Revolutionizing Travel Planning with AI


  • Travel Budol, an AI-powered app, assists users in creating travel itineraries based on their location, destination, and budget.
  • Timothy Ouano developed the app within an hour as part of a challenge by his employer, Symph.
  • Ouano utilized ChatGPT and Midjourney, AI tools, to generate prompts and create logos and images for Travel Budol.
  • ChatGPT provides itineraries based on user prompts and compiled data from Cebu to Siargao within a given budget.
  • The app’s backend passes user information to ChatGPT, which generates suggestions for accommodation, transportation, and activities.
  • ChatGPT’s limitations include outdated data and susceptibility to false information.
  • Ouano employed prompt engineering techniques to enhance Travel Budol’s accuracy and tailored results.
  • Travel Budol aims to supplement, rather than replace, traditional travel agencies, offering them a tool to streamline their processes.
  • Ouano plans to expand Travel Budol to include international travel itineraries.
  • The app’s potential impact includes boosting tourism in the Philippines and aiding in post-pandemic recovery.

Main AI News:

Leisure travel is making a comeback as COVID-19 restrictions ease worldwide, and a recent survey conducted by travel and experiences platform Klook reveals that 87% of Filipinos are eagerly embracing the opportunity to explore both domestic and international destinations.

However, the cost associated with travel remains a significant consideration for many individuals, leading them to seek affordable options that align with their budgetary constraints.

Addressing this need, Timothy Ouano, a developer based in Cebu, has harnessed the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to simplify the process. Ouano’s brainchild, the AI-powered app named Travel Budol, allows users to effortlessly create personalized travel itineraries by entering their current location, desired destination, and budgetary limitations. Alternatively, for those feeling adventurous, the app offers an “I’m feeling lucky” feature that generates suggestions based on location and budget alone.

Within a matter of minutes, Travel Budol provides users with a comprehensive list of transportation options, accommodation recommendations, and potential activities, all tailored to their specified budget. Ouano explained during an interview with Rappler that the app’s algorithm takes into account real-time pricing and availability, ensuring that the itineraries suggested are realistic and viable.

Notably, if a user’s desired itinerary doesn’t align with their budget, Travel Budol offers alternative destinations that provide a more fulfilling experience within their financial means. For instance, if Siargao proves to be financially challenging, the app might suggest exploring Bohol instead, presenting users with an array of exciting options to choose from.

In a challenge proposed by his employer, renowned software development consultancy Symph, Timothy Ouano set out to build 30 AI apps in just 30 days. Although not part of Symph’s dedicated AI team, Ouano, driven by his love for travel and armed with an abundance of free time, eagerly embraced the opportunity to join the challenge.

Ouano, well aware of the constraints posed by a modest budget and a lack of expertise in itinerary planning, pondered the possibilities that AI could offer. With the 30-by-30 challenge in mind, he embarked on a mission to create something unique and valuable by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence.

Within a remarkably short span of one hour, Ouano single-handedly conceptualized, researched, designed, developed, and deployed Travel Budol—an extraordinary feat considering the usual time frame required for app development, which often stretches across months.

AI proved to be Ouano’s greatest ally throughout the development process, particularly ChatGPT—a versatile AI language model that provided invaluable assistance. Ouano utilized ChatGPT to generate prompts, seeking advice on optimal choices for site buttons and compiling a comprehensive list of the most enticing provinces in the Philippines. This readily available data was seamlessly integrated into Travel Budol, enhancing the user experience and functionality.

Additionally, Ouano turned to Midjourney, an AI application akin to OpenAI’s DALL-E, to create captivating logos and visually stunning background images for the app. Midjourney’s ability to generate unique images based on user prompts played a crucial role in Travel Budol’s aesthetics, elevating it to a visually appealing and immersive travel companion.

But where did Travel Budol acquire the essential data to construct its well-crafted itineraries? Once again, ChatGPT proved to be the driving force. After users input their location, desired destination, and allocated budget, Travel Budol’s backend promptly compiles this information into a concise prompt, subsequently shared with ChatGPT for analysis and recommendations.

Consider an example: the app initiates a prompt to ChatGPT, requesting an itinerary from Cebu to Siargao with a budget of 5,000 pesos. In response, ChatGPT compiles a comprehensive list of itineraries that fit within the given budget, encompassing accommodation options, transportation alternatives, and an assortment of engaging activities.

Remarkably, Ouano emphasized that he did not have to manually code any of the data-gathering processes—a testament to the remarkable level of automation present within Travel Budol. The need for arduous research or consulting locals in Siargao for insider information was entirely eradicated. Instead, the app seamlessly harnessed the power of AI, delivering accurate and efficient itineraries that met users’ preferences and budgetary constraints.

In essence, Travel Budol represents a paradigm shift in travel planning. Ouano’s ingenious use of AI, in conjunction with the dynamic capabilities of ChatGPT and Midjourney, has revolutionized the process, significantly reducing the time and effort required to develop a fully functional travel app. With Travel Budol, users can now embark on their dream journeys with ease, confident that every aspect of their itinerary has been carefully curated to suit their budget and preferences.

By seamlessly blending AI and travel, Ouano has demonstrated the immense potential that lies within this amalgamation. With Travel Budol as a testament to his innovative prowess, the future of travel planning is set to become increasingly personalized, efficient, and awe-inspiring—all thanks to the transformative power of artificial intelligence.

While AI, particularly ChatGPT, played an instrumental role in the development of Travel Budol, Ouano did encounter certain limitations along the way. One notable constraint stemmed from ChatGPT’s reliance on data from 2021, rendering it outdated when it came to real-time information. As a result, queries for the best links or cheapest flights to Siargao, for example, were beyond ChatGPT’s capabilities due to its lack of access to current data.

To address this limitation, Travel Budol includes a disclaimer, ensuring users are aware that the information provided is based on estimations derived from their specified budget. For instance, the app might suggest an environmental fee of 25 pesos for the itinerary, while the actual fee may be 30 pesos. This approach allows Travel Budol to provide users with an approximate understanding of expenses while acknowledging the potential discrepancy between the app’s estimations and real-world costs.

Ouano further acknowledged that ChatGPT, like any AI tool, can be susceptible to false information, which poses a challenge to the integrity of the data it processes. The accuracy of the information generated by ChatGPT has been a subject of criticism since its inception, raising concerns about its reliability.

However, in March 2023, OpenAI released ChatGPT-4, an updated version that boasts improved accuracy compared to its predecessor. OpenAI also partnered with Microsoft, incorporating web-browsing capabilities into ChatGPT, thereby enhancing its access to more up-to-date and real-time data.

To ensure that Travel Budol delivers results as accurately as possible, Ouano employed prompt engineering techniques. Prompt engineering involves formulating well-structured queries using a combination of approaches to guide AI models toward generating the desired outcomes. By employing prompt engineering, developers can optimize the AI’s response and tailor it to their specific requirements, enhancing the accuracy and relevance of the information provided by Travel Budol.

As the travel industry grapples with the advent of AI tools, the question arises: Can Travel Budol replace traditional travel agencies? According to Ouano, the developer behind Travel Budol, AI still falls short of replicating the entire process, highlighting that current AI capabilities do not extend to tasks such as booking resorts, accommodations, and transportation.

While AI, including Travel Budol, can assist in itinerary planning, Ouano believes that travel agencies could incorporate AI apps like Travel Budol into their operations to streamline and enhance their services. By leveraging the app as a tool, travel agencies can ask clients for their budgets and input the information into the AI system to generate tailored itineraries. This approach would optimize the expertise of travel professionals while harnessing the efficiency and precision offered by AI.

Ouano envisions Travel Budol expanding beyond its current focus on the Philippines to include features that cater to international travel. By broadening its scope, the app has the potential to reach a wider audience and facilitate travel planning on a global scale.

Looking to the future, Ouano hopes that Travel Budol will not only gain popularity among users but also contribute to the growth of tourism in the Philippines. As the travel industry continues to recover from the impact of the pandemic, Ouano sees Travel Budol as a catalyst for rejuvenation, stimulating interest in exploring the diverse offerings of the country and aiding in the industry’s recovery process.

Ultimately, Travel Budol is positioned as a valuable tool that complements the expertise of travel agencies, empowering them to deliver enhanced and personalized services to their clients. While AI has transformative potential in travel planning, human insight, and expertise remain essential for providing a truly comprehensive and tailored travel experience.


The emergence of AI-powered travel tools, such as Travel Budol, presents both opportunities and challenges for the travel industry. While AI can enhance the efficiency and accuracy of travel planning, it cannot replace the expertise and personalized services of travel professionals.

However, AI tools like Travel Budol can serve as valuable supplements for traditional travel agencies, enabling them to optimize their operations and deliver enhanced services to clients. As the travel industry continues to evolve, the integration of AI and human expertise will play a critical role in shaping its future.