Wedding Conference

The Best Ways To Beat Jet Lag On International Trips

My tried and true tips.

The Gorgeous Kitchen    at Heathrow Airport in London.

The Gorgeous Kitchen at Heathrow Airport in London.

As a professional speaker and business consultant, I spend a not insignificant amount of time traveling to conferences and to meet with clients. While it is a dream job and I am very lucky, the travel comes with the realities of jet lag.

If you also travel often for work – for destination weddings or attending wedding conferences – you know that you often have to hit the ground running with little time to deal with all the side effects of jet lag. Here are my top tricks for minimizing jetlag’s impact:

Bring your own tea and coffee in your carryon.

Bring your own tea and coffee in your carryon.

1. Make Your Destination Time Zone Your New Boss

Once you’re on the plane, set your watch to the current time in your destination and then behave accordingly. This means you will eat, sleep, and work on your new time zone, regardless of the time it actually is wherever you are in the air.

MY AIR TRAVEL HACKS FOR SLEEPING

If you have trouble sleeping on planes, just remember that sleeping is a skill and like any skill you can work to improve it. While I am still not one of those people who can fall asleep the second I close my eyes and I’ve yet to figure out how to make the 20-minute power nap work for me, when it comes to sleeping on planes, I am now a pro. Here is how I do it:

  • I prefer the Howard Leight by Honeywell ear plugs because they don't hurt my ears. As a bonus, each pair comes individually wrapped, so you can toss them in your personal carryon without them getting gross.

  • I’ve been a religious user of the 40 Blinks sleep mask by Bucky for over a decade. The eye area is contoured and doesn’t lay flat against your eye lids like normal sleep masks. This allows room for your lashes to flutter so that your REM sleep isn't interrupted.

  • I also bring this cushioned footrest hammock by Sleepy Ride that keeps your feet elevated, allowing you to sleep no matter which cabin class you’re in. It works in both standard and extra leg room seats in any cabin. It is discreet and rarely noticeable except to possibly your seatmate (if you're using a blanket, it is not noticeable at all).

  • Keeping it real: sometimes I pop a Benadryl if my body does not want to cooperate in falling asleep at the new appropriate time, but if you can do it without a sleep aid, even better.

MY AIR TRAVEL HACKS FOR STAYING AWAKE

Since you’ll be awake while most people on the flight are asleep (because they are living in the present, you are not), here are a few things I do to make it all work:

  • When it comes to meals, you’ll be eating at the normal time in your destination time zone, not necessarily when the flight attendants serve food. This often means packing your own snacks: protein bars, nut butter packets with apple slices or a banana, etc.

  • I also bring a few of my own tea bags and Starbucks Via packets since airplane tea/coffee is not always the best. Just ask for a cup of hot water.

  • I recommend using the Libby app to download free library books and audiobooks to your Kindle or Audible app on your iPad or phone before your trip so that they’re ready for you on the plane. If your library uses Kanopy or a similar service, you can also download movies and TV shows.

    This is not the time to pretend you are going to catch up on all the business books you haven’t gotten around to yet. Choose books that are fun and compelling – page turners that you can’t put down, ones that make you want to stay up reading.

Post-flight selfie at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto in my 15-20 mmHg compression pantyhose.

Post-flight selfie at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto in my 15-20 mmHg compression pantyhose.

2. Take Care of Your Legs

Medical-grade compression pantyhose are one of the best kept secrets among flight attendants, wedding planners, photographers, makeup artists, and other career women whose jobs require them to be on their feet for hours upon hours and to look stylish while doing so.

These work the same way compression socks or compression leggings do. Just like you can find on-trend compression socks these days, you can now also find on-trend sheer or opaque compression stockings that look just like the normal everyday tights you wear with your Fall and Winter dresses. Look for a medium strength of 15-20 mmHg, the same grade that flight attendants wear.

While the graduated compression helps circulation, preventing blood clots and the dreaded post-flight Cabbage Patch doll cankle situation, it also helps decrease the effects of jet lag – a lot. Like a lot, a lot.

Splendid Pro Tip: Some graduated compression pantyhose are control top, but most control top pantyhose do not offer compression through the leg, so make sure you double check when purchasing that you’re getting the right product.

Art museum selfie.

Art museum selfie.

3. Keep It Moving

If you’re not headed straight to a meeting when you arrive, one of the best things you can do is keep moving – literally.

Hit up the hotel’s fitness center or go for a run (some of the best networking at business conferences happens between 5-6 am in the hotel gym, so hopefully you’re bringing some type of exercise clothing with you).

If you don’t have space in your carryon, pack your workout gear at the top of your checked luggage so that if your hotel room isn’t ready when you arrive, you can still easily grab it to change into.

If you’re not feeling up for a workout, play tourist and visit a museum or get in some retail therapy (shopping is always the most fun in foreign countries) – this will force you to walk around, keeping you active.

Splendid Pro Tip: If you find yourself in certain cities a lot, buy an annual membership to a local museum. It’s a great place to hang between meetings, typically has a decent restaurant, and a surefire way to get inspired.

Join Me At a Wedding Conference in the Caribbean

December 2-5, 2019

I’ll be heading back to Coterie Retreat in December to speak on The State of the Wedding Industry for 2020. I'll be sharing where the global wedding industry is headed not only in the new year, but in the new decade. So much has changed since I published The State of the Wedding Industry for 2019 this past January, and we're in for some even bigger changes ahead.

The Coterie Retreat is a wedding conference produced by Jackie and Chike Nwobu, founders of Munaluchi Bride, a wedding magazine focused on the multicultural market (you can join their 302k+ followers on Instagram here). This year the Coterie Retreat is being held in partnership with the government of the Bahamas on December 2nd-5th.

The conference is attended by wedding professionals from around the world who work in the Premium (wedding budgets of $31k-95k), Luxury (budgets of $96k-$500k), and Ultra Luxury (budgets of $500k+) markets. It’s become one of my favorite events because it’s educational, fun, unpretentious, non-cliquey, and a great way to wrap up the year refreshed and recharged.

Sheila C. Johnson, the first African-American female billionaire

Sheila C. Johnson, the first African-American female billionaire

The keynote speaker for Coterie Retreat this year is Sheila Johnson, the first African-American female billionaire (yep – even before Oprah!). Sheila is the founder and CEO of the luxury Salamander Hotels and Resorts. She is also a co-founder of a venture capital firm investing in female entrepreneurs, a founding partner of Black Entertainment Television, and is an owner of the NHL's Washington Capitals, the NBA''s Washington Wizards, and the WNBA's Washington Mystics. Honestly, that's just scratching the surface of her work and accomplishments. i’m looking forward to hearing from this successful, hands-on serial entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Attendees will also hear from James Beard Award-winning executive chef at Kith/Kin in Washington DC and Top Chef contestant Kwame Onwuachi, celebrity makeup artist and founder of her eponymous cosmetics line Danessa Myricks, clinical psychologist Dr. Vidal Annan Jr, and more. Jackie and Chike have stacked the speaker list with true experts, and I cannot wait to take in all the sessions.

Preston Bailey on the cover of the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Munaluchi Bride

Preston Bailey on the cover of the Fall/Winter 2011 issue of Munaluchi Bride

In addition, celebrity event designer and industry icon Preston Bailey will be honored at the Coterie Retreat Awards Gala on the evening of December 4th. Preston has collaborated with Jackie and Chike several times and was the keynote speaker at the 2017 Coterie Retreat in Johannesburg, South Africa.

You can learn more about the Coterie Retreat and register here.

Meet Me At a Wedding Conference in Cartagena

October 28-November 1, 2019

Photo of Cartagena by    Jose Alexise

Photo of Cartagena by Jose Alexise


I’m excited to share that I’ll be the keynote speaker at the wedding professionals conference, Cocktails in Cartagena, this October in the historic city of Cartagena, Colombia.

This intimate conference is limited to a small group of vetted destination wedding planners and travel agents. It is being hosted by the Wedding Professionals Institute of Canada and open to wedding pros worldwide.

The event includes educational sessions as well as luxury site inspections and experiential outings, so if you’re looking to add Cartagena as a destination for your wedding clients, this is the perfect opportunity to vet properties and venues first-hand.

In addition, the conference is partially sponsored by the Cartagena de Indias Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Cotelco Hotel Association, and WPIC, making it an affordable (just $599 CAD, including accommodations!) can’t-miss opportunity to experience this popular wedding destination.

You can learn more about and register for Cocktails in Cartagena here.