How to use AI to plan your next holiday

Not everyone has the time to map out every detail of a trip on an excel spreadsheet. Here’s how you can use AI travel planners to simplify your holiday planning.

If you haven’t heard, robots are taking over the world. Well, somewhat. In any case, they’ve certainly made their way into the travel industry. Gone are the days of needing to spend hours scouring the internet to curate your ideal travel itinerary. With artificial intelligence well and truly on the rise, holiday planning might be speedier than ever – if you know how to use the right tools. For those pressed for time, in need of some personalised holiday inspiration or looking for budgeting advice, AI-powered software can make holiday planning less overwhelming. Keep reading to discover the best AI travel planner tools, tips and tricks for your next getaway.

Cinque Terre, Italy at sunset
Cinque Terre, Italy © Adobe Stock

Should I use AI to plan my next holiday?

There are many benefits of using AI to help plan a vacation. Artificial intelligence can save you a lot of time when it comes to researching destinations and accomodation options. As it is free, it is also more affordable than using professional travel planning services. Using AI to plan a trip can be great for novice trip planners who aren’t sure where to start when it comes to organising a vacation, which, given all the possible variables, can sometimes feel overwhelming. However, as AI technology isn’t always completely reliable, it’s best not to depend solely on AI tools to plan your travel. Doing your own research and getting help from a travel agent can still be very beneficial.

What are the limits of using AI to plan a vacation?

As helpful as AI tools can be for planning a holiday, it’s important to remember that AI can make mistakes. Since it obtains its data from a wide range of internet sources, AI travel planners are generally more reliable when it comes to better-known destinations or accommodation. If there isn’t much publicly available information on the destination you are researching, tools such as ChatGPT may not entirely trustworthy or could even make up information. It’s best to always double check the facts before booking anything.

What are the best ways to use AI for travel planning?

AI travel planner tools are most useful for initial idea generation and trip scaffolding. Start by entering your questions and criteria for your ideal trip. Once you have narrowed down your holiday options, it’s worth spending a little bit of time doing your own research to make sure that the information provided by AI is up to date, accurate and relevant for your interests. Similarly, if you are using AI to curate an itinerary, use the outcome as a starting point and adjust it to your needs after checking the information.

The best AI travel planner tools

Gemini

Gemini, how can you help me plan my holiday? Ask the chatbot this question yourself, and you’ll receive a seemingly endless list of possibilities: destination recommendations, itinerary curations, hotel suggestions, budgeting, idea generation and language translation, to name a few. Besides booking your holiday, there’s little this virtual assisant can’t do. Get creative and start shooting your questions. Here are a few ideas:

  • What are the best things to do in California for two adults?
  • Can you create a four-day travel itinerary for Melbourne in July, including transport from the airport?
  • What are the most underrated snorkelling destinations within or close to Australia?
  • How much should I budget for a week-long holiday in the Gold Coast for a family of five?

The benefit of using Gemini over a Google search is that the results can be much more personalised, made to fit your individual needs and preferences. On top of this, the software does a lot of the legwork of research for you, pulling and synthesising information from all corners of the web so you don’t have to. Many travel apps and websites, including Roam Around, now offer an AI travel planner feature backed by similar technology to Gemini and ChatGPT.

Person using AI on laptop
Learn how to use AI-powered technology to plan your trip © Adobe Stock

Expedia

Travel platform Expedia offers an in-app ChatGPT functionality to help their users with trip planning. By starting an open-ended conversation in the app, members can receive recommendations on where to stay, where to go, transport, experiences and attractions, as well as personalised trip options based on variables such as hotel location, date ranges, price and room type. The AI travel planner software also automatically saves hotels that were discussed during the conversation in the app.

Busy street at night in Tokyo Japan
Tokyo, Japan © Adobe Stock

Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor is another travel company harnessing the power of AI to improve the user experience. Using the Trip Builder function on their website, you can enter where you’d like to go, what kinds of attractions or holiday type you are interested in, potential dates and who you are travelling with. Within seconds, the AI travel planner will propose a detailed itinerary that includes the prices and reviews of all the suggested experiences, restaurants and accommodation, as well as their locations on a map.

AI travel tip: TripAdvisor’s Trip Builder doesn’t take preferences such as dietary restrictions, transport and accessibility into account, so you’ll need to research these yourself.

Kayak

Ask and you shall receive. Travel search engine Kayak has a ChatGPT plugin that allows you to cut down travel planning time. Type anything from ‘Where can I fly from Brisbane for under $600 in March?’ to ‘Find me a double-bed hotel room in Paris that is wheelchair accessible, is within 15km of the Eiffel Tower and has breakfast included’. In the Kayak app, you can also receive travel information on voice demand if you have an Amazon Alexa-enabled device.

Holiday planning
AI can help with holiday suggestions and budgeting © Adobe Stock

Booking.com

From narrowing down your list of beachside bungalows and generating city itineraries to offering ski town inspiration, Booking.com’s AI Trip Planner takes the legwork out of organising a holiday. The chat-based functionality can be used directly in the company’s mobile app.

Roam Around

Just ask Layla by Roam Around is a ChatGPT-esque website made exclusively to meet your travel needs. Layla, your personal AI travel planner, can help you with anything from organising custom day trips to finding cheap flights and curating personal bucket lists. She’s also quite funny, in case you’re in need of some pre-vacation amusement.

Marriott

Marriott uses Aloft’s ChatBotlr to offer Marriott Rewards chatbots on Facebook Messenger, Slack, WeChat and Google Assistant. Using the AI messenger, hotel guests can make basic service requests from their own smartphone and receive instant responses. No need to dial reception!

Family having fun outdoors on Mykonos streets
Make travel planning easier using AI tools © Adobe Stock

Trip.com

TripGenie is an AI travel assistant integrated into the Trip.com mobile app. Responding to text and voice commands, the AI travel planner can assist with planning and booking trips with comprehensive travel advice and plans, as well as a consolidated reservation service.

Tips for using AI travel planners

Be specific

The more specific the criteria you feed an AI travel planner, the more helpful the result will generally be. Give details, and lots of them!

Use correct language

Because AI systems like ChatGPT are based on large language models, using proper grammar can go a long way. The software will be able to understand and respond to your requests more effectively if it recognises your language choices.

Fact check the information

AI is hyper intelligent, but it’s not perfect. While AI travel planner tools can be great starting points and idea generators, it’s best to check any information you are relying on for your holiday through a reputable source. They can come close, but AI assistants are also not substitutes for travel agents. They can’t book flights or accommodation and don’t ‘know’ things in the same way that humans do; they merely recognise patterns across data sources.

Keep reading:

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50 of the best beaches in the world
How to find cheap flights for your next holiday
Love road trips in Japan? Don’t miss the Kanto region

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