I Let ChatGPT Plan the Holidays. Here’s How it Went

Published on
22/12/2023 01:13 AM
ChatGPT plan the holidays

Whether it’s drafting emails or organising first dates, people use AI to automate almost everything nowadays – to varying degrees of success. 

We’ve had AIs becoming headteachers of prestigious schools, replacing lawyers in the courtroom, and even creating music and art pieces that take over the internet

But what would happen if you used the immense knowledge of AI for the basic task of planning the holiday break? After all, it’s meant to take all of our jobs within years, so surely it can handle the easy human task of planning the Holidays, right?

Would it be able to plan fun activities and buy the perfect gifts for your loved ones? Or would you all end up dancing the robot around the Christmas tree?

With less than a week left until the holidays begin, let’s find out what the festivities would look like for me and my family if it was planned by ChatGPT.

I’ll be scoring its responses for each aspect of planning holidays out of 10, then will give my overall opinion on whether you should use ChatGPT for the holidays. 

Round 1: Getting home for the holidays with ChatGPT

chatgpt driving home holidays

First things first, we need to find out how I will travel home for the holidays. I told ChatGPT that I live and work in London, but need to travel to Liverpool to stay at my family’s house during the break. For reference, that’s around a 4-5 hour drive.

It gave me a variety of options to get to Liverpool – from train to bus, to ridesharing – all of which would work fine. It also, however, told me to watch out for COVID-19 restrictions, even though there haven't been any restrictions in place for years. 

That’s probably because ChatGPT's data hasn’t been updated since 2021, so it still thinks we’re in the pandemic. Can’t blame it for that I suppose, as I’d probably manage to get home if I followed its advice. 

So far, so good.

Overall ranking: 8/10 

Round 2: ChatGPT buying gifts

Chatgpt buying gifts

Now it’s time to buy gifts for the family. 

To make things easier, I limited buying to just three family members – my mum, my dad and my younger sister. I then asked ChatGPT to choose the most suitable gifts based on their interests and limited the budget to £50 for each of them. 

For my mum, I told ChatGPT that my mum is 59 years old, and likes running, coffee and travelling. 

It suggested buying: a running belt with a water bottle holder for £15, a stylish coffee mug for £15, a compact travel umbrella for £15 and an insulated travel coffee mug for £20. 

These were all pretty good suggestions, but these gifts together are £15 over my budget even though I specifically asked for all of the items to add up to £50 or less.

Maybe AI is not very good at maths, or it thinks my mum deserves more than £50. Either way, I’m not sure how my mum would react to these gifts. They’re all a little bit surface-level, but given the limited information I gave ChatGPT, I can’t expect much more. 

Next up is my dad. I told ChatGPT my dad is 57 and currently renovating his house, so something he can decorate his house would be ideal. I also said he likes running, reading and going on bike rides. 

ChatGPT’s gift ideas weren’t so great this time. It suggested buying: a motivational running poster for £10 - £15, a floating bookshelf for £15-£20, a beer cap map for £10-£15, an adjustable LED book light for £10-£15, and a set of beer coasters for £5-£10

For the life of me, I couldn’t find a floating bookshelf for less than £15 or less online. Not only that, but my dad wouldn’t like any of these gifts. He’s not a big beer fan, and I’m not sure my stepmum would like a motivational running poster in her front room. 

Still, the thought was there, and some of these are almost passable. 

Last but not least it’s time to buy for my sister.

I told ChatGPT my sister is 15 years old is studying for her A Levels, and likes going to the cinema, TikTok and Taylor Swift. 

It suggested buying: a popcorn maker for £15-£20, a phone stand with ring light for £15-£20, a cinema gift voucher for £15-£20, a Taylor Swift CD or vinyl for £10-£15, a cute stationery set for £10-£15 and Taylor Swift's biography for £10-£15

These were pretty good suggestions given the limited information I gave it, but again, ChatGPT doesn’t consider my budget. These gifts add up to £75 at a minimum, and I couldn’t find any of these gifts online for as cheap as it was saying. 

Overall, I wouldn’t rely on ChatGPT for your gifts. It’s great for giving you ideas, but most of its ideas are very surface level and it can’t think of anything surprising or exciting. 

Save ChatGPT’s gifts for the inlaws, I think. 

Overall ranking: 4/10 

Round 3: ChatGPT planning activities for the holidays

chatgpt planning holiday activities

Now it’s time to see what my family and I will be getting up to for the holidays. I told ChatGPT I would be staying with my family in Liverpool from December 22nd to December 27th, and needed some ideas for some festive activities to do while I was there. 

Its suggestions were surprisingly good. For the 22nd, it said I should spend some time settling in, enjoying a nice meal and catching up with family. Great advice considering this would be my travel day, and it's interesting that it brought that into consideration without me mentioning it. 

For the second day, it said to head to Liverpool ONE shopping centre to do some last-minute holiday shopping with the family and to enjoy the decorations in the city. This is exactly what I was planning on doing that day, so this is actually a great suggestion. 

Things start to go off the rails for Christmas Eve, though. ChatGPT told me to go to the Winter Arts Market at St. George's Hall, but after doing some research, this market isn’t open on Christmas Eve.

In fact, It’s only open for one weekend at the start of December, so this wouldn’t be possible and I'd end up stranded in Liverpool on Christmas Eve when I want to be wrapping gifts at home! 

For Christmas Day, ChatGPT's suggested activities were pretty standard. It said to start with opening presents with the family, and then having traditional Christmas lunch together – whether it be at home or in the restaurant. Great advice, but nothing special here given that eating on Christmas is a standard tradition. 

For boxing day, it suggested going to Sefton Park for a winter stroll. This is actually something my family have done before on Boxing Day, so this was a weirdly accurate suggestion.

On my final day, ChatGPT seemed to forget that I would be travelling home that day and organised a busy day of visiting the museums in the city centre and visiting Anfield Football Club.

Not only would I not have time for this if I’m travelling back to London, but I also never said anyone in my family liked football, so it’s a weird suggestion for a festive activity. 

These suggestions were also a bit touristy, so ChatGPT either ran out of ideas or forgot my family lives in Liverpool and has already seen the tourist sites. 

Overall ranking 7/10

Should you use ChatGPT to plan the Holidays? 

ChatGPT can give some great suggestions for how you and your loved ones can enjoy the holiday season. But should you follow every suggestion exactly? Well, no.

The problem with AI chatbots like ChatGPT is that they’re relying on the information in the data they're trained on to make plans and predictions. 

This means the majority of the advice it gives is either outdated or inaccurate, leading to it suggesting the wrong dates for activities or suggesting gives that are no longer trendy. You might save a bit of time using ChatGPT to make your plans, but I would probably take its suggestions with a grain of salt and do your research into what to do for the holiday season. 

Still, if you’re looking for some ideas, it’s worth taking a look!

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