A FAT WOMAN'S GUIDE TO : TRAVEL


One of the main reasons I started this blog back in 2011 was to show plus size women around the world that they should not be ashamed of themselves, of their bodies or of things they might have to do a little differently because they take up a bit more space than someone else. I have always been fat. I was a fat child, a fat teen and I have been fat all through my twenties up to now. This means that I have lived my entire life being told that my size will hold me back, that it will stop me having as much fun, that because I'm fat there are some things I just shouldn't do. Well you know what? F**K THAT. This is why I'm starting my 'fat woman's guide to' series, because I'm sick of being told that my size limits me and because I now know that this is only the case if I let it hold me back

The first thing I wanted to write about because it is one of the things I get asked about most frequently and that I see plus size men and women get anxious about most frequently is travelling. On my wedding trip to the USA last year and trips the year before to Greece and Bruges I experienced pretty much all of the things that seem to worry fat people the most about travelling and I'm here to tell you why they really shouldn't, so here we go!

Disclaimer before we go on - I use the word fat a lot and I do not use it as a negative term. To me it is simply an adjective for my body type with no bad connotations associated with it.

AEROPLANE SEAT BELTS
I have been on a lot of flights now, both long haul and short haul, internal and international. On I would say half of these flights I needed a seat belt extender for the belt to do up. Believe me when I say this is not a big deal
When people are getting on a flight all they care about is finding their seat, getting their luggage where it needs to be and getting themselves comfortable. No-one is going to be watching the fat people to see if they need an extender, they're too busy in their own little world making sure that they are OK.
The stewards are not going to make a fuss about it or make a scene or roll their eyes or chastise you for it. Believe me, they would rather you ask than have to bring you one when you've delayed the flight because your undone seat belt light is on - I'm pretty sure that in fact is the only way that you needing one is going to cause a scene.

HOT CLIMATES
I will admit that being comfortable getting my upper arms out in public was one of the things that took me the longest to embrace in my 'body positivity journey'. I used to swelter away the summers in cardigans and wraps, never daring to show my wobbly arms to the world, uncomfortable and embarrassed if someone suggested I take it off when I looked too hot. I'm not actually sure when I decided to say a big fat eff you to sleeves when it's too hot, but I'm so so glad I did. Our trips abroad would have been absolutely hellish if I had kept myself covered up in cardigans the whole time, especially in Florida.
I know this is a big deal for a lot of people, but please please PLEASE believe me when I say that no-one else cares about your fat arms or fat legs or your tummy or your butt. Even if on the very very rare chance that someone may make a comment, I can guarantee that they will not remember making that comment for anywhere near as long as you will remember it. Therefore, do not let it hurt you and do not hold on to it. You are stronger than that and better than them and they are in fact, a jerk.

EATING IN PUBLIC
One of the absolute greatest things about travelling is getting to try different cuisines from around the world and you should definitely not let anything stop you from enjoying all the delicious things on offer! Unless of course you are allergic to them...

GOING ON RIDES
I have to admit I was a little nervous about our trips to Disney World and Universal Studios as I wasn't sure if I would have a hard time fitting in some of the rides. It turns out there was only one I couldn't go on, the Hulk ride, because my thighs wouldn't let the seat close over them. It really was not a big deal. They had test seats before you joined the cue so you could try it out without wasting hours in a long ass line waiting to get on.
On some of the rides I think the attendants may have chose specific cars/carriages/seats for us to go in that allow for plus size riders but I can't be sure of this because if they did, it wasn't mentioned at all and we were just ushered to our seats.

SWIMMING, BEACHES AND POOLSIDE LOUNGING
The key to comfort when relaxing by the pool, hanging out at the beach or swimming in a pool or the sea is to find swimwear and a light cover up that is comfortable. It might take a while to find a bikini, swimsuit or swimdress that you love but believe me one is out there for you and when you find it your life will be changed.
I like bikinis for swimming in pools but I personally feel much more comfortable in swim dresses when I'm on the beach, going in the ocean or going to a water park. I just feel more secure in it and the body skimming skirt means you avoid the annoying wet Lycra creeping into tummy rolls and giving you a wedgie situation.
A nice light cover up is also a life saver for lounging. I like to choose colourful maxi styles that are dramatic and can be teamed with a big hat and sunnies for an uber glam look but there are so many different styles now be it a kaftan, a crochet dress, a sarong or a kimono style jacket.

CHUB RUB
It happens to both men and women and it can really ruin your holiday. Chub rub is no joke and you should prepare for it! I wear cropped leggings or legging shorts most of the time when I'm away to prevent this, but my lovely friend George also recently recommended to me the Original Source Skin Quench Oil Spray as a great way to keep rubbing at bay for those times when extra clothing isn't possible such as when wearing swimwear or shorter skirts.

The most important thing is to only focus on yourself and the great time you and your family and friends are having. Do not worry about anyone else's opinions. Seriously think about it, why should the split second mean thought of someone you don't even know (or shouldn't know if they're meant to be a friend of yours) ruin an amazing trip that you have likely saved up for for months and really deserve?

I really hope this has been useful to some of you, remember if you ever have any feedback or questions just leave a comment below, email me or hit me up on social media!

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