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Babcia and Yia Yia!, Study Hall: Essays On Travel

Plus Size Travelers 3.0

Plus size travelers are slowly but steadily settling into a great space in the travel world. We are learning to find unique solutions and we are also being represented better than ever. While we will always have to nudge things along, we have started making use of our travel opportunities in a more effective way. Reasons for this range from better representation in social media, celebrity headlines and stronger, more dependable resources. Let’s dig in fellow travel junkies!

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Photo by Jennifer Enujiugha on

Plus size in the news

We are in love with Lizzo at the Met Gala and everything else she’s attending! Christian Serriano is styling her and while we might not be able to pull off some of those looks, we love her courage and we love her love for life.


Muriel’s Wedding with Toni Collette is a great throw back flick from down under that features a plus sized lead struggling with the mean girls. With music from Abba, it’s a can’t miss feel good movie.


Hallmark’s Romance In Style features the plus size fashion world. It’s got a lot of expected language and labels but it fits the Hallmark mold. Baby steps.


You’re in control

Being active while plus size is not inconceivable, we’ve done plenty over the past few months and we’re super happy about that. Give yourself the grace to at least try what’s out there and feel proud of your efforts.

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Photo by RODNAE Productions on

Public transportation can be a thing but it can also not be a huge deal just plan accordingly. Take the time to google what trains, busses, ferries and waiting areas look like at your destination. There are plenty of images to help you know whether or not you’ll be comfortable.

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Photo by Chait Goli on

There is a trend for plus size people to use cruises to experience travel. This can solve a lot of potential hiccups. With plenty of choices and plenty of accessibility, cruising can help anyone see the world with the right kind of support.


Sources for your travel needs

Use your Tripit app to note plus size stores at your destination just in case you need a little wardrobe help. We just bookmarked this one for Poland so we know which store is close to our stay. Ulla Popkin

Have you seen BloomChic on TikTok? The clothes are far from quality and it is a deal that’s too good to be true!! 0/10

We are still on the jumpsuit bandwagon and don’t see a time in the future when we won’t be. Be sure to double check the size and the way it drapes on you then enjoy the comfort!! Conversely, we are true fans of the two-piece bathing suit. You can still cover up but it’s much easier to get in and out!

Another clothing fail came from ASOS. Their plus size cargo pants at $40 plus SH were far too big and bulky!!! Instead, we highly recommend the leopard raincoat from Joules.

via GIPHY is an entire plus size travel website that’s starting to expand into group travel. Their first trip? Bali!!

We’ve learned over time that we can spare a few luggage pounds and some packing space by not bringing a regular handbag but, instead, buy something we love or something that will work in the meantime overseas. By no means will this ever mean a fanny pack. Ever.

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Babcia and Yia Yia!, Notes on Planning and Packing

6 Tips To Make Airports Easier

Let’s face it. Airports are a big pain in the you know what. However, there is still something that draws me to the excitement of flying regardless of all the hassles. These days, airports seem more crowded and full of more issues than ever. With all of our back and forth, here are the five things that will make navigating your next trip to the airport a bit easier.

Go Digital

Everything in the travel industry has gone digital and airlines at airports are no exception. Having a few apps can go a long way to navigating the airport with ease. So get your iPhone ready with a few of our faves.

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Photo by Naveen Annam on

Start with TripAdvisor. We love this app because it keeps all of your information in one place. Be sure to download your airline app and connect with them on Twitter. This is a great way to get expedited customer service if plans start to fall apart. Lastly, grab the MyTSA app to get the down low on your local airport. With stats on how long lines will be and what is and is not allowed through security.


Check you bags

There. We said it. It is beyond us why everyone is convinced that this is the travel corner to cut. Here us out! Why oh why does it sound like a good idea to schlep all of your stuff through TSA and past 57 gates in order to board a plane and play a game of overhead tetris with every other sweaty passenger? Check the bag. And, hey, if you’re nervous use an apple airtag or try out the service offered by Blue Ribbon Bags. Just think about how nice it would be to simply walk through security and not arrive at your gate as a sweaty, sweaty mess.


Arrive with time to relax

Speaking of sweaty messes, can we recommend that arriving with time to browse a shop or have a drink at an over-priced bar. What we mean is that maybe the airport can be part of the experience instead of a bigger hassle.


Don’t be a gate crasher

Another phenomenon that we can’t wrap our brains around is the boarding process chaos. Please explain to us the psychology behind everyone wanting to board first. In all reality, we like to board last. Since our bags are checked, we have no need to join the overhead bin battle. We can walk on as the door is ready to close and buckle up just in time for the pre-flight safety show.


Upgrade your travel wardrobe

Don’t get us wrong, we like to travel in comfort too. But, if there is one thing we’ve learned over lots of air time, it would be that dressing nicely can often signal to flight staff that you would be a good candidate for an upgrade. Since you won’t be a sweaty mess, you’ll probably look the part and get that upgrade as you waltz on board at the end of the line.


Have an exit strategy

We like to take inventory of where everything is in our airports. It makes things easier on the return trip. We keep an eye out for all kinds of things like where baggage is, where the low use bathrooms are located and where shuttles or Ubers meet passengers. This little task can make things a little less stressful when you are an overtired traveler.


So, what are our pics and pans?

  • BWI: dated over crowded and a plain mess. Instead we’d pick PBI: we love this little airport! It’s an easy in and an easy out.
  • CDG: with no air conditioner and extra long corridors that don’t ever stop, we’d pass and land instead at ORY: small quick and cheaper to get into town.
  • FCO: there are so very many tourists happening here that it becomes a tough task to get in and out easily. Instead, we’d land in the brand new customs hall at ATH.
  • IAD: in desperate need for a remodel and no realistic public transport in sight, we’d opt for DCA any day.
  • JFK: with a dated customs welcome and a mess in the traffic department, we think that you’d receive a better welcome at ATL.


photo of train station
Babcia and Yia Yia!, Notes on Planning and Packing, Travel With Alex: Europe 101

Europe 101: Trains and Ferries

There are so many things to love about Europe. From art to history, gorgeous scenery, and unbelievable food! One amazing aspect that is often overlooked is how EASY it is to get around the entire continent. Let’s face it, in the States, you are pretty much dependent on air travel to make your way from one part of the country to another. On the other hand, Europe offers so many travel moments that avoid the hassles that air travel can throw your way. So travel friends, trains and ferries await! Let’s go!


Trains and ferries offer a unique way to travel because so many of them are in convenient locations and often get you into city centers. Passengers often experience far Less wait time and far more comfort and reservations are easily made and can lend themselves to more relaxed travel plans.

Ferries that connect with ease.

With so many coastal countries, Europe has a great system of local and regional routes to make travel a breeze. From overnights that connect Italy and Greece to small hops that lace together places along great rivers like the Thames, Europe’s ferries do not disappoint. Here are some of our faves:

  • Ferries to and from many northern European destinations (2-4 hours)
  • Gdansk to Denmark (5 hours)
  • Belfast to Scotland (2 hours)
  • Italy to Greece (overnight)
  • Greek Islands (island hoppers)
  • The Rhine and Thames Rivers (local service)


Trains that speed through the countryside.

Europe’s amazing web of train tracks provides efficient escapes and easy transfers for every kind of travel. There are very few places that trains can’t fill the request. If your plan is to move from city to city in a reasonable region, trains are a sure bet. Often, train trips can become part of the splendor that Europe is famous for. Zipping through countrysides or along winding rivers can make the trip as much of a highlight as anything else you’ve planned out. Some of our favorite routes include:

  • Swiss Glacier Express
  • Norwegian Fjord Loop
  • The Jacobite Train in the Highlands AKA Hogwarts Express
  • Chunnel from London to Paris
  • Thalys High Speed Trains with routes like Paris to Amsterdam
  • Overnight Trains Venice Simpleon
  • Orient Express


Train Stations that let you know that you’ve arrived!

Expect to be wowed by some of the amazing city center stations that dot the most visited cities. With gorgeous architecture, great shopping, charming entrances, and convenient locations, the great stations of Europe never disappoint. There are tons of little moments that await anyone who takes in the scene. You can picture the hustle and bustle of every day life mixed with all kinds of tourists and travelers, professionals, and even the local teenagers. Train stations provide a slice of present life with a heaping helping of grandiose past. Some of our highlights are:

photography of train station inside building
Photo by Abdel Rahman Abu Baker on
  • Kings Cross and St. Pancreas in London
  • Gare Du Nord- (Gare Du Lyon just for the restaurant)
  • Amsterdam Central
  • Gare Du Orsay which is now a museum
  • Prettiest exit is, by far, Lucerne, Switzerland