My West Coast Adventure - Tips And Tricks For The Fat Traveler

So like a lot of you I love to travel. From the very beginning trip to the airport, to the plane and then the actual adventure. I just love the excitement, the what if's, double checking the long list of things I want to see or do. But as a fat traveller there always is a little niggle my size may cause issues.

The size of the chairs and seat belt lengths on the plane are all researched prior and from that moment on all things are out of your control until you're there experiencing it. The looks, the what ifs, the panic that will (or may not be) experienced in that very moment. SO the best thing I do is just simply ignore and continue on trying not to let it panic me prior and ruin my holiday.

Anyway this post in particular is about the West Coat of America, a place I've been to twice in less than a year, and a place that 100% has my heart. I hope to share some generalised tips and tricks, some must sees and advice.

So number 1. The plane.

The biggest fear for me is the plane seat. The size and leg room is a big thing especially on an 11 hour flight. The seat belt isn't so much as issue as I'm never afraid to ask for the extender. My last two trips I have flown long haul with Norwegian. The seat (a little tight but better than most), the leg room perfect (I'm 5'10") and the seat belt, well that does up fine around my size 24 frame. My last trip I was SO lucky to have an entire row to myself due to a half empty plane, but of course this isn't always the case. I'd advise booking the window seat as it allows for extra space on side to play with. DO NOT choose an exit isle seat if your size 20/22 plus. If you're planning on the seat belt extender, you can't sit there, but these seats don't have the gap between the seat and arm and are encased (I unfortunately found this out my last trip and couldn't get my ass in.) I know the friend I was travelling with was on the window isle with this and I believe uncomfortably stayed seated, but if you're not willing I'd say the leg room isn't that bad on none exit rows.

Number 2. Car hire

If you're road tripping of course you need a car, or just staying in LA, HIRE A CAR. The US is the easiest place I have ever hired a car (including the UK.) It's SO straight forward ( remember your UK Licence - no need for the paper part and a credit card) and both times I've been given cars that are brand new with no more than a couple of thousand miles on the clock. I've always hired from and found they've been able to get GPS included (GET THIS if there's anything you do) and also if you're planning to drop off from another location to the original pick up, try and get the the one way fee included as this can be pretty hefty. The insurance in the USA also covers you for pretty much everything (although always read your individual policy) and I'd also say getting the additional breakdown and the full tank of petrol charge isn't needed (although again your choice.) As explained all the cars I have had have been brand spanking new and as for the petrol it's cheaper to file up yourself I've found (they'll ask for the petrol station you fill up at to be within 10 miles and grab a receipt from the purchase as they'll need that to aswell.) Anyway from pick up to drop off it's been the easiest process.

Number 3 Must do's

Okay this may be a little long and spilt between posts, but I am going to list my must see's in several locations across the West Coast. So first up is somewhere I really fell in love with. It just had such a vibe about it I can see why Hendrix, Vicious and the a like set up home here. 

San Fran

Okay San Fran stole my heart, despite the jet lag, tiredness and general confusion of time zones. The place is chilled, relaxed and just really one of a kind. I'm itching to get back after only spending 2 1/2 days here. We did however get up to loads so here's a few must have's

Lombard street

That windy bendy road really does bring in a crowd, and my only advise would be, unless you're like myself and Lauren who went the hard way of seeing it, catch a tram up from Hyde & Beach St tram station. It's literally like 3/4 stops up. But yes do not walk up the 2 hills towards it and then have to walk up the actual windy path way (unless of course that is your thing, and I'd suggust walking up it backwards to make it easier - plus the view is pretty awesome that way.) Either way it's a must see.

Bus Tours

This is probably the only time I'll ever suggest spending the money on a bus tour. I've always been sceptical on them, wanting to rather do things in my own time, but this actually worked out. We managed to secure a deal whilst walking near Hyde street after grabbing breakfast our first morning which I think was near the city sightseeing base. A hop on and off the bus, when we visited it had two routes (one red and another blue if I remember.) We mainly took the Red route which literally took us all around. It was a great way to get about, with the best commentary from each guide on board. I'd highly recommend it as I found out so much and saw most things I wanted to see especially with the short amount of time and at this starting point of the road trip we opt'd out of hiring a car. 

The Golden Gate Bridge

Well what can I say? The bridge was incredible. When we got there before 12 midday the fog had engulfed her, but it soon cleared and wow. We satin the cafe and had a needed caffine boost whilst waiting, but once visable she took my breath away. I'm afraid of heights and only managed to walk half way but I'd love to try and hire a bike to ride across. I'd also suggust finding spots to take some funny pictures (we got a couple where we look like giants picking it up haha.)


Okay you can NOT come and not visit Alcatraz. It's an absolutely incredible eye opening experience and the amount and wealth of history on this island amazed me. We spent a good couple of hours, getting on the first tour of the day. Exploring each and every corner, the tour was amazing. I love history and this seriously was just such an experience. I'd recommend it as a must do, and to book early.

and last but not least FOOD.

America is known for its big portions and it's love of food. And of course being fat and constantly looking out for amazing restaurants and trying new things, San Fran didn't disappoint. Now I'm so sure there are must goes to I missed and I won't waffle on but me and Lauren discovered by chance whilst walking around union square, this restaurant called Sears and since eating there I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I don't think it's known (Lauren mistook it for Sears the brand haha - but I could be wrong about the unknown part) but we had the blue fondue and OMG my mouth. Apricot jam, garlic, sourdough and blue cheese fondue dip. I'd go back just for that alone. I'd also say the portions are HUGE so us being us ordered what we thought would be starter and main which turned in to starter, can hardly finish main so take it home with us haha. Of course you can't not get Clam Chowder in a sourdough bowl either. We visited Chowders on Pier 39 and yes another reason I want to return.

Spending such a short amount of time here, I'd definitely head back. I'd love to explore more of the architecture, the vintage shops, do the famous house tours, sit in the park and ride a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. 

It captured my heart, and I'm excited to one day return. 

Keep your eyes peeled for my top LA tips in the next post.



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