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Since most American women are larger today, the issue of travel and overweight is important. Specifically can you travel and be comfortable if you are very overweight? Some tips from The Women’s Travel Group:

Here are the Yes’s and No’s:

Can you fit into the seat?  United, for instance, will require you to purchase a second seat if they determine you need it. If you buy 2 seats together, you should buy them at the same time. If you do this at check in, you will pay whatever fare is then available and might have to fly on another flight if 2 adjacent seats are not free. You must be able to sit with the arm rest down and close the seat belt.  If someone tries to take your extra seat, present the boarding pass for it confidently. Current information on airlines rules here.

Can you be assured of an aisle seat? The answer is no; however if you sign up for the FF program of your reserved airline, you have a better chance. If you arrive at the airport early, again, you might have first dibs on unassigned seats. If you are connecting from somewhere else to your international flight, get  seats at the first check in, which is likely to be hours before the next group has a chance. Here are a few more tips.

If you are not heavy  but use your own pillow, a regular seat belt can be also tight. I experienced this problem and am a size 12!  You can ask for a seat belt extender which usually has about 25 inches of slack.Plussizeprincess.com says don’t let a crew member make you feel embarrassed for needing one!http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/171404169818-0-1/s-l1000.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.ebay.com/sch/Car-and-Truck-Seat-Belts-Parts/33725/bn_584070/i.html&h=1000&w=1000&tbnid=GjrQ7uSc62HEKM:&docid=1vbzpZIzaY7f7M&ei=PksyVtO0Esjb-QGG26mQDQ&tbm=isch&client=safari&ved=0CCMQMygGMAZqFQoTCNPL_eSO6MgCFchtPgodhm0K0g

Yes, you can ask your tour operator if there will be empty seats on the bus so you are not squeezed.. (They will however, not usually know until final numbers in the group. As more book, the bus size can change from say a Mercedes 16 seater to a 45 seat bus).

Will you have enough to eat while on tour? Honestly, we all have different appetite quantities. We recommend bringing your own snacks and not being afraid to munch when you need to: wrapped cookies, fruit you peel yourself, bread into little sandwiches from breakfast will supplement. A favorite of mine is the small tubs of peanut butter made by Jif and the peanut butter filled pretzels from Trader Joe’s.

Can you manage the physical part of the trip? If yes, fine. If no, ask where you can wait during the difficult time frame. If iffy, do not overdo it and talk s to the guide. There will usually be a taxi to take you to the destination.

What kind of clothes will work?  Leggings with long tops are fine everywhere today. Make comfort the priority, your cake walk very unimportant.

Hotels? Older hotels will have small rooms; if you can afford it, ask for a double room for single occupancy and avoid the top floors which used to be antics. Old hotels might also have tiny bathrooms; cheaper cabins on cruise ships have minute bathrooms, be aware.

So don’t stay home, know your limits, be proud of yourself and ask the awkward questions up front. Travel Tips from The Women’s Travel Group, www.thewomenstravelgroup.com  Ask about the last spots on our Paris for the Holidays  trip, Mexico City or more. All sizes welcome-as long as they come with a smile.