Ahwatukee travel agent a pro at romantic getaways | Business

So now that masks are coming off and the pandemic appears to be in retreat, it’s time to log right into a journey web site so you may take an unique transoceanic trip, proper?

Not precisely, warns Eliseo Rangel, a longtime Ahwatukee resident {and professional} romantic getaway journey agent for a small Texas-based company referred to as Pickles Vacations.

COVID-19 continues to be a serious international power and the precautions international locations are taking with regards to the coronavirus and vaccines are as diversified as the holiday locations themselves.

That’s why Rangel – who makes a speciality of “romantic getaways for busy couples in Hawaii, the Caribbean, Iceland and mainland Europe” – believes individuals want somebody like him to assist them navigate the principles.

“The biggest thing is this: these restrictions are confusing,” Rangel mentioned. “I know people are busy, and sometimes stuff can fall through the cracks. You don’t want to get to the airport and find out you can’t get on the plane because you missed something.”

And it’s not simply overseas international locations which have guidelines, notably with regards to vaccinations.

With the State Department just lately saying it would examine the potential of obligatory vaccine passports for anybody touring in or in a foreign country, a minimum of one state already has mandated them.

“Right now, the big thing on everyone’s mind is how vaccine passports are going to work,” mentioned Rangel, whose father is a Boeing software program engineer and mother an artist. 

“Hawaii has approved them for inter-island travel, but only if you got vaccinated in Hawaii. If you’re from the continental US, a negative COVID test will allow you to bypass the 10-day quarantine with your vacation days intact. Restrictions are changing all the time and we’re constantly updated with new information.”

“For instance, Iceland is currently open to all travelers who are vaccinated. You can visit the Land of Fire and Ice and see their active volcano right now,” he added.

If it feels like Rangel has a specific fascination with Iceland, you wouldn’t be mistaken – though he’s additionally what you may name a well-traveled journey agent.

He recalled a visit together with his dad and mom in 2011 that basically gave him the journey bug.

“I was six months into my 20’s, and high school was becoming a distant memory of bad acne and band camp,” he recalled. “My parents, having traveled throughout their lives, wanted to take my sister and I to Europe as a family and we landed in the tourist-laden capital of France in the middle of June. 

“To this day, I still remember stepping out of the Parisian subway for the first time: surrounded by seemingly towering buildings, I could barely take in the sight of the European architecture, the sweeping smells of the nearby restaurants, and the chatter of pedestrians in a completely indecipherable language. I’ve been smitten ever since.”

But after receiving his wonderful arts diploma in 2013 from Arizona State University, Rangel ventured into eating places initially.

“The next few years were spent in kitchens and baking an unconscionable amount of bagels, but I kept saving as much as I could for that next big trip,” he mentioned. “I backpacked through the Netherlands, road tripped around Iceland, drank Guinness in Ireland and ate incredible steak in the Canary Islands.”

Three years in the past, he signed up as a visit advisor with a small startup that designed journeys for college kids headed to competitions.

“It was my first experience planning trips for other people and I fell in love immediately,” he mentioned.

From there he latched onto a gig as a enterprise journey organizer – till final yr, when “COVID-19 sucker-punched the travel industry in the face and I found myself furloughed right as quarantine began in full swing.”

So, what did Rangel do?

Hit the street, naturally.

He headed to Iceland for what initially was imagined to be three months and ended up spending many of the remainder of final yr there.

It was throughout that point that he turned conscious of Stephanie Pickles, who finally introduced him on as considered one of a handful of brokers Pickles Vacations employs.

“For years, I worked jobs to fund my travel addiction because my desire to experience the world was something that could not be crushed,” he mentioned. “I wanted to see incredible art, meet wonderful people, and eat some of the best (and worst) food of my entire life. I knew this passion was shared by many others, so I decided to put my expertise to good use. 

“I want to help people design the trip they’ve always wanted to take, to fulfill that dream or check off that bucket list item. That brings me joy.”

Of course, there was a whole lot of coaching concerned.

Beyond the fundamentals, he mentioned, “We’re also training consistently with the changing health and safety restrictions enforced by each individual destination.”

“Then there are the certifications, used for tangible proof that you know what you’re talking about. I just got my certification as a Hawaii travel expert a few months ago.”

But a few of that coaching additionally has fueled what he calls his habit. 

“Just last week I learned about Iceland’s new Sky Lagoon infinity pool, and I can’t wait to try it,” he mentioned, of a brand new ocean-edge function mentioned to have unimaginable Northern Lights views and a swim-up bar.

As a Pickles journey agent, Rangel mentioned, “We prioritize personality and connection when working with our amazing clients, with the assurance that you get to work with someone who knows what they’re doing and is always there to support you.”

Despite his journey specialties, “I do organize trips within the continental USA if people are looking to take a vacation closer to home, especially since many countries are still opening up their restrictions.”

But his forte is prioritizing ease of data.

“I make trip details, travel restrictions, and myself incredibly accessible at all times,” he mentioned. “Clients can access everything in one app on their phones, including contacting me. They are aware of all travel restrictions, any tests they need to take or any documents they need to show at the airport. 

“Plus, I make sure they know exactly where to get tested on their trip so they can re-enter the United States and send out reminder emails to ensure there are no surprises on their trip. The only surprises I want are from their wonderful experiences.”

“Pickles may be small, but we have a lot of experience,” he added. “We’ve been to these places ourselves. We live, breathe, and work in the industry our clients will be dipping their toes into, so we know exactly what to do to make sure that your trip is taken care of from start to finish.”

“We’ll think of things you haven’t even considered, manage any and all problems that pop up, give you suggestions for amazing places you can experience on your own time, and even slip a gift in there to show our appreciation.”

And, Rangel famous, not like DIY vacationers, “We are your advocates. You can contact us at any time. There’s no hold time, no difficult voice assistant to guide you through a menu. 

“When you pick up that phone or write that email, you know a real person who you’ve been working with is going to find you a solution.”

One of his extra fascinating assignments is arranging a big group journey for individuals across the nation to the Texas Safari Ranch, the place a child giraffe is because of be born later this yr.

“I would be hard pressed to say I loved anything as much as” the purpose of contact for the group loves giraffes, Rangel mentioned. “But I’m definitely excited to get them to see the baby in question.”

His favourite trip vacation spot is the place he spent a great a part of final yr, by the way in which.

“I love Iceland,” he gushed. “It’s an incredibly unique place; there’s really nothing else like it in the world. It’s barren and lush; you’ll travel roads with incredible colors on one side and endless black sand on the other. Everything is picturesque. The people are wonderfully kind and the food is amazing, especially if you like seafood. 

“If you’re looking to visit somewhere exotic, but still be comfortable and safe in an English-speaking country – everyone is bilingual there – I can’t recommend it enough.”


Information: 480-225-7651 or

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