If you love to travel but aren’t a fan of spending hours or days planning every detail of your trip, ChatGPT could simplify things greatly. The tool is easy to use, takes seconds to get you the answers you need, and has a friendly interface. It can be a great tool to help you plan your next summer vacation — no matter your budget.
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So, what exactly can ChatGPT do in terms of travel planning? Well, it may not be able to provide exceptionally personalized advice based on your unique situation. What it can do, however, is help with things like finding the best vacation destination, planning your itinerary, making recommendations, and providing general travel advice.
Planning Your Itinerary on a Budget
One of the first things people do when planning a trip is make a budget. After all, it’s important to have the best experience possible without breaking the bank. ChatGPT can help by making suggestions and itineraries that work with any budget.
“Users can interact with ChatGPT to discuss their travel preferences, such as desired destinations, duration of the trip, and accommodation preferences,” said Katherine Fleischman, Publicist and Travel Expert at Do-Tell PR. “Based on this input, ChatGPT can offer recommendations for budget-friendly options, including affordable accommodations, transportation choices, and activities that align with the user’s financial constraints.”
ChatGPT can also identify the best times to visit specific locations, while helping you secure the best deals. It can even find seasonal discounts for wherever you’re going. “Additionally, ChatGPT can help users explore cost-saving tips, such as finding discounted flights, using loyalty programs, or identifying budget-friendly dining options,” added Fleischman.
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Saving You Money Before Your Trip
In some cases, ChatGPT might even be able to save you money on purchases you’ve already made. When asked about this, Sandra McLemore, Leading Travel Industry Expert and TV Host at Travel Marketing and Media, gave the following example:
“I saved over $1,000 on a flight last month. I had bought a business class ticket on United Airlines from LA to DC. After my purchase, I asked ChatGPT, ‘find me a business class ticket on these dates between these cities.’ It actually gave me two options, of which one was United Airlines. By leaving 2 hours earlier on the outbound flight, I would save $1,000. I changed my flight and got my $1,000 refund.”
Making Budget-Friendly Travel Destination Recommendations
As a highly interactive tool, ChatGPT can also help you find the perfect destination based on your interests and budget. “Users can engage in conversational exchanges with ChatGPT to receive recommendations for attractions, landmarks, and activities based on their interests and preferences,” said Fleischman. “ChatGPT can suggest popular attractions, hidden gems, local experiences, and even create day-by-day itineraries tailored to the user’s desired destinations and available time.”
You’ll need to be specific with your wording, however. Changing or omitting even one keyword or phrase can significantly affect your results.
“According to a recent survey conducted by VisitorsCoverage, 59% of travelers say they’ll be using AI like ChatGPT to assist in their travel plans. This isn’t surprising when you consider all that AI can do for travelers,” said Mohan Rao, CTO of VisitorsCoverage. “The key is knowing what prompts to feed it. If you have a specific dollar amount you don’t want to go over, you’ll want to include that in your prompt parameters.”
Another thing to be aware of is the way ChatGPT gathers information. “It can parse various online databases, aggregating average costs of accommodation, dining, transportation, and entertainment in your chosen destination,” said Casey Jones, Founder and Head of Marketing at CJ&CO and Ad Gurus. “This synthesized information can help travelers in creating realistic budgets tailored to their preferences.”
Since not everything online is accurate or current, there’s a very real possibility for misinformation. That’s why it’s still important to cross-reference the itinerary or suggestions with reputable sources before committing to any plans.
Estimating Travel Costs
“Generative AI can offer a number of suggestions to help plan travel arrangements, from estimating expenses for a desired trip to building a trip around a fixed budget,” said Richard Gardner, CEO of Modulus. “For example, if you input a budget of $600 for a three-day, two-night road trip vacation, to begin in Virginia Beach, it will suggest a number of potential destinations which would fit your timeframe and budget.”
Providing General Travel Advice
“ChatGPT can provide users with insights about the local culture, customs, language basics, and even useful phrases in foreign languages,” said Fleischman. “This can help travelers feel more comfortable and better prepared for their experiences abroad.”
This tool can also provide more generalized information about your destination, such as the weather forecast, the best things to pack, and safety guidelines.
You might have some difficulty if you want answers to highly specific questions, though. For example, you could ask ChatGPT “Where should I stay in Thailand?” and it will produce a list of suggestions. But if you change the question to something like “Best places to stay in Thailand,” the list could be completely different.
All in all, ChatGPT is a highly interactive and friendly tool that can help you find budget-friendly travel options for your next trip. However, it still struggles with certain things — like specific prompts and ensuring accurate information. Because of this, it might still be a good idea to speak with a travel agent or double-check your information with an authoritative source.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Going on Vacation This Summer? Here’s How ChatGPT Can Help You Budget