April 15, 2024

ChatGPT Can Help You Plan Your Dream Holiday

One limitation I discovered is that ChatGPT can’t look up actual flights to book. It responded to my question about looking up flights with: «As a language model, I do not have access to real-time pricing information or booking systems». So I’d head to a website like my trusty Skyscanner if you’re airline-agnostic and just want to find the best deals.

Compiling an itinerary

Feeling ambitious, I knew I wanted to make it to a few different cities in Japan during my (hypothetical) dream trip there, but I still don’t know where should be on my hit list – or where would be realistic to travel to in the time I had available. Robot to the rescue!

This is what I asked:

I am visiting Japan for two weeks this September. I would like to visit three or four different areas while I am there. Which cities should I go to?

It came up with a hit list of four, listing Tokyo, Kyoto, Hiroshima & Osaka, listing for each some additional useful information, e. g:

«Kyoto: Kyoto is known for its traditional temples, shrines, and gardens, and is a great place to experience Japanese culture and history. The city is also surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests, making it a great destination for nature lovers. Popular attractions include Kinkaku-ji (the Golden Pavilion), Fushimi Inari Shrine, and Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. »

It also suggested some further places to visit, and why, e. g. “you might consider visiting include Hokkaido (known for its natural beauty and skiing)”.

Creating a planning checklist

Each journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, so the Chinese proverb goes. But how about getting ChatGPT to list all those steps for you? That’s what I did with this next prompt, where I asked the AI to compile a checklist of all the things I’d need to coordinate ahead of my trip.

What should be on my checklist for planning a two-week trip to Japan in Autumn? I want to visit Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka and Hiroshima

It came up with a 10-point list of things to consider, including sorting a Visa (if necessary), purchasing a Japan Rail Pass and learning some basic Japanese phrases. Also, packing. And on that note…

Writing a packing list

Finally, I got ChatGPT to pack for me. Not literally (although that would be the real dream scenario, tbh…) but in the sense of writing me a packing list of things to remember to put in my suitcase, tailored specifically to my destination and the time of year. I asked:

What should I pack for my trip to Japan this September?

I could also have gone ahead and asked it about specific cities or activities, adding, for instance:

Please include what I’ll need to go hiking in the Japanese Alps for a couple of days

However, for these purposes, I kept it general. I was presented with a 10-point list of useful things to consider, covering all the basics (toiletries, electronics, clothing including a light jacket and walking shoes), plus thoughtful additions like a foldable souvenir shopping back and respectful clothing for temple sites. Seriously impressed! Now, just to make this dream trip a reality…

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