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- Traveling as a plus-size passenger may seem daunting if you’ve never done it before.
- Frequent traveler Kirsty Leanne uses her blog and TikTok account to share her tips and tricks.
- Kirsty shared her key advice on making your vacation as easy and comfortable as possible.
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Traveling for plus-size people is a subject rarely discussed, which is something avid traveler and content creator Kirsty Leanne wants to change.
Originally from Shropshire in the UK, she quickly fell in love with traveling after packing up and moving all of her belongings to America for the summer at 19 years old, she told Insider.
Having since traveled to all corners of the globe, she’s documented her experiences as a plus-size person through Instagram as well as TikTok, where her viral video on the “emotional damage” of traveling as a plus-size person shared on February 15 has over 1.9 million views at the time of writing. She also has her own blog, and launched a website of resources dedicated to helping plus-size people travel with ease and comfort.
Kirsty shared her advice with Insider for making traveling easier and more comfortable for pluz-size people.
Look up seat sizes for different airlines
Before booking flights, Kirsty, who told Insider she doesn’t use her surname online, suggests looking up the seat sizes to see which are most accommodating to plus-size travelers.
Most airlines will have these details on their website, with sites like Google Flights also having data on legroom.
Always plan ahead when packing your suitcase
While this applies to all travelers, packing well as a plus-size traveler is much more important, according to Kirsty. She suggests using items like packing cubes will best utilize your baggage, particularly as plus-size clothes are larger and therefore take up more space.
Anti-chafing shorts and pocket-size fans are also great things to pack, Kirsty added.
Don’t be afraid to ask for seat-belt extenders — but don’t bring your own
Asking for seat-belt extenders can feel embarrassing for some plus-size travelers, but you shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask for one to ensure you’re comfortable and safe throughout a flight, Kirsty told Insider.
However, while some travelers believe they can avoid this embarrassment by bringing their own extender, Kirsty never recommends doing so as she said they might not be as safe as those owned by airlines. Ask your flight attendant while boarding or anytime before takeoff and they should be able to get one for you, she said.
Research activities and their limitations ahead of time
Some vacation activities, such as kayaking, may have weight restrictions which can make it difficult or sometimes impossible for plus-size people to take part, Kirsty told Insider.
The best thing to do is contact the people running the activities to inquire before booking, according to Kirsty. If there are limitations, she suggests looking into and booking alternatives that are less likely to have weight restrictions to make sure you still enjoy yourself.
From Kirsty’s experience, almost all places are happily to make small adjustments to make your traveling more enjoyable.
Kirsty Leanne/Kirsty Leanne Travels
Choosing accommodation doesn’t have to be difficult
Plus-size travelers often worry about the size of their rooms and any adjustments they may have to ask for, Kirsty said. However, in her experience, any issues she’s faced have often been very easily resolved with the help of hotel staff.
Requests can be as simple as asking to reserve a bottom bunk in a hostel or asking for a room with a larger bathroom for no added cost, she said.
Follow social-media accounts that look like you
There are plenty of travel accounts and influencers on social media, but many of them have the same slim physiques, Kirsty told Insider.
Finding accounts from other plus-size travelers can be a huge boost to your confidence Kirsty said, as they show that traveling and taking part in fun activities is accessible to anyone, regardless of size.