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The Easiest Way to Plan a Trip to Europe on Any Budget

5 min read

One of my favorite family traditions is our two week trip we take every summer with all the kids. We try to explore at least one new destination every year. I could spend hours on pinterest or Google trying to research and plan to try to make sure I hit all the best spots and don’t miss any of the highlights. This summer, with being pregnant and working on the remodels of our house, we didn’t have as much time to plan. One of my friends had told me about this travel service called Noken that helps plan and customize your trip. I have only used a travel agent once and we had a really bad experience so I was kind of nervous, but Noken seriously exceeded every expectation we had and made this trip the easiest trip we have ever planned!! Now that I’ve used it, I don’t think I could ever go back! It was such an amazing service so I wanted to share how it makes traveling abroad so seamless!

1. Choose your destination: Noken has 7 different countries available to book right now. 5 in Europe – Italy, France, Portugal, Iceland, and Ireland – and they also have trips available in Japan and Australia. They are always adding new countries so if your bucket list destination isn’t on their list yet, keep checking back 🙂 They are so detailed and spend lots of time getting each country’s experience perfect. We knew we wanted to do the northern coast of Italy and Florence. I had been dying to take the family back to Florence where I studied abroad in college.

2. Customize: Our entire trip was planned out before we left.  We sent them our dates, cities we were interested in, budget, and any hotel preferences (I said I wanted at least half of our stay to have hotels with pools because the kids LOVE to swim, 4 star accommodations and above, and at least one with a view of the water when we were in Cinque Terre.  This is where you can really set any budget! If you want to save and have a price point you are trying to hit you can let them know that too!) They did all the research on what hotels and sent us a couple options to choose from and we selected our favorites! Typically when we go on trips I spend HOURS reading reviews trying to find the best spots, and I was so impressed with their selections!! We loved every hotel! We stayed at Villa La Calvane in Tuscany, Best Western Tiguillio Royal in Rapallo, and The First Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre. Also this was huge – you don’t pay any more for your hotel then you would if you booked on your own! You also book the entire trip in one transaction which, if you’ve ever booked like 4 different flights and hotels for multiple people, you get the appeal haha.  They coordinate everything – it really is life changing!

Our view from our room in Cinque Terre overlooking the cutest town. Facing the other direction, you could see the ocean. We loved just sitting and watching the sunrise!

The pool views in Tuscany! The kid’s favorite part 😉 They went swimming every morning and night and the Tuscan Hills in the background.  😍

3. More than Hotels and Flights: Outside of your flight and hotel, they can also book your car rental, plan activities and excursions in the different cities you visit, and make restaurant reservations (especially in peak season you want to book reservations for popular restaurants some are weeks out). We rented a boat when we were in Rapallo and it was one of our favorite parts of the trip! We got to see all the pretty coastal towns along the way and the kids even got to drive for a little bit 😉 I can’t recommend doing this enough!! Noken can suggest things in your area or you can tell them what you want to do and they will book it.

4. A Personalized App: This is really what sets Noken apart from every other travel service out there. Before your trip, Noken creates a 100% personalized app with your itinerary. It has everything you could think of – from packing guides, your hotel, car, and activity confirmations (if you travel a lot you know how nice it is to have it all in one spot!), directions to each location, your daily itinerary with suggestions of sites to see, restaurant recommendations (and directions so you don’t have to flip back and forth between apps!). One of the suggestions in Cinque Terre was Ristorante Miky which is where we got the best spaghetti I’ve ever had! It also gives you an idea of costs for each activity or restaurant. Then each day your itinerary is set out, with your destinations, and travel tips, you just wake up and EXPLORE!

Had tons of questions about the cost, and I was seriously shocked when I found out. It’s ONLY $5 per person, per day. So for our family only $25 day!  So worth all of the planning, research, and time  it saves you, and the convenience of having a personalized app for your family for your specific trip! You pay the same price you would pay for hotels and other activities, so there aren’t any markups for anything. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about traveling abroad, it’s that you never have enough time to see everything but Noken saves you so much time planning and putting together the perfect itinerary so you can tailor the trip to make the most of your time! Can’t recommend it enough! Now if it could only help me unpack my suitcase too… haha.

I’ll be sharing more from our trip over the next few weeks with travel guides for each city so comment below if you have any questions about Noken or our trip! Noken and I are also hosting a giveaway for a chance to receive $500 towards their service – details for how to enter are on my IG so be sure to check it out and enter!!

XX, Christine

*In collaboration with Noken.

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