Planning and booking international flights is the easy part for most travelers. It's arranging accommodations, transportation, and activities that's tricky if you aren't a seasoned international traveler.
Confident that all travelers -- but inexperienced ones, in particular -- would prefer simplicity, curation, transparency, and great customer service when coordinating their next trip, Emily Brockway and fellow Harvard Business School alum Marc Escapa developed Noken, an iPhone and Android app that curates every aspect of your trip -- except your flight -- back in Jan. 2017.
"What most travelers are doing today is the DIY method of travel, which is looking at friends' Excel (Android, iOS) sheets or Instagrams (Android, iOS), various aggregator websites, or at articles, figuring out where to go, for how long, how to get between the cities, and what to do there," said Emily Brockway, co-founder and CMO of Noken. "All those various decisions take a tremendous amount of time to research and understand, so the process of planning, organizing, and booking a multi-day, multi-city trip can be very intensive and take countless hours."
Noken, officially launching in a couple weeks, after almost two years of beta testing, aims to streamline this arduous process. To start, customers, using in-app country guides for inspiration, will select their destination of choice. At launch, the options are limited to Portugal, Iceland, and Japan, with more countries promised soon. Then after entering their travel dates and duration, budget, and preferences, they'll receive a customized "Travel Blueprint" tailored to their needs.
The Travel Blueprint, which includes lodging, transportation, and an itinerary that maps out and optimizes daily routes and key pre-booked activities, aims to introduce travelers to both major landmarks and local gems.
Once travelers arrive at their destination, they'll find vital on-the-fly info, such as daily routes, offline GPS directions, local restaurant and shopping recommendations, and location-based Spotify playlists in Noken's in-app App Guide, which will cost them an extra $5 dollars a day to use. If there are any issues, they can get support from the Experience Team via phone or chat -- seven days a week, from 8a.m. to 8p.m. EST.
"Noken is a modern solution to simplify your first trip to a new country," said Marc Escapa, co-founder and CEO of Noken. "Our expertly curated trips can be molded to travelers' wants and needs, while the Noken App Guide still leaves room for the freedom to explore."
"That's the innovative part of what we've built with Noken," added Brockway. "It's a new and completely different travel intermediary, which has the modern consumer at the forefront and top of mind."
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