Airlines and Flying
We've all heard horror stories about how difficult it can be to fly when you're a plus sized woman. With summer on the way and travel plans in the works, we've pulled together some tips to make flying a more comfortable experience and get your vacation off to a fantastic start.
Picking your Airline
Different airlines have different policies on how to "handle" a plus sized person. This can lead to uncomfortable experiences and embarrassment, by way of bing singled out and being asked to purchase a second seat. This determination is usually in the hands of the flight attendants, whose opinions may vary-or you may have to broach the subject prior to boarding yourself, which can be equally uncomfortable.
But not to worry! There are plus size friendly airlines out there. Take a look at this list of airline policies to see which airlines will work best for you: www.grandstyles.com/airlines
The Seat Guru
Airline policies aside, TripAdvisor presents us with a comprehensive listing of seat sizes on any airline that you could possibly think of: The Seat Guru! Visit them online at: www.seatguru.com/charts/generalcharts
This may help you not only pick your airline, but understand just what sort of plane you may be boarding. It might sound corny to say, but the sky is the limit! These days most airlines provide the model numbers of the planes they will be using for each leg of your flight. When in doubt or if the information is not available, it never hurts to ask.
Seatbelt Extenders are a helpful tool to make those already small seat-belts more comfortable for larger passengers. The FAA banned the use of personal seatbelt extenders (those brought from home) due to safety concerns, but airlines still offer these to their passengers by request. If you are ever concerned about whether or not you need one, you can always speak with a flight attendant privately before taking your seat.
When to Fly
Picking flights has never been easier. Many airlines offer the ability to see their seating charts when you book, and even select your seats ahead of time. Whenever possible, select an emptier flight, usually found during off peak times. This can vary day to day, and even by the month. You'll be able to tell by ticket prices and seat availability just when these times are, and many online booking sites now offer you the ability to select times and flexible rates if this is convenient for you. If an offer says "only 2 tickets left at this price!" you can probably assume that flight is a capacity and that seat availability is going to be sparse.
Utilize Your Resources
We all know how uncomfortable flying can be, so always keep your eyes open for opportunities to make it easier on yourself.
If you need extra time to board, take advantage of the pre-boarding period so that you can get settled before the rush.
Flight attendants are one of your best resources. They can help to seat you in another location if your current seat assignment is uncomfortable (room permitting) or perhaps even seat you next to an empty seat if you prefer.
You know yourself and your own comfort level, and these people are there to help make your trip as enjoyable as possible. Never be afraid to ask for help!
What to Wear
Comfort is key, especially on longer voyages.
For all travelers, comfortable, flat shoes are going to be your best friend. Something that you can slip on and off easily will expedite the time you spend getting through airport security-flats and sandals all the way!
MiB also has a variety of new, comfortable skirts
-whether you're coasting in coach or flying first class, these new styles will offer you something simple and stylish without any fuss.
And of course, don't forget a jacket
for layering! The summer sun may be hot, but you never know when to expect the cool of summer nights. We have what you need right here: (Shop our plus size Outerwear
now!) or even something dressy like our Pashmina Scarf
might do the trick!
For many First Class travelers, you're jetting on your way from one job to the next. You'll want to throw together a professional but comfortable outfit, in wrinkle resistant materials. It never hurts to be prepared with an umbrella in your carry on, just in case of rain. You don't want to have your nice outfit ruined by unexpected weather!
Not all of us need or want to travel by air. Many of us still choose to drive-whether we're traveling cross country or just taking a short drive to the beach. Cars suffer from some of the same discomforts that planes do, so we thought it best to leave a few recommendations for your potential car-related travels as well.
Your safety belt is one of the most important tools that your vehicle is equipped with. Not only this, but nearly all states have strict laws regarding the wearing of a safety belt while acting as a driver or passenger in a car. If the safety belt in the vehicle which you are driving or riding in does not fit you comfortably, this could lead to injury in the case of an accident.
Vehicle manufacturers can generally help with adjusting these seat-belts and many also offer extenders if needed. Seatbelt extenders increase the length of a seatbelt to give you the ability to wear it properly. If you feel that you need one, try to call a local dealership for your make of vehicle to inquire (i.e.: Ford, Toyota, etc.).
This goes for you, and for your electronics! Don't let yourself go too long before eating. A quick trip to a grocery store can help you stock up on quick snacks or easy meals that will keep you fuller longer than the drive-through alternative and keep your energy going for the drive ahead.
Many of us use GPS or our smart phones for navigation these days. Don't forget to pack chargers to keep these devices alive longer. They'll do no one good on a dead battery!
Our tech savvy lifestyle has led many of us to become dependent on our smartphones and our GPS to get around. When signal fails or electronics suffer a depleted battery, what do we do?
Road Atlases are our tried and true answer. When driving on the highway, roads marked with two digits (I-95) are major highways, while roads marked with three (I-395) direct you to more suburban areas. If you're looking for a more scenic route, the latter could be a fun option for you-but when strapped for time, do you best to stick to the most direct route.
Local rest stops and gas stations still carry atlases if you don't have one available. Roads change constantly, so it's always a good idea to ask for directions when in doubt.
Let's admit it, not all of us know how to change a tire. But that doesn't mean that we can't be prepared in the event of a stranded vehicle.
Some things you'll want to keep on hand are vehicle necessities, such as a spare tire, jumper cables, a funnel, a quart of motor oil, windshield wiper fluid and a gallon of coolant. If you're not sure what your car needs, most automotive retailers can tell you easily and point you in the right direction.
Preparing you car ahead of time can also be important. Tire traction that may work in your home environment may not be safe for your destination (as is the case with traveling from arid regions into wet regions, or from warmer regions into snowy weather). You'll want to make sure you're as prepared as possible before heading along your way. Making sure that your car is up-to-date on oil changes and maintenance is also a good practice. If you're renting, rent from a reliable company and make sure that you do a walk-around with the rental agent to check for damage or mechanical issues before you take the car.
There are also excellent and cost effective car safety kits that you shouldn't be without. These typically include a first aid kit, jumper cables, road flares, a flashlight, a blanket and more. Especially when stranded in the dark or in the cold, some of these things-which you might not imagine that you'd ever need, could be invaluable.
This also again stresses the importance of keeping your electronics well charged. A cellular phone connection, with contact information for a roadside assistance program (AAA offers this, and many insurance companies offer it also for additional premium), can get help to you as quickly as possible.
Taking breaks frequently, especially on longer road trips, is very important. Stop for restroom breaks and walk around to stretch your legs. Even though you are in a seated position, this does not stay comfortable for long. It is important to get out of the car and get movement whenever possible.
When taking a long road trip, try to switch drivers. If this is not possible, don't push yourself too hard. You know your limits, and if you begin to get fatigued it is better to stop for the day and start fresh in the morning.
Be mindful of toll roads! Some routes can avoid them entirely, but may take you so far off the beaten path that you'll end up paying more in gas than you would have in tolls. And also remember that not all of them take credit cards, nor are all of the toll booths manned. You'll want to have a variety of change and cash available to tackle these situations.
What to Wear
We wouldn't be doing our jobs if we didn't' mention clothes in all of this, would we? What you wear on a road trip can highly impact your comfort!
with a hint of stretch, short sleeved tops
and breathable materials are all go-to items for such an event. MiB recommends items like our go-to Simple Tee
and our Denim Crop Pants
Trains and Buses
Whether you're talking public transportation or traveling long distance-trains and buses are a world apart from the realm of airline travel. The biggest thing to remember when traveling by these public transit methods is that you are not purchasing a single assigned seat on the vehicle-as you would on a plane; you are purchasing the ability to use the service. This can leave you in potentially close quarters, or needing to stand, especially in situations like using the subway trains or public buses in large cities.
Long distance buses and trains can be a great way to see the beauty of the landscape without the added stress of having to drive yourself. For longer train trips, you may want to elect to pay more for a sleeper car. This is a more comfortable, albeit more expensive option. Be mindful of the limited space on these vehicles for your luggage and belongings. Similar to a plane, they have storage areas and overhead compartments.
Buses, such as the Greyhound, are very similar in this regard. Larger items are typically stowed underneath the vehicle, with some overhead room along the top. Unlike trains, these buses do not have sleeper cars.
For your comfort, get up and walk around whenever you can. Buses make stops along the road, and it is very important to get up and stretch your legs whenever possible.
Keep hydrated and don't fill up on empty snacks, which is very easy to do on the road. Much like with taking a road trip, you can easily stock up on some simple, easy items to eat along the way, and between meals. Dining cars will also provide meals for train travel.
What to Wear
Unless you're traveling short distance for business, we definitely suggest wearing breathable, comfortable outfits. A pair of jeans
and a tee
, a comfortable skirt or dress
-you can even keep business fresh with our Linen line!
Sun and Sea
Whether you're lounging by the pool or swimming laps, we've got the swimwear that you need!
Our styles are varied-from the daringly cute (and deliciously retro) polka dot Halter Bikini Swim Top
and High Rise Swim Bottoms
, to the tried and true chlorine resistant Chloroban™ Skirted Swimsuit
. With so many options available, it'll be easy to make it yours-and look fantastic no matter what you choose!
Here are a few tips to make your sun and sea experience a splash!
Water aerobics are a great, low impact way to get exercise and can be a lot of fun! Select from our Chloroban swimwear to get the most bang for your buck for regular use in a chlorinated pool. (offered in these styles, insert hyperlink).
It can be easy to forget that even though you’re surrounded by water, you’re still working up a sweat during your workout! Keep a water bottle handy to replenish yourself, and sunblock if you’re working out in an outdoor pool. Swim caps can be a useful accessory to protect your hair from the harsh pool chemicals, and goggles for your eyes. Even if you keep your head mostly above water, the splash can cause irritation.
A Day at the Beach
You don’t want to forget the essentials when taking a trip to the beach. On a family vacation, pack a set of matching towels so that your spot will be distinctive from others. Make sure you are adequately protected with sunblock, have a pair of sunglasses, and a wide brimmed hat to protect you from the sun – or best of all, a large umbrella serves the function of all of these combined.
And did you know that you can clean out an old sun block container for a safe place for your phone, money and keys? Even when bringing your beach bag with you this can help keep those items safe when you’re out enjoying the water. There are also any number of items to protect your valuables – from kindles to cell phones, making them water and salt proof.
And do not forget the drinking water! Just like with swimming in the pool, your body is soaking up sun and losing water at the same time. Large bottles are best, and refill them as often as needed. The longer you’re out, the more you’ll need.
What to Wear
Your bathing suit is completely up to you. It’s all about confidence! Know that no matter what you pick, no matter what you wear – you’re about to hit the pool or the beach as a confident, beautiful woman.
We have cute cover-ups to accessorize (like the Cape Cod Cover Up
, take a look!) as well as hats and handbags. Otherwise, your next best accessory is your smile!