Um...are we travel writers all out of a job?
If you’ve been following the recent advancements in the world of artificial intelligence, you’ll know that there are unbelievable strides being made regarding the creation of original art. But there are also cutting-edge language models that can craft anything from original stories and college essays to writing jokes and crafting press releases. And for travelers, A.I. might even be able to help you plan your next trip–which has us travel writers a little bit nervous.
But we wanted to see how far this technology has come, so we decided to put it to the test by conducting an interview with the ChatGPT A.I. engine to find out some of the best things to do in the coming year and hear about the travel space in general. Some of it is a little freaky, while other answers make us feel a bit more secure in our jobs…kinda.
Note: ChatGPT can be directed to answer questions in various writing styles–whether written by the Associated Press or Kurt Vonnugut. For this interview, we asked ChatGPT to respond in either the style of Eugene Fodor, the founder of Fodor’s Travel, or as a Fodor’s Travel Guide or Fodors.com.
FODOR’S: What are your thoughts on travel trends for 2023?
CHATGPT: As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I do not have personal thoughts or experiences with travel trends. I can provide information on the topic based on my training data, but it is important to note that my knowledge is limited to what I was trained on, and my responses are not indicative of the views or opinions of any individual, including Eugene Fodor.
Recommended Fodor’s Video
Note: Okay, so far, we’re safe.
What are some great travel destinations?
As the founder of Fodor’s Travel Guides, Eugene Fodor would likely have many suggestions for great travel destinations. Some popular destinations for travelers include cities like Paris, Rome, and New York for their rich culture and history, as well as natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and the Great Barrier Reef for their stunning beauty. Other popular destinations include the beaches of Hawaii, the casinos of Las Vegas, and the adventure sports of Costa Rica. The best destination will depend on the individual traveler’s interests and preferences.
Note: Still good.
Describe the Mona Lisa.
As the founder of Fodor’s Travel Guides, Eugene Fodor would likely describe the Mona Lisa as one of the most famous and iconic paintings in the world. The Mona Lisa, also known as La Gioconda, is a 16th-century portrait painted by Leonardo da Vinci. It is known for its enigmatic smile and subtle use of perspective and lighting, which create a sense of depth and mystery. The painting is housed at the Louvre Museum in Paris, where it is one of the museum’s most visited and admired works of art. Despite its small size, the Mona Lisa is a masterpiece of Renaissance art and a must-see for anyone visiting Paris.
Note: Starting to sweat.
What are the best restaurants in Paris?
Paris is known for its world-class cuisine and has many excellent restaurants to choose from. Some of the best restaurants in Paris include L’Ambroisie, Le Cinq, and L’Astrance, which are all known for their Michelin-starred fine dining. Other popular restaurants include Le Chateaubriand, Septime, and La Tour d’Argent, which are known for their contemporary French cuisine. For a more casual dining experience, you can try bistros like Chez L’Ami Jean and Bistrot Paul Bert. The best restaurant for you will depend on your personal preferences and budget. I suggest doing some research and reading reviews to find the perfect restaurant for your trip to Paris.
Note: Uh oh.
I want to plan a three-week backpacking trip through Europe. I have a student’s budget, and I love finding local street food and open markets. Can you suggest an itinerary for me?
Here is one possible itinerary for a three-week backpacking trip through Europe on a student’s budget:
1. Start in Madrid, Spain, and spend a few days exploring the city’s famous sights, such as the Prado Museum, the Royal Palace, and the Retiro Park. You can also try some delicious local street food, such as churros con chocolate and paella.
2. Take a train to Lisbon, Portugal, and spend a few days exploring the city’s beautiful architecture, delicious seafood, and vibrant nightlife. You can also visit the open-air market at Mercado da Ribeira for some tasty local snacks and souvenirs.
3. Take a ferry to Barcelona, Spain, and spend a few days exploring the city’s famous sights, such as the Sagrada Familia, the Gothic Quarter, and the Park Güell. You can also visit La Boqueria market for some delicious local street food and fresh produce.
4. Take a train to Marseille, France, and spend a few days exploring the city’s beautiful coastline, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. You can also visit the open-air market at Noailles for some tasty local snacks and souvenirs.
5. Take a train to Nice, France, and spend a few days exploring the city’s beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. You can also visit the open-air market at Cours Saleya for some tasty local snacks and souvenirs.
6. Take a train to Milan, Italy, and spend a few days exploring the city’s famous sights, such as the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, and the Sforza Castle. You can also try some delicious local street food, such as panzerotti and risotto alla Milanese.
7. Take a train to Venice, Italy, and spend a few days exploring the city’s beautiful canals, delicious cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. You can also visit the open-air market at Rialto for some tasty local snacks and souvenirs.
8. Take a train to Florence, Italy, and spend a few days exploring the city’s famous sights, such as the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Uffizi Gallery. You can also try some delicious local street food, such as lampredotto and gelato.
9. Take a train to Rome, Italy, and spend a few days exploring the city’s famous sights, such as the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon. You can also try some delicious local street food, such as suppli and carbonara.
10. End your trip in Naples, Italy, and spend a few days exploring the city’s famous sights, such as the Royal Palace, the National Archaeological Museum, and the Castel dell’Ovo. You can also try some delicious local street food, such as pizza and sfogliatella.
This itinerary covers a range of countries and cities in Europe and includes many opportunities to try local street food and visit open-air markets. I suggest doing some research and planning ahead to make the most of your backpacking trip through Europe.
Note: Now we’re getting into trouble.
Can you describe what it’s like to visit Tokyo during cherry blossom season?
Visiting Tokyo during cherry blossom season is a truly magical experience. The cherry blossom, or sakura, is an iconic symbol of Japanese culture and the arrival of spring. As the cherry blossom trees burst into bloom, the city is transformed into a sea of delicate pink and white flowers.
During cherry blossom season, Tokyo’s parks and gardens are filled with people enjoying picnics, hanami parties, and other outdoor activities. The most famous spot for cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo is Ueno Park, where over 1,000 cherry blossom trees line the pathways and create a stunning pink canopy. Other popular spots for cherry blossom viewing include Yoyogi Park, Sumida Park, and the Imperial Palace grounds.
In addition to the beautiful cherry blossom trees, Tokyo during cherry blossom season also offers many other opportunities to enjoy the city’s rich culture and history. You can visit temples and shrines, such as the Meiji Shrine and the Senso-ji Temple, and attend traditional festivals, such as the Sanja Matsuri and the Hana Matsuri. You can also try some delicious Japanese cuisine, such as sushi, ramen, and tempura, and experience the city’s vibrant nightlife.
Overall, visiting Tokyo during cherry blossom season is a unique and unforgettable experience. The combination of stunning natural beauty and rich cultural traditions make it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Japan.
Note: Make it stop!
Can you describe the changes in travel trends over the past 10 years?
As the founder of Fodor’s Travel Guides, I have seen many changes in travel trends over the past 10 years. In the past, people tended to stick to traditional vacation destinations, such as beach resorts and European cities. But in recent years, there has been a shift towards more off-the-beaten-path destinations, such as rural areas and developing countries. More and more people are looking for unique and authentic travel experiences, and they are willing to go to more remote places to find them. In addition, there has been an increase in solo travel and adventure travel. People are more willing than ever to venture out on their own and try new and exciting things. Overall, the travel industry has become more diverse and dynamic, and I expect it to continue evolving in the coming years.
What are some of those off-the-beaten-path destinations?
There are many off-the-beaten-path destinations around the world that are worth exploring. Some examples include:
1. Bhutan: This tiny Himalayan kingdom is known for its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and unique approach to happiness.
2. Iceland: This island nation is home to incredible landscapes, including glaciers, waterfalls, and geothermal hot springs.
3. The Galapagos Islands: These remote islands are famous for their unique wildlife, including giant tortoises and a variety of birds.
4. Patagonia: This vast region in South America is known for its rugged beauty, with towering mountains and glaciers.
5. The Faroe Islands: These islands, located between Norway and Iceland, are known for their dramatic landscapes and unique culture.
These are just a few examples of off-the-beaten-path destinations. There are many other fascinating and undiscovered places around the world to explore.
Note: Updating my resume…
What are some travel tips and tricks to finding good deals, avoiding long lines, and making the most of travel experiences?
There are many ways to save money on travel and make the most of your experiences. Here are a few tips and tricks to try:
1. Plan ahead and book your flights and accommodations well in advance, as this can often save you money.
2. Consider using a travel agent or online travel booking site, as they can often find good deals and discounts that you might not be able to find on your own.
3. Be flexible with your travel dates and times, as you may be able to find better deals by traveling on off-peak days or during shoulder season.
4. Use rewards programs and credit card points to save money on flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.
5. Avoid long lines at popular tourist attractions by purchasing tickets online in advance, or by visiting during off-peak hours.
6. Research the local culture and customs before you travel and try to immerse yourself in the local way of life to make the most of your experiences.
7. Consider traveling with a small group or tour operator, as they can often provide insider access and exclusive experiences that you might not be able to arrange on your own.
8. Don’t be afraid to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. Travel is all about new experiences and personal growth, so embrace the unknown and see where it takes you.
Note: Are we travel writers all just a big walking cliché?
What is some travel advice you’d give to a friend who just got out of a long relationship?
If a friend has just come out of a long relationship, I would recommend that they take some time to focus on themselves and do things that they enjoy. Travel can be a great way to heal and rebuild after a breakup, as it allows you to step outside of your comfort zone, explore new places, and try new things.
Here are a few pieces of travel advice that I would give to a friend in this situation:
1. Take some time to figure out what you want from your travels. Are you looking to relax and recharge, or do you want to have new experiences and try new things?
2. Consider traveling solo, as this can be a great way to reconnect with yourself and rediscover your own interests and passions.
3. Don’t be afraid to try new things and step outside of your comfort zone. Travel is all about personal growth and discovery, so embrace the unknown and see where it takes you.
4. Be open to meeting new people and making new friends. Travel is a great way to meet interesting and like-minded people from all over the world.
5. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to have the “perfect” trip. Things will not always go as planned, and that’s okay. Embrace the unexpected and roll with the punches.
6. Overall, the most important thing is to focus on yourself and do what makes you happy. Whether that means relaxing on a beautiful beach or exploring a new city, travel can be a great way to heal and move forward after a breakup.
Note: It’s coming for the psychologists too!
What are some festivals in South America worth attending in 2023?
As a large language model trained by OpenAI, I do not have personal knowledge or experience with festivals in South America in 2023. My training data only goes up until 2021, so I cannot provide current information on this topic. Additionally, I am not a travel writer and cannot speak on behalf of Fodor’s Travel Guide. I suggest consulting a travel expert or guide for up-to-date information on festivals in South America.
Note: Okay, we’re still in business! For now…
I've been playing with chatgpt also. My first questions were travel itineraries for regions I know well. I was really impressed by the suggestions it made. By asking it to regenerate the answers, even more good ideas and alternatives were produced. Actually a pretty great starting place for planning a trip. But just like the relationship between Wikipedia and real research, chatbots are just a starting place, real research would be needed for a trip. Fodor's still has a place in this world! :)
The ferry: Lisbon to Barcelona... hmmm waaay to go AI! For starters - it would be a fantastic waste of both: money and time - during a 3wk trip! The conclusion?
One still needs a Travel Agent or travel books if one needs logistics and costing info.
And a general advice is missing - the one of trying to travel light - only essentials, do not travel with more than you can lift and actually carry yourself!
I feel a little safer knowing it recommended taking a ferry from Lisbon to Barcelona................. Somehow, all of its learning doesn't seem to have grasped the very clear and static geolocation realities properly.