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Best Health and Safety Tips For Plus-Size Travellers

While travelling can be a fun escape from the busyness of daily life, you must still be prepared to face circumstances that may threaten your health and safety, especially if you’re visiting an unfamiliar place.

Although I am personally not overweight I have travelled with obese travellers on my journeys and can feel for them, no matter how they ended up so overweight. Everyone deserves to be comfortable on their travels.

Health And Safety Tips For Plus-Size Travellers

This article outlines travel safety tips whether you’re going on a solo trip or with companions. These include purchasing travel insurance to reduce the costs of delayed or cancelled flights, learning about your destination’s laws and regulations to avoid fines or legal punishment, and familiarising yourself with your surroundings through navigational apps like Google Maps.

However, when travelling as a plus-size person, there may be additional factors to consider to ensure your health and safety. While plus-size travellers may be diagnosed differently due to the differences between overweight vs obesity, these classifications only vary in terms of their body mass index (BMI) range.

Rather, being overweight and obese can come with a similar range of health risks, from sleep issues and high blood pressure to an increased risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes. 

Fortunately, besides adopting healthy lifestyle changes in your diet and movement, you can follow the following tips to accommodate your specific needs and maximise your travel experience.

Opt For Size-Friendly Airlines

A common concern among plus-size travellers is booking a comfortable and appropriate seat for flights. Fortunately, there are now size-friendly airlines that accommodate this exact need through their “customer of size” policy.

For example, Southwest Airlines allows you to purchase the additional number of seats you may need and then ask for a refund once the flight has departed with an open seat available. You can also search for an airline with a wider economy seating, so you don’t necessarily have to splurge on premium economy or business class tickets.

Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout your journey. Dehydration can exacerbate fatigue and discomfort during travel. If you are not flying and going by car or train, be sure to take regular breaks to stretch your legs and avoid stiffness or discomfort from prolonged sitting.

Be Strategic With Your Itinerary

Once you’ve booked your flight with your chosen size-friendly airline, it’s time to plan your itinerary strategically. Since there are tours, attractions, and activities that may have weight restrictions, check the travel agency or organiser’s policies beforehand to ensure a smooth experience.

Being plus-size may also come with limitations in terms of energy levels and mobility, so make sure to do ample research on a sightseeing destination to gauge how far you need to walk or how difficult the pathways or terrains would be.

Incorporate light exercise into your travel routine to promote circulation and reduce stiffness. This could include simple stretches or short walks during layovers.

Pack Compression Clothing

An example of the mobility limitation mentioned earlier is excessive sweating and chafing, which may even be worsened if you’re not wearing the appropriate clothing. So, besides opting for comfortable, breathable fabrics like cotton or linen, compression clothing can be your friend, as it promotes proper circulation and makes you less prone to muscle soreness and swelling.

Compression clothing can be particularly beneficial for plus-size travellers, providing support and comfort during long journeys.

Specifically, the OS1st Nekkid Comfort compression socks can prevent injuries throughout your sightseeing tours and long walks. Not only are they hypoallergenic, they’re designed to grip the back of the heel for optimal safety and comfort.

Prioritise Comfortable Footwear

Of course, it helps to pair your ergonomic compression socks with equally comfortable footwear. While it’s tempting to choose trendy shoes to match your travel outfits, comfort and practicality must always come first.

It’s best to go for podiatric-approved shoes in terms of the surface that accommodates wide feet, a cushioned sole to provide adequate support and body weight distribution, and adjustability in its buckles, straps, elastics, or zippers. Make sure your shoes fit well and have enough room for your feet. Avoid shoes that are too tight or too loose, as they can cause discomfort and blisters.

Choose shoes that are versatile and suitable for various activities and occasions, allowing you to transition seamlessly from sightseeing to dining out.

Take comfortable slippers with you as well for when relaxing at your hotel so you will be as comfortable as can be.

Travel Safely

As you embark on the trip you’ve always planned and looked forward to, don’t be afraid to speak up and advocate for your needs when needed. It may be something as simple as asking your tour guide to help you navigate the tricky part of the trail or contacting a restaurant about their seats before you finalise your reservation.

Ultimately, you’ll find that most people are willing to accommodate your request as long as they have the means to.

By incorporating these health and safety tips into your travel plans, you can prioritize their well-being and enjoy their adventures to the fullest. Whether embarking on a short weekend getaway or a long international journey, taking proactive measures to stay comfortable, supported, and healthy ensures a more enjoyable travel experience for everyone.

Happy and safe travels!

For more travel advice take a look at these tips to improve your travel photography.

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