How Can I Use AI To Plan My Vacation?
Let’s be real: Planning a vacation is no fun. It can take hours to research a destination, read travel blogs and articles, and sort through endless reviews. Then there’s the stress of organizing the information you find and sharing it with your travel companions.
Fortunately, a wave of new AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning tools are popping up that promise to make vacation planning easier and faster.
Simply enter a few details about your trip and these tools will make recommendations on where to stay and what to do and see. Some sites will also let you ask follow-up questions and set additional parameters so you can plan the perfect trip in minutes—really.
How do AI vacation-planning tools work?
AI vacation-planning tools scrape data from various sources, including booking sites, social media posts and popular travel blogs, to make personalized recommendations based on your interests, travel dates and budget.
Without knowing it, you’ve likely used AI to plan a trip in the past. Sites like Tripadvisor already use machine learning to determine which reviews and content will be most helpful to users. Expedia also uses AI to deliver personalized hotel recommendations based on your travel dates and budget.
These new AI vacation planners take this experience to the next level. Instead of merely showing you a list of relevant reviews and links, today’s travel chatbots organize the information, so it’s more usable. They also integrate information from sites like Google Maps to turn a list of recommendations into an actionable itinerary.
4 new travel-planning apps to try on your next vacation
This app asks specific questions about your upcoming trip, like how long you plan to stay, who you’re traveling with and whether you consider yourself a budget traveler or are seeking more of a luxury experience. It also prompts you to rank your interests, from shopping to spending time at museums to visiting historical sites. The app then uses this information to deliver a sharable itinerary, links to Google Maps and the predicted travel time between destinations.
Curiosio is designed specifically to help drivers plan the perfect road trip. Enter your starting point, destination and any stops planned along the way. Curiosio will also ask about your budget, the number of travelers and whether you want to see “curious” or “obscure” sites. The search engine will then scour sites like Wikipedia and databases like OpenStreetMap to develop a “trip plan” with a list of suggested destinations. Your itinerary will include a map and links to the Wikipedia page for each site.
Simply enter the city you want to visit and Roam Around will deliver a five-day itinerary with recommendations on how to spend each morning, afternoon and evening. The site links to tours and experiences that can be booked on Viator, a travel company owned by Tripadvisor. You can also prompt Roam Around to tweak your results. For example, there’s an option to make the results “more outdoorsy” or include more “weird eats.”
ChatGPT is an app that lets you ask all kinds of questions and use different AI functions you’ve heard about like writing or even creating your own app. It’s powered by OpenAI so when you sign up you’ll create an OpenAI account. From there, you can start with a request like: “Plan a three-day trip to Tampa, Florida.” And then use this text-based interface to fine-tune your results by asking follow-up questions and focusing your recommendations on specific interests and neighborhoods. You might ask questions along the lines of “show me restaurants that are popular with foodies near downtown” or “where can I rent kayaks and stand-up paddle boards?”
All of these AI vacation planners are currently free. To fund their operations, they may receive payments from the booking sites they recommend.
Can I trust an AI travel bot’s recommendations?
AI vacation planners organize and curate data that currently exists on the web. While this is extremely helpful, it can also lead to travel mishaps. The original information can be outdated or inaccurate. Seasonal closures could affect your experience. Reviews can also be misinterpreted by the bot.
To finalize your itinerary, double-check all of your travel bot’s recommendations. Visit each attraction’s website to verify operating hours and costs. Scan the existing reviews and photos, and check that all of the locations are within a comfortable driving distance from each other.
Are AI travel-planning tools worth the hype?
Perhaps the promise of punching a few details into an AI vacation planner and getting a perfect itinerary in seconds is a bit far-fetched at the moment. Today, these tools can make travel planning easier by focusing your search and helping you narrow down the sites, hotels and restaurants that best match your interests. And that’s a great start to a vacation.
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