Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Erina Pindar
Occupation: Managing Director, SmartFlyer
Hometown: Charlotte, NC
Residence: NYC + Singapore
College: UNC Charlotte
College major: Marketing
Short bio: Any excuse is a good excuse to travel.
How often do you fly? Once a week.
How many countries have you been to? 23
How many continents have you been to? Only four so far! Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.
Earliest travel memory: Flying on SQ and utilizing Changi airport as my playground.
Favorite American city: New York, NY—a city so great they named it twice.
Favorite international city: Tokyo, Amsterdam, and Bali.
Friendliest people in the world: San Diego.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Most are incredibly nice as long as you are respectful, ready and not on your phone when it’s your turn to go up!
Favorite World Heritage Site: Borobudur, a 9th-century Buddhist temple in Central Java.
Favorite airline: Cathay Pacific.
Favorite aircraft type: 787 Dreamliner, the ANA’s early morning Singapore-to-Tokyo’s Haneda is one of my favorite routes!
Aisle or window: Aisle for any flights shorter than 2.5 hours, anything more I need the window seat.
Favorite airport lounge: CX’s The Wing in Hong Kong.
Favorite international airport: Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN).
Favorite hotel: An ever-changing answer! At the moment I’m crushing hard on the Aman Tokyo.
Favorite cruise line: Aqua Expeditions! They sail on the Amazon in Peru and on the mighty Mekong River from Vietnam to Cambodia.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Favorite island: St. Barths.
Favorite beach: The pristine beaches of Nihiwatu on Sumba island.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Anything by Jean-Georges I love and his latest one, Matador, at the Edition Miami is amazing. But, recently, I had a meal with a few friends at the three-Michelin star La Pergola inside the Rome Cavalieri hotel and that was a really special experience.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: SP Chicken in Chiang Mai, I still dream about the amazing meal I had there. They do this really fantastic roasted chicken and you order a side of sticky rice, papaya salad and ice cold Singha beer to go with it. Heaven.
Favorite bar: Gen Yamamoto in Tokyo’s Roppongi area. An eight-seater bar with the option of a four- or six-drink degustation menu. Ingredients and spirits are seasonal and hand-picked by Gen himself. Reservation is a must.
Favorite food: Mediterranean, and Japanese rice!
Least favorite food: I love food.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Water in the air; Glenlivet 18 on the ground.
Favorite travel movie(s): Midnight in Paris.
Right now I am reading: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: I read Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia religiously these days, but I find a lot of my inspiration through social media—Instagram especially, it’s the best place to find new destinations and see trends evolving.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! SmartFlyer.com!
5 things you bring on a plane: A cozy sweater or a giant scarf, a face mask that I sneakily put on ¾ through my flight while everyone is sleeping and the lights out.
What do you always seem to forget? My laptop charger, I have three so far…
What do you like least about travel? It’s what I like most and least about travel, the disruption of everyday life and its routine. I’m such a creature of habit and sometimes I find it hard to get in a workout and eat healthy on the road.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Clarins suncare products! That stuff is like magic potion for me.
Favorite travel app(s): Google Maps! It’s impossible to get lost with one on hand.
I’m embarrassed but I haven’t been to: New Zealand!
Worst travel moment: Missed flights.
What’s your dream destination? New Zealand and Africa.
Best travel tip: Global Entry. It’s the best thing ever, I wish there’s a Global Entry for the entire world.