Following my recent exchange with Mr. Tony Harrell from Abundant Travel, here is the part 2 of our Q&A!
What would you respond to people who think they are too fat to travel?
I would say that we need to talk! *smile* In all seriousness, I would want to discuss with my clients any physical or medical considerations they have. Certainly, the needs of someone using in a mobility vehicle may be different from someone who does not need such a device. But patience and flexibility will go a long way towards finding a travel experience that is right for them.
Any countries/areas in the world you think are more “people of size friendly”?
While I have not yet visited any Eastern European countries, if the pictures of local and regional tourists sunning themselves on the beach in bikinis and Speedos of all sizes is any indication, that is an area where world travelers of size should feel right at home! Broadly speaking, many countries in the Caribbean, Central America (plus Mexico) and Africa can be welcoming to people of size in terms of attitude if not always in physical accommodations. In the United States, some destinations that I would consider to be “traveler of size friendly” would include New Orleans, Las Vegas, Memphis and San Antonio among others.
Any part(s) of the world that are particularly difficult to travel to for plus-size travelers?
There are some countries that have infrastructure not developed to North American standards, feature historical sites that may be difficult to traverse, or both. This can be a challenge for many travelers in general but plus-size travelers would benefit from working with an advisor before embarking on such a trip.
If you had just one piece of advice to share with the plus-size travelers community, what would it be?
Be open and flexible. There’s a fair chance that you may need to make extra adjustments and/or investments to make your travel dreams come true. But you are worth it, yes?
How do you see the future of the travel industry dedicated to people of size?
I predict that more destinations and hotels will promote themselves as being welcoming to plus-size travelers. There are already many hotels that are increasing the number of their accessible rooms, an option that can be accommodating for travelers of size, whether or not a mobility device is used. While I don’t see the United States government passing a “one passenger, one fare” law like the one that exists in Canada, I am optimistic that US airlines will adopt a consistent policy that favors passengers of size that are proactive about their needs.