Corkie Van Zak
Beverly Hills, California Travel Agent
Finding Your Travel Style
When I plan your trip, my focus is on you and what you enjoy. Drawing on more than 40 years of experience in international luxury travel planning, I can plan your dream vacation, whether you want to go on a river cruise along the Danube or hike through the Sacred Valley of Peru. I have visited 61 countries and counting, and my areas of expertise span the globe, from Jordan to Japan, and Scandinavia to Siberia. Plus, as a Certified Travel Consult and Certified Travel Industry Executive, I have a deep understanding of how the travel industry works.
I got hooked on travel at a young age. My first independent trips were around Europe and Mexico as a student, but it was spending a summer studying pre-Inca civilization in Peru as an anthropology major that made me realize how much I loved traveling and discovering different cultures. My older sister was already a travel agent and convinced me that I should become one as well. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I thoroughly love what I do and vicariously experience every trip I plan for my clients. My background is in cultural anthropology, so I tend to focus more on people-to-people, local customs and festivals.
I have been planning vacations for many of my clients for decades and they trust that I understand them and their travel preferences. Often, I delight my clients by opening their eyes to new possibilities. For example, when a client asked me to plan a mother-daughter trip to Italy before her daughter started college, I suggested they consider northern Croatia instead. I knew they wanted quality time together and that in Italy, they would rush around and deal with crowds of tourists. Croatia had the kind of beauty and culture they appreciate, but in a more relaxed, natural setting where they could also enjoy lakes, waterfalls and nature. They loved it.
Some people ask what a travel agent does that they cannot do on their own. If you book a trip online, who will you turn to if you are given a room overlooking the parking lot or you arrive and are told there is no room for you? And if your flight is canceled, who will get you on the next flight out? Thanks to the clout of Protravel, I can sort out any issues that arise. As a Virtuoso member, my clients are treated like VIPs at hotels and often receive food and spa credits. Plus, my expertise enables me to arrange amazing experiences that most travelers do not even know about.
Whether you are an active adventurer, a serious foodie, a history and culture buff, or simply want to relax, I look forward to planning your dream trip.
Related Travel Experiences
My first trip to Europe was full of lessons for me. I was a student and had planned to meet my sister and her friend in Paris at the Eiffel Tower on Bastille Day and travel around Europe, staying at youth hostels. This was before the days of cell phones and ... Read more from my Foot-On Learning story.