March 27, 2023
Can ChatGPT assist plan a trip? This is what it will probably and may’t do

Some individuals love journey planning.

However I’m not a kind of individuals.

So the concept synthetic intelligence chatbots, resembling 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 lodge requests too?

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

Can ChatGPT assist plan a trip? This is what it will probably and may’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 seashore journey?’

“After all!” replied ChatGPT. However first, I wanted to inform it about my pursuits, price range 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 price range, I typed.

“Appears 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 in regards to the climate and well-liked sights for every.

Good. However I stay 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 had been higher decisions.

Another factor — I need 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 dangerous. However I’ve one other ask: I wish to keep away from crowds.

In that case, I could wish to contemplate:

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

All true.

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

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

  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 beneficial have nice on-line critiques,” ChatGPT replied, offering rankings from Tripadvisor, and Google for every lodge.

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

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

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 lodge had been extra correct. However ChatGPT could not present images of the accommodations or assist guide them — though it did present ample directions on find out how to do each.

By highway or by rail?

For a highway journey throughout the USA, ChatGPT beneficial Route 66, Pacific Coast Freeway and the Nice River Street, the latter of which traces the Mississippi River via 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 Move 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 not in service. Does ChapGPT know this?

It does, however it 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 is able to run in August this 12 months, and has already bought out.  


ChatGPT can identify airways that join cities, however it will probably’t give present flight data 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 does not “have entry to real-time pricing data,” it mentioned.

In actual fact, ChatGPT information ends at September 2021; it does 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 in the course of the shoulder season months of March and November.”

As for one of the best airline on the planet, it mentioned: “As an AI language mannequin, I can’t have private preferences or opinions.” However 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 offered by ChatGPT seems to be Skytrax’s airline rating from 2019 as an alternative.  

“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 trade 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 Rooster 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 checklist. Restaurant Andre, which was thought to be one of many metropolis’s finest 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 therapy? To check this, I requested for meals suggestions in Galveston, Texas. This time, ChatGPT simply offered the checklist.

And for those who’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 at the moment.

Particular questions

I had many extra questions for ChatGPT, resembling:

“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 traces 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, in line with the tech web site Stealth Optionally available. Both means, all of my earlier chats had been inaccessible, an enormous unfavourable 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 obtainable when demand is low, however for $20 monthly, the “Plus plan” offers 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 mentioned. 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 outline or are on the early levels of planning.

However data will should 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 should be mounted.

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

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

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

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