Would you use Artificial Intelligence to plan a trip

Old Mar 13th, 2024, 02:31 AM
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Would you use Artificial Intelligence to plan a trip

Hi All
There was an interesting article in one of our weekend newspapers about using AI to plan a trip, and the impact this will have on travel agents and others in the travel industry. Basically you enter into ChatGP the country you would like to visit, the amount of time, budget, and I think accommodation preferences.
I can see this being attractive to perhaps first time travellers and those that are not confident about arranging anything themselves.
It wouldnít suit me as I enjoy the research once a destination has been decided on. However our daughter who understands this whole AI concept advised ď Mum this is the future as it is going to save people a lot of timeĒ.
I did try it and entered a three month trip to Northern France and it came up with pretty much the itinerary we did. What I donít know is where the information comes from. Possibly your owned device? Or from the thousands of articles already available online.
What are your thoughts
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 03:32 AM
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A friend of mine recently used chatgpt for an Italy itinerary focussed around Liguria and Tuscany, and the results were sub optimal. It had few errors/exclusions and also the route wasnt optimised in terms of location sequence and had him retracing a few times.
So apart from denying you the joy of research and planning (sometimes I wonder if thats more fun than the travel itself !), it also seemed unreliable (and biased).
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 04:15 AM
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AI is another tool in the toolbox, and I do use it from time to time for trip planning. Just like any other tool in the toolbox, it has a time and a place. I wouldn't use a chainsaw to trim my rose bushes, but I would use it for clearing large trees.

Likewise for AI. It is helpful to cut a swathe through the forest of travel options, or help me see things from a different angle, but I don't use it for any precision trip details.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 05:05 AM
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I doubt AI can dig very deep. For those of us who like back roads and little known museums and un-exciting events, AI wouldn't be much help.

If I'm wrong, please don't tell me. It would be too depressing.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 05:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Coquelicot
I doubt AI can dig very deep. For those of us who like back roads and little known museums and un-exciting events, AI wouldn't be much help.

If I'm wrong, please don't tell me. It would be too depressing.
+1
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Coquelicot
I doubt AI can dig very deep.
That might be one thing it will do well.

Most humans when they search check the top layer of stuff. Computers can keep going quite a bit deeper. Think about computer versions of games like chess. The computer in a second can try out each and every possible move.

You might be able in the future to ask for it to plot a route on secondary roads including low attendance museums.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 10:40 AM
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I don't think using AI is any different than using GPS systems. How many have we heard someone driving over a cliff when the bridge wasn't replaced or roads that have closed and it didn't know? I have had GPS take me down dirt roads that seemed wrong or even roads that can't get around a detour. I end up right where I started still trying to take me a way that's closed.

These tools are great when they work but terrible when it can't think outside the box. I get it, its a machine. I work with similar systems. It can't think on the fly and only does what its programmed to do. Don't ask it to think like a person.

Don't get me wrong, I like to think GPS has gotten better with real time updates but sometimes that has failed me. There really is no excuse to remove the human side of planning so caution should always be used.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 11:41 AM
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Thanks for the input from you all.
J62 a great way to look at it. ANUJJ yes I love the research part of travel. It is very interesting in our house at the moment as we are talking about visiting Japan in October/ November and my husband is responsible for organising this trip. Nothing been done yet on the research side, or airfares and accommodation booked. I would have been researching a lot by now, and wondering if AI will come into play when he gets around to looking 🤣
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 01:48 PM
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No, I'm perfectly capable of planning my own. AI would only regurgitate crowdsourced typical and common plans and interests, and that doesn't suit my travel style. Besides, what would be the point, I have the time to do it and like doing it.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 09:20 PM
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Christina I agree. I was just surprised that it was available for travel.
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Old Mar 13th, 2024, 11:12 PM
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AI is definitely a tool that you can use while planning your itinerary but you shouldn't rely on it completely. You can use it to plan a layout and a general itinerary and then fine tune it and check for errors. AI cannot be solely relied on to plan like a human would, what it can do is make your life easier and save you time.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 05:02 AM
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AI can be used for anything, bounded only by the imagination. Like any tool, it takes both practice and skill to produce a more refined product. "I did try it and entered a three month trip to Northern France and it came up with pretty much the itinerary we did." sounds pretty normal for a novice user. Let's use a painter or sculptor analogy....

A simple "I tried it" could be considered analogous to a paint by numbers..... "I tried it, and I came up with the same picture in the book, but it didn't even look as nice" - of course, that's to be expected..... I would not expect that the 1st time young-Michaelangelo picked up a chisel and put it to a block of marble he came up with anything resembling the Pieta..... but over time he refined his craft and we all know the amazing original objects he was able to produce.

Using AI (such as ChatGPT) takes practice to know how to get something more than paint-by-numbers. True artistes have the ability to create amazing things with AI.

I'm not sure that for those of us that love to plan trips it's actually going to be a time saver, but rather open up new avanues of thinking. Let's take that 3mo northern france trip. Here are some possible inquiries to put in to an AI engine like ChatGPT. I'm no a.i. expert but I did recently stay at a holiday inn...

1. "plan a 3 mo itinerary to northern France. "
It'll spit out some garbage that moves around 1-2 weeks here and there, and sound like a beginners trip.
1-2 weeks each in Rouen, Bayeux, Rennes, Quipmper, Lille, and Amiens. For someone who didn't want to invest any more planning effort, that's what they'll get....

But for others who may have more specific interests, this is where A.I. can be more valuable (my 2c)

Let's say you want to focus on towns with WW1 history.
2. "plan a 3mo itinerary to northern France, focused on towns noted for WW1 history.
It'll spit out something else.

Or you want to have only 3 bases, 1mo each, and do day trips no longer than 1hr drive.
3. "Plan a 3 mo itinerary to northern France staying in only 3 places for 1 month each, and include 2-3 day trips per week with a maxiumum travel time of 1 hr each direction.
That's a much more specific input. It spits out in 2 seconds these 3 bases. Caen, Riems, Rennes withh some side trip recommendations...

In my experience, trying to plan out an entire trip in one inquiry is too much to bite off. Let's say you like the idea of Caen, Riems, but not Rennes. ChatGPT will recommend Saint Malo.... You could then use AI to scope out how to use our time in and around Caen/Normandy, with whatever your specific interests are. Moldy cheeses, or American military cemeteries, or Knights who say Ni, or organic wine producers, or long walks through the countryside or whatever..... limited only by your imagination.

There are many different ways to skin the cat, and each iteration of an a.i. inquiry can get more specific.

These are just some examples I came up with on the fly. With practice I would expect that I could use AI to greatly enhance my future trip plannning.

Last edited by J62; Mar 14th, 2024 at 05:24 AM.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 01:26 PM
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Out of curiosity, I asked Perplexity, a search engine based on AI, to recommend three good restaurants in Senigallia, the seaside town near where we live in Le Marche. I was rather pleasantly surprised by the results. It included Uliassi, the 3-star restaurant, (but didn't mention Madonnina del Pescatore, the 2-star restaurant in the same town). It also mentioned Raggiazzuro, which I consider one of the best restaurants in the area, although it seems to be little known. The third restaurant was one I didn't know, but it looked like a valid choice.

I suggest asking ChatGPT for advice on restaurants, hotels, and day trips in your own area, to see if you would agree with the recommendations.
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Old Mar 14th, 2024, 04:11 PM
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J62 I am definitely a novice user and if I was interested enough our daughter could probably teach me more as she uses it a lot in her work. The whole AI concept ie really interesting as the last couple of books I have purchased on my kindle, the author has stated that AI has not been used for the plot.
bvlenci that may help people a lot.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 02:14 AM
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Nope. Have you heard about "AI hallucinations"? It's when AI makes up stuff because it's programmed to give you an answer. It's recommended roads that don't exist, assured that hotels have features that they don't... I'll stick to research on books and travel blogs by locals.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 03:42 AM
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No, I would not use it. We have seen a few ridiculous Itineraries on TA, generated by AI & posted by people with no idea of the logistics & geography.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 09:08 AM
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I wouldn't use it. Planning my trips is half the fun.
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Old May 3rd, 2024, 02:40 PM
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It scans millions of choices -- why don't you do exactly what YOU want?
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Old May 4th, 2024, 03:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Bokhara2
No, I would not use it. We have seen a few ridiculous Itineraries on TA, generated by AI & posted by people with no idea of the logistics & geography.

Weíve also seen many ridiculous itineraries here on Fodors made without A.I. Iíve recently had ridiculous flight itineraries made up by a professional travel agent - not sure what (or if) they were thinking. Nobody is suggesting to blindly trust AI to make a full itinerary - itís another tool in in the toolbox for travelers to use. Or not. Itís not a replacement for human logic or common sense

I recall ages ago when Rick Steeves guides were panned as nonsense books for the uninformed masses. Like AI, those guidebooks are another good tool to be used with discretion, not blindly followed.
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Old May 4th, 2024, 04:06 AM
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AI is a tool that can be useful, but you can't rely on it blindly. I recently used AI for recommendations of a nice place to stop for the night when driving between Maine and Montreal. It recommended four places, but I checked them all. I realized that I should have specified "in the summer", because one of them was a town near Sugarloaf Mountain, a ski resort. Another was a nature preserve, and we wouldn't be interested in any all-day activities. But the other two were towns I had never heard of, and that looked interesting.

I used a new AI search engine called Perplexity. At this time it's free, but it will probably be a subscription service in the future.

When using AI,
  • Make your questions as specific as possible. AI is better than other search engines at long and complicated searches
  • Ask follow-up questions. Perplexity allows you to modify your question. I could have followed up my original question by saying, " I'm not interested in sports or hiking. Are there other places you could suggest?
  • Use your answers as a starting point for further research. I didn't take the answer I got from Perplexity as a reason to reserve a room at a town near Sugarloaf without checking further.

I have a good guide book to New England, but it wasn't useful for what I wanted to know. Guide books are great when you already know where you want to go. I always buy one whenever we visit a new destination. Last year we went to Vienna, and I got a guide book before we went. The year before, I got a guide book for Croatia, even though we were visiting a friend there. AI and guidebooks are two different tools, with some overlap but also with their own individual strengths.

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