10 Tips To Make A Long Haul Flight Better For A Plus Size Person

Spring means warmer weather and longer days. It's my favourite time of year as I love the long light evenings. Living in England you are never guaranteed hot weather which is fine by me as I don't mind cooler temperatures either. I think all weather has its charm. I like to travel in warm countries and in cold countries. I want to explore everything out there and that is probably why I have lived in different climate countries like Norway, Portugal and Canada.

Spring is also a time when a lot of people choose to go on holiday before the crowds of sun seeking families arrive later on in the summer and before the nice temperature here sets in.

Up in the air

 Mike and I are going on a holiday in one week and this time we are going to Mexico. Neither one of us have been before so we are very much looking forward to it. We like to mix beach, pool and relaxation with exploring the area, its history and culture and also go off the beaten track to get some of the real feel of the places we go to.

It's a good 10-11 hours flight to Mexico and that is something that might be challenging for the most experienced traveller as plane seats aren't the most comfortable place to lounge for that amount of time. You can find many good tips for travels online by doing a quick search, but there aren't too many advice for plus size travellers, so I thought I would share a few tips that I as a plus size traveller have found to be at help on all my travels. Cause even if you are fat it shouldn't stop you from seeing the world as it is one of the best things you can do in your life.

1. Buy a seatbelt extender. If you are above size 20 I would say it can be uncomfortable when the seatbelt is too tight, so I have bought my own seatbelt extender. These you can get on eBay or Amazon for under £10, so it is well worth it. It all depends on the individual if you are confident in asking the flight attendant for an extender or not. It also depends on what airline you're flying with. What I've experienced is that on newer planes with more slimmer seats they have increased the seat belt length. But if you are in doubt if it will be a ease in your mind to bring your own.

2. Always pack some healthy snacks for the trip. I tend to bring fresh fruit as it can be difficult to get hold of fresh fruit on flights. Bananas and grapes are my favourites on flights as they are easy to eat without making a big mess like an orange might do. They don't have a strong smell either. I also like to bring some nuts as they are full of protein, fiber and healthy fats. The airline meals can often be very heavy and also give you indigestion and make you feel bloated. You sit still for a lot of hours, so you don't get any chance to walk much or do other things you normally would after a meal, so I tend to skip at least one of the meals on the plane and eat my snack instead.

3. I always like to chose my seat before I travel. The reason behind this is that I can then decide myself where I will be seated. I really like it if the long haul plane has got a seating plan with seats 2-4-2. I rarely travel on my own on long flights so by choosing seat I always chose the 2 seats that are on their own so you sit with someone you know. This gives you ease at mind as you don't have to worry about having to ask someone to get up for you if you need to go to the loo (sitting on an aisle seat would also solve that issue if you had to sit with someone else). As a top heavy woman I always prefer to sit by the window as it gives me more shoulder room (read boob room). If you're travelling on your own and you're worried about people thinking that you take up too much space, try and reverse your thinking, cause thin people are just as selfish and take up space by sitting with legs miles apart and demanding arm rest place! You might meet someone you don't want to sit next to!

If you want to check the width of the seats in most commercial planes and airlines, this table at Seat Guru is at great help.

Space is not in abundance on most flights

4. Drink lots of water!!! I can't stress this enough as it is so important for everyone, not just us plus size folks. The air is very dry inside the plane, so it's easy to get dehydrated. It's helps your brain, it helps your skin, it helps your digestive system and so on. Another reason why drinking lots of water on the plane is extremely good for us is that it helps on the water retention in your body which increases when you are in air so DRINK WATER!

5. With drinking lots of water follows toilet visits and these are not much fun! Especially not when you're fat. It's such a small space that you almost need to be an acrobat to be able to go in. I'm thankfully flexible so I don't find it THAT difficult, but it's yet something I dread doing. On shorter flights of up to 3-4 hours I tend not to drink that much and rather go pee right before I go on the plane and right after I get off. But on long haul flights you have to go to the toilet at least a few times. If you wear something easy to pull up or down (no complicated clothes like bodysuits or dungarees, or long maxi dresses that will sweep the floor-yuk) it will ease the experience as the time spent in there is less.

6. Don't wear tight fitted clothes! When you are seated in an already confined space, it is important that your clothes are not making it even worse.You don't want to increase the risk of getting deep vein thrombosis. I never ever wear jeans on a flights, it's a big no no for me. Instead I go for lose fitting natural fabrics like cotton. It's gives your body better conditions to breathe. It's the same with tight shoes. Slip on shoes are best as they are quick to put on and take off. If you have some big bulky shoes you need to bring like trainers/sneakers wear these and also free up some space and weight in your suitcase.  Another tip for clothing is to wear layers. You never know if you're going to feel to warm or too cold, so wear layers so you can take some off if you get warm and put them on again if it gets colder. Added bonus, these clothes can be used as a pillow if you need one and free space in your bag.

Not exactly lots of space between the rows.

7. Don't have too much stuff in front of you. If you have like me a big tummy and huge boobies you probably have experienced that folding the table down when it's meal time is difficult. This can lead to some challenges, but I have found that if this happens it can help a bit to recline your seat back to get the extra inches you need. I have also in the past used my handbag, rucksack or pillow as a table for me to balance my food on. If there is a seat free next to you use this table. To free space in front of your feet, which is important as you try to stretch your feet as much as possible, take the things you want to use during the flight, such as snacks, tablets, camera and so on, out and put them in the pocket in front of you. Place the rest of your luggage in the overhead locker. If you fall asleep you will be so grateful you did this.

8. Move! Do try and get on your feet at least once an hour to make sure that your body doesn't suffer too much from being confined in a limited space. It's important for everyone to move around on the plane, but even more so for the overweight passenger. By making sure you drink enough you have to go to the toilet every now and again and that is a good way of getting important increase of blood flow in your body. Even just rolling your feet from toe to heel from time to time helps on the circulation. And don't take sleeping tablets no matter how tempting it might be, as staying in the same position for a long time increases the risk of getting DVT.

9. To find the most comfortable sleeping position on a plane I always bring a travel pillow. I swear by the memory foam kind as I find them more comfortable than the inflateable ones. There are other types as well, but I have yet to try them. I also use some of my clothes that I'm layering as I spoke about in section 6 as padding to painful armrests if these cut into you. Try and recline your seat as much as possible (but please politely ask the person behind you if it is ok first as I hate when people just recline their seat back into my space) and stretch your feet under the seat in front of you. This should make you able to find comfort in your little space and send you to the land of nod.

10. If you feel that your fat thighs get really sqeezed against the seat for all the hours you're in air an inflateable footrest might be a big help for you. These you can easily pick up from eBay and take up little space. Raising your feet can help the circulation of your legs and feet so it is definitely something to consider.

Before I board my flight to Cancun next Monday I will make sure I have taken care of as much as I can beforehand so I can have a pleasant and enjoyable flight. There are several other things I need on a flight as well, which will be my post on Wednesday so watch this space if you want even more travel tips.

Do you have any special things you do before going travelling?



  1. This is a really useful post. I have my own seatbelt extender and have done for years. Because I'm so bottom heavy it's a weight off my mind - pardon the pun! xx

  2. I didn't know you could take fresh fruit on aeroplanes cxx

  3. This was a really awesome read thanks Mookie, I love getting other plus girls travelling advice- every bit of advice helps! xx

  4. Fantastic tips! I use to hate long haul but then came up with some "travel rules" of my own that make t so much more comfortable. I also feel that moisturising throughout the flight is hugely beneficial ... especially if you can get hold of one the stimulates as well as moisturises to get your blood flow circulating!

    Have an amazing time in Mexico!!

    C xx