I took a year off of major travel in 2018 due to becoming a homeowner last year. Therefore, my feet have been super itchy to get planning a new adventure. I’d mulled over a Mediterranean cruise, returning to Alaska, a train tour across Canada as well as a grand tour around Ireland and Scotland. Everything just gave me very mild joy when pondering. I knew what I really wanted to do.
Way back in 2007 I’d done my first trip to Greece. The trip was wonderful, still one of my favorite travel memories of my life. We’d flown into Athens and spent a few days around the main city before island hopping over to Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. While I’d always wanted to return, I’d wanted to stay on the mainland of Greece this time.
I found the perfect tour that begins in Athens and does the mainland of Greece including Olympia, Delphi, Nafplion as well as the mother load: two glorious days in Corfu. My Mother’s favorite book takes place on Corfu and of course, she’s made sure I’ve fallen in love with the book, too. The book, This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart is a romantic thriller that just draws you to Corfu. We’ve also added a three night stay in Mykonos onto the trip because we fell in LOVE with the resort we stayed in in 2007.
So, what goes into planning a trip like this as a plus sized traveller…? Besides a bit of stress, it’s a lot of logistics and sadly a wee bit more money than your standard traveler.
Once you’ve found the perfect trip the main things that come up next is the actual travel arrangements. I’ll talk about each in a different bullet below: Reality. Planes. Transfers. Hotels. Your shopping list.
- Reality: First you must assess if you can do this trip. For Greece we know we’ll need to be able to walk a minimum of 2-3 miles per day over uneven terrain. We’ll need to be able to endure walking up steep hills for things like the Acropolis. We’ll be responsible for our heavy luggage for a portion of the trip, so we have to make sure we pack accordingly. To make sure we can handle all of this, we plan on bringing two walking sticks to make sure there aren’t any issues with the uneven terrain. I also personally plan on stepping up my walking so the 2-3 miles gets easier over the coming months before the trip.
- Planes: This is obviously the most stressful part of booking. If you haven’t already, please read my blog on Plus Sized Air Travel for tons and tons of tips and advice on the topic. However, building on that post, I’ve noticed a horrible new trend with booking flights. In the past you book a flight and boom, you have everything you need. Now it seems you’re paying extra not just for baggage, but to choose you seating. For instance, for this trip I had to pay $17 a seat per person, per leg of the journey to choose a seat. Suddenly that airfare isn’t a deal anymore, right ?Additionally, my best new discovery for purchasing flights goes like this: Never stop looking for a deal. I’d looked on and off for about a week before we finally purchased our tour, so I roughly knew what flights were going to run. But deals disappear and new ones pop up all of the time. I mainly use Kayak.com and wasn’t really finding what I needed in terms of cost and convenience. Hours upon hours I searched and scoured, until one moment in time, a brand new flight I’d never seen popped up that was *close* to perfect. So, again, never stop looking for a deal. Since I buy two economy seats, being able to choose my seats paramount. There is no point to paying double for a flight if one of your seats is in another row of the plane, you know?!
- Transfers: At the very least you need to know how you’re getting to the airport. Sometimes, it’s just simple. But I’ve taken trips where I’ve taken planes, trains, buses, ferries, taxis, subways and rental cars all in the same trip. I personally will always know how I’m getting places for my peace of mind. For instance, I have my ferry tickets and know what bus I’m taking from the ferry to my hotel in Mykonos. I know this so there are no surprises to be had and my fluffiness won’t get in the way of me having a fabulous time. I highly recommend you keep all transfers in mind.
- Hotels: The first thing I consider when choosing a hotel is location. For a city like Paris neighborhood really matters. Do you want to be in a quiet zone? In the thick of it? Near museums? Do you plan on taking public transportation? If so, make an effort to be near an underground station. Additionally, for a fluffy person, and take it from someone whose made this mistake, does the hotel have an elevator/lift? Think about that 50 pound suitcase of yours and climbing 3 flights or more of stairs. Also, is it a long trip? Check to see if they have laundry facilities. For Greece, it’s all about the water for me. We’ll be staying seaside!
- Your shopping list: One of the best parts of traveling is the planning phase and best of all, the new things you just HAVE to have for the trip. OK, I like to shop. So, I always think about what is needed. Special walking shoes, a new bathing suit, a cute hat. But in all reality, as I said many times in my post about Packing for a Plus Sized Trip, you must take everything you need. Some countries will simply not have your size, or your brand. Since I destroyed my good travel shoes on my last big trip, I’m buying a new pair of sturdy travel shoes. Additionally, I’ve really gotten into midi-length dresses lately, so I’ll getting one or two more for the Greece trip, especially since they’re light and easy to clean in a sink if need be.
So, while all travel can be stressful to plan, being fluffy just adds one more thing to think about when you’re doing your planning. But as always, it isn’t impossible. So start planning!!