We used ChatGPT to plan international trips - here’s a tour of the results!

We used ChatGPT to plan international trips - here’s a tour of the results!
  • OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022 and since then, many stories of the chatbot’s uses, mishaps and potential misuse have been reported.
  • Travel planning is among the many services that ChatGPT can be used for.
  • We tried planning budget and luxury trips with ChatGPT and it provided detailed, sample itineraries with price breakups.
Ever since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022, multiple stories about the artificial intelligence chatbot’s uses, mishaps (hilarious and otherwise), and potential misuse have been reported. However, what no one can deny is that ChatGPT is here to stay and has the potential to change many things, including travel planning.

At present, most tour companies offer fixed packages that may not always incorporate customers’ requirements, especially if they’re diverse in nature – for instance, combining temple tours with bar crawls, floating market tours, flea markets and a trip to the elephant sanctuary in Thailand.

The other alternative – to pick and choose activities, involves a lot of effort. Travellers will need to crawl through hundreds of sites advertising the best attractions and hidden wonders, check prices, manage the budget and handle multiple separate bookings to finally arrive at an itinerary. The effort multiplies if it’s not a solo trip.

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ChatGPT, essentially, minimises the intensive effort and gives you different options. When it comes to planning trips, ChatGPT works as a better-informed, more interactive search engine that collates all available information in one place and in a cohesive manner. And better yet, it takes into account users’ various limitations and expectations to prepare an itinerary, which is most definitely a good starting point.

And if you’re confused about where to travel, it can even give relevant suggestions based on your likes and dislikes. Listed below are a few examples of how ChatGPT planned various trips to different destinations at different budget points:


Budget trips to famous destinations

On being asked about famous destinations to travel to, ChatGPT listed Paris, Bali, New York City, Tokyo and Rome as the top five destinations, along with reasons for why they’re worth visiting.

On further inquiry, it revealed that an eight-day-long budget trip to Bali from India could cost anywhere between $500-1,000 i.e. ₹41,000-82,000. To compare, tour operator Make My Trip offers a 10-day trip for ₹84,000, after a 25% discount.

The chatbot also generated a day-by-day sample itinerary with price breakup when prompted. Please find below a part of the itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival in Bali

Airport transfer to accommodation in Kuta or Seminyak (₹1,000-1,500)
Spend the day exploring the nearby beaches and local markets (free)
Dinner at a local warung (small local restaurant) (₹200-400)

Day 2: Ubud

Private taxi to Ubud (₹1,500-2,000)
Visit the Monkey Forest Sanctuary (₹50-100 entrance fee)
Explore the Ubud Art Market (free)
Lunch at a local warung (₹200-400)
Visit the Tegalalang Rice Terrace (₹10,000 for a swing ride)
Return to accommodation in Kuta or Seminyak by private taxi (₹1,500-2,000)

Day 3: Nusa Penida Island

Take a ferry to Nusa Penida Island (₹1,500-2,000 round-trip ferry ticket)
Visit the Broken Beach and Angel's Billabong (free)
Lunch at a local warung (₹200-400)
Visit the Kelingking Beach viewpoint (free)
Return to accommodation in Kuta or Seminyak by private taxi (₹1,500-2,000)

Luxury trips to lesser-known destinations

When asked about lesser-known destinations worth visiting, ChatGPT listed Faroe Islands (North Atlantic island group), Lofoten Islands (Norway), Sapa (Vietnam), Leh-Ladakh (India) and Socotra (Yemen). It also listed the major attractions at these destinations.

As per ChatGPT, “a luxury trip to Lofoten Islands from India can cost anywhere between ₹2.5-3.5 lakh ($3,400-4,700) per person for a week-long trip, excluding meals and other incidentals.”

Most popular tour operators don’t offer a Lofoten Islands trip, which means if this destination is on your bucket list, you need to individually research and plan the trip.

Following is part of the sample itinerary that ChatGPT prepared for a week-long trip to Lofoten, with price breakup:

Day 1: Arrival in Lofoten Islands

Fly from India to Leknes Airport in Lofoten Islands (approximately ₹60,000-70,000 round-trip)
Private transfer to luxury hotel in Lofoten Islands (approximately ₹5,000-7,000)
Rest of the day at leisure to explore the hotel facilities and nearby area (free)

Day 2: Svolvær

Private driver/guide for a day trip to Svolvær, one of the main towns in Lofoten Islands (approximately ₹8,000-10,000 for the day)
Visit the Lofoten War Museum (entrance fee ₹400-500)
Lunch at a local seafood restaurant (approximately ₹2,000-3,000)
Enjoy a boat ride to see the Trollfjord (approximately ₹3,000-4,000)
Return to hotel in the evening

That is not to say that ChatGPT can eliminate all effort required in planning a trip. Travellers still need to cross-reference the sample itinerary and book the trip. It also, naturally, can’t replace the years of experience that many tour guides and travel organisations provide. But, as mentioned earlier, it’s a good starting point to plan for your travels.

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