Karen Listgarten –


An independent Trusted Advisor with Riverdale Travel

Travel Curator. World Traveler. Connector of People and Places.

TRAVELING is something everyone loves to do, but not necessarily spending the time it takes to ensure a great trip. As an experienced Travel Advisor, my role is to distill vast amounts of travel information down to those destinations and experiences that best match your travel interests (hobbies & activities) and travel style (personal preferences & budget).   

  • TRAVELING is my passion. For more than 30 years I have traveled the globe for education, work and pleasure. Between personal and professional travel I have experienced more than 50 countries from Bhutan to Tanzania to Peru to Ireland. I travel 3-4 times a year to keep current on familiar destinations and to explore new parts of the globe. I attend travel conferences where I meet with in-destination travel partners (hotels, tours, transfer companies) and participate in workshops on the latest travel and technology trends and research. It’s not just a job – it’s literally an adventure! 
  • TRAVELING transforms.  For me, travel is the “ultimate learn” – an opportunity to step out of one’s comfort zone and try on a new culture, taste new foods, learn a different language and meet new people. When you break away from the day to day and travel out into the world incredible things start to happen – perspectives change, self-confidence blossoms, compassion and understanding grow.  As the author Paulo Coelho once wrote “To those who believe that adventures are dangerous, I say, ‘Try routine; that kills you far more quickly.’”

At VIAKU our travel philosophy is “SEE less, EXPERIENCE more.”   We believe that the quality of the experiences you have while traveling is more important than the quantity of experiences.  And each of those experiences should be as individual and unique you are.  We like to say that we specialize as much in our clients as in the destinations.   Our Curated Travel Program is designed to create, plan and deliver a one of a kind travel experience that perfectly matches your unique travel style.  Think of it as the travel version of the perfect food and wine pairing.   While this level of service is not free of charge, it frees you from worrying about whether or not you will love your trip.  Give us a call or e-mail us.  Customized Travel Planning from $300.00 per trip.



Central and South America, Europe, Hawaii, Alaska, Mexico and Caribbean


Customized Independent Travel, Food & Wine Experiences, Active & Adventure Travel, Immersive/Cultural Travel, Solo Travel, Multi-Generational Travel, Cruises (River, Small Ship, Luxury and Expedition)

Travel Partners

Backroads, CIE Tours, Context Travel, Delta Vacations®, G Adventures, Seabourn, Tahiti Legends , UnCruise Adventures, Viking Cruises


  • TAP – 100%
  • Viking River Cruise Specialist

Connect With Me

My Reviews

Karen created the trip of our lives!

I wanted to celebrate a special occasion with my extended family in Italy. The 14 family members ranged in age from 9 – 80 and had to get to Italy from Lima and New York. Karen first helped us decide WHERE to go – we looked at options in Puglia and Tuscany before deciding on a GORGEOUS villa in Tuscany. Then she helped us with the HOW… She organized flights, hotels, rental cars, transfers and private touring. She took care of LITTLE things like making sure our villa would be pre-stocked with food and organizing a celebratory dinner for all of us upon arrival in Rome and again at our villa. The tours were either private or small group.  Karen is a great agent because she has traveled extensively herself, and is extremely well organized. RRV

Rating: 5 Stars


60th b-day for women

Eden Prairie, MN

Well traveled, wonderful ideas that we never would have thought of. Karen is an A+ professional and knows the ins and outs we were looking for. The BEST!!!!

Rating: 5 Stars | Date: 7/17


Trip of a Lifetime!

Chicago, IL

It was the best travel experience I’ve had. I called Karen to help me arrange a “trip of a lifetime” for my parents to go on a long promised trip to Rome. They are in their 70s/80s, so I was worried about how to plan something that they could really enjoy. I also have a very hectic work schedule with no time to plan. Karen really understood how to make this work for us – she arranged a wonderful guide whom my parents loved, a schedule where they were able to see all the historic sites comfortably and with ease. She also made sure that we had fun with a private cooking class – our own Italian Thanksgiving since we went there over the holiday. Our guide also helped us find our way through all the fabulous shopping. And, we loved the hotel and restaurant recommendations. Everyone Karen arranged was nice, fun and helped us get the most out of every minute. My parents said it really was their “trip of a lifetime”. And, my brother and I enjoyed every minute of it.

Rating: 5 Stars | Date: 2/17


Trip to remember for our 35th Anniversary!

Forest Lake, MN

Karen did such an excellent job with our trip. We spent 3 wks in Europe with two of them self-guided and one on cruise. The details in the itinerary made each new day easy to follow including transportation. Really took the guess work out and the unknowns which was very comforting when on a first European trip. Friendly, very detailed and no surprises. 3 wks in Europe on planes, trains, ship, ferry, Uber, car rentals and no hiccups. Thank you Karen! We will be back to talk about another European trip!

Rating: 5 Stars | Date: 7/17