Startup claims to take hassle out of DIY vacation planning
Noken, a company that aims to make trip planning easier for the venturesome do-it-yourself traveler, launched on Thursday.
Whereas travelers who use online agencies can spend many hours researching and booking a trip, those using Noken have an itinerary created for them, complete with Noken's recommendations for accommodations and activities based on a traveler's trip duration and budget. Noken calls the itineraries "travel blueprints."
The traveler can adjust the itinerary by adding or removing activities and changing the accommodations.
The company has launched with itineraries in Iceland, Portugal and Japan, with plans to expand to other destinations. In-country transportation is included in the travel blueprints, but international air is not.
To craft an itinerary, Noken starts by researching a country through guidebooks and talking to experts in the field and locals like tourism boards and other travel professionals, said co-founder Marc Escapa. Team members narrow down a list of potential activities and accommodations, then personally visit the country and experience the products to make final selections of what they will offer consumers.