Am I too fat too travel?

Old Jun 17th, 2013, 10:54 PM
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I have stayed in hotels where I was "just" comfortable in the shower stalls, and I remember thinking that even my husband would have had a problem in there ( he wasn't with me) and he is 6.4 and 200 lbs.. so I am pretty sure if you stay in a budget-moderate hotel in a room that is "shower only " you may encounter the tiny shower stalls.. avoid.
Also, I would be careful, some elevators are so tiny, smaller then phone booths, you may have to work something out, like you go up first, then friend sends up your luggage, then she comes up'll figure it out.
Make sure hotel has elevator, many don't so if its not mentioned do not just assume..
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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<i><font color=#555555>"@NYCFoodSnob Again, I'm not trolling."</font></i>

For someone who was called a troll my first year here (among other things), I can assure you, rhev, I wasn't accusing. Just explaining suspicions.

Looks like you're receiving some help. Bathrooms <i>are</i> a serious issue in Europe. I've seen shower stalls and tubs that travel companions could not get into or out of without help. Some toilets were impossibly situated and unusable. And I've never traveled with an obese person.

I do know one obese person who contacted his hotel in Italy to forewarn them. They never responded. He wrote to them in English and either they didn't understand him or they chose not to deal with the issue. Trying to explain the delicate issue of personal obesity and bathroom needs in a foreign language is not easy, especially when you realize the numerous problems you could encounter.

Good luck.
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 11:57 PM
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21 stone is pretty big but my English/German BIL is 22 stone and he travels all over northern europe. He has given up on showers (as they are often too small) and insists on a bath. He drives most places and would use first class rail if he had to to ensure enough space. I don't think he has been on a bus in years and you may find a crowded bus unpleasant.

Other than that people will not comment or point as generally (only generally) the world is full of all shapes, sizes etc
bilboburgler is online now  
Old Jun 18th, 2013, 05:13 AM
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Why are you going to Interlaken?

I looked at your other cities and Interlaken is nowhere near any other city on your list. This means you will be on trains for a very long period.

2nd class on a Swiss train will be very tight. You had better go 1st class.

The Bernese Oberland is a skiing and hiking Mecca. If you don't plan on doing either, it will be a waste of time. Lots of walking to see Murren, Lauterbrunnen, Kleine Scheidegg.

I also can not see someone who weighs 300 lbs. sitting on the train up to the Jungfrau. Also must worry about breathing problems associated with high altitude.

You could take boat rides on Lake Thun or Lake Brienz with little problem, however.

I think you would also fit into the little train up to the Schynige Platte because their are no armrests on that train.

Go luck to you.

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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 05:32 AM
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As Lavandula has already pointed out, I cannot imagine that you will be ridiculed in Germany.
You'll blend in just nicely

Especially if you sun bathe nude or in a Speedo.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 06:47 AM
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You are going to encounter some issues and are aware of that. I think the biggest problem will be the flight over and back. Economy seats are not designed for anyone over 5-5" and a hundred pounds.

As min I think you need to opt for the Economy plus, Economy Comfort, or whatever the upgrade economy seats are called. You absolutely need the extra space. Your companion may be ok with your spilling over but there will probably be a problem with the recline of the seat in front of you.

At 6-2" and 225 I am not a heavy person but tall and need all the space I can get. Also have some lower back problems which makes it impossible to sit upright the entire flight. Reclining with some pillow wedges on my lower back helps a lot but still does not total prevent the discomfort. Therefore, always try for the economy plus if available.

Unfortunately on our trip last month economy plus seating was not available. I was in a seat in front of a very large woman. And, of course, what developed with the classic recline, do not recline argument. I will admit that when I reclined the seat the whole three inches it nearly touched her stomach. It became a big problem on an eight hour flight with a full plane and no where else to sit. I finally decided that my comfort trumped her comfort.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 06:57 AM
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I believe your major problem could be mobility versus space. You will do an awful lot of walking in Europe, and many, many places, including the subways, are not always handicapped accessible. I discouraged my mother-in-law from taking a trip because of her age and limited mobility. It depends on how fit your are and if you think you can deal with steps and distance.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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I don't think you will be ridiculed although anything is possible as sadly there are cruel people everywhere. But there are overweight people everywhere as well, including all of Europe.

Do you have problems with heat and humidity? If so Naples can be absolutely miserable.

With a bad knee I have trouble getting in and out of many hotel bathtubs (they are often very high). At 25+ lbs overweight, some shower stall doors are a tight squeeze. Public toilets, particularly in cafes, can be ridiculously small but where there's a will, there's a way!

I hope you have a great trip. Loose clothes and comfortable shoes are your best friends.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 08:29 AM
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I don't think you'll have problems with trains, etc., but it is possible that some bathrooms may be too small for you. IN particular, the shower, but I have been in some European accommodations with a very small toilet room, also, and I don't think someone that size could get into it very well, if at all. In particular, you might encounter this more in really budget accommodations as they sometimes try to squeeze in prefab bathrooms (that are really not much bigger than ones in an airplane) into existing old hotel rooms.

I think you'd have less trouble with modern hotels, as a warning. I don't think it is particularly an issue of "American hotels" as advised, I think it is modern versus old. Modern business type chain hotels of any country will be more likely to have something larger than those situations I'm thinking of where they try to fit in very small bathrooms into older hotel rooms.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 09:43 AM
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i would stay out of anything that requires climbing stairs. (i'm not trying to be funny or anything) A belfry, castle, dome, things like that. I'm a skinny guy and i remember there being times where stairs and walkways were very narrow in some of those places. you might tire easily so i'd use public tranportation to get around. folks walk a lot in Europe and so will you. i don't think you'll be ridiculed but you might get some stares. but you know what? who cares right? you're there to have a good time
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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Like NYCFoodSnob, I am a former 300 pounder.

When I weighed 300, I traveled a lot in Europe and the US. I weigh about 50 pounds less now and still travel a lot.

I got more tired when I was that heavy because I was essentially carrying an extra 50 lb suitcase everywhere. I stayed in a hotel in Venice where the bathroom was so small that I had to leave the door open to sit down. Other than that, I didnt really have any problems. I found it much harder to get into and out of friends' cars than public transportation, though I would recommend first class on trains. It is not expensive if you buy tickets well in advance.

I loved European trips because I ate well and still lost 5-10 pounds per trip because I exercised so much more than at home.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 02:41 PM
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Be very careful, before you go in enclosed spaces, bell towers, the crown at the vatican, etc. They would be terrible, because there is absoutly no way out except up or down. The cafe's in Paris, on the tourist route are extremely crowded, even for locals. Go back a street or so, and you usually have more room. The showeres are very tiny and hopefully you will have one with a shower curtain (which will stick to your behind, no matter what your size)but no door to deal with,the best would be a tub with a shower. My family is big, so we know these things. Hopefully you won't run into rude people, but it happens here, so just let it roll off your back, and enjoy. Glad your sitting with your friend, this will help with the airplane problem.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 05:23 PM
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No, you're not too fat to travel to Europe, and you've already got tickets, so just go with your good, healthy attitude and recognize that not every space you encounter will work for you, whether in a café or restaurant or hotel bathroom. The European concept of space is different from ours. You'll probably notice that when Europeans talk to each other their faces are inches closer to each other than ours are, that queues for buses and tickets and such involve much closer spaces between people - there are all kinds of little "space" moments like that that you will encounter.

Just do be careful selecting a hotel so you'll have room to move around your bedroom and use the bathroom facilities. Check out cafés and restaurants from outside and assess whether you'll be comfortable or not. And don't be shy about asking for help!

Have a lovely trip!
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 05:44 PM
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You will not run into rude people.

Get it out of your mind. And even if you do, ask yourself.

How many languages do you speak AND understand??
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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There are rude people all over the world. It has nothing to do with your size, or hair color, or has to do with them being insensitive and unkind. Some people just feel like they have the right to say anything that pops into their head, anytime. Idiots.

Your very first trip! How exciting for you. You will have a great trip...but the showers are a pain, for people of any size..that is, once you figure out how to turn them on!
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 09:00 AM
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I think you have received good advice here (from most people), so I don't have much to add except the following. Although it's almost always a good idea to minimize the amount of stuff you pack (since you have to schlep it around), I would recommend that you pack enough clothing basics so that you don't face any "clothing emergencies".

For example, a long time ago (before Gap took over the world), I packed light for a trip to Hong Kong and proceeded to sweat through my 2 t-shirts in the first day of my trip. Of course, I could (and did) rinse out my shirts and rewear them - I had no choice because I couldn't buy anything that fit in Hong Kong. But it was pretty darn inconvenient to wash my tshirts every day.

In Germany and the Netherlands, clothing sizes generally are more generous, so you might able to buy clothes that fit there if you needed to (or wanted to). But, to take an extreme example, you wouldn't want to pack only one pair of pants, in case you ripped or stained them irreparably. (BTW, I often travel with a single pair of pants because my other clothes are dresses, leggings, etc. But I can easily buy replacements - except maybe in Borneo next year - so I'm not worried about having a zipper failure.) So, if there are any pivotal items in your travel wardrobe (bra, the pants that go with all of the shirts you packed, etc), pack an extra item that works with other items in your wardrobe.
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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I have never noticed table and chairs in restaurants being smaller in Europe. Hotel bathrooms maybe! But not trains, busses, restaurant seating. Whatever challenges you face here in the US would likely be more simmilar than different in Europe.
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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Hi <b>rhev_olutionary</b> - Here is a similar thread I started for my Mom and sister:

There is a lot of helpful advice and info there as well.

PS: They went to Europe and had a lovely time. Showers were tight, and a few of the *armed chairs* outside the cafes were out of the question, but the armless chairs were fine. Everyone was kind - Kinder, in fact they said than the US. My sister said she enjoyed many fun/flirty conversations on several occasions with handsome Italian men who loved her curves, ha! She's ready to move to Italy!
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 09:45 AM
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Doppio, I am glad you posted your sister's experience, I remember your thread and am glad it all worked out well.
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Doppio, Thanks for finding the other thread. I remembered there was one previously almost identical to this question but couldn't quite remember the author or wording to find it in a search.
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