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The Essential Things I Pack as a Plus Size Traveler

Everybody deserves to travel.

As modes of transportation and the travel industry generally have changed over the years, the one thing that has not is that I am a plus-size traveler.

I have taken more trips than I can possibly count. Flights, road trips, cruises, Greyhound, Amtrak…I am no stranger to any method of getting to my destination. However, being a plus-size traveler means I must travel a little differently. From stadium seats to hotel amenities, often, things are not designed with a plus-size body in mind. To travel and navigate destinations, venues, and events both safely and comfortably, people in larger bodies sometimes must adapt or modify to make travel more enjoyable. In general, I found that along with hydration (helps prevent fatigue and increase energy) and taking vitamins (to assist in reducing inflammation and building the body’s defense against germs) before and during trips, these are my favorite travel essentials that keep me moving from curbside check-in to adventures around the city.

Related: How to Fly Internationally Even if You’re “Too Fat”

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Travel John Disposable Urinals

Airplane bathrooms are perhaps my least favorite part of air travel as a plus-size person. Also, being a person who frequents festivals and outdoor events, port-a-potties are not ideal either. Riddled with all sorts of dirt, germs, and overflowing trash, it is like a gymnastic routine trying to come out as clean as you were going in. Or, considering road trips where bathrooms are sketchy or a camping adventure, disposable urinals are my secret weapon! Travel John Disposable Urinals can easily be tossed into a purse or bag and contains an absorbent, biodegradable gel for waste that makes it safe to dispose of in a trash bin. Using them is relatively easy–simply place the opened bag in position to catch the stream and let it flow! It is absolutely a must-have for my travel adventures.

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Body Wipes

Sometimes travel days are long. Depending on the purpose of my trip, I am hitting the ground running going straight to an office or event upon arrival. Body wipes are a godsend because they allow me to freshen up before moving about the city. These hypoallergenic disposable cloths are designed to refresh both women and men. They can be used to wipe away sweat or odor from parts of the body like armpits or under the bosom. I also keep a few compressed face towels with me as well, which expand when wet into a full-size cloth that can also be used to wash your face or freshen up any part of the body.

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Comrad Compression Socks

One of the advantages of train rides that I like is that it allows for movement up and down the aisles as needed to keep circulation moving. But with air and car travel, not so much. Another staple that comes along with me for every trip is compression socks. I like that Comrad offers two different lengths (ankle or knee-high). There are numerous medicinal benefits to using compression socks, such as reduced swelling, decreased risks of blood clots, and improved blood circulation. I also find them useful for long days when I will be on my feet or doing a lot of walking.

Bryan Berganza / Comrad Socks

Sun Squad Beach Towel

Hotel towels (and robes) are the bane of my existence, truly. Even when I was on the smaller end of being plus size, they never fit quite right or all the way. If I was lucky, a “nicer” hotel would have beach towels or bath sheets near the pool that I would take up to the room to use during my stay. But it really was a stab in the dark. It’s much easier to bring my own. At 36×70 inches, Sun Squad Beach Towel fits a size 3x rather comfortably. As someone who has been thriving off carry-on luggage only for the majority of my travels this year, using compression bags or compressed packing cubes aid in making sure there’s still plenty of room in your suitcase.

Nike Air Zoom Sneakers

While I would love to be in heels and sandals, truthfully, my body cannot tolerate long adventures without proper foot support. I used to wear walking shoes, but I found running shoes like Nike Air Zoom Sneakers more durable for my body, as they are designed for more strenuous impact. I travel frequently, and sometimes my adventures lead me on walking tours or low-impact hikes. Another bonus to this style that makes them a go-to for me is the breathable material that prevents sweaty feet. Win, win!

While it can take some additional planning (and advocating for oneself as necessary), being in a plus-size body does not have to stop you from seeing the world around you. Pack what you need, listen to your body, and go explore. Happy traveling.