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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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Why Bad Travel Experiences Shouldn't Stop You From Following Your Dreams By Jessica Still

They always say that the best thing to do in life is travel. Now, I don’t exactly know who ‘they’ are but I can guarantee they weren’t plus size. I’m not saying travelling isn’t wonderful because really, it is. However, for anybody bigger than a UK size 18, it can also be filled with anxiety, harassment, exhaustion and a whole load of tears. 

I remember the first time I realised that travelling was not inclusive for all body types. I was on a plane to Dublin, going home for the winter to see some family. Normally, I would bring my own seatbelt extender for the plane because I know that the ones provided just aren’t going to make the cut, but this time I’d forgotten it and was rendered lonely and belt-less. 

I’d paid extra for my plane ticket so I could have some legroom- being plus size AND nearly 6 foot makes travelling hell so I like to make it as easy as I can. 

Having forgotten my belt extender, my anxiety was already beginning to bubble and gurgle in the pit of my stomach, making its way up to my chest. I flagged down a stewardess and asked for a seatbelt extender. The one already attached to the seat wouldn’t fit even if it wanted to. The stewardess sighed, not a ‘I’m working and tired’ sigh but an incredibly irritated, put out and almost disgusted sigh. She stared at me. Then, after what felt like a lifetime of silent judgement, said, “you can’t have a seatbelt extender and a seat with legroom. Choose one.” 

Obviously, without my seatbelt firmly wrapped around my body, the plane wouldn’t be allowed to take off, so I had to give up my seat with legroom. The seat I had paid extra for. 

To make matters worse, the sigh-laden stewardess then paraded up and down the aisle asking other passengers if they could switch seats because, and I quote, ‘a larger traveller can’t fit into her chair’. She didn’t say this quietly either. Once she had found a willing passenger, I was forced into a walk of shame down the aisle, my hips brushing against the seats either side of me until I made it to my new space, 5B, squashed between two older men who looked at me pitifully. Just before the plane took off, the stewardess returned and pushed a grimy, frayed seatbelt extender into my hand and without saying another word, walked off. 

Obviously, that wasn’t a great experience. In fact, it was quite the opposite. But that doesn’t mean that all travel is bad and I refused to let one bad experience put me off a world of wonder. 

A slightly more positive story begins in Paris, sat outside a little bistro on the Quai de Bourbon. France, or at least, every idea I have surrounding the country, is centred around beautiful people. Fashion, especially in Paris is key and notoriously, high fashion seems only ever to include thin people. Sitting on the little wicker chair, I noticed that I was the only fat person on the street. This normally would have filled me with fear and dread but instead, I felt empowered. I felt alive. I felt wholeheartedly myself. 

The thing with being body positive is that it begins with yourself. Others may hate the way you look but at the end of the day, their opinion doesn’t matter. What matters is how you think of yourself. In that moment, beneath a warm autumn sun, my green and white polka- dot dress billowing in a river breeze, I felt beautiful. I felt part of the city. I didn’t feel too fat, or too tall or like the entire street had its eyes on me.

For once, I let myself live. I walked over to Notre Dame and basked in the glory of the building, the music that drifted through the air from a far-off street performer, the children’s laughter from a nearby carousel. It seemed so new to me, this feeling of belonging and just being who I was without being labelled big. 

They say charity begins at home, and whilst I believe that, I’m going to twist it a little and turn it into love begins at home. Self-love. The moment you decide to cherish yourself, you’ll discover that nobody else matters. The world really is your oyster, and it is delicious.

Author Bio

Jessica Still is a writer and body positivity advocate based in London. When she’s not scratching her head over strange words, you can find her making earrings, talking to her cat, or watching Quentin Tarantino movies. You can find her on Instagram here