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: Would a "travel planning" topic also work as a general travel topic?  That would give us somewhere to redirect things like "Last Minute Travel" that an anonymous contributor created but is currently up for vfd. -- [[User:Wrh2|Ryan]] 15:40, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
 
: Would a "travel planning" topic also work as a general travel topic?  That would give us somewhere to redirect things like "Last Minute Travel" that an anonymous contributor created but is currently up for vfd. -- [[User:Wrh2|Ryan]] 15:40, 29 August 2006 (EDT)
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Revision as of 23:04, 21 October 2006

Contents

Purpose

Yes, this is a hopelessly inadequate page. Yes, "Travel topics" opens up a lot of slippery slopes. I'm completely boggled as to what to do with this stuff, so I'm kind of dumping it here so people don't have to edit the Main Page just to post a travel topic. --Evan 14:52, 6 Jan 2004 (EST)

I actually like this page. So far it looks like, well, a collection of general travel advice. Stuff that's useful no matter where you go. This has a definite place in a travelguide (especially a global one), and I am convinced that it can be maintained in a useful state. That said, I'd have one piece of Palm PDA based software that I think is a must-have for any traveller. Should I add a "Software and Electronics" subpage, or are there any objections? I do realize that there are a million applications for travelers; most are really redundant and/or useless. What I am talking about specifically is "Metro"; it's pretty unique afaik in that it has line maps for 100+ cities' subway systems. I have used it repeatedly (for example in Paris) and it's a lifesaver. And it's free too. :-) --Nils 11:26 March 10th, 2004 (CET)

Rollback

I rolled back a number of external links on this page. I don't think that's what Travel topics is about. --Evan 21:48, 19 Jul 2004 (EDT)

It isn't. The links were spam. Yet another reason not to soak up our extlink policy O:-) -- Nils 05:15, 20 Jul 2004 (EDT)

Wikitravel Expedition? Travellers' Tips? - Health

[Moved from Travellers' pub by Hypatia 18:02, 16 Dec 2004 (EST)]

Another thought: I've just been adding some Egypt-specific info regarding Stay Healthy on the Egypt page.... Was suddenly struck by the thought that a lot of general information could be unnecessarily duplicated in many parts of Wikitravel in the future..... Without taking away the need for country / location-specific health information, would people consider it a worthwhile idea providing general advice and relevant links for a number of common travel ailments - things like dehydration, heat / sunstroke, some of the more obvious diseases, etc......? This could be set up as a Wikitravel Expedition, I think... and we could link to the resulting information from within various other articles. It'd be great if we could get some contributors with a medical background to pitch in..... Although I think we might still have to include some warnings and caveats..... What do others think? Pjamescowie 08:17, 1 Aug 2004 (EDT)

I think this is a good idea. Someone has independently started Yellow fever and listed it under "Diseases" in Travel topics: perhaps this subheading could be replaced with "Health" and various other articles could be added. I should add a caveat to Yellow fever in fact. -- Hypatia 14:54, 19 Oct 2004 (EDT)


Shark Attack!

Swept in from Wikitravel:Travellers' pub

On a few articles I've worked on, I've been somewhat concerned about hazardous fauna. For example, in Fremont, I didn't mention a great hike to the top of a nearby peak because I didn't really feel like adding commentary regarding the care and non-feeding of Mountain Lions. Or in the Eastern Sierra, one could mention the Lions, and also Black Bears and Rattlesnakes. In Banff and Alaska, the Grizzly Bear merits special attention.

Okay, the world is a dangerous place. So what? We have a section Stay safe in our templates to deal with these issues. But in the case of both Lions and Grizzlies, it would be helpful to do more than just say "watch out when hiking!" (For Lions, it's best to fight back, for Grizzlies, not so much) We could point to Wikipedia, but they only discuss being safe around the Lions, but not the Bears. We could include a small diatribe here in the text, but do we really want to have the same issues discussed in many articles? (The Lions are pervasive in the western half of the US and Canada. The Grizzlies are pervasive from Montana north).

It's almost as if we need a series of articles in a Stay Safe heirarchy. This could include dangerous fauna, hazards common to many places (driving in the desert issues; hiking near glaciers; tornados). But it would also really suck to try to maintain this stuff which is only peripherally related to our real purposes in life.

Any ideas or opinions about how to handle this? -- Colin 15:22, 24 Sep 2004 (EDT)

I don't think there is any reason to cover it any more than superficially. To cover it accurately can often be very difficult. Generally there is very little consensus other than give them lots of space and don't feed them. Wikitravel does not exist in a vacuum, and much of this information can vary depending on local conditions. Most of these dangers have information available locally about them, so pointing people to that information is the best in my opinion. (IE "Be sure to stop at the ranger station and find out about hiking in cougar territory.") Where a danger is common for a region add a little bit about it in the Cope section is probably appropriate (I plan on adding a Black Bear comment to British Columbia.) You can then link back to it in your article. -- Webgeer 18:36, Sep 30, 2004 (EDT)
A black bear comment? I'd be more concerned with the Grizzlies and Cougars in BC. Black bears do more property damage though. -- Colin 20:18, 30 Sep 2004 (EDT)
You're much more likely to encouter a black bear than a Grizzly (orders of magnitude more likely). Except in very exceptional circumstances cougars encouters are unheard of (Cougars are not really shouldn't be something you worry about unless there is a cougar that is behaving strangely in the area). Black bears should not be dismissed. A black bear can run faster than you, is stronger than you and is perfectly capable of killing you. In BC from 1978 to 1996 10 people were killed and 78 injured by black bears, 4 were killed and 34 were injured by Grizzlies, while 3 people were killed by cougars in that time period (for comparison 13 people were killed by moose, 36 people were killed by horses). This really shouldn't be over blown. These are really small hazards in the scheme of things. Almost all of the dangerous bear encounters happened in the back country. For most casual hikers, much more dangerous is going hiking without proper resources, getting lost, mosquitos, etc. I live in North Vancouver on the edge of popular hiking mountains. In the summer the search and rescue team goes in a couple of times a week to rescue people who got lost, got cought in the forest at nightfall, were injured (often doing something foolheardy), unprepared for a weather change, or other similar happening. There is probably on average 2 or 3 deaths a year in the area. As far back as I can remember none of these were as a result of an encounter with wildlife. -- Webgeer 02:10, Oct 1, 2004 (EDT)
I totally agree that traffic accidents are a far more serious source of danger. Really this came about by me thinking "there's this great hike in the hills near Fremont." And there is are two sources of danger doing that, one of which can kill. And I do think it overblown to add a warning about Mountain Lions to the Fremont article, but a simple one line reference with a link to a different article seems okay to me. And yeah, driving is the most likely way for any traveller to die, I think. But that's true everywhere (but should be emphasized anyway.) So this is more about making short references in articles to dangers one may not have considered. (Mountain Lions don't like to be seen; so not everyone knows Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of them in North America). Anyway, I think I'll try and make a sample in my sandbox to play with, and we'll see what people think. -- Colin 02:54, 1 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Template:Shark

Does Wikitravel support template boxes that could be imported into multiple articles? So something like {{shark}} in the content would magically turn into a right-aligned floating box on dealing with Jaws. Jpatokal 06:14, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Yes it does. See any stub. -phma 12:12, 25 Sep 2004 (EDT)

Okay, so more seriously... does it make sense to have a page like "Dangerous Fauna" and then have a section per danger? I really don't like the idea of one article for each little annoyance. I'd prefer to make it country or continent specific though. So how about Dangerous Fauna of North America? Then, in a Stay Safe section, we could just add something like:

Dangerous fauna in this area include Lions, Grizzly Bears, and Hippies

-- Colin 20:26, 30 Sep 2004 (EDT)

So I wrote one possibility up in my Sandbox as an example User:Cjensen/sandbox/Dangerous fauna of North America and I'm interested in feedback of all kinds. -- Colin 03:52, 1 Oct 2004 (EDT)

Fauna is only dangerous if you don't respect its behaviour and habitat. A mention in the Stay Safe section sounds good but you could also put it in the Respect. For example: Some areas of New Zealand have problems with seals on (and off) the beaches. They will attack and bite people. But people can do the seals more harm by picking up their pups and taking them home because the pups look lonely or lost on the beach where they live. What's the more dangerous fauna - seal or human? Also I think Wildlife is a better term for WikiTravel's writing style. -- Huttite 08:24, 1 Oct 2004 (EDT)
I agree that Wildlife is way better than fauna in matching our style, Would dropping dangerous from the page title help make it useful for non-dangerous animal info? -Colin 23:17, 4 Oct 2004 (EDT)

I'd like to wait a bit on this and see how the disease stuff (Malaria, Yellow fever, etc.) works out and then come back to this. -- Colin 02:42, 22 Dec 2004 (EST)


The 43 folders wiki is collecting travel tips. I wonder what would happen if I merged the 2 pages of travel tips? --DavidCary 13:05, 26 May 2005 (EDT)


Itineraries

I just added Wikitravel:List of itineraries to the Travel topics page -- it doesn't seem to me like the best place to put this topic, but it doesn't seem to be linked from anywhere else, and on the Main Page itineraries are being listed under the Travel Topics heading. If there is a better place to put this, please move it, but I would argue it should be given a prominent placement as suggested itineraries are an important part of planning any trip. -- Wrh2 03:32, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Should all Itineraries have {{traveltopic}} applied?

Smoking

I just noticed someone added an article about Smoking under the Stay Healthy section. Somehow I do not think that is appropriate. I think it best fits under the Special needs etc... heading as smoking is a lifestyle choice that has health impacts, not a health issue. While I would hesitate to suggest it is in the same league as some of the other Special Needs etc. topics, the way smokers are being treated in some countries indicates that many health professionals think of smoking as a nicotine addiction and therefore a disability. The other alternative is to have a topic heading called Habits and Addictions or else have a Respect or Stay safe heading. -- Huttite 07:49, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Hi. We certainly consider it a health issue. That said I would suggest separating the article that Smoking points to currently into two articles, one Smoke-free zones or something like that for those of us who are interested in travelling to a country where we can go to a bar without having to put up with other people's smoke, and another, perhaps Smoking indoors for people who want to travel to someplace where they can smoke at each other to their heart's content. -- Mark 08:42, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)
I added the article. It put it under Stay Healthy because that is where it is in the destination articles. Either way we should see if we can agree on where to put and then make sure Smoking and the destinations are consistent. If we put it under Special needs at lest just on Travel Topics/Stay Healthy we should have a reference: Smoking: see Special Needs, also each destination.
But I do not consider it a special need not to get allergic reactions and lung cancer from passive smoking. --elgaard 09:35, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)
About splitting it up. I do not think we can split it into just two articles. Maybe we can keep a the list somwhat sorted so smokers can read from the bottom (or top if we sort it that way). There is probably places with smoking in bars, but not restaurants. Smoking in hotel rooms, public transportation, etc can also be regulated.
Mysore (region) says "Smoking and alcohol drinking is not allowed in the village, except inside your room in the guesthouses."
India say: "Except in major cities (and only in trendy places or in high society) women do not smoke."
Bhutan goes further than just bars and restaurants: "The sale of tobacco products is totally banned (foreign tourists and NGOs are exempt, though it is illegal for them to sell tobacco to locals), and smoking in public areas is a fineable offence." --elgaard 09:50, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)
Then again I would be happy with For smokers and For non-smokers articles. There would be some overlap, but that would not be a problem. I think both articles would end up covering the same places but from different POV's (Ie for smokers: In XXX smoking is not allowed on trains and in restaurants, but tobacco is good and cheap and you can smoke in bars and outdoord). I just think we should wait until a smoker adds an article just for smokers. --elgaard 10:25, 8 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Folk Art

I have been working lately on a number of pages for places that are known for "folk art," particularly American Indian (or, if you prefer, Native American) arts and crafts. The themes that keep coming up in those articles are so closely related that it seems to me as if there should be a folk-art topical page that people can refer to, to be aware of the folk art of other regions and also to keep from repeating some of the warnings about replicas, ripoffs, haggling, etc. How to haggle is at least covered in such a topical page, but I don't see most of the others I can think of. At the same time, I do not feel qualified to write a general folk-art page, although I know a lot about the specific Indian-art topic. Any suggestions on how to proceed? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 10:15, 11 Sep 2005 (EDT)

We do have some travel topic pages for special interests (eg. Scuba diving), and I could also easily imagine a folk art itinerary looping through places of interest. But this is a bit of a thin line to walk: articles here should aim to provide information for travel, not just duplicating what Wikipedia says about the topic. When in doubt, plunge forward and we'll see how it turns out... Jpatokal 11:06, 11 Sep 2005 (EDT)
Point well taken, but note that the Wikipedia article on the subject is a stub, and at that a rather extreme one given the potential richness of the topic. I may indeed "plunge forward" but would like to get a sense of what people would like to see and avoid. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 11:43, 11 Sep 2005 (EDT)

Linking from destination guides to travel topics

moved to here from User_talk:202.47.247.157

Hi.

You changed a few dozen pages so that they link from the word "haggle" to Haggling. We don't often link from destination guides to travel topics, and I'd rather we talk about it before making the change to dozens of articles. Please don't continue. --Evan 18:31, 31 Jan 2006 (EST)

Should I revert them?
How about topics such as altitude sickness, dengue fever/malaria/yellow fever, hitchhiking, pickpocketing, scams and scuba?

Do we need a "Topic:" namespace?

Since travel topics are different from normal articles, and also since some topic names might conflict with place names (see Hot springs), should we create a new namespace for travel topics? The advantages are that it would help with organization and make it more clear what was a topic and what was not, the disadvantage (that I can see) is that it might be a slippery slope that could lead to excuses to creating lots of other namespaces for itineraries and other such items. Thoughts? -- Ryan 15:48, 5 March 2006 (EST)

Not clear to me that setting up a namespace really solves a problem; looking at the list of topics on the main page here, "hot springs" seems like the only one with a potential need for disambiguation. OTOH, does it do any harm to set up such a namespace? The slippery-slope concern doesn't seem too compelling in this case. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 15:54, 5 March 2006 (EST)
I don't think there's a compelling need, as namespace conflicts are rare... and the software would, confusingly enough, actually consider Hot springs (topic) and Hot Springs (place) to be different articles. Jpatokal 09:42, 6 March 2006 (EST)
Perhaps this could be revisited in the future if there is any interest, and if we end up with a lot of travel topics. You're right that with less than a hundred articles there isn't currently a pressing need. -- Ryan 19:02, 8 March 2006 (EST)

Indicating Travel topics

I couldn't decide where to stick this, so I'll just bring it up here since it's related to the above. It was pointed out to me that folks are adding "This is a WikiTravel travel topic." type messages to the top of travel topic pages. At first I thought this was fine and dandy, but it turns out that there isn't a standard way to do this. Some folks are using isIn breadcrumbs, which I'm pretty sure we dont want, and some folks are just putting it in by hand, which is going to lead to inconsistant text and isn't machine-friendly. Comments? Suggestions? Links to where this has already been worked out? Thanks Majnoona 10:22, 21 April 2006 (EDT)

The only problem I see with using IsIn is that it doesn't work for articles that are also "in" a geographic region. Otherwise, it does exactly what breadcrumbs do on other sites, showing where the page sits in the site's logical hierarchy. The simplest alternative is a Template:Traveltopic, which would easily standardize the language on each page. Another option to consider is using MediaWiki's categories (and subcategories) feature to autogenerate the index to these articles (instead of the manually-updated Travel topics page). - Todd VerBeek 10:36, 21 April 2006 (EDT)
Yeah, I really think tha using isIn will muddy the waters... I'm gong to go ahead and create a mediawiki template. Discussion can continue there. Majnoona 14:06, 21 April 2006 (EDT)

That's not a bug, that's a feature...

I've exploited the software oddity that Jpatokal notes to deal with the hot-springs issue; there is now a Hot Springs disambiguation page and a Hot springs topical page. This is a kluge, to be sure, but lacking a Wikitravel:consensus in favor of a namespace, it'll do for now. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:27, 31 March 2006 (EST)

Places to do $WHATEVER

Swept in from the Pub:

Would it be unreasonable to start the potentially endless project of having pages dedicated to listing travel destinations for particular activities or phenomena? Instead of organized by place, organized by activity? Places to hike. Places to see Mexican wrestling. Locations of reported extraterrestrial activity. Great coral reefs for divers. Haunted houses. Tequila bars. Used record/bookstores. Etc. The point would not be to be exhaustive, which would be impossible, but rather to provide useful snapshots of the world for travellers interested in finding certain things or activities in whatever part of the world they head to.--69.234.181.199 06:03, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Yes, please! --Evan 08:29, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
Yes, it's unreasonable, you mean? :-) I assume you mean "plunge forward," and I will put down the marker on an article on "Buying Folk Art" that I've been mentally organizing for a while. Note that there was a lukewarm reception for this idea in Talk:Travel topics, but now with an endorsement from Da Man ... -- Bill-on-the-Hill 09:04, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I've been thinking about indexes a lot lately. Maybe there's a way we could make this sort of thing semi-automatic. Perhaps it should be possible to create an index page from a set of search results, with the index page editor personally vetting the results for relavancy and adding any other pages appropriate to the given index? Just a though. -- 158.232.2.32 09:52, 20 Oct 2005 (EDT)
This sounds like what categories are intended for — and unlike indexes they work automatically. Jpatokal 03:35, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Scuba

Note that Scuba diving has a slightly different format: places are listed at the top and a description of the activity itself is below. I think this would work better with some short reviews of the places in the article. For example (scuba diving):

Hypatia 03:17, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Go right ahead, the listing is barebones because I was too lazy to punch in descriptions. It should also be categorized by the type of diving, general difficulty level, etc. Jpatokal 03:35, 24 Oct 2005 (EDT)
I'll do the ones I know or know of. Hypatia 02:38, 28 Oct 2005 (EDT)

Localized travel topics

Okay, so travel topics are very real now, but I'm quite inclined to think that we should stick to geographical hierarchy whenever a topic is localized. In other words, geographical hierarchy is our preferred way of organizing the articles and travel topics such as Rail travel in North America and Hitchhiking in Japan, for instance, should be sub-articles of N. America and Japan, respectively (North America/Get around/Rail Travel, for instance), and not autonomous articles by themselves. I also think there should be at least some vague criteria (size?) as to when an article like that stops being a section of a (geographical) article and becomes a full article. I'd like to hear your thoughts on this too. Thanks, Ricardo (Rmx) 16:47, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Bump. Seriously, I think that in many cases, creating separate articles on topics that are related to a specific place in our hierarchy might be preventing geographical articles to become more complete and consistent. My idea is that one of those topics should start as an article section and then moved to a separate article when it gets too big. Or at least, such topics should always be created as a link on the geographical article so that it won't exist detached from its place in hierarchy. Ricardo (Rmx) 20:36, 11 April 2006 (EDT)

Imported from Talk:Japan

The issue is how much information does there need to be in a country's continent's "get around" section? The NA/ EU articles allow for the excessive amount of information to be available for travellers. This would be my idea for coming to a consensus:
  • Rail information should be in a country's "get around" section provided that there is little information that is available or that rail travel is of little use in that country.
  • If there is an excessive amount of information then explore the possibility (does not give a guarantee for the creation) of a [[Rail travel in xxx]] article.
The case for the European article (as an example) many travellers use rail to cross Europe. The information provided in the EU article would therefore be useful, because then the traveller knows what to expect in some cases of traveling by rail across Euroland.

Sapphire 13:41, 7 April 2006 (EDT)

Obviously when I wrote that I was talking about rail articles, but I think it could and should be applied to all travel topics. The deciding factor should be something like this if you can answer yes to these three questions make the article. "Is this information vital and important to travelers?," "Is there an excessive amount of information on this country's page that this information would be enough to constitute a new article?" and "Would this information be easier for users to use and for editors and contributors to maintain if it had its own article?" Sapphire 21:40, 11 April 2006 (EDT)

Although I don't think the articles should be true subarticles (as in North America/Get around/Rail Travel, I agree that for most of the "____ing in ____" topics, it makes sense to treat them – via IsIn tags and linking – as sub-topics of geographic articles. I don't think it makes sense to shoehorn an article such as Hitchhiking in Japan into the "Get around" section of Japan, or Tornado safety into the "Stay safe" section of North America; at some point a topic gets big enough to be separated out, just like regions get separated out of large countries, and districts get separated from big cites. Yes, there's a chance that the existence of semi-autonomous articles like these slows the development of their would-be parent articles, but on the other hand, requiring them to remain part of geographic articles themselves would limit their development. I think Sapphire's criteria are good ones for deciding whether/when to break out a geographic sub-topic, and I support the idea of associating them with their geographic "parent" articles. - 11:06, 12 April 2006 (EDT)

Articles about diseases

Please see the discussion on Talk:Tropical diseases prior to creating new articles on diseases. The argument has been made in the past that it is a bit of a slippery slope to create articles for every specific health issue out there - this is a travel site, so there should be general guides, but it is not a medical encyclopedia. The suggested approach in the past has been to write a few paragraphs on the Tropical diseases page about vaccinations, precautions, symptoms, etc, and only if more detailed information is needed should a separate article be created. -- Ryan 01:53, 8 April 2006 (EDT)

Anybody home?

something wrong I think

Uh, can you be more specific? There are many people 'home' ;-) Majnoona 10:58, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

Hi Maj - see the history on this page. There's a spambot that repeatedly spams it with phrases like "nice site" and such. I do believe the confused contributor above may be written in Python ;) -- Ryan 11:02, 26 June 2006 (EDT)

Snake safety?

Wonder if there are enough destinations with venomous snakes to justify an article on this topic. On the one hand, I have seen some bad advice in some destination articles that needed to be revised, and some people get so freaky about rattlesnakes, etc., that they miss out on good stuff or spend their time at an attraction freaking out rather than enjoying it. OTOH, it might be hard to write a useful article on this subject that spans the areas of interest. There are also slippery-slope concerns, although I think they can be dealt with. Opinions? P.S. This inquiry was not occasioned by the mention of "Python" in the previous section. :-) -- Bill-on-the-Hill 13:51, 5 August 2006 (EDT)

I do have a friend that will not leave America, because he thinks every country except for the US has killer snakes that are around every corner. Despite my friend's very annoying phobia I don't think it should really constitute an article. Also, if we let this slide someone may eventually come along and add Spider safety, Africanized bee safety, or my favorite Goat safety (for when a goat tries to eat you at a zoo or farm). -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 13:56, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
Well, the phenomenon you cite is exactly why I wonder if there should be such an article, because there are lots of people with this particular phobia. (I do not claim immunity myself; I had all sorts of trouble with it as a kid, and the first time I ever got rattled at on a hiking/climbing trip, I really freaked.) Fewer seem troubled by spiders or killer bees or goats. And realistically, there are parts of the world where snake safety really is an issue and snakebite is a significant cause of death. -- Bill-on-the-Hill 14:23, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
At one time I'd proposed having animal safety articles for major regions -- see example. I stopped working on it when Tropical diseases was written to wait and see if that would provide any helpful experience to guide the animal topics. I think regional articles (like Tropical diseases or Animals of the US) covering multiple issues are more useful than worldwide articles like (Cryptosporidium or Goat Safety) -- Colin 15:52, 5 August 2006 (EDT)
What exactly would Snake safety cover? True, a rattler's bit or cobra's could kill, but doesn't that kind of information fit better in a "stay safe" section or what about a generalized Animal safety, like Colin had suggested? I agree that information for treating a snake or goat bite (I was forced to give up my coat at the Cincinnati Zoo because a goat was hungry. That's the story behind the somewhat sarcastic comment.) but I think it would be wise to make that type of information in a generalized article. Maybe, I'm wrong and I'll gladly retract my objections, but I'd at least like to know what your vision for the article is(I.e. Which topics would be covered in the article?). -- Andrew Haggard (Sapphire) 12:00, 6 August 2006 (EDT)
Fair question, and I don't have a concise, well-thought-out answer yet, but I can imagine the following sections (not necessarily in this order):
  • Where might a traveler have snake encounters? This would both identify the "snaky" areas of the world, and give some sense of where, within those areas, encounters are most likely.
  • "Myth and Reality." Try to provide a realistic assessment of just how severe the risks are, and where -- many travelers have heard of the rattlesnakes of the American West and the unbelievable potency of Australia's venomous snakes, yet neither of these areas figures prominently in world snakebite totals, let alone fatal or life-threatening snakebites.
  • How to reduce the likelihood of snake encounters without cutting into your enjoyment of the trip. Brief discussion of snake habits, with some generalization, some specifics regarding types of dangerous snakes and the areas they inhabit. Things a hiker, climber, photographer, outhouse user, etc., can do to minimize unwanted encounters.
  • What to do if you do encounter a snake. This is actually a rather ticklish subject, because behaviors that a Texan has learned to help him defuse a rattlesnake encounter may be exactly the wrong thing to do if he's on a trip to southeast Asia. Some real expertise from around the world would be needed for this one.
  • How to get help if you do get bit. It's obviously not our place to give medical advice, but we can identify resources in some of the more significantly "snaky" countries and regions.
I'm just free-associating here, and these may not be the right topics. One definite goal, in any event, is to have a common resource that other articles can point to (as in Tornado safety). Does that help? -- Bill-on-the-Hill 12:44, 6 August 2006 (EDT)

General travel topic articles

Based on Bill's question above about a "snake safety" article, and based also on the fact that we don't currently have any concrete criteria for "what is a valid travel topic" other than "could this ever be useful to someone", I've been thinking about how we might handle travel topics better. I think the biggest problem is that there isn't really any organization for travel topics - with geographic articles the rule is to put information about an attraction into the parent article, and only when that info becomes "large and complex" (per the Wikitravel:What is an article? guidelines) should a new article be considered. In the case of travel topics we don't always have a general article, and as a result we get new articles on very specific subjects that sometimes only contain only a sentence or two.

To address this issue, would it be useful to create general travel topic articles that roughly correspond to the existing Wikitravel article headings, and to then create a guideline that new travel topics should start out in the general parent topic article, and only be moved to a separate article when the information becomes large and complex? In Bill's example above the information about snake safety could start out in a "Travel safety" article. If we get a lot of information about safety involving animals (snake safety, bear safety, crocodile safety) we could perhaps move that information to a more general "Animal safety" article. If in the future we have details about safety with snakes in different countries, THEN we would create the more-specific "Snake safety" topic.

I haven't gone through all of the article headings, but here is an incomplete list of suggested general topic names, with the corresponding article heading and a list of existing travel topic articles that would fall under the topic heading:

Thoughts? Would anyone be opposed if I started creating a few of these high-level topics as examples? -- Ryan 14:52, 5 August 2006 (EDT)

(tumbleweeds roll by) Bumping this up onto the recent changes page again to give people one more chance to comment... -- Ryan 13:31, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Support. Although I'm not confident that it would actually prevent "useless" topics from coming about, I guess that would be an excellent way of organizing the current and future topics. -- Ricardo (Rmx) 14:10, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
I definitely agree that having a better hierarchy wouldn't prevent "useless" topics from being created, but much like we redirect an article about a museum to the appropriate city article, having general topic articles would give us some place to redirect something like Students without having to debate whether or not to keep the article as something that "might be useful to someone". -- Ryan 14:26, 7 August 2006 (EDT)
Would a "travel planning" topic also work as a general travel topic? That would give us somewhere to redirect things like "Last Minute Travel" that an anonymous contributor created but is currently up for vfd. -- Ryan 15:40, 29 August 2006 (EDT)

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