The Big Men Traveling Woe: 10 Problems They Face and How to Overcome Them

Big Men Traveling Woe

Are you a big man tired of uncomfortable flights or road trips? Do you struggle to find accommodations that cater to your size? If so, you’re not alone.

In fact, research from Harvard shows that a significant percentage of men in the US alone have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher, putting them in the obese category.

We will discuss the various problems faced by big men during travel and provide practical solutions to help overcome them. From finding the right size of airplane seat to dealing with mental health, we’ve got you covered.

So, sit back, relax, and read on to learn how to make your next trip a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

overweight man parked car

Problem 1: Airplane Seats are Too Small

It is a well-known fact that the aviation experience can be quite daunting for big men. The reason being the size of the seats, which is not in congruence with their body structure, leading to discomfort during long-haul flights or on economy flights.

The issue can be further compounded when airlines don’t offer an option for extra-wide seating. This makes it arduous for them to find a comfortable spot to rest their legs and bodies.

However, fret not, as there are ways to alleviate this problem.

For starters, big men can make an informed decision by selecting an airline that provides them with extra-wide seating, which can be validated beforehand either online or by directly contacting the airline. Additionally, purchasing a seat upgrade before the flight can also be considered, as this should provide more legroom and overall space for comfort.

Should a seat upgrade be beyond reach, airplane blankets and pillows can come in handy to cushion the seat and make it more comfortable.

Frequent trips to the restroom and other spacious areas of the plane can also help relieve the discomfort. Choosing to fly during off-peak hours can further reduce the number of passengers in the same cabin, leading to more room for big men to move around and stretch their limbs.

Problem 2: Crowded Public Transportation

The transportation system, a vital aspect of human mobility, can pose significant challenges for individuals of more ample girth. For the most part, buses and trains present confining, restrictive seating arrangements that result in a journey that is anything but pleasant and convenient.

As such, for corpulent individuals, there exists a myriad of options for public transportation. One such recourse is to engage a taxicab or procure private conveyance, thus ensuring that adequate room is available for comfortable travel.

Additionally, a perusal of the public transportation landscape may reveal some companies that offer more spacious seating arrangements for those of heftier dimensions. Indeed, some omnibus enterprises proffer larger seats, while certain rail networks have on offer seating in the first-class carriage. In this manner, a plethora of options is available, thereby enabling the selection of the most suitable alternative for one’s individual requirements.

For an even more comfortable sojourn, meticulous planning and assessment of the seating arrangements should be undertaken prior to embarking upon the journey. This careful approach allows for the identification of the optimal mode of transportation, one that accommodates the individual’s size and monetary outlay.

For those who traverse the transportation grid on a regular basis, a nurturing of cordial relations with the public transportation authorities may prove advantageous, as such an association could yield special provisions for larger passengers.

Problem 3: Inadequate Seatbelt Lengths

In the realm of travel, larger individuals often face a conundrum due to inadequate vehicle designs, which fail to cater to their size requirements.

Specifically, seat belts present a noteworthy challenge, as they often possess insufficient length to accommodate larger individuals, thereby posing a dual threat of discomfort and perilous safety hazards. Fortunately, there exists a pragmatic solution in the form of a seat belt extender, which permits the passenger to securely and comfortably buckle up by offering a more expansive seat belt area.

However, when procuring a seat belt extender, one must ensure that it aligns with the seat belt system of the vehicle in question and adheres to applicable safety regulations. Moreover, the extender’s structural composition should be of a sturdy nature, and it should be fastened correctly to the seat belt to ensure the highest degree of safety and comfort.

Interestingly, many car rental companies furnish seat belt extenders as an additional amenity to benefit larger passengers, and it behooves one to inquire about this perk beforehand while booking the car rental.

Suppose the larger individual is traveling with a partner. In that case, it is worthwhile to consider obtaining a two-part seat belt system that facilitates customized adjustments for both parties, thereby endowing them with greater flexibility and obviating the need for a seat belt extender, which might entail additional expenses.

Problem 4: Limited Clothing Options

The conundrum of finding suitable apparel for corpulent gentlemen can be a daunting task, particularly when embarking on voyages to foreign lands.

Many stores seem to exclusively cater to those of average stature, leading to an arduous quest for accommodating clothing that fits snugly. Even if a store happens to proffer plus-size clothing, the available options may fall short in terms of quality or style, and ultimately prove unsatisfactory.

To surmount this issue, ample research is required for big men to pinpoint clothing stores in their destination country that offer plus-size clothing.

Alternatively, in cases where such stores are elusive, packing personal wardrobe items would guarantee comfortable and appropriate clothing throughout the trip. Moreover, making prior purchases and online orders are alternate courses of action to consider.

In preparation for the journey, big men must be mindful of incorporating neutral-coloured apparel items in their ensemble, to facilitate a versatile mix and match approach and avoid overpacking. When scouting for clothes, ascertaining one’s precise measurements is crucial, as trying on varying sizes ensures a suitable and snug fit.

Finally, it is imperative that big men opt for clothing crafted from breathable materials such as cotton and linen, as these fabrics provide much-needed ventilation and preserve comfort levels, especially when traversing different locations.

Problem 5: Overweight Luggage Fees

When it comes to the topic of packing for big men, it is no secret that the issue of overweight luggage fees at airports can be a significant hassle. Fees can pile up and potentially ruin a vacation experience. Therefore, in order to avoid this unwanted monetary burden, it is essential for big men to take these necessary precautions.


  1. The act of packing light is of utmost importance. It is crucial to consider the essentials and contemplate sending souvenirs back through international mail or other methods if deemed necessary. This strategy can help prevent overload in luggage, which is a primary factor in overweight luggage fees.


  1. Using a luggage scale is an effective way to avoid overweight luggage charges. By weighing the luggage before flying, big men can identify items that can be switched to a carry-on bag, decreasing the overall weight. In situations where lightening the load is still not enough, purchasing an extra bag may be an option, as most airlines allow passengers to check extra bags for a fee.


  1. Before flying, it is also essential to check the airline’s policies regarding weight restrictions and overweight luggage fees. Being aware of the costs associated with bringing too much weight onboard the plane can help prevent the surprise of unexpected fees.


  1. It is worth noting that negotiation with airline attendants may be possible once at the airport. When bags are slightly over the weight limit, many airlines may waive the fee as a one-time courtesy, so it’s worth trying to negotiate.

Problem 6: Limited Activity Options

In the realm of travel activities, larger men may face some obstacles, particularly when it comes to aquatic ventures like snorkeling or scuba diving. This challenge arises from the inadequacy of equipment to suit their physique, which may result in discomfort or perilous situations.

The solution to this issue is to seek out activity providers that cater to plus-size individuals, lest one desire a harrowing ordeal. Nevertheless, even if the activity provider does indeed offer such equipment, it is judicious to communicate with them beforehand to ascertain the suitability of the equipment and the viability of the activity in terms of safety.

If one encounters a situation where the provider is unable to supply the requisite gear, then one must widen their search and explore other options in the pursuit of finding a provider who can cater to their particular needs.

Problem 7: Negative Stereotypes

The issue of negative stereotyping and discrimination against big men when traveling is a pervasive and deeply concerning matter.

It can manifest in a multitude of forms, ranging from derogatory comments and hostile stares to outright refusal of service, solely based on the physical size of an individual. Such prejudiced attitudes can have a demoralizing effect on big men, resulting in feelings of disconnection and unwelcomeness.

To counter this issue, it is imperative for big men to advocate for themselves and assert their right to be treated with respect and dignity at all times. When faced with discriminatory behavior, it is incumbent upon them to raise their voice and not tolerate any form of mistreatment.

Additionally, they can benefit from seeking support and assistance from travel groups or organizations that prioritize inclusivity and diversity, as these entities can offer valuable guidance and advice to help them navigate complex and challenging situations while traveling.

Taking care of oneself and practicing self-care is critical for big men while traveling. They must take adequate breaks, prioritize a balanced and nutritious diet, engage in regular physical exercise, and maintain proper hydration levels.

By adopting these measures, big men can ensure their physical and mental well-being, thus allowing them to enjoy positive travel experiences, unencumbered by the burdens of negative stereotypes and discrimination.

Problem 8: Excessive Walking and Standing

When it comes to traveling, one of the biggest challenges for individuals who possess a more sizable physical stature is the extensive amount of walking and standing that comes with it. This can lead to a whole host of difficulties, including but not limited to, intense exhaustion, muscular spasms, and even physical pain.

The sheer amount of effort required to traverse such distances can be overwhelming and taxing, especially for those who might not be accustomed to such a rigorous regimen.

To combat this, it is imperative that individuals with a larger build carefully strategize and plan their itinerary with breaks interspersed throughout the day. These pauses in activity will allow them to take a momentary reprieve, granting them temporary respite from the unyielding stress of walking and standing.

In addition, it is recommended that they carry a portable chair or stool, which will provide a comfortable seating area to rest and take a load off, so to speak.

To further alleviate the physical strain of traveling, big men should also invest in high-quality, comfortable footwear that can provide adequate support and cushioning for their feet, legs, and lower back. Such shoes can reduce the burden placed upon these areas, making the experience less demanding and less excruciating.

Of course, maintaining proper nutrition and hydration is essential to ensuring optimal performance and minimizing fatigue. This can be accomplished through a combination of a balanced diet, the intake of supplements, and the consumption of adequate amounts of water.

By doing so, big men can ensure that they remain energized and revitalized throughout their travels, allowing them to experience all the wonders and beauty that the world has to offer.

Problem 9: Finding suitable accommodations

It is vital to note that larger men may encounter difficulties in finding suitable accommodations while traveling, primarily due to spatial limitations in standard hotel rooms. These spaces are typically tailored for individuals of average size, equipped with small beds, low ceilings, and narrow doorways, making them arduous for larger people to navigate.

As such, it behooves big men to conduct extensive research into hotels that offer more spacious rooms or suites equipped with larger beds that can accommodate their specific needs. Moreover, accommodations tailored to individuals with disabilities may also serve as a viable alternative, given that these rooms are typically more expansive and comfortable.

Smaller details, such as ensuring the hotel has an elevator or ramp access, can also make traveling significantly more manageable for larger men. Finally, big men should consider booking their accommodations well in advance, to ensure that their requirements are adequately met.

Problem 10: Embarrassment

The quandary of voyaging can be an originator of unrest and hesitancy for larger-than-average gentlemen. Embarking on voyages to unfamiliar destinations, a considerable distance away from one’s native land, may seem formidable and augment emotions of insecurity.

The crux of the matter is that the upkeep of psychological well-being should be a top priority, and the conscientious practice of self-care while on the road is of paramount importance. Engaging in elementary exercises such as mindfulness meditation, the diligent regulation of one’s breath, and the maintenance of a personal journal, can all prove beneficial.

In addition, conversing with a mental health professional or therapist can provide helpful and productive guidance in moments of extreme trepidation, and can contribute to fostering a sense of self-assurance.

Other means of self-care may entail conversing with an empathetic friend, co-worker, or family member who can offer support and empathy while one is away from home. Furthermore, it may be advantageous and invigorating to take a hiatus from the rigors of travel and engage in restorative leisure activities.


Is it advisable for big men to travel by train?

Yes, it is generally advisable for big men to travel by train. Trains offer more space and legroom compared to other modes of transportation such as airplanes or buses, which can be uncomfortable for larger individuals.

Additionally, many trains offer seating options with wider seats or more legroom, which can further increase comfort during the journey. However, it is always a good idea for big men (or anyone) to check with the specific train company they will be traveling with to ensure that they offer appropriate accommodations for larger passengers.

Are there any destination spots that are particularly accommodating for bigger travelers?

Traveling as a big person can be challenging: from battling narrow seats in airplanes to finding appropriate clothing in a foreign country, larger men may feel unwelcome and out of place while journeying abroad. However, there are certain destinations that are particularly well-suited for larger travelers, and can provide a more enjoyable and relaxed experience.

For example, many European and North American cities have embraced larger travelers in recent years, making more efforts to accommodate bigger people. This includes providing popular tourist areas with wider seats and aisles, as well as larger changing rooms, showers, and other amenities in hotels and hostels. These features can be a welcome surprise to the big traveler, and can make the experience more comfortable and stress-free.

Some larger cities have created “fat-friendly” networks: groups or clubs that help big travelers access places that are particularly accommodating for their size. These networks often provide advice, tips, and resources for larger travelers, with insider information about the best places to find large-sized items like clothing and shoes. Some cities are even taking steps to create transatlantic or intercontinental “fat-friendly zones”, so that big people can feel more welcomed and accepted regardless of their location.

In any case, if you are a larger traveler looking for a more pleasant experience, then it’s worth doing some research and exploring where you can find especially accommodating spots. Knowing that you have access to resources and places that are tailored to your size can make the experience much more enjoyable and stress-free.

How can larger travelers ensure their safety when visiting new places?

When it comes to traveling, safety concerns can be especially serious for big men. Increased height and weight can make travelers more noticeable and, thus, more vulnerable to theft or attack. Whether you’re heading out for business or pleasure, here are a few tips on how to stay safe no matter where you’re headed.

Always do your research before you travel. Find out as much as you can about your destination. Know the customs and culture so you can blend in and avoid drawing too much attention to yourself. Make sure you have contact information for and know the locations of your embassy and local police so you can access help if needed.

Plan ahead and stay organized. Double check all of your documents, especially your passport and other travel-related items. If you’re traveling abroad, brush up on the local language so you can communicate in an emergency. Pack only the items you need—avoid making yourself stand out with large bags or parcels.

Be mindful of your attire. Opt for neutral colors and conservative styles in countries where religious dress codes are strongly enforced. Be conscious of how you move through a space and the type of attention you may be drawing to yourself.

Stay aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something feels wrong, don’t hesitate to get out of there quickly. Beware of scams and dodgy areas. Avoid talking to strangers or engaging in questionable activities.

Take extra precautions when visiting unfamiliar places. Travel in groups, or consider hiring a security guard. If you do find yourself in a threatening situation, don’t be afraid to make noise and call for help. With these safety tips in mind, you’ll be able to travel with greater peace of mind.

Final Thoughts

big man eating

In conclusion, big men face numerous challenges when traveling, from finding comfortable seating on planes and trains to locating accommodations that can accommodate their size.

The portrayal of Brendan Fraser as Charlie in the movie The Whale highlights the difficulties that big men may face while moving around. These challenges demonstrate the need for greater awareness and accommodations for the needs of big men during travel, including larger seats and hotel rooms.

With increased attention and consideration, we can create a more inclusive and comfortable travel experience for all individuals, regardless of their size.

Share via
Don’t Miss Our Stories
Enter your e-mail below and sign up for our newsletter

I have read and agree to the terms and conditions

Send this to a friend