How To Create A Travel Itinerary Using AI: A Comprehensive Guide 683 1024 Nache’ Snow - Speaker, Author, Productivity Junkie, and Host of the Studio 78 Podcast

How To Create A Travel Itinerary Using AI: A Comprehensive Guide

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I recently chatted with a friend about the numerous applications of generative AI (GenAI) and how it can significantly streamline various tasks, including putting together grocery lists and planning trips. While discussing trip planning with ChatGPT, my friend was intrigued and asked, “How can ChatGPT help with trip planning?” That got me thinking, and here I am, inspired to share a detailed guide on leveraging GenAI for effortless trip planning.

Download a GenAI App for Text

Let’s kick things off by downloading a GenAI app for text. Personally, I’m a big fan of ChatGPT, but you’ve got options like Claude too. While ChatGPT offers a free version, I recently upgraded, but trust me, the free version is fantastic, too. Whether on your computer, tablet, or phone, there’s a version for you. I prefer using the official ChatGPT app on my tablet or phone. [Apple | Google Play]

Advance tip: Alternatively, some applications you already use for knowledge management might have built-in AI features. For instance, Notion has such a feature, albeit it might come at a cost.

Create a Prompt

Now, onto the fun part—creating a prompt! GenAI thrives on specifics, so the more detailed your prompt, the better your results. Prompts are essentially questions. Think of it as having a conversation with a knowledgeable travel companion. For instance, you could ask, “What are some of the most popular places to visit in DC?”

Tackling Trip Planning with GenAI

There are several approaches you can take when using GenAI for trip planning:

  1. Find a Destination: If you’re undecided about where to go, GenAI can help you decide. Your prompt could include factors like preferred weather, travel distance, time of year, mobility, and companionship.
    • “Can you suggest a destination with warm weather, within a 4-hour flight from New York City, for a week-long solo trip in May?”
    • “I’m looking for a family-friendly destination with plenty of outdoor activities and cultural experiences. Any suggestions?”
    • “What are some off-the-beaten-path destinations known for their culinary scene and historical landmarks?”
  2. Ask About Specifics: You can inquire about particular aspects of your trip, such as popular eateries, the best time to visit, or nearby accommodations. 
    • “What are the top-rated restaurants in Paris known for authentic French cuisine?”
    • “Can you recommend budget-friendly accommodations near Times Square in New York City?”
    • “What’s the best time of year to visit Tokyo for cherry blossom viewing?”
    • “What hotels are closest to the most famous museums in DC?”
  3. Create a Detailed Itinerary: Craft a comprehensive prompt outlining your location, travel dates, duration, transportation mode, companions, interests, preferences, packing tips, and desired format for receiving the itinerary.

    For a trip to DC, your prompt could include details like the time of year, duration of stay, the preferred mode of transportation, activities you enjoy, and any specific requests for the itinerary format.
    • “I’m planning a trip to Rome in September for 10 days with my partner. We enjoy exploring historical sites, trying local cuisine, and relaxing in scenic spots. Could you create a detailed itinerary including must-see landmarks, restaurant recommendations, and suggested day trips? Please also include packing suggestions and format it as a daily schedule.”
    • “Heading to Los Angeles in the spring for a weekend getaway with friends. We’re interested in exploring trendy neighborhoods, visiting popular attractions, and enjoying nightlife. Could you craft an itinerary with restaurant suggestions, activity recommendations, and transportation options? Please organize it by day and provide packing tips.”
    • A more advanced prompt will include asking the GenAI model to “be” something. “You are one of the most sought-after trip planners in the world. You are working with a client planning a solo trip to Tokyo for one week in October. She’s in her 40s and is a big foodie, loves exploring museums, and has a soft spot for stationary stores. She has paid you to create a detailed itinerary she can use on her trip. Please include recommendations for delicious local eateries, must-visit museums, and unique stationary shops. Additionally, she’d appreciate suggestions on transportation options, areas to stay in, packing tips you might have, and what the weather will be like. The daily schedule should include suggested times, specific locations–if they are paid or free, and how long it will take to get from one place to another. Also, include backup hotels and locations.”
    • “You’re a renowned travel planner sought after by clients worldwide. You’re assisting a family planning a two-week trip to Bali in December. The family adores outdoor adventures, beach activities, and immersing themselves in local culture. They’re looking for a comprehensive itinerary covering accommodations, transportation, sightseeing, dining options, and a recommended packing list. Can you craft a detailed weekly agenda to suit their preferences?”
Add prompt to the box.
Example of results.

Refine Results

After receiving your initial results, it’s time to refine them further. Feel free to ask GenAI to modify, reformat, or add additional information to tailor the itinerary to your preferences. Feel free to ask follow-up questions to get exactly what you need.

For example, after seeing the results of the Tokyo prompt, you may ask to see the information in a table, convert the cost to US dollars, or modify the start or stop times of each day.

Verify Recommendations

While GenAI is incredibly helpful, it’s not infallible and has been known to create “hallucinations”—false information. Verify the recommendations provided to ensure they’re accurate and align with your interests. 

Additionally, do some extra research, like reading articles to supplement the information supplied by GenAI.

Create a Travel Document

Once you have a solid plan, it’s time to document it for easy reference. Whether you prefer using Notion, Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or a notes app, paste your GenAI-generated itinerary into your chosen platform. Consider using a collaborative tool if you’re sharing the document with others.

I utilize my Notion Travel Planner to organize all my trips. I take the information provided by ChatGPT and input it into various sections of my planner.

Keep in mind, as of now, GenAI tools cannot search for or purchase tickets for flights, hotels, events, and more. It’s still up to you to conduct research and take action. Make sure to include this information in your travel document for easy reference.

Additionally, I find it helpful to mark all the locations I plan to visit on Google Maps using its convenient “save for later” feature. You can even create custom Google Maps with highlighted spots to share with others. I also rely on Google Maps to research hotels before booking, saving the ones that catch my eye.

For additional inspiration, I’m a big fan of creating secret Pinterest boards for my “big” trips and places I want to visit one day. Also, whenever I find helpful articles or “What to do” guides, I add them to my Notion Travel Planner.

Lastly, having a packing list is essential, especially for destinations with specific clothing requirements like skiing, beach outings, or hiking adventures.

Have Fun!

While GenAI can streamline your trip planning process, verifying information independently and staying informed about travel advisories is essential.

Lastly, enjoy the journey! Whether exploring new cities, lounging on exotic beaches, or embarking on thrilling adventures, GenAI can help make your travel dreams a reality.

Safe travels, adventurers! If you have questions, please add them in the comments.

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