Why Not to Use ChatGPT As Your Travel Agent and Why and How to Use Tripadvisor As Your Best Option to Find the Best at the Best Price, Including This Grandma’s Already Planned Itineraries for Couples, Family and Multigenerational Family Vacations Using Tripadvisor

When I saw “How To Make A.I. Your Personal Shopper,” in the New York Times, Tuesday, June 20, 2023, I was excited that the author, Brian X. Chen, gave ways in which A.I. can help “make informed purchasing decisions quickly and efficiently.” He gave examples for product research and grocery shopping, and third, to my favorite hobby, travel planning. 

If you look under the “family travel” link in my blog, you will have my prepared detailed itineraries (which blog posts were completed after we traveled) for fabulous couple, family and multigenerational vacations, such as in the United States: New York City; Boston; Charleston,S.C and the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island; the Grand Canyon and Sedona; Fort Lauderdale; Disney; Universal; Busch Gardens, Kennedy Space Center; U.S. National Parks; Baltimore. World travel detailed itineraries are to Israel, Paris, South Africa and Safari, Scotland, Ireland, and Northern Ireland, London, Dubai and Abu Dabi.

So, to use A.I. for travel is the one suggestion that I took to the next level.  I am a Trip Advisor contributor, and love the resource.  I decided to ask ChatGPT to act as my travel agent and suggest mid priced restaurants with the best reviews and ratings close to a hotel and resort where my multigenerational family is am staying in Southern Spain.  Six suggestions came up.  I compared each with their rating and reviews on TripAdvisor.  In my view, ChatGPT failed this task.  Only the first recommendation fit the request, was highly rated and reviewed.  One had terrible reviews and rating. A few were very expensive.  One was actually a Michelin restaurant, clearly out of price range.

Forget A.I. as a travel agent.  Compare a real travel agent’s quote with TripAdvisor. Or, go right to TripAdvisor.  Receiving what seemed to be a very high quote for airport pickup in Spain from a real travel agent, I went to Tripadvisor.  The number one rated company had perfect reviews, a minuscule number of reviews less than perfect (always look at the reviews that say terrible too),  and was half price of the travel agent’s quote.  That is the one we booked.

Tripadvisor revised after Covid can be tricky for the novice.  For example, TripAdvisor wants to act as your travel agent now and book for you, rather than be a resource.  When I have compared by going directly to the website, I find about 10% more for booking through Tripadvisor and going to the website can save your 10% on the booking.  Going to the website directly may make it easier to cancel a booking.

Navigating Tripadvisor can now be a bit more time consuming, but is worth it. TripAdvisor may not now give a link to the website or the guide.  Guides may not want to pay 10% to TripAdvisor when they do not have to, as by reading reviews one can find the exact company name and guide’s names.  We have google as a search engine to write the name of the company or guide, and city and country, and you will get a direct link to the website.  Before you leave Tripadvisor though, read all the reviews, get to know the guides and which guide (even in the companies) has expertise and interest in what you want.  For example, I put “teenager” in the reviews search to find a guide in Paris who was wonderful with teenagers, and found the perfect guide in Paris.  See blog post, “Consider Introducing Your Grandchildren To The World, Beginning with Paris”

This was my Tripadvisor review of our perfect guide, Bertrand, after our trip to Paris with our grandson:

*Best Paris Family Tour Guide, Bertrand D’Aleman, For Teenagers, and the Best Paris Guide Even If You Are Only Adults

After searching for the best Paris tour guide for teenagers because we were bringing our thirteen year old grandson to Paris, we found Bertrand D’Aleman on Tripadvisor. If you are lucky enough to find Bertrand available when you are in Paris, you will have the best guide of Paris and Parisian life. Perfection!

Bertrand helped us plan a five day itinerary, giving us ideas and outstanding suggestions, and then he planned surprises. He exceeded our expectations in his personalized care of both our grandson and, also, us. We adults had been in Paris several times before, yet Bertrand introduced us to secret and special places, including cafes and restaurants, we had not visited before and are not found in tour books. Bertrand taught us the layout and architecture of the city, famous structures and of the Parisian houses themselves. We discussed life in Paris, Parisians, and even French government. He found that Michael Jordan was opening a new store in the Bastille area and took us there so our grandson could find the newest Jordans not yet sold in the United States. He specialized highlights of the major museums and, in terms easy to understand and connect and follow, explained art history and painting and sculpture through stories and questions. He guided us from exploration of the creation of Paris to modern Paris in such a clever way also, such as having our grandson choose whether to be the king or brother of the King and then allowing him to decide after learning where and how they lived. Bertrand showed our grandson that he could read French, through viewing words and parts of words on signs and buildings, and speak some French, as we walked Paris and experienced Paris. Bertrand created spontaneous moments, such as our grandson riding a bicycle on a happened upon blocked off Paris street. He knew the best angles to take the best photographs. We saw Paris from the highest point of the Eiffel Tower to the basement of a parking garage to see a piece of the ancient wall surrounding the city. Bertrand brought Paris alive for our grandson, so much so that Paris is now his favorite city of the those he has visited in Europe and elsewhere. Thanks to Bertrand’s special talents and gifts, we expect Paris to remain alive and in our grandson’s heart for many years to come.

Those of us who are Tripadvisor contributors take reviews seriously.  You can too.

TripAdvisor’s search on the page top right “sort by” gives you first “best value.”  NO.  As your own travel agent, you want the best reviewed.  Just scroll down to “Traveler ranked,” and you are on your way to finding the best.  Be careful as that list also starts off with sponsored before getting to #1.  To narrow your search, check the prompts on the left column, such as “traveler rating,” parking available, etc.  I always look for the highest traveler rating.  As a contributor, again, I am careful with those ratings, so take them as seriously as we contributors do.  If you have specific desires, go to the reviews and put your desire in the search space at the top of the reviews will give you those that match your key words.  As with any search, key words will get you what you want, so play with those until you find the key words that get you where you want to be.

You can search at the top search spot for a location just by putting key words for what you want generally.  If you do, remember the tips above, as Tripadvisor will try to direct your search or keep you from easily finding the website you want to reach.  Yes, it takes a bit of effort, but who does not want to get the best in ratings and reviews from other travelers and save up to 50% from a travel agent’s recommendation as we did above!

Finally, for this Grandma’s general guides, see blog posts, “Tips on Giving The Gift Of Travel To Family and Grandchildren, Multi generational, With Grandchildren, and Best Family Itineraries Around the United States and World,”and “Planning the Perfect Multi generational Family Vacation at Every Age and Every Stage.”

Also, do not eliminate group tours as an option.  See, blog post, “Five Best Tips To Maximize and Personalize Your Group Tour or Travel to Anywhere in the World”

Remember travel planning enhances the travel experience.  Happy Traveling!



Please follow and like us:
Pin Share

Speak Your Mind


Follow by Email