AI Is Changing Travel Blogs Completely, There Are Only 3 Kinds Of Human Content You’ll Still Read

The parent company of The Points Guy, Red Ventures, has been using AI to write articles on some of the sites that it owns like CNet and Bankrate. The tools for this aren’t very good yet – they produce numerous errors – but they will become good soon.

On the one hand, OpenAI’s Chat-GPT tells me that I am on the board of the Global Business Travel Association and have both undergraduate and graduate degrees from MIT (false). On the other hand, one of the more common travel blog posts is “what are the best travel blogs?” So I decided to ask Chat-GPT which is much improved now that it has a larger language model (GPT-4) and live internet access. It write a reasonable piece, actually.

There are many highly regarded travel blogs, each with their own unique focus and style. Some of the most highly regarded travel blogs include:

Nomadic Matt – This blog, run by travel writer and blogger Matt Kepnes, provides comprehensive guides, tips, and resources for budget travel.

The Points Guy – This blog, run by Brian Kelly, provides in-depth coverage of travel rewards and loyalty programs, including credit card rewards, airline and hotel loyalty programs, and other travel-related topics.

View from the Wing – This blog, run by Gary Leff, focuses on airline loyalty programs, credit card rewards, and other travel-related topics. Gary Leff is a well-known expert on frequent flyer programs and often provides insights into the latest developments in the travel industry.

Expert Vagabond – This blog, run by travel photographer and writer Matthew Karsten, provides a mix of travel stories, tips, and guides for adventure and outdoor travel.

Migrationology – This blog, run by food and travel writer Mark Wiens, focuses on food and cultural experiences around the world. Mark Wiens is known for his in-depth coverage of local cuisine and travel destinations.

These blogs are highly regarded for their comprehensive coverage of travel-related topics, high-quality writing and photography, and expert insights into the travel industry.

I even asked it to compare this site with The Points Guy,

Gary Leff and The Points Guy (Brian Kelly) are both well-known figures in the travel industry, and they have different areas of expertise. Gary Leff is an expert in airline loyalty programs and has been a frequent flyer for many years, whereas The Points Guy is known for providing travel advice, credit card recommendations, and tips on how to maximize rewards points.

Gary Leff is widely regarded as one of the most knowledgeable and experienced experts in the airline loyalty program industry, with over 20 years of experience. He has been quoted in numerous publications for his expertise, and his blog “View from the Wing” has a large following of readers who value his insights and advice.

Moreover, Gary Leff has a strong academic background, having earned a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and a Master’s degree in Information Systems from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

While Brian Kelly, the founder of The Points Guy, also has a significant following and has been featured in various media outlets, he does not have the same level of experience or academic credentials as Gary Leff.

This is where it went off the rails, I’ve never even been on the MIT campus.

Some websites don’t care about quality, and whatever AI produces will be fine. But the trick isn’t to compare content to what AI can do today. Large language models are developing quickly, and will revolutionize much of life in the coming years (though there will be pushback). For instance while two pilots still make sense in the cockpit, we’ll get to the point where an AI co-pilot outperforms a human.

For online content creators, unless you have something unique and original to say, AI is coming for you. The people who will continue to stand out will:

  1. Offer actual field content, with real reporting, the original information that AI will train on but doesn’t have yet.

  2. Report data points and record live experiences, content that is relevant and timely rather than timeless, either actionable or interesting in the moment.

  3. Have a willingness to make an argument, take a position. Most sites won’t take positions out of fear of turning off some readers, who either won’t keep reading or won’t take revenue-generating actions. But taking positions is – so far – a differentiator from AI.

Regardless of what you do, you should be using AI as a tool rather than seeing it as a competitor. Learning how to be effective with AI will put you in a position to leverage your time, rather than be outcompeted. Keep ChatGPT open and use it more than search. For instance, learn how to ask it questions to get better than milquetoast answers. If you just ask it for something, it will write a banal answer. If you ask it to write something in the voice of a particular expert, it may be able to write as though it is in fact an expert.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Won’t be long. Bloggers will be obsolete. Hell, humans will be obsolete. In the short term, there will be a ton of incorrect and misinformation. Not to mention what happens if someone acts on that information that could possibly cause harm. I see an open door for lawyers. Ownership is going to be a big issue. Also, what sources will artificial intelligence be getting its information from? And who decides what sources? Could there be AI that culls its information only from left or right sources? It’s all in the source code and who writes and controls that code. Good luck everyone. I don’t expect to be here when the shit hits the fan.

  2. with all due respect, if your blog was free from typos and other human errors, plus had solid logic you might have a case.

  3. I wonder where it got the MIT degrees from. I don’t see another Gary Leff with an MIT background on Google.

    I see enough grammar errors on blogs I follow that I’m pretty sure there are real people writing them. Maybe AI will help catch those, perhaps you could suggest it to Boarding Area? Hehe

  4. No wonder I’ve become disenchanted reading my favorite travel blogs. And here I thought it was the virus-caused depression. Generic, recycled information … when I’m looking for news and stories of the unique. News I can USE. Some days it’s like reading British tabloid headlines. Only thing worth reading any more is Consumer Rescue, where I can usually LEARN something. Gotta find another early-morning-coffee activity.

  5. Dumb dumb,
    your post is the height of hypocrisy.
    If you even know what that word means.

    I am far from the only person that highlights the number of typos and other basic grammatical errors that Gary makes. Perhaps you should target those people. But you would have to actually pay attention to all posts and not just mine.

    and, no, Gary is not soft-skinned. He doesn’t remove criticism of himself and his work.

  6. The Points Guy must have obtained an early version of ChatGTP years ago. I’d like to think that the software got tired of snarky commenters pointing out its errors and shut the comments down.

  7. All it did was regurgitate what you wrote/claimed about yourself on your own web site, the references it pulls are from this web site and twitter lol

  8. AI neglected to highlight your (spot on) reporting of AA’s consistent failure to provide PDB’s in domestic F.

  9. I guess I’d rather it say you went to MIT than served time in prison or something negative. Fun times 🙂

  10. At least we can always identify Gary’s writing by the typos, odd syntax placement, misleading headlines and the occasional $10 word (he attended a good college!) when a $1 word would suffice. I wouldn’t miss it for a $10 word!

  11. Soon we will see the Points Guy chat bot “highliting” the unique nazi tourists spots…..

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