The Struggles of Traveling When You’re Tall

We all know the plight of being tall. Getting clothes that fit, fitting into airplane seats, and looking ridiculous in a car are just some of the issues we face on a day-to-day basis. But what about when it comes to traveling?

Traveling can be a difficult task for anyone, but it is even more challenging for tall people. Whether you’re going by plane or car, there are many issues that arise from being taller than average. 

In this blog post, we will talk about the struggles of traveling when you’re tall and how to get around them.

Table of Contents

Traveling When You’re Tall on a Plane

Flying on a plane is always an issue for tall people. The armrests, tray tables, and space under the seat in front of you are all too small. Taller travelers will likely have their knees jammed into those tiny seats in front of them or they’ll be crunched up trying to fit their legs under the tiny trays. 

Airlines offer different levels of space depending on the ticket you purchase. For example, business class seats are usually more spacious than the standard economy class and are a great option for people who are tall. 

Another issue that comes up for tall people when they travel by plane is getting their knees and legs smashed into the seat in front of them. If you are lucky enough to get diagonal seats, this can be less of an issue – but it will not always work out like that.

Therefore, try to find a seat next to a short person so that it isn’t too much of a problem if you’re using some of their available space too.

One of the greater problems tall people face while traveling in a plane is that they might be too tall to get through the toilet door. Those toilet trips may be especially uncomfortable if you have to keep craning your neck to prevent your head from hitting the ceiling.

While we’re speaking about discomfort, we cannot help but mention how uncomfortable it is for tall people to get a good nap in a seat that’s obviously too small for them. With all the leg cramping, height taller than the headrest, and arms longer than the armrest, it can get impossible to rest well without straining your body.

In order to make flying more bearable, it’s best to bring along a pillow from home so that your body can gain some much-needed support and comfort during takeoff and landing (and after takeoff if you’re lucky).

Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask for a seatbelt extender. The flight attendant might look at you funny but it’s better than being uncomfortable.

Traveling When You’re Tall By Car

Traveling by car is always an issue for tall people. There are three main issues that arise when you’re taller than average: the first being comfort, the second being legroom, and the third not fitting into certain cars altogether.

First, it can be uncomfortable to drive for a long period of time because the seatbelt may not sit where it should on your shoulder. Also, you have less ability to move freely around in your car as well since there is more chance that you will hit the roof or a window if you stretch out fully. It might feel like sitting on a chair with no arms and being unable to get comfortable. 

Secondly, legroom can also become an issue depending on how much space the driver has given up from their side of the car compared to yours. You could end up feeling cramped even though there is a decent amount of space between the seat and the pedals. 

Finally, some tall people might not fit in certain cars at all when it comes to legroom or headroom, which means that they would have to fork out extra money for another, more spacious car rental. It wouldn’t be worth trying to squeeze into something you know will cause pain and discomfort on your trip.


Traveling in a car or a plane when you’re tall can be difficult and uncomfortable, but there are ways to help. Taller travelers should consider renting cars that allow for more legroom or ask flight attendants for a seat that allows for more space.

ILR Author Bio
About the author

Jay Patton is a serial traveler and adventure seeker, based in Portland, Oregon. He enjoys hiking, running, and traveling the world, and is always on the lookout for the next big adventure.