When packing for a road trip or flight, you go through the usual list: t-shirts, leggings, socks, underwear etc. But, what we tend to overlook are the little gadgets, knick-knacks, and doodads that, though small, make our lives easier when abroad. Plus size travelers have a few things to consider that straight sized ones don’t, our bodies sweat more, rub more, and take up more space.
After discovering the beauty of compression socks, I took to our Fat Girls Traveling Facebook group to find out what travel must-haves all of you take with you. From packing cubes and seat belt extenders to scarves with hidden pockets, we curvy ladies have a lot of tips and tricks to make a flight more comfortable.
Here are the 10 plus size approved travel must-haves to pack on your next adventure:
The Trtl Pillow is the solution for those of us whose head always ends up on our neighbor’s shoulder. This sturdy neck sleeve has ribbing inside its soft fleece to keep your head upright and cradled as you soar over international waters.
As Isabel* said, “This thing gives me all the support I need (maybe it’s because it’s almost like a neck brace 😁). It’s really comfortable though and you can buy it on Amazon for a good price.”
Buy Trtl Pillow
Once my butt hits the seat, I only get up for bathroom trips. Hence, a designated plane pouch is key to keep all of your necessities within arms reach.
Elizabeth says, “ I put my carry on up above or down below. I keep my phone,earphones, chapstick, teeth grind guard and xanax in it. Lol. I put it in the behind the seat pocket. And easy it goes.”
Buy cute plane pouches:
- Isaac Mizrahi Travel Cosmetics Mesh Zippered Pouch Organizers 3 Piece Set (See More Colors and Designs) (Navy/Pink Polka Dots)
- UNKE 4pcs Travel Zip Pouch Tidy Luggage Packing Organizer Bags Case for Clothing Makeup Sundries Storage, Green
Scarf with Pockets
If a plane pouch isn’t for you, or you want to keep your valuables close to your chest, literally. A scarf with pockets is your godsend. With plenty of room for a phone and your chapstick, you won’t need to go hunting around for anything in the seatback pocket.
Heather says, “I put everything I’ll need to easily access while on the plane in it. Things like headphones, eye mask, even my phone. It means I don’t have to dig under the seat or in the overhead to access those things once we’re underway.”
Buy a scarf with pockets for your next trip:
- Women’s Interlocking Chain Square Pattern Scarf w/ Zipper Pocket – Pop Fashion (Grey)
- Women’s Arrow Patterned Infinity Scarf with Zipper Pocket (Black)
- TRAVEL SCARF by WAYPOINT GOODS // Infinity Scarf with Hidden Pocket (Watercolor World Map)
Plus size people have larger clothes. It’s a fact and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. That means, there is far less space available in hotel bathrooms and Airbnb balconies to dry our clothes. A packable clothes line solves this problem in a pinch.
Andrea says, “When I first started traveling a friend gave me one and at the time I thought it was a weird gift. But it’s the most practical thing ever. Can do a small amount of laundry with it, usually hang out it hotel bathroom and it saves loads on paying for dry cleaning or having to find a laundromat in a foreign country.”
Plus size travelers can finally wear shorts and dresses while abroad! Thanks to the advancements in chafing products, we now have more options than ever to protect our thighs, armpits, and nipples from the dreaded heat rash.
Layla loves Bandelettes. She says, “No more shorts under skirts and dresses, I just pop those on and it’s goodbye to chafing thighs“
Buy anti-chafing Shorts and Bandelettes:
- Bandelettes Elastic Anti-Chafing Thigh Bands – Prevent Thigh Chafing – Beige Onyx, Size C
- Sexy Basics Womens 3 Pack Sheer & Sexy Cotton Spandex Boyshort Yoga Bike Shorts (3XL, Black/White/Kahki)
Here are my top chafing products (ranked).
Mini Travel Humidifier
Ever sat on a flight for 8 hours sneezing and dribbling from the nose? All that recycled air means dust, dirt, and other people’s skin cells are circulating in the air irritating your nose. A mini travel humidifier can help alleviate some of that irritation.
April says, “That style is nice because you can take the whole thing apart and clean it. I also like the ones with the tiny little reservoir of water.”
Buy a mini travel humidifier.
Not just a summer gardening hair accessory, bandanas can be your washcloth, hankie and more!
Christi says, “I used it to cover my hair in the rain, as well as tie back my hair when I washed my face at night, when I got really sick in London it became a hankie when I couldn’t get to tissue (obviously it was well washed afterward!), when I went to Paris, the host at my AirBNB had given me clean towels but forgot to give me a clean washcloth so the bandana became my wash cloth as well. While I was on the train I wanted to make sure my bags were secured together so I used to bandana and tied the handle of my backpack to the strap of my purse. I never leave without one now since they fold so small and can be so versatile and useful.”
Buy an Original Elephant Brand Bandanas 100% Cotton-5 Pack for your next trip
Mini Power Strip
Nothing is worse than getting to your destination to find out you forgot to charge your device. Whether it’s your camera or phone, there’s no need to prioritize which one charges first, with your own mini power strip.
Shauna says, “They’re great. I just saw one Amazon for $15 with 4 USB ports and 2 outlets, add a converter to that and hello new charging station for the hostels!”
Buy a FosPower 4-Outlet
Noise Cancelling Headphones
All it takes is one talkative passenger to scar you for good. Cancel out noisy passengers sitting around you and slip into uninterrupted nirvana.
Annie says, “I love my noise cancelling Bluetooth headphones (I have the beats over ear ones). They are bulky and take up some space, so I resisted for years. But once I tried them, I prioritize fitting them in my bag. I will even admit to silent dance parties in my hotel room!”
Get more sleep and wake up with more time to explore and less time primping? Sign me up! Dry shampoo saves you time and energy by preserving your hair for a few hours or a whole nother day.
Lacy says, “I take a lot of 3-4 day trips across Europe every month and it saves me from packing all the things. I can go the whole trip without washing my hair!”
Being launched to the other side of the world in a Pringles can with 50 strangers is a strange experience. Especially since there is such a stigma around fat people on planes, any way to make the trip more comfortable is worth the note. With these plus size travel must-haves, maybe you will find your excursions to be more efficient. That means more time for fun and less time waiting for your clothes to dry or nursing chafed thighs.