Can ChatGPT assist plan a trip? This is what it will possibly and may’t do


Some individuals love journey planning.

However I’m not a type of individuals.

So the concept synthetic intelligence chatbots, reminiscent of ChatGPT and Bing, can analysis journey locations and create itineraries is intriguing.

However I am skeptical too.

Do suggestions simply scratch the floor — for instance, suggesting that I see the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Or can they suggest lesser-known eating places and deal with particular resort requests too?

The reply is: sure and no — at the least for ChatGPT.

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Sadly, I could not take a look at Bing. Once I tried to entry it, I used to be placed on a ready listing. The web site stated I may “get forward within the line” if I set Microsoft defaults on my laptop and scanned a QR code to put in the Bing app. I did each. I am nonetheless ready.

ChatGPT was simpler. I went to the developer’s web site, clicked on the phrase “ChatGPT,” registered for an account — and began chatting.

‘Are you able to assist me plan a seashore journey?’

“After all!” replied ChatGPT. However first, I wanted to inform it about my pursuits, funds and the way lengthy I deliberate to be away.

I am in search of a week-long seashore journey in mid-March to spend time with my household, with no set funds, I typed.

“Feels like an exquisite thought!” it replied, earlier than recommending Hawaii, the Caribbean — particularly the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic — Florida and Costa Rica, together with particulars concerning the climate and well-liked sights for every.

Good. However I stay in Singapore, I stated.

“I see!” it exclaimed. (ChatGPT loves exclamation factors.) In that case, Bali, Indonesia; Langkawi, Malaysia; and Phuket and Krabi in Thailand have been higher decisions.

Another factor — I would like nice meals too, I typed.

In that case, it stated, the higher bets are:  

  • Penang, Malaysia — for char kway teow, nasi lemak and laksa
  • Ho Chi Minh Metropolis, Vietnam — for pho, banh mi and bun cha
  • Osaka, Japan — for takoyaki, okonomiyaki, and kushikatsu
  • Bangkok, Thailand — for pad Thai, inexperienced curry and mango sticky rice

Not unhealthy. However I’ve one other ask: I wish to keep away from crowds.

In that case, I could wish to think about:

  • Langkawi — “an exquisite island off the west coast of Malaysia … [with] loads of secluded spots”
  • Krabi — “not as busy as different locations in Thailand reminiscent of Phuket or Koh Samui”
  • Bali — “seashores within the north of Bali, reminiscent of Lovina Seashore, are typically much less crowded”

All true.

However what a couple of treehouse in Bali — is that attainable?

“Sure! ….  Listed below are a number of choices,” it stated:  

  1. The Hideout Bali
  2. Bambu Indah
  3. Sandat Glamping Tents
  4. Free Spirit Spheres

Which one has one of the best on-line critiques?

“The entire locations I really useful have nice on-line critiques,” ChatGPT replied, offering scores from Tripadvisor, and Google for every resort.

But, the critiques missed the mark in a number of situations.  

For instance, it stated Sandat Glamping Tents had a 4.9/5 ranking on Google (precise: 4.5/5) and “over 400 glorious critiques” on Tripadvisor (precise: 277 critiques).

However maybe the largest blunder: Free Spirit Spheres is definitely in Canada, which the bot acknowledged when pressed.

ChatGPT is nothing if not apologetic.

Value estimates for every resort have been extra correct. However ChatGPT could not present images of the motels or assist guide them — though it did present ample directions on do each.

By street or by rail?

For a street journey throughout america, ChatGPT really useful Route 66, Pacific Coast Freeway and the Nice River Highway, the latter of which traces the Mississippi River by means of 10 states.

What about practice journeys in Europe? “Definitely!” it stated, recommending:

  1. The Orient Categorical — from Paris to Istanbul
  2. The Glacier Categorical — from St. Moritz to Zermatt, Switzerland
  3. The Bernina Categorical — from Chur, Switzerland, to Tirano, Italy
  4. The Golden Go Line — from Lucerne to Montreux, Switzerland
  5. The Trans-Siberian Railway — “one of many world’s most well-known practice journeys” from Moscow to Vladivostok, Russia

One challenge: The “Orient Categorical” is not in service. Does ChapGPT know this?

It does, however it appears to confuse each departure of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Categorical — which makes use of restored carriages from the unique practice service — with the once-annual Paris to Istanbul route, which can run in August this yr, and has already bought out.  


ChatGPT can identify airways that join cities, however it will possibly’t give present flight data or assist guide flights.  

It wasn’t in a position to inform me the most affordable fare — or any fare — from London to New York this spring as a result of it would not “have entry to real-time pricing data,” it stated.

In actual fact, ChatGPT information ends at September 2021; it would not “know” something that is occurred since.

Nevertheless, the bot may reply which month the London-to-New York route is normally the most affordable, which it stated is “January and February, or throughout the shoulder season months of March and November.”

As for one of the best airline on the earth, it stated: “As an AI language mannequin, I can not have private preferences or opinions.” Nevertheless it went on to call the highest 5 airways named to Skytrax’s “World’s High 100 Airways” in 2021.

The listing wasn’t appropriate.

The listing offered by ChatGPT seems to be Skytrax’s airline rating from 2019 as a substitute.  

“The place ought to I eat?”

Asking ChatGPT “The place ought to I eat?” and “What are one of the best eating places?” in a given metropolis produces two completely different lists — one with extra well-liked locations to eat, and the opposite with people who have extra business awards.

For instance, right here is the way it answered these two questions for Singapore:  

The place ought to I eat?

  1. Hawker facilities
  2. Din Tai Fung
  3. Jumbo Seafood
  4. Liao Fan Hong Kong Soya Sauce Hen Rice & Noodle
  5. Odette
  6. Tim Ho Wan

What are one of the best eating places?  

  1. Burnt Ends
  2. Candlenut
  3. Nook Home
  4. Hawker Chan
  5. Jaan
  6. Restaurant Andre       

That is a good however dated listing. Restaurant Andre, which was thought to be one of many metropolis’s greatest within the 2010s, completely closed in February 2018.

Each metropolis I requested ChatGPT about resulted within the bot praising the native meals scene. New York Metropolis is a “meals lover’s paradise,” Florence is “identified for its scrumptious meals” and Melbourne is “famend for its espresso tradition.”

ChatGPT is exceptionally cheery, however do all cities get this remedy? To check this, I requested for meals suggestions in Galveston, Texas. This time, ChatGPT simply offered the listing.

And if you happen to’re questioning about one of the best espresso in Melbourne, ChatGPT says it is at Proud Mary — a espresso store that tops many “better of” lists as we speak.

Particular questions

I had many extra questions for ChatGPT, reminiscent of:

“How ought to I spend 5 days in South Africa?”
“Which chateaux settle for guests in Bordeaux?”
“If I solely have in the future in London, what ought to I do?”
“Which rides have the longest strains at Disney World?”

However earlier than I may, my display stated “Entry denied” alongside an “error code 1020” message.

This error could also be attributable to overloaded servers or by exceeding the every day restrict, based on the tech web site Stealth Elective. Both means, all of my earlier chats have been inaccessible, an enormous unfavorable for vacationers in the course of the planning course of.

A brand new window did not repair the issue, however opening one in “incognito mode” did. As soon as in, I clicked on “Improve to Plus,” which confirmed that the free plan is on the market when demand is low, however for $20 monthly, the “Plus plan” provides entry to ChatGPT on a regular basis, quicker responses and precedence to make use of new options.

With entry once more, I rapidly requested about wait occasions on Disney World rides, a topic which I had spoken to luxurious journey advisor Jonathan Alder of Jonathan’s Travels about final week. Alder lives near the park and has misplaced depend of what number of occasions he is visited, he stated. But, solely one in all their solutions — Epcot’s “Frozen Ever After” — overlapped.

ChatGPT talked about that FastPass and Genie+ can scale back wait occasions at Disney World, which is partly proper. The corporate phased out its “skip the road” digital queue FastPass program when it launched Genie+ within the fall of 2021.

The takeaway

ChatGPT is quick, chatty and feels such as you’re interacting with a human. I discovered myself responding with pointless pleasantries — “Okay, positive” and “Thanks” — out of behavior.

I may see the way it may save vacationers’ time, particularly if they’re in search of an summary or are on the early levels of planning.

However data will have to be present, after all — and bugs and error messages, which I confronted a number of occasions along with the “1020” message talked about above — will have to be fastened.

OpenAI states that the present ChatGPT model “is a free analysis preview.” It additionally says the system could “sometimes generate incorrect or deceptive data” and that it is “not supposed to present recommendation.”

Once I requested it about its journey planning skills, it stated it “can help with many facets of journey planning” however that it could not have the ability to “present personalised recommendation based mostly in your distinctive circumstances.”

My verdict: Journey brokers’ jobs are safe in the intervening time.