Can Artificial Intelligence like ChatGPT plan your next trip?

If you are a traveler, you really must give AI (artificial intelligence) a shot at planning your next trip. It’s so easy. I’ll give step by step instructions at the end of this article. Don’t expect it to make reservations for you, or to give you turn by turn directions, but it will definitely help you get started with bringing your travel ideas to life.

We are thinking about taking an RV trip to the Northeast this fall and see the famous fall colors.

I asked ChatGPT:

“I want to travel to New England and the Canadian maritime provinces this fall to see the sights and the fall colors. Can you plan an itinerary for me? I will be traveling in an RV and want to stay in campgrounds. The trip should start on September 12 in Boston and end on October 2 in Ship Bottom New Jersey.”

ChatGPT Responded:

Sure, I’d be happy to help plan an itinerary for your New England and Canadian maritime trip! Here’s a rough outline:

Day 1-2: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Start your trip in Boston and spend a couple of days exploring the city’s historic sites, museums, and delicious seafood restaurants.

Day 3: Salem, Massachusetts

  • Drive up to Salem, a historic seaside town famous for its witch trials and spooky atmosphere.

Day 4: Portland, Maine

  • Head north to Portland, Maine, a charming coastal town known for its lobster and lighthouses.

Day 5: Acadia National Park, Maine

  • Drive up to Acadia National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the country, and enjoy the breathtaking fall foliage.

Day 6-7: Bar Harbor, Maine

  • Stay in the picturesque town of Bar Harbor, Maine, which serves as a gateway to Acadia National Park.

Day 8-9: St. Andrews, New Brunswick

  • Cross the border into Canada and visit St. Andrews, a quaint town on the Bay of Fundy known for its charming architecture and whale watching tours.

Day 10-11: Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

  • Head to Fundy National Park, where you can see the world’s highest tides and hike through the beautiful forested landscape.

That’s not good enough

It continued like this thru Day 22, but notice that it did not include campgrounds for our overnight stays. Here is where we all need to learn how to talk to AI chatbots. It’s not like our past experiences with computer queries, where you only get one result. Talking to AI chatbots, like ChatGPT, Bing Chat, or Bard, is more like talking to a person. Imaging asking a friend to tell you about their vacation and they responded with “I went to Hawaii for 10 days.” You wouldn’t leave it at that, you’d ask a follow up like, “Give me details, who did you go with, what did you see?”

It’s the same with AI. So I continued the conversation with ChatGPT:

I asked ChatGPT:

Please suggest campgrounds for each night

Certainly, here are some campgrounds you can consider for your trip:

Day 1-2: Boston, Massachusetts

  • Normandy Farms Family Camping Resort in Foxborough, MA
  • Boston Minuteman Campground in Littleton, MA

Day 3: Salem, Massachusetts

  • Winter Island Park in Salem, MA

Day 4: Portland, Maine

  • Bayley’s Camping Resort in Scarborough, ME
  • Sebago Lake Family Campground in Standish, ME

Day 5: Acadia National Park, Maine

  • Blackwoods Campground in Acadia National Park, ME
  • Seawall Campground in Acadia National Park, ME

Day 6-7: Bar Harbor, Maine

  • Bar Harbor Campground in Bar Harbor, ME
  • Hadley’s Point Campground in Bar Harbor, ME

Day 8-9: St. Andrews, New Brunswick

  • Kiwanis Oceanfront Camping in St. Andrews, NB
  • Pine Cone Motel & Campground in St. Andrews, NB

Day 10-11: Fundy National Park, New Brunswick

  • Fundy National Park Campground in Alma, NB
  • Headquarters Campground in Fundy National Park, NB

You get the idea. Keep asking more detailed questions and you’ll keep getting better answers. If you want to give it a try, here’s what you do.

How to talk to ChatGPT

ChatGPT is a product of the company called OpenAI. Just browse to chat.openai.com/chat. The first time you go there, you’ll need to sign up to get an account. It’s free (at least as of this writing in April 2023), but you need an account in order to ask questions and keep a history of your questions and answers.

When you click Sign up, you’ll have the opportunity to simply click “Continue with Google” and use your Google account. Once you’ve logged in with your account, you’ll see a box with several examples, capabilities, and limitations of questions you can ask. Below that you’ll see a place where you can type your question.

Are there other Artificial Intelligence services I can chat with?

Yes, both Google and Microsoft have similar offerings. Google’s AI chatbot is called “Bard.” To talk to Bard, go to bard.google.com and make sure you are signed in to your Google account. Then you’ll see the box where you can type your question and then click send.

For Microsoft, you must be using the Edge browser. That’s the successor to Internet Explorer. If you have a windows-based computer, you will find it with the ocean wave icon. Once you are on an Edge screen, and signed in to your Microsoft account, go to Bing.com. From there you click the Chat icon at top left. Now you’ll see a box to “ask me anything…” and press enter to send.

Which one is best? This technology is changing daily! Right now, ChatGPT is the gold standard. Personally I much prefer the answers I get from ChatGPT than any of the others, but that may change tomorrow. Keep checking!

Is that a real photo?

Did you notice anything slightly off about the photo at the top of this article? You guessed it. That is not a real photo. It is a creation of Artificial Intelligence image creation. I used Dall-e, another tool created by OpenAI. I just went to the Dall-e web page and entered the following prompt:

a photo realistic image of the ocean at Acadia National Park with a hillside in the foreground, including a lighthouse and forested with trees in fall

When I clicked “Generate” I got four choices:

We’re in a new world my friends. It’s time to keep learning.

Another perspective from fellow Tech Nomads

For a deeper dive into AI, including some warnings, see this article at Technomadia.com. Our friends, Chris Dunphy and Cherie VeArd, are fulltime RVers, cruisers and fellow geeks. Chris used the Bing Chat AI to write an article and answer all sorts of existential questions. Check it out.

Let us know what you think about the possibilities and future of Artificial Intelligence in the comments below.