This Delta Exec Is Constantly Flying — Here Are Her Best Tips for Beating Jet Lag, Packing, and More

Travel Leisure
4 Min Read

Alicia Tillman is an expert at navigating airports. 

As Delta Air Line’s Chief Marketing Officer, the exec spends extended time traveling and visiting the airline’s hubs and other airports around the world for her role that she started nearly a year ago. A travel enthusiast on her own, Tillman also headed to the Bahamas with her family for a spring break trip.

Tillman got to chatting with Travel + Leisure at SXSW in Austin, Texas, where Delta curated exclusive experiences and benefits for members of the SkyMiles program. And fortunately for us, she shared her pro tips for traveling.

T+L: You’re constantly flying, do you have any tips to beat jet lag?

AT: “Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I am like a massive water person, [and] I definitely try to skip caffeine. Even though a lot of people feel like they’re often super tired from jet lag, water is king. And try to sleep as much as you can — even if you’re in-flight.”

When it comes to packing, is there anything you won’t travel without?

“I always over index on shoes and clothes, so I am okay to wear the same shirt every day as long as I’m wearing a different pair of shoes every day. I [also] always carry my portable charger because I need my phone with me all the time. When I’m out, I don’t want to have to worry about finding a charging station or something. So a portable charger [and] make sure it’s charged before you leave for your trip”

Aisle or window seat? 

“I prefer the aisle because I’ve got more space.”

What’s your favorite snack on Delta? 

“So my favorite is the Vego (gummy) Bears — can’t have just one bag, they’re awesome. And also a mini bag of SunChips as well.”

How do you spend time on a flight?

“Well, I am all about the entertainment in-flight. We offer so many different categories of content and it’s very exclusive. It’s deep. It’s funny. I mean, there’s everything from documentaries, to feature films, to games. And I love surfing through [but] I will attest and say that I don’t like to get super deep in a movie because I like to surf around a lot. So I typically don’t like to watch a program that goes for longer than 30 minutes [because] I do like to see what all the different options are [and] that kind of keeps me awake and going.” 

What’s your mindset when you’re getting ready for a trip? 

“Never let the stress of the journey overtake you, because you’re gonna miss some really memorable moments along the way. People often feel like travel is super stressful, but I know when I’m traveling with my family, I don’t miss those moments to take pictures of us flying on a plane [or] walking through an airport. As stressful as it may be, these are the moments that matter. So my advice is, there’s nothing ever too crazy that should take away from the memories you’re creating. I always say [I] kind of live in the moment. That’s sort of like my biggest practice as I think about when I’m traveling because travel is [also] a privilege, and what you’re getting exposed to is unbelievable. So don’t worry about some of the stresses, you know, the long lines, or whatever they may be, because what’s waiting for you on the other end of your journey — that’s what life’s all about.”