YTP BOARD MEMBER KAREN MAGEE SAT DOWN WITH ERINA PINDAR TO TALK TRAVEL AND LIFE. WE WANTED TO SHARE THEIR CONVERSATION WITH YOU IN OUR FIRST MONTHLY MEMBER HIGHLIGHT POST.
SmartFlyer’s Director, Erina Pindar, oversees the company’s Affiliate, Industry Relations, and Communications Programs, as well as designing travel for SmartFlyer’s VIPs. Erina calls New York City home, but has also lived in Jakarta and Singapore. She was voted as one of Travel Agent Magazine’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2010 and has spoken at the New York Times Travel Show and International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM) on social media & travel.
Where did you grow up?
All over, is that an answer? I was born in Jakarta, boarding school in Singapore, then high school in Charlotte, NC and finally NYC for college.
How did you end up in the travel industry?
Trial and error. I was lucky to have had an opportunity to start as an assistant in travel PR for Hawkins International, headed by the amazing Jen Hawkins. Though, it was a lot of fun, I quickly realized that PR wasn't for me, but travel is. From there I moved on to my first agency job, with Barbara Gallay's Linden Travel.
What does your role entail?
First and foremost, I work with our VIPs, styling FIT trips all over the world. Additionally, I oversee our Affiliate, Industry Relations, and Communications program - which includes social media, say hi to me at @missSmartFlyer on Twitter and Instagram!
What do you love most about your job?
The type of travel that I get to do. I feel incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the way our clients do. And of course the amazing people I meet along the way - it's such a passion driven industry and especially in the younger set, it's an incredibly tight-knit community.
Why do you believe it's so important to use a travel agent?
travel is much than a simple purchase. it's an investment of not only your money, but also your time, so why not invest the time to find a great travel agent that you can work with. Once you find an agent that understands you and your travel habits, likes and dislikes, you won't want to be without one ever again.
What advice would you give to aspiring YTPs?
It's a fun, young, sexy industry - we all have a good time, but there's a lot of hard work that happen behind the scene. Assuming that this is a "fun and easy" industry to be in is a mistake.
What makes you most excited for the future of the travel industry?
Every year, I see more and more young people entering the industry. I think that's incredibly exciting. I've watched the landscape of the industry changed dramatically since 2008, we're definitely injecting new blood and reviving this amazing industry.
The Fun Stuff:
What has been your favorite foodie destination? Madrid and Tokyo, and by default my beloved NYC
What has been your favorite hotel of all time? Armani Milano, stylish, sexy, and flawless service.
What are your favorite destinations for lying on the beach? I love Turks and Caicos for its perfect beach and close proximity to NYC.
Where is your for favorite adventure destinations? Costa Rica
What’s next on your bucket list trip? Istanbul, Greece, Croatia, and Montenegro
What is the one thing you can’t travel without? I need to be connected everywhere I go, so I can't travel without my phone, which is also my music/social media/camera provider.
What destination surprised you the most? Amsterdam, I've always been curious to go but have never had any specific expectations about it. When I finally did go, I didn't want to leave, amazing culture/history, great food (some of the best Indonesian food I've had anywhere!), fun shopping, and a really unique city structure.
What is your biggest travel pet peeve? The long lines, but these days my global entry makes life a bit easier.