the IT city, the I.T. Baby


Trying to plan a road trip? Maybe give AI a shot

For a potential cross-country road trip, my two kiddos first, we’ve been contemplating what could make 80 hours of driving somewhat bearable with plenty of stops. Not being highly familiar with the entire county’s child-friendly offerings it had looked like a state by state lookup of children’s interests followed by seeing how far they were off the main road as I don’t want to add a lot more driving to an already insane trip.

Road trip suggestions for Omaha stops... yes, I thought I was typing in Nebraska I had the dumbs

As of this writing there are three main publicly available AI options – ChatGPT, Bing, and Google’s Bard. The first two require you to have an approved account (free) and Bard I think you might but meh… Neither Bing nor Bard was cut out for this task.

I used ChatGPT and asked for 20 child friendly places one might stop at driving from our home to the destination… and it gave me seven really good suggestions and thirteen meh… Bing seemed to give up and just list stuff in Nashville, and Bard listed 20 great children’s places, but unfortunately not remotely between our home and the destination. Ah yes Bard, I somehow forgot New Jersey and Pennsylvania are between Tennessee and California… my bad.

Road trip suggestion in Nebraska

I plugged the good ones into a Google map and found that adding seven different stops added like half an hour of driving. It didn’t exactly get a list spread out and I couldn’t get it to figure out not going far off the interstate, but that might have just been my issues.

Bing suggested I trip out Trippy, but that didn’t seem to have the ability to drill down to kid-friendly locations.

I’d planned my potential trip out on Google Maps and asked ChatGPT to give me good stops that were within 10 or so miles of the interstate I would be on. I did this in several states and while it screwed up on a couple of the suggestions, or Google Maps has them in the wrong location, but I got a lot of places listed and potential stops.

ChatGPT was extremely helpful. Bing somewhat useful. Bard – not a bit.

Using AI I discovered wonders as America’s only Corn Palace. There were others, but now I’ve got the “It’s Corn!” song stuck in my head.

Oh yeah, all of these AI things are free… don’t get suckered into paying for something… ChatGPT I think just makes you jump through a couple of hoops verifying your email address.

I asked ChatGPT for suggestions for traveling with kids on a long road trip and this is what it said:

Keeping a child entertained and not grumpy on a long road trip can be challenging, but there are several things you can do to make the journey more enjoyable for them:

  1. Plan ahead: Before you hit the road, plan out your route and research any interesting stops or attractions along the way. This can include museums, parks, zoos, or other places that your child might enjoy visiting. Make a list of potential stops and activities so you can break up the long drive with fun and educational experiences.
  2. Pack snacks: Bring along a variety of snacks and drinks to keep your child satisfied and happy. Consider packing a mix of healthy options like fruits and veggies, as well as some treats like chips or candy.
  3. Bring entertainment: Pack books, coloring books, toys, and games to keep your child entertained during the long hours on the road. You might also consider investing in a portable DVD player or tablet so your child can watch movies or TV shows.
  4. Play games: There are many classic road trip games that can keep kids entertained for hours. These include games like “I Spy”, the license plate game, or the alphabet game. You can also make up your own games based on the scenery or landmarks you see along the way.
  5. Take breaks: It’s important to take breaks every few hours to stretch your legs, use the restroom, and get some fresh air. Look for rest stops, parks, or other safe places to pull over and take a break.
  6. Stay positive: Remember to stay positive and upbeat during the trip. Kids can sense when adults are stressed or frustrated, so try to stay calm and patient even if the trip gets challenging. Keep a positive attitude and try to make the journey as fun and memorable as possible.

Oddly omitted getting a Xanax prescription.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.