenient and they carry sizes from 0-24W (XS-3X).

Image of seats on an airplane

2. Research Seat Sizes

If you’re concerned about seat width, you’ll want to check out Seat Guru. Economy seats can vary from 16 inches across to 25 inches. It’s more than just seat widths, Seat Guru also lists if your airline seat will include laptop power, wifi, or a video screen. It’s a very useful resource. Once you find airlines you like, to find the cheapest flight, I recommend using Skyscanner to compare prices on flights.

3. Get a Seat Belt Extender

Lastly, this is an easy fix, the seat belt. You can ask a flight attendant for a seat belt extender but for some that can be embarrassing and you might prefer to bring your own. Just be sure to get one that is FFA compliant.

If you’re trying to lose weight, check out my post on How I Lost 50 Pounds in 4 Months or How Zombies Helped Me Lose Weight (60 Pounds Gone).

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By Amber Alexander

Through my own adventures, I strive to provide insight into experiences that will enrich your life. Traveling is my passion and I want to share that with you. Along with recommendations for adventures, I will also review books and supplies that are related to those adventures. I want you to push your own boundaries of what you thought you could do. Let me be your guide and compass to rediscovering how fun life can be!


  1. Reply


    Nice tips. It’s hard for anyone to be comfortable on planes these days!

  2. Reply


    I 2nd Seat Guru – it has been a great resource!

  3. Reply


    It is SO great to see more and more content about plus-sized travel. Historically, it’s been so invisible in the travel-blogger community, and this is some really practical advice. It breaks my heart to think that there are people (especially women) out there who are reluctant to travel due to the perceived limitations they’ll experience due to their size. Thank you so much for sharing!! <3

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