My good friend, Lauren, and I had the opportunity to travel to Europe all throughout June. As two Plus Size babes making our way through some of the thinnest countries in Europe, we learned a thing or two about what to expect when traveling while Fat. Don’t let your size prevent you from making lifelong memories and traveling outside your comfort zone.
Here are 5 Fat Hacks for Traveling while Plus Size:
1. Ask for the damn seatbelt extender.
The idea of asking for a seatbelt extender on an airplane flight can be a source of some major anxiety but it doesn’t have to be. It really is not a big deal!
There is usually a flight attendant welcoming passengers at the front of the plane as you walk in. Ask them for an extender right away and, most of the time, they will have one immediately available to hand to you as you walk to your seat. Otherwise, they will ask which seat you are in to give it to you there.
Most importantly, the flight attendants are very nonchalant about it. To them, it’s a safety measure – they just want to make sure the flight leaves on time and in order to do that everyone needs to be buckled in. They are trained to make your flight experience as pleasant as possible. No need to stress yourself out!
If you are still uncomfortable with asking, my friend Lauren will even bring her own extender to each flight so she doesn’t have to ask the attendants. You can purchase one here!
2. Bring a fan.
If you’re like me, you sweat when it’s hot out. You know, like humans are biologically designed to do.
Nonetheless, I don’t want to sweat off my makeup and I’m not a big fan of being hot – so I opt to bring a fan with me everywhere I go.
Not only do I look like I have a flair for the dramatics (a huge plus in my book) but I’m also way more comfortable and cool.
If you’re someone who feels a bit silly waving a fan around, try getting an understated design to use around the house until you feel comfortable taking it out in public. You’ll notice a difference in how much it helps beat the heat!
3. Check out the size of your hotel or Airbnb ahead of time.
As Lauren and I were traveling across Europe, we noticed that people are a lot smaller and, therefore, their living situations were a lot smaller.
As two big Americans, it’s a culture shock to stay in an Airbnb the size of a tiny house. Thankfully, we treated it like an adventure and would manically laugh as we tried to fit into showers the size of broom closets.
If you’re someone who takes their accommodations seriously, try to gauge the size of your hotel or Airbnb ahead of time so you feel extra comfortable.
Most importantly, check out the bathroom – do you like the size of the shower? As you are washing away the filth of your travels, you will thank yourself.
4. Organize your luggage with packing cubes.
This isn’t so much a “Fat tip” as a “practical traveling tip”. Packing cubes are organizational lifesavers!
You can organize your luggage much more efficiently by packing each cube with categorized items. It makes finding your clothing convenient and you can make sure you don’t leave anything behind.
Plus size clothing is bigger than normal people’s, so I’m always pleasantly surprised by how much I can fit into each cube. Also, they have loads of designs available for you to choose from so you feel extra cute!
5. You will be stared at, but f*ck ‘em!
As two Plus Size babes traveling to a series of countries known for scoffing at Fat Americans, we were naturally a little scared of the attention we’d draw during our vacation. Thankfully, we had each other for support if an uncomfortable situation were to arise, treating the encounter with a hyena laugh.
Some cultures do not have a filter when calling someone “Fat” which is a big difference compared to the hush-hush you find in America. While in Barcelona, we spotted a little kid gawking at us in amazement before yelling, “Mira las gordas!” Which means, “Look at the fat girls!” Had I experienced this a few years ago when I was a little less secure in my skin, I would have replayed that moment with shame. After years of growth and development, I couldn’t help but laugh!
Instead of letting it affect the rest of the trip and send us into a spiral of self-hate, Lauren and I manically laughed at the encounter and “Mira las gordas” became a phrase of humor and pride.
Yes, you may turn heads but don’t let it affect the way you feel about yourself. Fat is not a bad word. It is possible to be both Fat and beautiful. You earned your vacation and don’t let anyone prevent you from having the time of your life! If being called Fat is the worst thing that happens to you, that’s a pretty good trip compared to all the other things that can go wrong while traveling abroad.
Mira las gordas!