September 25, 2023
Can ChatGPT assist plan a trip? This is what it may well and might’t do

Some individuals love journey planning.

However I’m not a type of individuals.

So the concept that synthetic intelligence chatbots, comparable to 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 — not less than for ChatGPT.

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

Sadly, I could not check Bing. Once I tried to entry it, I used to be placed on a ready checklist. The web site mentioned 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 seaside journey?’

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

I am searching for a week-long seaside journey in mid-March to spend time with my household, with no set finances, I typed.

“Feels like a beautiful 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 fashionable sights for every.

Good. However I reside in Singapore, I mentioned.

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

Yet one more factor — I would like nice meals too, I typed.

In that case, it mentioned, 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 — “a fantastic island off the west coast of Malaysia … [with] loads of secluded spots”
  • Krabi — “not as busy as different locations in Thailand comparable to Phuket or Koh Samui”
  • Bali — “seashores within the north of Bali, comparable to Lovina Seashore, are typically much less crowded”

All true.

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

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

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

Which one has the very best on-line evaluations?

“All the locations I really useful have nice on-line evaluations,” ChatGPT replied, offering rankings from Tripadvisor, and Google for every resort.

But, the evaluations missed the mark in a number of cases.  

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

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

ChatGPT is nothing if not apologetic.

Price estimates for every resort have been extra correct. However ChatGPT could not present pictures of the inns or assist guide them — though it did present ample directions on how you can do each.

By highway or by rail?

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

What about practice journeys in Europe? “Actually!” it mentioned, recommending:

  1. The Orient Specific — from Paris to Istanbul
  2. The Glacier Specific — from St. Moritz to Zermatt, Switzerland
  3. The Bernina Specific — from Chur, Switzerland, to Tirano, Italy
  4. The Golden Cross 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 problem: The “Orient Specific” is now not in service. Does ChapGPT know this?

It does, but it surely appears to confuse each departure of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Specific — 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 title airways that join cities, however it may well’t give present flight info or assist guide flights.  

It wasn’t capable of inform me the most cost effective fare — or any fare — from London to New York this spring as a result of it would not “have entry to real-time pricing info,” it mentioned.

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

Nonetheless, the bot may reply which month the London-to-New York route is often the most cost effective, which it mentioned is “January and February, or through the shoulder season months of March and November.”

As for the very best airline on the earth, it mentioned: “As an AI language mannequin, I can’t 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 checklist wasn’t right.

The checklist supplied 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 the very best eating places?” in a given metropolis produces two totally different lists — one with extra fashionable locations to eat, and the opposite with those 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 the very best eating places?  

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

That is an honest however dated checklist. Restaurant Andre, which was considered 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 “recognized 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 supplied the checklist.

And in the event you’re questioning about the very 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, comparable to:

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

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

This error could also be brought on by overloaded servers or by exceeding the every day restrict, based on the tech web site Stealth Non-obligatory. Both manner, all of my earlier chats have been inaccessible, an enormous detrimental 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 accessible when demand is low, however for $20 monthly, the “Plus plan” provides entry to ChatGPT on a regular basis, sooner responses and precedence to make use of new options.

With entry once more, I shortly 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 rely of what number of occasions he is visited, he mentioned. But, solely certainly one of 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, certain” and “Thanks” — out of behavior.

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

However info will must 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 must be mounted.

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

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

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