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Wikitravel talk:Country article template

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What?! There's no heading for what the people of the country are like.. possibly one of the most important things about visiting a country!

I believe that would go under Understand. Also, check out using talk pages. -- Evan 12:21, 9 Nov 2003 (PST)

So, after a big overhaul of the country article template -- based a lot on comments on the CIA factbook imports, and common practice for pages -- I've tested it out with a big rewrite of United States of America. Any comments on the template? On the implementation in the USA page? -- Evan 09:30, 14 Nov 2003 (PST)


Template for a very small country[edit]

What template do I use for a country like Singapore which is a small as a city? A mix of city and country template? Srijith

Hmmm. I have two thoughts on this. Singapore, as far as I know, actually has a couple of other much smaller cities, right? So one way to handle it is to do Singapore (country), with the country template, and then do Singapore (city) as well as... hmmm... I think it's Victoria (Singapore)?... and whatever other villages there are. Another possibility is just using the huge city article template and making the other cities districts of Singapore. Then you could add in the sections from the country template that aren't in the city template -- Talk, etc. I think it boils down to how independent the other cities in Singapore-the-country are -- are they really destinations of their own, or just neighborhoods of Singapore that happen to have a mayor? It's your call, in other words. -- Evan 05:39, 13 Nov 2003 (PST)
Singapore is divided into smaller parts only for election constituencies. There are no seperate official cities/towns in Singapore. No mayor etc. So the intutive thing to do would be to use the huge city article template and modify where required.Srijith 23:04, 16 Nov 2003 (PST)
Cool! That sounds excellent. -- Evan 06:53, 17 Nov 2003 (PST)


Visa Requirements[edit]

Moved from travellers' pub by Evan

How about including comments (or a table) within Country articles discussing Visa Requements? --Caffeine 05:19, 2 Jan 2004 (PST)

It's supposed to be in the Get in section, I believe. --Evan 07:09, 2 Jan 2004 (PST)

VISA[edit]

Discussion swept in from Pub

Should we add information about VISA requirments for every country? I know it's wanted information Bong 12:38, 30 Dec 2004 (EST)

Have a look at Wikitravel:Country_article_template#Get_in concerning Visa Requirements. -- Huttite 16:38, 31 Dec 2004 (EST)
Besides listing this info on every country it would be cool to have a more general article about acquiring VISAs, explaining the procedure, and giving an indication of the cost... Guaka 10:00, 9 Jan 2005 (EST)
Since the requirements for VISAs are dependent on the issuing country (where you want to travel), how about a two-pronged approach: have a page about getting them, with sections (subpages?) for the different countries, and a section on the country page on where to get it.
So, if you want to go from A to B, you check the VISA page on B whether you need one and how to get it, and then A (your current location) for where to get it (where's an embassy/consulate). --Jae 13:48, 20 Jan 2005 (EST)

I certainly think the best way to do this is include a Customs and Immigration subsection of the Get In section. It should be in the template to encourage it being added. Most of the time entry information is simple enough to not need a whole seperate page as suggested, including it within the article is easy. An example: Visitors from the USA, Canada and EU member nations do not require a visa, those from all other nations should obtain a visa prior to arrival. "prior to arrival" could be linked to a general article about how to apply for visas. Russeasby 20:09, 10 September 2006 (EDT)

I am suprised no one has commented on this. VISA requirements are a very important part of travel and the vast majority of articles on wikitravel lack any information at all about them. I would be more then glad to go nuts adding this info to country articles in wikitravel, but not unless there is some standard for it and its including in the template. Russeasby 19:54, 13 September 2006 (EDT)
The 'standard' right now is to place the visa info right at the top of the Get in section. This makes a lot of sense to me: you need to know whether you can go before deciding how to get there. Jpatokal 04:51, 14 September 2006 (EDT)
I realize that, I am just suggesting an actual header added to the template within Get In section for Customs and Immigration, having it in the template would encourage more people to actually fill in this very important information. Why is this not a good idea? Russeasby 08:32, 14 September 2006 (EDT)
Because I don't see why we need an additional header for it. If customs and immigration goes in its own section, what goes in the empty space between "Get in" and "C&I"? Jpatokal 09:18, 14 September 2006 (EDT)
Why does something have to go in it? There is nothing wrong with Get In being nothing more then a header for the following subsections, and I am sure people will come up with things to go in there. If your only reason for not wanting to include a subsection for Customs and Immigration is because you dont like the way it might look, then perhaps the entire template is flawed and needs to be revisited, there is something wrong if this extreamly important traveler information is not able to have a specific section when far more minor things do. When editors visit these pages and see an empty C&I section they are more likely to fill it in. Russeasby 09:27, 14 September 2006 (EDT)
I wanted to note as well that China is a good example of how I am suggesting the template be changed, a Visa subsection was added to it, it looks fine and the subsection also allows the Visa entry to be listed in the contents for the article. Though personally I prefer it to be titled Customs and Immigration, as information about import duties on goods you bring into the country is also relevent, I will relent on the naming of the subsection and mainly just want to see it added reguardless of name. Russeasby 09:33, 14 September 2006 (EDT)
Changes to the article templates are extremely rare, and we've been hesitant in the past to add a lot of second-level headers. Visa info is already specifically called out for the "Get in" section before the "By..." sub-sections. It is filled in for many countries, and I don't think that the lack of a specific sub-heading has kept people from adding the info. --Evan 09:36, 14 September 2006 (EDT)

External links[edit]

Hey, I was just looking at the external links sections of some countries and realized that it might be more print-friendly to have the actual url as well as the site name. For example:

  • [http:/www.majink.org Great site]

Isn't as useful printed out as

Sure, some of the urls will be ugly, but I can imagine how annoying it would be to have printed out a page that you know had the tourist site on it and then not be able to see it offline. OTOH, are urls usefull offline? Maybe to give to someone else? Majnoona 15:37, 6 Mar 2004 (EST)

Boilerplate text[edit]

I notice that several times this and other template articles have been copied onto a country page. The latest was Ireland. I have been thinking that there should be some boilerplate text at the top of the page that could be quickly copied rather than having to edit the whole template. It could be something like this:


==Regions==
==Cities==
==Other destinations==
==Understand==
==Get in==
===By plane===
===By train===
===By car===
===By bus===
===By boat===
==Get around==
==Talk==
==Buy==
==Eat==
==Drink==
==Sleep==
==Learn==
==Work==
==Stay safe==
==Stay healthy==
==Respect==
==Contact==
==External links==

We should make it easy for people. -- Huttite 08:08, 1 Apr 2004 (EST)

Indeed! --Evan 11:10, 1 Apr 2004 (EST)

Do people think we need something about public holidays? Obviously the dates change from year to year but most of them follow rules ie second monday in March or whatever. Caroline 16:51, 31 Jul 2004 (EDT)

I think it's a good idea. Catholic countries have holidays that the uninitiated Protestant has never heard of, and many countries have a national day. Israel and Muslim and Hindu countries make things difficult by having different calendars - e.g. Yom Kippur is always waxing gibbous in the early fall, but the date varies on the Gregorian calendar. -phma 21:21, 1 Aug 2004 (EDT)

Where do we write the time zone? I think that's pretty relevant to travelers.

I'd say that fits in "Understand" for countries and/or regionsMajnoona 20:41, 24 Oct 2004 (EDT)

For discussion - Include a UNESCO World Heritage list section?[edit]

I've plunged forward and added a section on Tunisia positioned between Cities and Other destinations. I have considered the UNESCO World Heritage List (WHL) but would regard this as an index. I believe these sites are of such fundamental interest to travellers they deserve a separate section on the Country page. I also agree with the WHL style that the title should be exactly that as inscribed on UNESCO's list to avoid ambiguity, and in adoption date order as on UNESCO's site, which is an easy resource when contributing.

It seems the linking discussed in WHL talk has met with concensus, apart from my opinion that WHL sites should go on the Country page. My argument is much the same as that for significant cities - to prevent users having to drop in and out of Region/City pages to find them. This is particularly true of isolated sites which will be redirected to the nearest City likely to have Sleep data, which is a sensible, but arbitrary choice.

I also think the description should be a one or two line summary of nothing but the reasons for UNESCO adoption/inscription because that describes the specific interest of the place. I don't see a problem with a duplicate entry in cities, e.g. 'Islamic Cairo' in WHL section and Cairo in Cities, because there are so few cities which meet the criteria for inclusion in both. I rejected my idea of putting the descriptions on the WHL page because I think this is best left as an indexing tool.

One thing to consider in your deliberations is that tourist destinations often become WH listed, and we don't want to have huge edits forced upon us. It would be good to adopt a structure where the WHL page could be automatically propagated to the Country pages periodically. UNESCO have two selection meetings a year.

Oh, and am I correct to link any references to World Heritage site back to WHL? --Richard 2005 Jan 17

I think that places on the UNESCO World Heritage List should be listed in the country article under the sections where they naturally fall. I do not think a separate template section is necessary, although a subsection under one of the template sections could be appropriate. Some of these places are regions, cities or destinations in their own right and deserve articles, while others are just a building or area of land. The variety means these places do not always fit into a single template category. For example, some UNESCO World Heritage list places in New Zealand, like Fiordland, are considered whole regions of the country.
Also, definitely link back to the UNESCO World Heritage list If you linked to using a section link like so [[UNESCO World Heritage List#Country|UNESCO World Heritage places in the Country]] then you link immediately to the section in the list that shows all the WHL places in the country. -- Huttite 03:51, 18 Jan 2005 (EST)

Electricity[edit]

One thing which doesn't fit comfortably anywhere in the current template is the country's electrical system (110/220V, what kind of plug, etc). Any ideas? One possibility would be to add a line to the quickbox... Jpatokal 01:59, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)

How about it being a subsection under the ==Cope== section. -- Huttite 02:28, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)
The Cope section is not a part of the standard templates. Should it be added? Jpatokal 03:36, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)
It's in the Wikitravel:Big city article template, but not on this one. --Evan 07:53, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)
It's also missing from the Huge city template. But as written, the description doesn't really make sense for entire countries:
This section is for all those little items that people need to know when they're in a city. Where can you do laundry? Go to a gym? Get computers repaired? Anything that has to do with the practicalities of daily life should go here.
One more thing missing from the templates: where to put embassies/consulates for other countries. Jpatokal 08:46, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)
I suggest to make a special Plug type page with an overview of all the different socket/plug types worldwide, including photographs and a small icon. This icon can now be put in the country quickfacts together with voltage and frequency and a link to the plug type page. This is handier then a teadious description for every country. Ronald 15:42, 4 Feb 2006 (EST)

Quick bar standardization[edit]

Electricity230V/50Hz (British plug)
Calling code+66
Internet TLD.sg
Time zoneUTC+8

I suggest the following lines be added to all the World Factbook quick bars:

  • Electricity volts/hertz (plug type)
  • Calling code +NN
  • Internet TLD .xx
  • Time zone UTC±N (UTC±M in summer)

Comments? See example box from Singapore. Jpatokal 02:05, 5 Feb 2005 (EST)

Teaser pic atop infobox[edit]

I've always found infoboxes a rather dull way to start a country article, so I tried adding a picture atop the Singapore infobox. Comments? 12:11, 28 Dec 2005 (EST)

Me too. I'd love to move the infoboxes to a template and then figure out how to stick them at the end of the article. Anyways, yes, that looks good. --Evan 12:29, 28 Dec 2005 (EST)

Money section[edit]

In Russia, Morocco and probably other countries separate sections for Money exist. Is it time to add a Money section under Buy in this template? --DenisYurkin 18:51, 2 December 2006 (EST)

That might be a good idea, but I don't think it should be under the "Buy" section, but rather an independent header or under the "Understand" section. -- Andrew H. (Sapphire) 19:40, 2 December 2006 (EST)
Have a look at the description under Wikitravel:Country article template#Buy - I think the description covers everything you want included. Therefore, aside from better-organizing the content within the "Buy" section, what do we gain by adding this heading to all country articles? There's nothing stopping someone from adding the sub-heading to a specific country article, but putting it in the template means that it's expected to be there. I don't disagree that it might be a nice way to re-organize content if we had lots more country articles to create, but given that every country has an article the question is whether it's worth the effort to retroactively add a sub-heading to all articles. I'm not opposed, but I don't see a need for it either. -- Ryan 19:53, 2 December 2006 (EST)

Appropriate to have sleep section in country page?[edit]

Archived from the Pub:

The reason I ask is that someone has duplicated (part) of the 'sleep' entry I made in the 'Nelson' section into New Zealand. Surely it is inappropriate to have a 'Sleep' section for a whole country (unless it is very tiny or lacking in possibilities to lay one's head)? W. Frank 09:07, 7 March 2007 (EST)

The sleep section for countries and regions is not for individual listings but rather to provide an overview on the accommodation in that particular area. Check out the Japan article to see a good example of what that section should look like. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 09:25, 7 March 2007 (EST)
Thanks for that clarification, Ricardo. I see that there have been quite a few jokers running around on New Zealand since I left my original message. I have just deleted the italicised section of this text:
In New Zealand, armed police are a media event (unlike gangs). Although all police officers are trained to handle firearms, these are normally only openly worn when the situation requires such weapons, such as an armed offender. Traditionally, New Zealand police only carry batons and offender control (pepper) spray. However, first response patrols will generally have recourse to weapons locked away in their vehicle. They don't really hesitate to do this and are known to run along the policy lines of a Dead criminal is better than a talking victim. but bribes should never be offered openly to police officers; this will make your situation worse, not better. In fact, offering a bribe is an excellent way of getting a free tour of a New Zealand prison, court room and police cell, not to mention deportation. But sexual favours are considered the exception to this rule
Hey, Frank, G'Day! Stop being sneaky and sign your posts, you old weasel! When are we going to see you in Omeath again?
(the Grandchildren are off to Singapore, Cebu and Nelson early next month so you could stay in your usual room)
...Gaimhreadhan (kiwiexile at DMOZ) • 12:36, 22 March 2007 (EDT)
I think you should keep your voice down in here, G - you don't know who's listening (grin). Since when did they make you an open directory editor?W. Frank 10:40, 23 March 2007 (EDT)

Moving "Understand" to section 1[edit]

Someone recently moved the Understand section of Russia up above Regions, and while it technically should be reverted, I think it was a genius move... I love Template:Regionlist, but it often seriously conflicts with Template:Quickbar. Sooo, is there any real reason why we shouldn't swap these around? I think Understand makes perfect sense as section 1, editorially and visually. What say, people of the status quo? – cacahuate talk 17:50, 3 November 2007 (EDT)

Just wanted to point out that the problem comes not from a conflict between the quickbar and regionlist templates, it results from the fact that the quickbar takes up all the right-aligned space through the prime map real estate of country articles. But more to the point, I think that this is a good idea, and that the advantages of putting Understand at the top outweigh the advantages of keeping the cities/regions lists as an index at the top. --Peter Talk 03:42, 4 November 2007 (EST)
BUMP! – cacahuate talk 02:34, 6 November 2007 (EST)
I'm kinda "meh" on this. Having empty space up top sucks, but not having a handy list of regions/cities as the very first thing in the article sucks more. Jpatokal 03:22, 6 November 2007 (EST)
To be sure, it would be awful to navigate Russia's regions, for example, if you had to scroll down each time to get to the region and city lists. But this proposal is just for the country template, which someone is only likely to navigate through once while surfing. And people likely have to scroll down now as it is because of the conflict between region maps and the quickbar. I say better an understand section than The Great Satanwhitespace. --Peter Talk 03:54, 6 November 2007 (EST)

I just moved the "Understand" section for Poland, because of the regionlist and quickbar conflict. The quickbar conflict was pushing the region map well below the "Regions" section. Barring any objections, I'll make the change official policy and start plugging away at other country guides. -- Sapphire(Talk) • 07:15, 16 March 2008 (EDT)

Any other thoughts on this? How strongly against it are you Jani? I'd really like to move forward on this if there's no serious objections – cacahuate talk 19:37, 20 June 2008 (EDT)
Alrighty, moving forward with this; I'll go slowly, and give people time to shout – cacahuate talk 22:01, 28 June 2008 (EDT)

The only thing that makes me bit uncomfortable is that it introduces inconsistency between templates: in Cities we have a list of Districts on top of article (and I strongly support that) while in Countries we have Understand go first. However, with enough eyes of us patrolling changes it's better to promote Understand. --DenisYurkin 13:24, 14 July 2008 (EDT)

See section[edit]

Shouldn't there be a "see" section on this template? Is this a mistake? --Peter Talk 23:58, 18 March 2008 (EDT)

And a "do" section—am I missing something here? --Peter Talk 10:43, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
I don't think it's a mistake, but I don't feel that strongly either way... it does almost feel silly to have them on a country page, wouldn't the region, city and other destination sections already cover most of the highlights of a country? The often are filled with random, mostly useless info when they are used... Australia and England for instance – cacahuate talk 11:50, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Point taken, although by that logic, we should also get rid of country "respect" sections, since that's a time-honored fatuous blather magnet. Also, in the absence of a see section, where should country-wide itineraries go? And I'm still not sure how to answer this question. --Peter Talk 12:49, 27 June 2008 (EDT)
Itineraries can be {{related| }}... or put in "other destinations" maybe... don't know about sports, see or do would make the most sense. Several sections on other templates are optional, as needed, such as Stay healthy, Work, etc... maybe in this case it's one of those. There may be cases where there's substantial and relevant things to say in those sections, and then they should be used... but I personally dislike useless lists like: ski, snowboard, hiking, nature walks.... it's not about listing everything there is to see or do, just notable things, like cricket in India for instance – cacahuate talk 00:42, 28 June 2008 (EDT)
I agree with cacahuate; receational/adventure sports like Skiing/snowboarding/paragliding are different from spectator sports like cricket (in India), football (in Europe), or that weird helmet-bashing thing that they play in America. The latter can fall under Culture as well as Do. That's the problem. How do other guides like Lonely Planet sort this one out? Upamanyuwikitravel( Talk )( Travel ) • 03:16, 30 June 2008 (EDT)

Wikitravel:Article templates says "See" is required. There should be some description here of the types of attractions one might find in the country, along with pointers to the most notable. In the U.S., for instance, we should point out Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and of course the many itineraries that are already there. See and Do sections are, to me, the meat of our guides; that's where we put the information that tells a traveler why they would want to visit. To leave them blank is like a big flashing sign that says "there's nothing to do here". LtPowers 16:22, 23 May 2009 (EDT)

I also think that they should be added. Does anybody actually oppose this? Jpatokal 06:00, 1 July 2009 (EDT)
Also agree with LtPowers and Jpatokal. Leaving these sections out seems like there is nothing to see or do there, while having them gives us a place to point out the top reasons for visiting a country, which is especially useful for those countries not everyone knows much about. I'd love to click on Ghana or Tajikistan and see what the top sights and activities are, because I have otherwise no idea. Texugo 22:57, 1 September 2009 (EDT)
Yes, I like the idea of having "See" and "Do" in every country. ChubbyWimbus 23:12, 1 September 2009 (EDT)

See and Do[edit]

I have added a "See" and "Do" section to every country article. I have also added it to the template page with a brief description of what belongs there. Please adjust and add to the template description.

Also, please check the country pages of any country you are familiar with and add content to the "See" and "Do" sections. While some countries already had these sections, most did not, so even "guide status" countries, like Japan, now have blank sections! ChubbyWimbus 00:54, 20 September 2009 (EDT)

Exchange Rates Policy?[edit]

Swept in from the Pub:

I think we should adopt a policy to omit exchange rates from country articles with floating currencies. If there is a peg to the USD, or Euro, or if the currency is stable against another currency, then it is worth mentioning. Otherwise, the information is invariably going to be out of date and misleading. Especially in today's economic climate where EUR/USD exchange rates are changing by percentage points intra-day. There is enough stuff to update without doing exchange updates daily. The alternative would be some automated process to import the information where required, but wikitravel has other strengths, and there are plenty of exchange rate sites.. I know this information is in other printed travel guides, but it is wrong there too.. --Inas 19:24, 22 September 2008 (EDT)

I'd support that – cacahuate talk 19:55, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
I'm not against omitting exchange rates but I do know that it is useful to have some idea of the rate when looking at listings. Often, when I visit a country for the first time, I have no clue, not even a ballpark figure, for what the rate looks like. (That said, sometimes a month can hit the rate right out of the ballpark!) --Wandering 22:41, 22 September 2008 (EDT)
I'd vote with Wandering. My suggestion is to put up the exchange rate in the Quick Facts box at a country level. Given the current financial turmoil, this may not be perfectly accurate - but is more likely to get updated than if the exchange rate is buried deep inside some article - as in the case with the India page --Pradyot
I don't think the exchange rate should be totally dropped, as a ballpark exchange rate, tagged with a date, is useful. That is, the Japan article should say "As of 2008, the yen trades at around 100 to the dollar", not "At 27 seconds past 8:31 AM on October 6th, 2008, the mid-market interbank FX yen rate in New York for quantities below 1 billion was 106.1234566789 to the US dollar". The vast majority of the world's currencies are kinda-sorta stable (that is, the number of zeroes is likely to be the same next year as this year), and for the rest we should note that they aren't.
But I think the best place to put them is where they're right now, namely the Buy section, since that's where the country's currency is discussed.
Otherwise we'll just end up with exchange rates in both. Jpatokal 02:31, 8 October 2008 (EDT)
I rather like seeing the exchange rates. Every traveler knows that they fluctuate and that they should find an official source for the latest figures, but it is handy to have an indication of what to expect in the country article, even if that is out by 15% or so. It might however be a good idea to always date the exchange rates, that way a reader will immediately know how much the quoted figures can be trusted. Obviously, for countries like Zimbabwe quoting figures simply does not make sense and it is sufficient to state that the economy is FUBAR and the traveler should check the exchange rate prior to any transaction. --Nick 09:24, 15 October 2008 (EDT)

Cost of living benchmark?[edit]

Swept in from pub:

One thing I try to research before visiting somewhere is the relative cost of living, ie how much spending money I'm going to need. Has there been any discussion previously on ways of incorporating any sort of easy benchmark of this into articles or as part of the templates? I'd love to be able to see at a glance that in Riga a diet coke is going to cost me 1.5lats and a pizza for lunch 4 lats. For instance. How to do it in a way useful to all is another question. Has this cropped up before? Andyfarrell 19:04, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

He, I'd be all in for swapping either Government or Religion out of the quick boxes in favour of the Big Mac Index, though I wouldn't know what to do with countries without McDonalds'. --Stefan (sertmann) Talk 19:14, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
This is already an objective. See Wikitravel:Country_article_template#Costs. How much money you will need, a cost of common items should be included in the Buy section of country articles, including how much a Big Mac costs, if you like. --Inas 19:33, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
I'd like to see both government and religion leave the quickbox (since that information belongs in "understand"), but I do think adding an infobox to each country's "buy" section displaying its big mac index score would be useful. It should be year end data, so it will be simple to update without following every fluctuation. --Peter Talk 20:20, 31 March 2009 (EDT)
Generally, the relative costs of things are found in the Buy section, although only some countries' articles mention such info. You'd need to find an appropriate index. Cost of living indexes and "most expensive for expatriates" include things like taxes, housing, etc. To further complicate things, prices can be drastically different throughout the country. Accommodation may not be uniform...for instance, a 4-5star hotel in an African capital might be comparable to that of a major European/US city, while small hotels and hostels might be drastically cheaper. It also depends on how you travel...W. Europe generally has much higher prices than the US, but for a long-distance trip, there's the Eurail and hostels everywhere...while long distance travel in the US is very expen$ive and cheap hostels are only found in some large cities. A week in Washington (in a hostel & using the subway) can be much cheaper than a week in London...but a week travelling from NYC to LA is probably much more expensive than a week going from London to Paris to Rome. I'm not against doing a price comparison...but there's LOTS of factors which may need to be spelled out to be effective. AHeneen 23:06, 31 March 2009 (EDT)

We did have an article called "What things cost" that was deleted after a very long messy discussion. I argued for keeping it, and rewrote most of it in the process. Put it up for undeletion? Use some of its text (my rewrite was of course brilliant :-) in a new article? Pashley 01:05, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

Could we add something like per capita GDP as a cost indicator in country articles? Could we automate getting the data? There's more than one way to calculate or estimate it, though. Wikipedia has several articles, one here, with links to data sources. Pashley 01:31, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

The main reason we didn't keep that article, though, was that we decided the information belonged firmly in country articles' buy sections (if I remember correctly). Per capita GDP's effects on PPP are very ambiguous and often marginal, especially as PPP is determined by a bunch of additional causes unrelated to per capita income. The big mac index is widely regarded as the most important and accurate measure of varying price levels across nations, so, while imperfect, I think we should limit site-wide information about country PPP to this index, while allowing ourselves greater latitude to go into details in each country's buy section. (E.g., while Japan has exceptionally high food costs that will show up in the big mac index, their high-end electronics are actually quite cheap by international standards.) --Peter Talk 01:40, 1 April 2009 (EDT)
Lets just make the guideline for the Buy section a little more prominent. I'm sure its not difficult to people to include the costs of a few common items in the buy section to give an idea of what things are going to cost, they probably just don't think of it. In the Australia article you will certainly find the cost of a few different styles of meals in the Eat section, what to expect to pay for accommodation in the Sleep section. Its not much good putting the costs of transport in the Get around or Get in sections because they vary so much between locations, but you will find pretty accurate costs in many of the City articles, as well as finer grained costs of accommodation. These are surely the three biggest costs travellers will encounter. I don't really see what is missing there, or what benefit there would be in putting it in a standardised table. I don't know if per capita GDP has any consistent relation to the costs of travel. The USA has a per capita GDP higher than Japan or Australia, but I would say it is cheaper to travel in. The Big Mac index is not a good judge of buying power, it is not officially available for many countries, and it smacks a bit of American cultural imperialism when applied to countries where you have to work a day to buy one. If people want to put the cost of a Big Mac into the Buy or Eat section of a country, where it is relevant to assess the costs of travel there, they are already very free to do so, and this should be encouraged where appropriate. --Inas 01:51, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

One of the many pieces missing from this puzzle is price ranges for the Eat section (and reaching a consensus on Wikitravel talk:Restaurant listings#price ranges what exactly price given for restaurant should reflect: only main dish / average set of meals for this establishment [type] / three-course full meal or something else]]). Anything constructive will be highly appreciated on this. --DenisYurkin 16:43, 1 April 2009 (EDT)

Glad I asked. That's given me some idea of the opinions on this! Thanks particularly to Sertmann for drawing my attention to the Big Mac Index, I like it, but think it's too narrow a measure - it doesn't tell me how much spending money I need to take. It doesn't appear that there is a quick and easy solution to go in an infobox so I guess I will just spend a little time adding to the Costs sections on places I know. Andyfarrell 18:52, 4 April 2009 (EDT)

I'm glad you asked too. I came onto wikitravel as I'm looking into some voluntourism in Argentina, and would really like to see cost of travel there, but there's nothing in the country listing. I also read the "what things cost" discussion. I personally think it would be very hard to start to create, in a user-generated guide like this, but guidelines on cost could be added under anything that costs. Like, in the template, there are "costs" under "buy" but there could be costs under eat, drink, sleep, contact, but how are you supposed to monitor how people enter the data? Since there's nothing really comparable, as, yes, you could go to McD's, but it's the traditional food that most people want to try when travelling, so you can't compare it properly. I'd like to see something like "Budget" included in the country's page, whereby people could list basic costs for living as averages (Food shopping for week = x-yUSD @Date/Year, Rent for month = x-yUSD) Although I would be looking for this more for slightly more long term forays into places. I mean, if there was a budget section added, there would be no easy way to regulate it, but at least the idea to add it would be there, so those who knew anything about the cost of living in a country, would be able to include a budget for a week of a backpackers holiday, long-term stay in the country, or a more luxurious holiday, like a week in a hotel with B&B & eating out each night, with restaurants/whatever listed as low-end, middle or high end in the prices of the place. Not sure how this could be done, but it's a contribution I suppose! ElectricSocks 00:19, 10 September 2009 (EDT)

I like the idea of benchmark like this:
a budget for a week of a backpackers holiday, long-term stay in the country, or a more luxurious holiday, like a week in a hotel with B&B & eating out each night
I think I could contribute few bits of this for a country or two from my previous visits. No objections if we try this as a subsection of Understand in a respective country's (or city's) article? --DenisYurkin 18:25, 17 September 2009 (EDT)
Does anyone have any feedback, on whether Australia#Costs is a reasonable cost of living benchmark section, or whether it it is useless prose? I'd like to think it is more useful to have a section like this, than a big mac index. --inas 20:11, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
It may be a bit long but I think it's good overall. I'd move it after the "Currency" section, though, since that's where the Australian dollar is introduced. LtPowers 22:26, 30 September 2009 (EDT)
Excellent example, great work! I even think we need a dedicated page listing showcase sections of each kind, where this link should be definitely added. --DenisYurkin 03:58, 1 October 2009 (EDT)

Understand and regions/cities[edit]

What's the deal with the Understand, Regions and Cities subheaders with countries? At some countries Understand is at the top, such as the USA, while at others, such as Finland, Regions is at the top. Now I see in the template that Understand should go at the top, but why is it wrong with so many countries? Is there a kind of history here? --globe-trotter 18:10, 13 January 2010 (EST)

See #Moving "Understand" to section 1 and for more background Template talk:Quickbar#Delete the Quickbar. --Peter Talk 18:17, 13 January 2010 (EST)
Ah thanks, that was what I was looking for. --globe-trotter 18:32, 13 January 2010 (EST)

Per discussion at Template talk:Quickbar#Round three, I have devised a revised and much smaller "quickbar" that will permit us to move the Understand section back to where it is on all other article templates (below Cities/Other Destinations). Please comment there if you have any concerns, and feel free to test the new template before we commit to implementing it site-wide. LtPowers 20:09, 18 August 2011 (EDT)

I think it looks great, and am excited to see the upcoming change. --Peter Talk 23:30, 18 August 2011 (EDT)


How to link to another wiki for Get in -> By car and Get around -> by Car?[edit]

A new community wiki specifically for people traveling across multiple countries with vehicles has been created.

It's called WikiOverland, the encyclopedia of Overland travel and it contains mountains of data for people traveling by vehicle. It's in no way intended to duplicate the enormous amount of travel information here at wikitravel, but supplement it with the very detailed information needed by travelers with a vehicle.

It currently includes things like customs paperwork and fees, the process at the border, vehicle insurance, up-to-date gasoline prices (in any currency and unit the reader chooses), gasoline frequency and quality, camping, roads, maps, navigation, vehicle maintenance, buying and selling vehicles and much, much more.

WikiOverland has a page for every country, much like wikiTravel, and currently links to wikiTravel for all the travel information here. WikiOverland can then specialize in the detailed information required by those traveling with vehicles.

My question is how should I link to WikiOverland in each country under the two major "by car" sub-sections?

Thanks -Dangrec 18:23, 29 November 2011 (EST)

It looks like an interesting project, and with a compatible licence. Particularly, our routes and itineraries tend to be considerably less developed than our destinations. However, I'm reasonably confident that our current policies don't permit it to be linked to those sections - we don't allow links to other guides. Perhaps Wikitravel:Fellow_Traveller_Expedition is a reasonable place for this discussion. --Inas 19:13, 29 November 2011 (EST)
Thanks, I moved the discussion to Talk:List of related projects. It seems like that page doesn't get any attention from moderators. I hope my discussion is noticed. Thanks Dangrec 19:55, 29 November 2011 (EST)
I'm sure it will be noticed, you can put a notice about it in the pub if you like to be sure. However, cooperation with other projects isn't something that has received much focus here, and the emphasis continues to be on getting the best information into this guide. We're also limited in adding interwiki links, since our tech requests rarely get acted upon unless there is some commercial interest to Internet Brands in doing so. Still, viewpoints may vary. --Inas 19:58, 29 November 2011 (EST)
Actually, the license isn't compatible, but that doesn't matter if we just want to link to them. LtPowers 10:32, 30 November 2011 (EST)
We're in talks right now to drop the "non-commercial" from our license. Decision pending. -Dangrec 12:08, 30 November 2011 (EST)
We've dropped the "non-commerical" from the license for WIkiOverland. -Dangrec 00:29, 1 December 2011 (EST)
I appreciate you going to the effort to retrospectively make my comment correct. --Inas 00:48, 1 December 2011 (EST)

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