How To Plan The Road Trip Of Your Dreams Using AI

The future is now, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the rise of AI. If you're unfamiliar with AI, here's a brief explanation. AI, which stands for artificial intelligence, functions by analyzing data and algorithms. One popular website that uses AI is ChatGPT. A user types a question or prompt into the server, and AI responds. It can be used to solve homework problems or aid in writing emails. Then, of course, it could also be your virtual travel agent and planner for your next vacation or road trip. 


Google, Kayak, and Expedia have all jumped on the AI travel bandwagon. As Rathi Murthy, Expedia Group's Chief Technology Officer, explained to National Geographic, "All the excitement around booking a trip can quickly become overwhelming when travelers are faced with lots of options that each require research." She added, "This is what AI can solve in travel. " 

With this in mind, the possibilities are endless when it comes to using AI to create your ideal road trip itinerary. AI will save you time and, in some cases, money. Most importantly, it will help you discover spots, sites, eateries, and more that you might not even know exist. It might not be able to make reservations for you, but it can provide the framework you need to hit the road.


Useful websites for planning a road trip with AI

First, you'll want to pick a platform for planning your road trip. There are various options, including ChatGPT, which is entirely free. However, if you prefer, there are AI platforms specifically for road trips, like, AdventureGenie, and Curiosio, to name a few. Note that you do have to pay to use the premium features on and AdventureGenie. At the time of this writing, both charge $9.99 per month. Nevertheless, the idea is the same on all platforms. 


Users input information about their road trip. Then, AI crafts a thorough itinerary in seconds. Of course, all of these platforms have their nuances. For example, AdventureGenie caters to RV road trips. As a result, it primarily focuses on including campgrounds in its itineraries. Impressively, CEO Scott Lengel told Forbes that AdventureGenie's AI can "predict with a percentage likelihood that a user will like a specific campground."

On the other hand, Curiosio allows users to edit one of their already-generated itineraries, or, they can create a new one. If you want a no-frills option without any of these bells or whistles, ChatGPT or might be best for you.

The more information, the better

If you use a platform like ChatGPT or, the key is to have a prompt with detailed information. If you don't, you'll likely get a watered-down itinerary that won't be as useful. To get the best results, type on the platform of your choice when you want to go, your budget, preferences, and more. So, let's say you want to take a road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle. In addition to this, input the dates or length of your trip. Moreover, choose keywords.


Maybe you want your road trip to focus on history or nature. Specify this to get the best itinerary catered to your wants and interests. The same can be said if there are activities or attractions you want to see or do along the way. If you have a stunning and storied route for your road trip in mind, also mention that (like if you want your road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle to stick to the coast.) Inputting your budget is also recommended.

If you have dietary restrictions or are interested in a particular cuisine or type of restaurant, include it in your prompt for AI. For example, maybe you're vegetarian or want to dine at a Michelin-rated eatery; input these details. This is all to say that when planning a road trip with AI, be clear-cut and defined. Another word of advice: Make sure the information you input is grammatically correct and easy to follow for the best results. 


This is what you can expect from an AI itinerary

To test out its road trip-planning capabilities, we asked ChatGPT to plan a road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle. Our prompt stated, "Plan a coastal road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle from June 20 to June 27. Include historic stops and hotels. The budget is $1,500. Include underrated or Michelin-rated restaurants." We popped this in, and ChatGPT presented us with an itinerary from day one to seven that included suggestions for what to do on each day of the road trip, where to stay, and what to eat.


In this case, ChatGPT's itinerary was spot on with the parameters provided above. For the first day, the itinerary stated that we should drive from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara on the incredibly scenic Highway 1, known for its views of the Pacific Ocean. It also included a stop at the Santa Barbara Mission, which dates back to 1786. ChatGPT recommended Motel 6 in Santa Barbara for a cheap stay, where prices are typically under $200 a night.

Lastly, it suggested dining at The Lark, an eatery included in the Michelin guide. That said, ChatGPT does not provide specific pricing and advises travelers to make reservations. In the same vein, ChatGPT notes that its technology is fallible.

The pitfalls of planning a road trip with AI

Planning a road trip with AI can have flawed results. In other words, do further research on your AI-generated itinerary to steer clear of reckless road trip mistakes. As travel expert Erica Jackowitz put it (via National Geographic), AI "can collect general information with 70 to 80% accuracy—that's still only a C grade." The information could be inaccurate because AI does not gather up-to-date information. At the time of this writing, ChatGPT, for example, is only current until January 2022. Thus, it's a good idea to check the business hours of attractions, eateries, and more.


Needless to say, you should also confirm that the routes and attractions AI provides for your road trip are doable. Using AI for directions is not advised since the responses aren't usually as detailed as you'd need. Instead, use another tool like Google Maps or Waze before you hit the road. The last thing you want is to realize that your directions are faulty or that your stops are out of reach because they are too far from each other (a miscalculation that can occur with AI). This is all to say that you should confirm that every AI suggestion for your road trip meets your expectations and, of course, your budget. 

Other uses for AI and road trip planning

Even with its drawbacks, AI is impressive. So, what else can it do to aid in the road trip planning process? It can make a packing list so you can bring the most important gear for your next road trip. For example, we inputted: "Packing list for a week-long road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle" into ChatGPT, which produced a lengthy list that included everything from pajamas to a roadside emergency kit. 


What if you don't even know where to go? AI can help with that, too. It can generate ideas, ultimately providing the inspiration you need to start planning your road trip. Similarly to creating an AI road trip itinerary, the more specific the prompt, the better. 

In an article for Fodor's, writer Paul Feinstein planned a road trip using ChatGPT. He noted that he used it to aid his search in finding where he could rent an RV in Los Angeles. In fact, he ended up renting an RV using the platform ChatGPT suggested. Feinstein added that he asked ChatGPT for product suggestions for a cooler and stroller. In addition, he praised ChatGPT for its clear instructions on how to connect the RV to the sewer.