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How Brands Can Be More Inclusive of Plus Size People In Travel

May 5, 2019

How Brands Can Be More Inclusive of Plus Size People In Travel

May 5, 2019

If you have been following me for a while you will know that I am incredibly passionate about the representation of plus size people in travel marketing. Whether it’s their websites, their social media or their influencer campaigns – my research has shown that brands feature little to no plus size people in their marketing materials.

Whilst it may seem as though it’s unimportant, they’re effectively excluded one of the biggest markets in the UK.

According to a report by the organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 63% of the UK is considered plus-size. With over 50% of the UK population being excluded from travel marketing completely, imagine the difference it could make if they start to cater to this audience too.

Although a lack of representation doesn’t influence everyone’s decision to book a holiday or go on a trip, a large portion of the 63% will be too scared or anxious to travel due to the fact they don’t recognise themselves in any of the marketing materials. If they can’t see someone they relate to, they will feel as though the experience will not cater to them.

For those with confidence issues, it can put them off travelling altogether.

Whilst there is A LONG way to go before any changes happen, I wanted to put together a guide for travel brands, showing them the small changes they can start to make in order to be more inclusive of plus size travellers.

Feature Plus Size Travellers on All of Your Social Media Channels

One of the most common forms of marketing is social media, especially when it comes to travel. With brands featuring photos of stunning destinations and beautiful travellers enjoying their own adventure, no one ever thinks to use a photo created by a plus size traveller.

As part of the plus size travel community I know that there are THOUSANDS of amazing photos out there that can be used, so why aren’t travel brands using them? Whether it’s not being able to find them or being too scared to post them, this is an easy first step to take.

When it comes to finding photos of plus size travellers in gorgeous destinations, you can search the popular #plussizetraveltoo, #fatgirlstravelling, #fatmentravelling, #fatgirlstraveltoo, #plussizetravel and #travelinclusivityhashtags. Save a few of your favourites and spread them out throughout your regular content.

Include Information That Will Be Useful to Plus Size Travellers on Your Website

There is a real shortage of information available when it comes to plus size travel, so featuring this on your website could be incredibly helpful to potential customers. Whether it’s details about the location of the hotel or the weight-limits for local activities – plus size people need this information too. Whilst I understand this information may be hard to find, to begin with, it only needs to be a couple of sentences in order to make a difference.

Offer Extra Advice to Plus Size Travellers Who May Be Concerned

If you’re unable to find any information that would help plus size passengers, you may want to include on your website that they’re able to contact you should they have any concerns. Whether its concerns surrounding the size of the seats on the plane or whether or not they’re going to be too big for the hotel beds – you need to be able to give them as much advice as you possibly can.

Use Plus Size Models in Your Video Shoots

One of the main things I noticed when researching travel marketing videos was that everyone looked the same. All of the families were same-sex, white, slim and very very happy. Whilst this may be the easier choices when it comes to casting, it definitely is representative of everyone who likes to travel. When you next go to film a campaign, consider casting plus size models in your videos. Not only will they resonate with more people, but they will show that yes, plus size people do travel too.

Use Plus Size Models in Your Campaign Photos

Similar to the above, casting plus size models in your campaign photos is another easy step to take. There are LOTS of incredible plus size models out there so when it comes to shooting, there really is no reason why they can’t be included too. We like to sunbathe, we like to swim, we like to hike and we definitely like to travel too.

Consider the Stock Imagery That You Use

After carrying out my research I had a lot of brands reach out to me to say that when it comes to imagery, they use stock sites in order to save money. Whilst I understand it’s a cost thing, there are also stock image sites out there that are designed to be more inclusive. EXAMPLES INCLUDE….

Feature Plus Size Influencers in Campaigns and on Press Trips

With the rise of bloggers and influencers, press trips are becoming more and more common. Whilst this is amazing for the travel industry, each and every press trip is starting to look exactly the same. There is never any diversity and with so many incredible plus size content creators out there, they should be considered for campaigns too.

When putting your potential list of attendees together, make sure you’re looking at a mix of different people. Search popular travel hashtags to find people that align with your brand’s core values, ensuring you’re representing a wide range of target audiences as you do.

Show A Wide Representation of People When It Comes to Your Brochures

As mentioned above, the imagery that you use is important. Although brochures are not as common as they used to be, they still need the same amount of care and attention other aspects of your business do.

Consider How You Can Be More Accommodating to Plus Size Travellers

Finally, it’s important you’re considering how accommodating your business is to plus size travellers. Whether it’s the size of the seats on your plane or the information you provide, catering for the 63% should be your main priority. Whilst I understand it’s going to take a long time to make any major changes, the amount of difference it could make could be an INCREDIBLE opportunity for your business.  

In reality, these suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg. For more information about how you can become a plus size inclusive travel brand, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have over at [email protected].

  • Simone Ribeiro May 15, 2019 at 7:15 am

    Great points shared here. Thanks! I hope the brands could understand the plus sized market is a reality and focus on it instead of ignoring it.

  • I'M KIRSTY LEANNE

    My mission is simple. I want to help change the way travel looks, showing both brands and society that plus size people really do travel too. In a community where plus size travellers are made to feel unwelcome, I want to inspire and advise people like me on how they can make the most out of their own incredible travel experiences.Join me as I share my own personal experiences, my best tips and tricks and all of the challenges I face along the way. It won’t always be an easy ride, but it sure as hell will be a fun one.

    Together, we can change the way that travel looks today

    WHAT TO EXPECT

    Instagram

    • AD | Gifted 💫 Happy Saturday! I’m going to be spending my weekend doing some housework, making my garden look pretty and trying to find ways to convince my boyfriend to take some new outfit shots for me. If there is one thing he hates, it’s being behind the camera even though he’s actually really good at it. For those of you that manage this on a regular basis, please please share your tips (I already offered a meal out, so that’s out of the question) 😂🤞🏻
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❤️ Jumpsuit gifted by @dorothyperkins
📸 @unwrittenchloee #plussizefashion #plussizeootd #plussize #psblogger #psbloggers #plussizeblogger #plussizeblog
    • AD | Discounted 💫 I am FINALLY getting around to writing some of my Trek America content and I’m getting super emotional reliving all of the amazing things that we did! As much as I love my home comforts, my dream would be to spend a couple of months getting Greyhound buses between as many States as I possibly can! With 9 already ticked off my list, I still have some exploring to do.... 🗺🇺🇸❤️
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So, who is coming with me? 😏🙌🏻
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❤️ My @trekamerica Trip was Discounted in return for content #trekamerica #trekmoment #itrekhere #visittheusa #nashville #nashvillemurals #nashvillemural #thegulch #thegulchnashville #nashvilletn #nashvilletennessee #visitnashville #nashville_tn #nashvillegram #instanashville #nashvillelove #plussizetraveltoo #plussizetravel #travelinclusivity #fatgirlstraveling #fatgirlstravelling
    • AD | Gifted 💫 It’s been a long time since I posted a carousel post on Instagram but I felt like the Kennedy Space Center definitely deserved it. I mean, just look at all of those incredible rockets 🚀
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Do you ever have those places where you’ve wanted to visit for as long as you can remember and then they exceed your expectations, even though you didn’t think it was possible? That was the KSC for me. It’s been just over a month since I visited and I still can’t stop thinking about how incredible the different exhibitions were. From learning about incredible American astronauts and driving around launch pads to seeing immersive replicas of both failed and successful launches, it really was an experience I’ll remember. I 100% left feeling like I could achieve anything ✨🛰
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❤️ My tickets to The Kennedy Space Center were gifted to me by @kennedyspacecenter #ksc #kennedyspacecenter #thekennedyspacecenter #kennedyspacecenter🚀 #kennedyspacecentervisitorcomplex
    • AD | Gifted 💫 For years I have been looking lustfully at all of the cute play suits in stores thinking that I’d never be able to wear one. Not only would they not suit me but oh my gosh, can you imagine the chub rub?! I’d written them off and decided that I’d stick to jumpsuits instead 🤷🏼‍♀️
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I don’t know why, but when I found out I was going to Garorock Festival I decided that if I was going to wear a playsuit, now would be the perfect opportunity. It was going to be 41 degrees and if anything, I could pass it off as festival fashion if it didn’t look right. I ordered two, one from @missguided and one from Boohoo 🙌🏻
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As you can see it DOES suit me (I think) and the chub rub? NON-EXISTENT. I’m definitely a playsuit convert and now wondering what other clothes I have written off without even giving them a chance! Co-ords? Dungarees? Bodycon Dresses? What should I try next?! 😏👇🏻
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❤️ Playsuit gifted by @missguided
❤️ Bag gifted by @boohoo
❤️ I was invited to Garorock as a plus one, so I was under no obligation to post #Garorock #festival #festivalfashion #plussizefestival #psoot #psbloggers #psblogger #psblog
    • AD | Gifted 🌈 Do you ever find a dress that as soon as you put it on, it’s all you want to wear for the rest of the summer?! 🙊
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This candy coloured sundress from @yoursclothinguk is definitely THE dress of the summer for me, especially as it’s the coolest linen material ever. It’s been so so comfortable on days where it’s hit 30 degrees (or 41, like it did in France) ☀️☀️🙌🏻🙌🏻
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P.s. please ignore the sun burn, apparently factor 50 every half an hour was STILL not enough for my ginger skin 😭🤦🏼‍♀️ #yoursclothing #yoursclothinguk #psbloggers #plussizebloggers #plussizeblog #plussizeootd #stylehasnosize #plussizefashion
    • AD | Gifted 💫 I’m definitely still recovering from the weekend but it was so so worth it as I go to go to my first ever festival. The four-day Garorock festival in Marmande consisted of lots of beer and Aperol, an endless supply of glitter, incredible music and non-stop dancing. ☀️🎶
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Highlights include reliving my childhood by seeing @sum41, dancing to @djsnake on day 3, discovering the amazing @christineandthequeens, listening to @twodoorcinemaclub and realising I know way more songs than I thought and the INCREDIBLE headline that was @macklemore. I’ve still got no voice because I sang and screamed so much 😂🙊
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As far as festivals go, Garorock was a great first choice. It was INCREDIBLY clean (look at the lack of rubbish in my photo) and it was all pretty contained and easy to get to. Not only that, but the crowd were amazing. I’m a little worried I may have been spoilt and I’ll have a bit of a shock at my next festival, but there’s only one way to find out, right? 😂🙌🏻
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📸: @absolutelylucy
❤️ I was a plus one on this trip, so under no obligation to post
❤️ Dress and bag gifted by @boohoo @boohooplus #festival #festivaloutfit #festivalinspo #plussizefestival #festivalfashion #spacebuns #garorock #garorock2019 #playsuit #romper
    • I’ve had a little bit of an Instagram break the last five days as I’ve been living my best life in France at my FIRST EVER festival! 🙌🏻🎉
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Although I would have loved to get the full festival experience by camping, the heat was hitting the 40’s most days. Luckily we had our very own Gite to stay in, fully equipped with a pool and all the wine I could drink. Clearly, I took full advantage of that🥂🍾
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The festival wasn’t my only first this weekend, as this is also the first time I’ve ever worn a bikini! Despite the fact I come across as confident on Instagram, I still get self-conscious when I’m putting myself out there. I was DEFINITELY not feeling it at first, but after a bit of encouragement from @danniellelily and @absolutelylucy I felt so much better. I feel as though I’d built wearing a bikini up to be this massively scary thing for me when really, it’s not *so* bad. Here’s to way more bikinis in my life 🙌🏻
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📸 @absolutelylucy ❤️ I was invited as a plus one on this trip, therefore had no obligation to post
❤️ Bikini bought from @prettylittlething who I have worked with in the past #bikini #plussizebikini #bikiniseason #bikinilovers #plussizebikinis
    • AD | Gifted ❤️ Did you know when it comes to the collaborations that I do, I pitch 90% of the work I have? Whether it’s pitching a product to feature, a press trip to go on or a paid post for my blog - I’m a huge fan of going out and finding my own opportunities. Whilst I know a lot of people are scared of the thought of pitching, it’s one of the main reasons l was able to leave my job and go full-time. It’s also taken me to places like Croatia, Belgium, Lanzarote and France. I’ve worked with INCREDIBLE brands, and I want everyone else to be able to do the same too 🙌🏻
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If you saw my stories a couple of weeks ago, you will have seen that I launched the #bepitchperfect eBook - the ultimate guide to pitching products, payments and press trip. The guide goes into detail about all of the preparation you need to do before a pitch, ways to overcome your fears, a five-step strategy that works for me almost every time and how to stay on top of all the people you’re pitching. I also tell you how to personalise each pitch depending on what you’re pitching. It really is that detailed! 🙊💫
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At just £10, it’s honestly an absolute bargain for those looking to take their blog to the next level. It’s been launched less than a month so far and I’ve already had people message to tell me some of the amazing collaborations they’ve secured thanks to my guide! 🎉
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I’m so sorry that this post may have come across a little salesy, but as you can tell I’m incredibly passionate about pitching and how it can help your blog grow. If you’re interested in purchasing the eBook, there’s a link to buy in my profile bio. If you think you know someone who may be interested, please feel free to tag them below! 🥰🥰
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❤️ Jacket gifted from @fashionworlduk
❤️ Skirt gifted from @primark
❤️ Lace body gifted from @missguided
❤️ T-Shirt bought from @levis #plussize #plussizeootd #plussizefashion #psbloggers #plussizebloggers
    • AD | Discounted 💫 As soon as I booked my Trek America I started planning all of the places I wanted to visit in each location, including the #whatliftsyou mural in the Gulch, Nashville. Nashville has TONNES of murals dotted around the city, but this particular one designed by @kelseymontagueart is very very popular. In short, Kelsey has designed all of the #whatliftsyou murals to encourage people to talk about what inspires them. Of course, I couldn’t miss out on an opportunity to do the same...
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✨ Traveling to new places and experiencing incredible new adventures inspires me to create new content, as well as to face my fears.
✨ My friends and family inspire me on a daily basis - whether it’s to do the best I can or to appreciate what I have. Seeing them do incredible things makes me want to do incredible things too.
✨ My boyfriend inspires me to achieve everything I’ve ever wanted to, as he’s always cheering me on and telling me I can do anything if I work hard enough.
✨ YOU! Each and everyone one of you inspire me to do the best I can when it comes to Plus Size Travel Too and travel marketing.
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What inspires you? 👇🏻
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❤️ My trip with @trekamerica was Discounted in return for content
❤️ Dress is bought from @boohoo however I have worked with them previously #whatliftsyounashville #whatliftsyoumural #nashvilletennessee #nashvillemurals #nashville_tn #visitnashville #visittennessee  #nashvillegulch

    FOLLOW MY ADVENTURE

    PLUS SIZE TRAVEL TOO COMMUNITY

    • It's festival season! What festivals are you heading to this year? 🙌🏻📸 @kirstyleanneuk •
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️
    • Anyone else think sunflower fields are one of the best things about summer? 🌻 @awhimsicalrose
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️
    • Anyone else feel like they could do with a spa trip right about now? @georginagrogan_ 🧖‍♀️🧘‍♀️
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️
    • ALL BODIES ARE BEACH BODIES @nearandchar ☀️🏝
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️
    • Now THAT is what you call a diverse press trip! Yasss @simplybeuk 🙌🏻🙌🏻
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️✈️
    • Have you ever taken home a permanent souvenir? I LOVE @voyaging_vagabond remind of her trip to Thailand ☀️🏝
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks today ❤️
    • The look of joy on @theowletblog face tells me she may have just won at shuffleboard... 😂🙌🏻
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks ❤️✈️
    • Anyone else think @roamingrequired looks like she stepped right into a Disney movie? 🏰
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks ❤️✈️
    • Hi! It’s me! We’ve had quite a few new followers over here so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about me, the creator of the @plussizetraveltoo movement! 🙊🙌🏻
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My name is Kirsty Leanne (@kirstyleanneuk) and I’m a plus size travel blogger from the UK! I have loved travelling for as long as I can remember and have been blogging about travel for just over two years (and specifically plus size travel for officially 6 months). I like cats, peanut butter and programmes about serial killers. 
As I started to become more confident with posting photos of myself of my social media channels, it became more and more obvious that I didn’t have a place in the travel industry. Nobody wanted to feature a fat girl on their platforms or in their press trips. As time went on and it started to get to me more and more, the idea for Plus Size Travel Too started. Not only is this a community for plus size travellers to get advice from people just like them, but it’s a way to show brands that plus size people do actually travel too. In the long run, I want PSTT to help brands see that they should be showing plus size travellers in their marketing materials, as well as advising them on how they can make adjustments that can make travel a lot more comfortable for plus size people. 
I want to inspire plus size travellers, just like me, to travel and have the best adventures they can. Often people let the fact they’re plus size they can’t travel and hopefully, Plus Size Travel Too will help show people that that’s just not true. 
I can’t do it alone, so I am thankful for each and every one of you helping me along the way ❤️💫
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Use #plussizetraveltoo to be featured on the account 📸
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Changing the way Travel looks ❤️✈️

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