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Travel 1 month ago

France recap + noken review

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mock neck sweater | distressed denim | madewell boot | gucci bag | celine sunglasses

We got back from our trip to France exactly one week ago today! It was such an AMAZING trip that we will remember the rest of our lives and I can’t wait to share all about it with y’all today! In case you didn’t see my instagram over the last week…I went to Paris & Bordeux with Michael and Shiloh and my mom met us there too! So the 4 of us took on France together. We used an incredible travel service called Noken that I want to share with you guys today because it is a GAME CHANGER when it comes to international travel! I got a lot of DM’s asking about Noken while we were on our trip so I want to share with you guys what Noken it is, how it works, and why I recommend using them with every fiber of my being!

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What is Noken?

I think it’s safe to say we all have somewhat of a desire to travel overseas…but the planning process can be so overwhelming. Michael and I went to Italy back in 2015 and spent hours upon hours, weeks upon weeks researching and planning that trip. You might be one of those people who just love that process, but I’m definitely not ha. It takes so much time and can be very overwhelming. Noken takes ALL of that research and prep work out of traveling!

Here’s how Noken works

Just go to the Noken website, put in your location, your travel dates…and BOOM. They put together a fully detailed itinerary FOR you! You’ll also put in information like…are you wanting a romantic trip, are you wanting to see the big sites or find more hidden gems, etc…so that the itinerary they create for you is just what YOU are wanting. They are also able to plan itineraries to meet ANY budget – whether you are wanting to go all out on your honeymoon, or do a really budget-friendly backpacking trip.

Never miss out on my travel tips!

The best part

Hands down, my absolute favorite part about using Noken was their app guide! Once Noken creates an itinerary for you (with all of your hotel bookings, itinerary, etc)…they put ALL of that information in one, super easy to use app. So, my Noken app guide had the address of the hotels we stayed in, our train tickets to get from Paris to Bordeaux, our tickets for the Louvre Museum, restaurant recommendations, our itinerary for the day, and more! Sharing screenshots of the app below!

So for example, one of our days we had “heart of Paris” on the itinerary. Without Noken…you might get to Paris and think “holy cow there’s so much to explore and I don’t know where to start.” But, with the app, I just tapped on “heart of Paris” and it listed out all of the main sites. But BEYOND that, you could tap on each site (ie: Louvre Museum), read about why it’s famous, where it’s located, what the hours are, and if there is a fee to get in. IT’S AMAZING and makes traveling and exploring SO EASY! We legit used this app every single day (every single HOUR) of our trip!

Okay so how much does this cost?

This part is what is so mind-blowing to me. I know people who have paid hundreds (sometimes thousands) of dollars for a travel agent to do all of this legwork for them. With Noken, you only have to pay a flat $5 fee per day for this service. It’s 10,000% worth it and I’ll be using this on any future international trips we go on, where Noken provides their services.

Our trip to France

We were in France for 5 nights / 6 days, which is a pretty quick trip for a trip across the pond, so we had a packed itinerary to see as much as possible! Also, I will say, we did a 6 day trip to France with an 11-month old baby haha so our itinerary was probably a bit different than if we were doing this trip sans-baby. We definitely could have done + seen more if we didn’t have Shiloh with us, but I wouldn’t trade her coming to France with us for anything in the world. I LOVED seeing her experience so many new sights and sounds in a new country [more on that soon]. Anyway! Let’s chat about what we did in France!

Paris

We spent our first 2 nights in Paris and it was just as magical as I had always dreamed. We did lots of sight seeing including: Louvre Museum, Eiffel tower, Notre-Dame (just saw the outside because of the construction), saw the Tuileries Garden, Saint-Chapelle [beautiful stained glass church], Luxembourg Gardens, and of course shopped on Champs-Elysees [where I bought my first Chanel bag!]. We also got macarons from Laduree and Pierre Herme and spent a lot of time to just wandering the streets and exploring this magical city!

As far as restaurants, the Noken app will put recommendations in there with pricing information which is SO convenient. TBH since we were traveling with Shiloh, for the most part we just popped in whatever cafe we were by to grab lunch. Michael and I did get a chance to do two date nights though while my mom kept Shiloh which was really nice! We ate at Frenchie one night and the food was SO GOOD. The restaurant is tiny so I’d suggest making a reservation. We didn’t have a reservation and waited around an hour for a table. The other night we ate at Le Girafe which has the most amazing view of the Eiffel tower and a really romantic atmosphere! The food wasn’t necessarily our favorite – it was good, but not outstanding, but the view and the atmosphere make up for that!

We had such an amazing time in Paris and I would 100% go back (slash already can’t wait to go back). Since we didn’t have a ton of time, we packed a ton of sight seeing into a few days. I’d love to go back and spend time just having a picnic by the Eiffel tower, or reading a book in a cafe! It truly is such a beautiful city with so much history and character.

Bordeaux

After 2 nights in Paris, we took a train to Bordeaux. The Noken app yet again made this process completely seamless. Our train tickets were in the app along with the location of the train station! The train ride was about 2 1/2 hours and we fell in love with Bordeaux the moment we got there! Noken booked the cutest apartment for us right in the heart of the city, so we could walk to nearly everything we did! Sharing a view from our apartment below!

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One of mine and Michael’s favorite parts about this entire trip was our day trip to St. Emilion from Bordeaux to explore wine country! Our small group met in Bordeaux and the drive to St. Emilion was around 40ish minutes and it was gorgeous. Before we got to St. Emilion, we visited a few wineries in the countryside just outside of St. Emilion and they were so beautiful and we tried some of the most amazing wines! Then we drove to St. Emilion and it was just the cutest little wine town you could ever imagine.

This village is a rare example of a largely intact medieval town whose geography has not been modified over the centuries!

-Noken App guide

We toured this incredible village and also visited two more wineries here! We got to learn so much about wines in this region, and also had built in free time to just explore this village and get lunch!

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We had so much fun walking around Bordeaux, eating yummy food & drinking good wine, and seeing all of the historical sites! Michael and I had brunch at a restaurant called Plume one afternoon and it was delicious, and our favorite restaurant we went to for dinner was called Le Troquet. Just a heads up – people seem to eat so late in Bordeaux! A lot of the restaurants didn’t even open until 7pm…and they were usually pretty dead until around 8! [Which…seems late when you are eating with a baby lol].

 

This photo was taken at “Le Miroir d’eau” in Bordeaux! It’s the coolest (and world’s largest) reflecting pool in front of the Place de la Bourse!

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We truly had the most amazing time in France, and I’m so glad my mom was able to join us and help with Shiloh too! I was pretty anxious about traveling overseas with a baby. It wasn’t easy, but it was MORE than worth it for the memories (and photos!) we will have for the rest of our lives! (BTW I’ll be doing a blog post later this week on traveling internationally with a baby). I would love to go back to France one day, and 10/10 will be using Noken again on our next international trip! (Iceland is pretty high on our bucket list and they have an app guide for that!). If you have an international trip coming up, or want to get one on the books…I cannot recommend using Noken enough. We had a great experience with this app / travel service and will definitely be using it again!

Thanks for reading and thanks to everyone who sent me their recommendations for Paris! We had such a blast!

This post was created in partnership with Noken. As always though, all thoughts and opinions are 100% my own!

xo Lauren

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