I found a really great use for AI – road trip planning

I’ve been fairly underwhelmed with the technology that will be used to replace me up until now. Now I have the existential dread having found a use for it after playing with AI for months and not really getting what the hype was. OK, I got it, but I finally found a use for it, and that use is road trip planning.

Google Maps is great at getting me from point A to Z, and maybe adding stops at B,C, D, etc… but what it’s not good at is listing things along the route that are child friendly or tourist traps I should absolutely see.

I asked ChatGPT, Bard, and Bing AI some of the same questions and got some extremely great advice for pitstops that are kid friendly. ChatGPT and Bard were the winners for finding kid friendly stops, however Bard seemed to have no idea that New Jersey was a good 1000 miles from anywhere I had specified to look along the route of. As such, I had suggestions in Atlantic City when I was asking for things between Tennessee and California.

Eh, I could drill down asking Bard by state, but ChatGPT really gave some good ones…

Looking for child friendly places within 15 miles of Interstate 40 on a road trip
On of the great things about ChatGPT is the ability to specify what you’re willing to drive off of an interstate

While not all suggestions were winners, and ChatGPT seemed to look at the starting and ending states for most of the content, you could drill down by interstates and what you’re willing to drive.

I plugged several into a Google Maps trip, adding them as stops in the right location, and usually things were pretty well on the way. I even had it create a child-friendly itinerary to see what it could do.

road trip itinerary as envisioned by ChatGPT

It turned a 4 day trip into a 12 day one, but I asked it to turn it into a five day one and it dropped some and added some new stops. It also made it six days for some reason with the final day being a 30 mile drive to the destination.

Nothing produced in full I would say was great, but it did give me a lot of things to look at when planning a trip.

Bard was useful when I asked for state level, Bing seemed to want to pass me off to a couple of websites. ChatGPT was the winner all around in what I got.

OK child-friendly trip planning AI overlords – you have my attention.

As of this writing all 3 AI options are free to use, two may require a waitlist. There are a ton of scamtastic apps currently in the Play markets but you can access the real chat AIs for free:

Google’s Bard

Bing (you currently need to be running Microsoft Edge and have a Microsoft account)


Using AI to plan a road trip could be the difference between a 90 hour driving slog of misery and a memorable enjoyable trip across the country. AI tools can create a customized itinerary for you that aligns with your interests while also factoring in your time and willingness to deviate from a direct path. By analyzing a vast amount of data some AI options can provide useful insights on destinations, attractions, and activities you might find enjoyable, and make personalized recommendations (eventually, none of them link to you yet,) that can help you make the most of your trip. AI cannot replace a human entirely, but it can certainly supplement and enhance our ability to plan a road trip that doesn’t disappoint. Whether you’re a road warrior or planning your first cross country trip, using AI to plan your journey is definitely worth looking into.

One word of warning though – AI tends to lie. Check that what it’s told you is real before you commit any miles to its recommendations.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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