Introducing your next holiday planner: AI

When planning a trip, it can feel like a race against time with a hundred things to do before you get to relax.

What if you could use the latest technology to simplify matters?

The applications of AI for everything from work to home have already been under the spotlight, but the technology could be applied to planning holidays.

From helping you decide on a destination to presenting an array of allergy-friendly dining options, there are a number of still-developing AI programs which could come in handy.

According to Griffith Institute for Tourism researcher Gui Lohmann, using AI is an easy way to save yourself from wasting time gathering information.

Just as AI is transforming sectors such as medicine and law, he predicts the same for tourism.

“There are endless opportunities for us to improve the lives of travellers with AI,” he says.

“AI can give you a lot of particular information [about] things that are changed on a regular basis, [such as visas], vaccinations requirements, and so forth.”

Lohmann says one of the reasons AI is particularly useful for planning trips is that it draws on a lot of data. From social media holiday posts to news articles, AI has a lot of source material to work with when putting together travel suggestions and itineraries.

“In the same way that our Netflix behaviour recommends us similar programs, AI can also … extrapolate and gather clusters of information saying, ‘We’ve noticed that you’re quite adventurous, you’ve been to certain parts of Southeast Asia, but you haven’t been, for example, to [this] region in Vietnam,” Lohmann says.

“If I’m planning my itinerary … and I said I want to visit these locations, the AI can say, ‘You won’t be able to go to a particular attraction, because that attraction is closed on Monday mornings.’

“So AI can collect a lot of that information and start planning the nitty-gritty of your itinerary.”

Keep in mind, AI can make mistakes and may not be as useful for lesser-known locations, so always double-check information before committing to anything; think of AI as a launching pad for your holiday plans, rather than the font of all knowledge.

Picking a destination

If you’ve built up enough annual leave and savings to go on a trip, whether for a few nights out of town or few weeks overseas, the number of destination options can be overwhelming.

Then you need to factor in variables like the weather, accessibility, or suitability for children, all depending on your circumstances.

This is where tools such as ChatGPT or Gemini can be useful.

All you need to do is customise a prompt to get some AI-generated suggestions to help narrow down options.

This could be extremely basic, such as ‘Where should an Australian travel for a holiday in July?‘ But the more detail you provide, the more specific the AI tool can be in providing options that meet most aspects of your request.


A prompt and answer example with OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

Example prompts include:

‘Where is an affordable international holiday destination for a family with children aged 15 and 6 in July?’

‘What is a good holiday destination for an ambulatory wheelchair user with asthma?’

‘Is Bangkok or Seoul better for a holiday for a 31 year old man who wants to make friends with fellow travellers, and doesn’t like rain, spicy food or poor public transport?’

After receiving any AI-generated destination recommendations, you should do further research on your own to figure out whether they truly are suitable, and then get planning.

Sorting out travel and accomodation

Organising flights and accomodation can be tricky, especially when you’re on a tight budget or have multiple stops to consider.

AI chatbots run by pre-existing booking websites may help you best here, with more specific information about routes, times and prices likely to be available. and Ixigo run AI programs which, given the right prompts, can narrow down your search, in terms of finding the cheapest tickets available for particular destinations, to the most romantic accomodation options, to the best model of car to rent in your chosen city.

Planning your itinerary

Why is planning a holiday so much work? You don’t want to waste your precious time off, but you also don’t want to spend days trawling travel blogs trying to figure out what you should do.

This is another area where tools like ChatGPT and Gemini can prove helpful.

Simply typing a prompt such as ‘How should I spend a day in Townsville, Queensland?’ will generate a full-day itinerary including dining and sightseeing suggestions.

Again, providing more detail allows for a more accurate response. Are you travelling alone, for example, or with friends? Are you more interested in history, or being outdoors?  Do you want to experience a destination like a local – and are you planning to wear Instagrammable yet uncomfortable high heels?

There are also AI programs more specifically tailored to planning holidays, such as GuideGeek, Layla and Wonderplan.

Once you have an itinerary suggestion that suits, you can follow it down to the last detail, after doing some quick research to make sure everything listed is open and suitable. Or you could mix and match itineraries from different AI programs to come up with something that entirely suits your whims for the day.

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