Insider Travel Guides

Wikipedia’s Latest Innovation: Insider Travel Guides

Traveling requires planning in advance, as well as familiarizing oneself with the area that you are visiting. But finding high quality travel guides for remote locations is nearly impossible. Lucky for us, the Wikimedia Foundation (the parent of Wikipedia) is here to help. Wikivoyage is a wiki they host that offers the best insider travel guide to virtually every destination around the world. The Huffington Post even claims that the site has 25,000+ travel guides.

Wikivoyage Homepage, Home of the Best Insider Travel Guides
Screenshot of the Wikivoyage homepage shows off their simple and easy-to-use interface. The interface is reminiscent of their sibling-website Wikipedia. The screenshot also shows off their new logo.

Everyone is talking about this newly launched service. Wired, TechCrunch, and Mashable are all talking about the newly launched insider travel guide service. Perhaps the first to cover the service was Skift who stated that the service launched on January 15th, 2013.

Wikivoyage provides several ways of browsing through information for curious browsers. You can also browse through their previously featured Destination of the Month, Off the Beaten Path, or Featured Travel Topic.

Wikivoyage was not always the best source for insider travel guides. The website actually began as Wikitravel. However, the majority of the editors left and brought their contributions to the Wikivoyage project in 2012 when the wiki was relaunched as a Wikimedia-hosted project.Wikipedia Currently, although Wikitravel features more on their home page, the quality of the information is simply better at Wikivoyage. Their guides feature high quality info-graphics and more up-to-date information.

Thousands of Insider Travel Guides

Wikivoyage is unique to other travel guide websites because it has thousands of insider travel guides. It does not focus on a particular country or region. The wiki hosts a huge amount of information from locals and insiders organized into guides that cover even the most remote locations.

The website allows users to edit and create articles. This results in a wide range of insider travel guides for countless travel destinations created by the people who know their location the best.

While it is true that the credibility of Wiki sites is sometimes questioned, the large group of enthusiastic and meticulous editors at Wikivoyage manage to produce insider travel guides that are of the highest caliber. The editing interface allows for local residents to write about their location. It also allows foreign visitors to describe their impressions of their destination.

Simplicity Meets Functionality at the Best Site for Insider Travel Guides

Another reason why Wikivoyage is the best source for insider travel guides is the ease by which information is found on their travel guide pages. Unlike other travel guide websites that tend to have scatter-brained information sprawled throughout their publications, Wikitravel has a simple and easy-to-use interface. You can search for any term on their website (such as Africa, Kenya or specific locations such as The Serengeti National Park), and you are brought to the travel guide for that term. The travel guides are then broken up by section using simple categorization titles such as “Get in”, “Get around”, “See”, “Stay safe”, and “Stay healthy”.

As an added bonus, Wikitravel also offers free language guides for nearly every country in the world. For instance, if you are looking up a travel guide to Russia, at the bottom of the guide you will see a link that says “Russian Phrasebook” that shows you how to read, understand, and pronounce all of the important terms a traveler to Russia may need to know.

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