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Tall Travel: Simple Travel Hacks for Tall Guys

August 02, 2019 3 min read

Tall Travel: Simple Travel Hacks for Tall Guys

I took a Public Speaking class in college and one of my favorite speeches I gave was a satirical speech on traveling as a tall person. It also just happened to be the easiest speech I gave because like most things in this world, travel is not conducive to people of height which allows for a lot of self-deprecating humor. In some ways, I feel my tallest when I’m traveling.

Airlines obviously focus on getting as many butts in seats on every plane they fly. I’m sure they have a team of industrial engineers who optimize plane seats and layouts to squeeze those extra dollars out of each flight. I imagine their assumption for the size of each passenger is significantly smaller than my 6’6, 230 pound stature. However, there are ways to make your flight more somewhat comfortable.

1. Business/First Class, Premium Economy, Exit Rows

I remember back in the day when my dad would simply request an exit row seat at check in and be issued a ticket for one of these coveted seats, free of charge. Those seats obviously warrant a premium now. Sometimes that extra fee might be worth it, especially on cross-country or international flights. As these seats are now considered “Premium Economy” on most airlines, the same goes for the “Premium Economy” class if available.

Now Business/First Class is another ballgame, and obviously significantly more expensive. I’ve personally only flown Business Class once and was only able to do so using miles to make the trip more affordable. I’ve read that if the additional cost for Business Class is less than $200 per hour, it is worth it (i.e. a 12 hour flight -- $2,400 or less is worth it). As a tall person, you might push that number a little.

2. Ask for a New Seat

I’ve had a lot of success (including on a 14 hour international flight) asking at the gate if they had any seats available next to another open seat. This makes a huge difference because of that extra shoulder space. Approach the airline employee at the gate and ask politely. Maybe throw in some self-deprecating humor about having to turn your shoulders 20 degrees for 14 hours.

3. Comfort is King

I know a lot of men like to dress up when they travel, but I often prefer comfort over fashion. I would rather change at my destination than sit in a suit and tie on a flight. Some of my favorite apparel for travel:

  • Redwood Tall Short Sleeve Tees – An obvious choice. Soft, comfortable and a tailored fit make them perfect for long days of travel.
  • Lululemon ABC Pant Classic (37” Inseam) – I love these pants and often bring 2 pairs on my international travels. Comfortable, sweat-wicking and featuring a zippered Passport pocket, these are perfect for travel.
  • New Balance Fresh Foam Cruz v2 Knit – I own too many of these shoes. They have completely replaced my (significantly more expensive) Adidas Ultraboosts. I’m hard on shoes, especially when traveling internationally, but these shoes hold up and make those 20,000 step days much more bearable.
  • Duluth Trading Buck Naked Performance Boxer Briefs – I bought my first pair of these a couple years ago and now its the only underwear I own. Supportive, stretchy, moisture wicking and odor-resistant. I don’t know what more you could ask for in underwear.

4. Alternative Travel Options

I’m a big fan of road trips for a lot of reasons. When it comes down to it, I would rather spend 10 hours in my truck than 6 hours in airports and airplanes.

What other “hacks” do you use to make travel bearable? Comment below!


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