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We know that travel is not one size fits all so to help, we have created the Plus Size Travel Too website as a hub of plus size experts, all looking to share their knowledge with fellow-travellers. If you're seeking adventure and don't know where to begin then don't worry, you're definitely in the right place.

From finding plus size friendly destinations and size-inclusive excursions to preparing for a comfortable flight and knowing exactly what to pack, we have absolutely everything you could need right here.
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A Plus Size Guide To Roadtrippin' West Coast USA By Michaela Gingell

Being fat comes with a lot of hurdles, with society throwing things in our paths, to ultimately shame and encourage us to change, or not live our lives to the fullest. I personally have been fat for as long as I can remember, but I can also remember the incredible places and things I’ve experienced because I’ve not allowed my size to stop me.

From the very beginning of a holiday/trip to the airport to the plane and then the actual adventure. I love the thrill of finally being able to disconnect and getaway. But as a fat traveller, there is sometimes little thoughts my size may cause issues.

Here are a few steps I go through, and some top tips for those considering heading to the West Coast of America (specifically LA, San Francisco and Las Vegas.)

On The Flight

First of all, the size of the chairs and seat belt lengths on the plane are all researched prior to booking (of course within reason when it comes to budgets). I’ll look at dimensions and also look at reviews on seat guru to determine if I’ll be comfortable and have space. It’s worth knowing it’s normally a great tip to take the window seat, as you normally get a bit of extra space to the side. Never book the front aisles where they are near exits or with no seats in front either. These seats require you to not use a seat belt extender and they are normally seats that don’t have space underneath the arms (which means there’s less space to fit in.) As much as I need to the legroom, my butt doesn’t fit in these seats.

Once you’ve determined your seat, once boarding the plane, I usually use this first-hand interaction with an air stewardess to ask for the extension then. They are normally more than happy to ask for your seat number and discreetly bring one to your seat. I find it does vary if I need one, but the extra space is never a bad thing, so almost always ask for one.

Hiring A Car (Or Using Local Transport)

The second thing I look for, is car hire or local transport. Of course, if you're road tripping you need a car, but if you are planning to stay in LA and you can drive. HIRE A CAR. The US is the easiest place I have ever hired a car, it’s just so straight forward (remember your UK Licence - no need for the paper part and a credit card.) all the times I have hired a car, I've been given cars that are brand new with no more than a couple of thousand miles on the clock.

I've always hired from Rentalcars.com and found they've been able to get GPS included (GET THIS if there's anything you do) and also if you're planning to drop off from another location to the original pick up, try and get the one-way fee included as this can be pretty hefty. The insurance in the USA also covers you for pretty much everything (although always read your individual policy) and I'd also say getting the additional breakdown and the full tank of petrol charge isn' needed (although again your choice.) As explained all the cars I have had have been brand spanking new and as for the petrol it's cheaper to file up yourself I've found (they'll ask for the petrol station you fill up at to be within 10 miles and grab a receipt from the purchase as they'll need that too as well.)

Anyway, from pick up to drop off, it's been the easiest process.

Must-Do Activities 

Where ever I go I have a list of must-dos. From attractions to restaurants, when I go away I am determined to do everything and experience it all, regardless of my size.

San Francisco 

In San Francisco, I had to see Lombard Street. That windy bendy road really does bring in a crowd, and my only advice would be to catch a tram up from Hyde & Beach St tram station. It's literally like 3/4 stops up.

Another top tip is to use the local Bus Tours. They are usually operated on a hop on hop off route systems, and are either city sightseeing buses or big buses. We had limited time in San Fran when we visited, and no car, so the buses really allowed us to see pretty much everything.

Los Angeles 

Now LA, home of the Hollywood Stars, Venice Beach, And Beverly Hills (and so much more

If hiking isn’t your thing, but you want to get near the Hollywood Sign, follow these tips. I take no responsibility for parking tickets if you get one - like we almost nearly did, but I'm going to list two locations where you can get the money shot. The first is turning off Franklin Ave up N Beachwood Drive. As you drive and look up you'll get the sign clear in front with the palms surrounding. Carrying on up this road, type in Mulholland HWY and through the bendy roads (you've been warned) where it meets with Ledgewood Dr there is a street that is shut off to traffic, but if you walk up you end up right underneath the sign. We spent all of 5 minutes, parked by one of the houses and came back to the park ranger handing out tickets, which we didn't get luckily as it looks like we were pardoned as we came back at the right time haha. If not there is the Innsdale trail which isn't far away from this location, but I believe at the furthest end has suitable parking (don't quote me).

Another location you can see the sign (all be it slightly turned away) the Griffith Observatory
is a must. Even if you're not into your planets or stars, I'd still say this is a must-do. The views alone are worth it. If you're not bothered by going in, head up before midday and the place opens. The parking is free, it's quieter, but you may catch the morning smog which doesn't make the skyline SO clear.

If you are heading up after midday and still don't want to go in, parking is $4 an hour and max 2 hours stay. Dependent on how busy it is they do close the road up and you end up having to park up further down and walking. They still allow you up but yes be prepared to walk. Anyway if you don't want to go in you're free to roam around the outside the building. If you do want to go in there's no charge to look around (I highly recommend it) BUT regardless of if you're into it or not please go and see a show in the planetarium. It is life-changing and absolutely bloody amazing (and only $7).

Murals. LA is known for its art and graffiti and around every corner, you turn there's pretty
much something to see or take a cute pic for the gram. The BEST murals I found are attached to the following shops and cafes along Melrose Ave. Carrera Cafe (right opposite Paul Smiths famous pink wall too) Sorella Boutique, House Of CB (right by Dash - Kardashians store which is actually closing, Glossier LA store, and also Marc Jacobs - which is covered in fake grass which could make an awesome backdrop).

Having been to Disneyland Florida and Paris, I was blown away by the California location. BUT, as always the staff were amazing, and can you really hate Disney? The rides were fab, and I found no issues with my size on any of the rides I went on. The food options were amazing. I’d recommend definitely searching prior before going as people create lists of must-have things. I highly recommend the Dole whip.

Las Vegas

On to Vegas, Possibly one of my fave places on earth. I can’t tell which I love more, old school or new school, but a must to visit is. Fremont Street. The history and excitement is something else. The bright lights, old school neon signs. For food and entertainment, you’ll find it all on one street. I'd also go and explore Fremont East where you'll find the downtown container park which has shops, bars and restaurants and a big ant outside (watch for the fire). There's also a lot of epic artwork and graffiti in this are. There is a zip line which does have a weight restriction, so you may need to check this before you book. Anyway, this part of Vegas is lively and fun and probably the most authentic part of Vegas you'll experience (in my opinion anyway).

New school Vegas, where the big casinos and brands are, is called The Strip. Hotels such as The
Bellagio, Caesars Palace, The Venetian are all here and all connected so it's easy (all be it little tiring
walking around) to navigate around.

Each hotel has its own casinos, shops, attractions and displays, which you can go in or stand outside of and explore and watch. You can simply travel the world in a day here from Italy to Paris. I'd say there's certainly something to suit all budgets food and drink wise. Most of the entertainment from shows to nightclubs with huge DJs headlining are also here. As a confident fat person I didn’t feel out of place like I thought I would have, but I did find the places were filled so full and really restricting.

The biggest tip I can give for Vegas, which actually is relevant to the whole of Vegas, is when using Uber (and Lyft - Definitely download and look for codes for this when you get there) they only have designated pick up and drop off points. The app does normally tend to revert to this pickup and drop off point so don't be alarmed if you can't get one directly to where you are or where you need to be. The areas are normally signposted inside the hotels and casinos too, but just be aware you may have to walk to be picked up.

If you’re visiting Vegas then please spare a day to do The Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam

There's plenty of organised trips to book, or you can simply hire a car and make the journey yourself. I’ve driven and also gone on a organise trip, but both times I have headed to Eagles Point, where you'll find the Skywalk (for those afraid of heights like me, I urge you to push yourself to do it because wow. There is no weight limits either.- as the website states - have no fear—the Skywalk is strong enough to hold seventy fully loaded 747 passenger jets). So the Skywalk is a 10-foot wide, horseshoe-shaped glass bridge that extends 70 feet out over the rim of the Grand Canyon. If you can brace it and look down, you'll see right through the glass down 4,000 feet to the floor of the Canyon below. The site its self is owned by the Hualapai Tribe and the money you pay goes back to their community.

These are just a few tips from the trips I have taken but also the steps I take as a fat adventurer
who loves to travel. My biggest advice ever would be is experience it all, and don’t allow your size or body to stop you. I’ve found more time often than not, even things I’ve been slightly nervous to do, I’ve been so grateful I’ve pushed myself to do it. Visiting places I thought I wouldn’t fit in, and I’d stand out, I’ve had friendly conversations with staff and other people visiting. Don’t hold back, book that holiday, write that list and include everything on it that you want to do, and go for it. Create those memories that last a lifetime, that you can look back on and share.