Take Me There: A Travel Series with Erina Pindar
I met Erina at a NASCAR race a few years ago through a mutual friend, Kseniya of Birch Collective. I started following Erina and became instantly obsessed with her travels and how her work is very similar to what we achieve through my business; a personal, carefully selected service for clients to give them the very best. With my clients traveling to amazing places, and myself always hitting up Erina for recommendations, I knew everyone needs to know Erina and learn about her services as well, or at the least obsess over her travels like I do. She will be doing a series on where to go/eat/play for us on a few of our favorite destinations for 2017.
In 2009, Erina joined SmartFlyer as Managing Director to cultivate industry partnerships and growth across the agency. Today, she designs top-level clients while driving SmartFlyer’s industry-leading Affiliate Program and managing business development initiatives from acquisitions and expansions to strategic to strategic partnerships. A traveler since birth, Erina was raised traveling the globe – having lived in Jakarta, Singapore, North Carolina, and now, New York. She combines a rich multicultural background with an enthusiasm for discovering the best new places first.
Name: Erina Pindar, (travel badass and the woman who always knows where to go and what to do on any continent.)
Job Title: Managing Director at SmartFlyer
Tell us a little bit about SmartFlyer.
SmartFlyer is a full-service travel agency headquartered in New York City. We are travel and time managers. The one thing you can never get back is time; so, we help you figure out how to get the most out of your already-limited vacation (or, business travel) time to ensure, not only, that you get the most out of a destination, but also the best experience possible – whether you are on the ground or in the air.
How long have you been working with SmartFlyer? How do you plan a trip for someone?
I have been with the company for about seven years now.
When planning a trip, I usually schedule a call to learn more about my clients (it’s a bit old-fashioned, but nothing gets the job done quite like it). I like to know as much as possible about my client because when I am planning their trip, I have to think like they do. There’s so much white noise out there, it’s important for me to be able to present a curated offering selected just for my clients while also taking into consideration their budget, taste and preferences (regardless of how small).
After the call, I present my client with hotel and flight selections. This is important because I believe how you get there and where you stay is a big part of your travel experience – therefore, it should be done well. When that is completed, we move on to smaller details, like, activities, tours, special access, restaurant reservations, car bookings, and everything in between.
Favorite place you have traveled to. Why?
Japan. There’s truly nothing like it in the world. How the old and new blends so seamlessly: the food, the people, the history. Japan is absolutely magical, I’ve been going once every year for the past three years, and every time I find new, amazing things and experiences.
Where are you off to next?
I have a few things coming up, but I’m most excited about Iceland this coming April. I’m taking a big group of friends and we’re planning a buggy safari outside of Reykjavik, snorkking at Silfra, snowmobiling Langjokull (second largest glacier in Iceland), and checking out the South Coast.
What are your five travel essentials?
- Sheet masks, especially for long-haul flights. My favorite is from SK II.
- Eye masks from Tempurpedic; it may not be sexy, but it’s the only thing that helps me sleep on planes.
- Large shawl. I carry a cashmere/wool shawl for cold destinations and silk/cotton for warm destinations.
- Macbook Air 11.” I travel so much that my office is where my laptop is. Apple discontinued the model, but it’s the smallest, lightest laptop ever.
- Mason Pearson hairbrush. It’s impossible to have a bad hairday with that brush in your arsenal.
What is your personal motto?
Slow down. Travel isn’t about ticking/checking boxes, for me, luxury is the opportunity to explore a destination intimately and finding hidden gems along the way.
Favorite fashion designer and beauty brand.
I’m obsessed with a beauty line called Hourglass from VeniceBeach. The moisturizer, Equilibrium, is unreal and gives your skin exactly what it needs in extreme heat and cold, so I take it with me everywhere. I also love Clarins sun care line. It gives the best, glow-y tan and the After Sun keeps it around for a bit longer – I always pack those for island getaways. And, unless I’m heading to an island, I usually always bring along a blazer. My all-time favorite is from an Italian company called Blazé Milano, you can literally throw that thing over sweatpants and it would still look proper.
My carry-on is one of my favorite things, it’s from a small Florence company called II Bisonte, and it’s the perfect size for everything that I need. My check bag is the Tumi Vapor.
How do you get over jet lag?
The gym then the spa as soon as I arrive. Then, a meal for whatever time of the day it is at the destination. Also, staying up past 9PM is key!
Coolest trip you have ever planned.
I planned an incredible trip to Australia and New Zealand, which was so much fin. The clients started in the Blue Mountains for the Aussie wildlife, then on to Sydney for some city and beach – we also snuck in a surprise airplane ride for lunch down to Whale Beach (think Sydney’s version of the Hamptons). Then, a hop to Tasmania to check out the Museum of Old and New Art and discovered Tasmanian scotch; from there, onwards to New Zealand, where we organized a helicopter ride that ended on a glacier for a picnic. More helicopter rides the next day to check out the wildlife and some wine tasting. To wrap it all up, they ended the trip in the French Polynesia at a private island resort called The Brando.
Check out some of Erina’s Faves Below: