I am asked often how the heck I got into travel, I mean, often. I am excited to share my journey as a wife, a mom, a friend, a family member and how my journey wearing all of those hats translates into who I am as a Travel Agent today.
The Questions: Who the heck is this Dina Silvestri and how did she go from “PR Plunkey” (Jen’s spin on my maiden name, Love you!) to a Travel Agent?
The Answers: I am a Jersey Girl. Born and raised at the Jersey Shore with the sand between my toes. I’m a proud graduate of Rutgers, the State University of NJ, and hold a B.A. in Communication and a minor in Leadership Studies. I started my career working in Trenton before moving my daily commute to Manhattan where I experienced many great years working in the public relations (PR) industry. I loved my job and really enjoyed the opportunity it gave me to travel, represent travel, and appreciate how important it is to explore the world around me. I spent time in some gorgeous places. When I met my hubby (JJ), love led me back home to the Jersey Shore where we’ve grown our love, our home, our family and our desire for travel. My wonderful, super, and amazing mother, Grandma Sharon, helped me with my first vacation booking, our honeymoon to Sandals in Antigua! She is a veteran Travel Agent of more than 30 years, which provided immense knowledge and guidance for this novice at the time. When she saw how much I excitedly enjoyed the work that goes into creating a vacation she suggested I consider becoming a travel agent.
It has been almost five years since that first booking and I have gone from working part-time to now working full-time as a Travel Agent. A lot of time, funds, and professional development goes into keeping on top of the travel industry which has led me to become even more passionate at being the best I can be at it.
Why use me as your Travel Agent? When you contact me to plan your vacation, I sincerely and excitedly put my heart and a lot of hard work into your vacation. It’s not just a booking for me, it’s the understanding that I need to use my industry knowledge and design you a wonderful vacation experience at the best possible value. There are hours of research that go into putting together a great package that meets all of your dreams and needs for that particular vacation. Every vacation is an investment for you and a few moments in time when a lifetime of memories are made. I take that very seriously, it’s my business and has become my passion. My job doesn’t end at deposit and departure.
Doesn’t it cost me money to use you as my Travel Agent? The answer is NO! I am paid by the resorts, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, etc. to be their liaison and expert helping you book your vacation. Here’s the thing though, the travel industry changes by the minute. Airlines are being purchased, resorts are being refurbished/opened, cruise lines are having ups and downs, and only an invested Travel Agent who works hard (like I do) to stay on top of it all can best guide your vacation decision. As the old saying goes, you can’t trust everything on the Internet, so why some people are still gambling their hard earned money and buying vacations online with no professional guidance is beyond me! You know what else you get from me, personalized customer service. If there is a problem, a missed flight, a mess-up at the hotel, a car service that forgot to pick you up, a need for dining reservations, the need for a price match, (you get my drift…) that customer service person or website is not going to take your call promptly at 1 AM on a major holiday to anxiously solve your problem as quickly as humanly possible. I WILL (… and have)! So that is some of the many reasons why I hope you use me as your Travel Agent. Those of you who already do, I am beyond thankful for your trust, continued and repeat business, and referrals!
What am I going to post on this blog? It’ll be a lot about travel, since I love work and I love travel and it’s a big part of my everyday life. I also think it will be some about family, friends and how my journey through life impacts my decisions on travel for myself, my family and my clients. I’ll absolutely include a Travel Specials tab where you can visit what’s new and exciting and on sale! It will include more than I can post on my Facebook page, so be sure to check here for more specials. I am also going to include an Industry News tab where you can get up to the date information about major travel news. From there, we’ll see were it takes me and of course, send me suggestions on what to chat more or less about along the way.