An itinerary is a guide for traveling along a specific route through several destinations or attractions, giving suggestions of where to stop, what to see, how to prepare, etc. If you think of our destination guides as dots on a map, an itinerary describes a line that connects those dots.
Valid itinerary article subjects
An itinerary article should be a guide for travel along a specific route and not merely a suggested sightseeing schedule. Examples of good itinerary subjects are Hajj (a traditional pilgrimage route), London South Bank Walk (a city walk), Ad's Path (a hiking trail), or The Wire Tour (a guide for visiting filming locations for a television show). Invalid itinerary topics would include "One week in Sydney" or "Best of Bhutan"; information that would be included in such itineraries should instead be added to the appropriate city or region articles.
Two questions that can help determine whether or not a subject is a good candidate for an itinerary article are the following:
- Is the itinerary article about a specific route? Voyagers can agree on what content would be included in an article such as Appalachian Trail, but it is completely subjective what should be included in vague conceptions such as "Ten days in Slovakia" or "Cultural tour of West Africa".
- Should the content in the itinerary article be covered elsewhere on Wikivoyage? An article such as "Visiting Cairo's museums" would probably just duplicate content that should instead be placed in the main Cairo articles.
In general, if there is any question whether a subject is a good itinerary topic or not, start out by first including the information in the appropriate city or region article(s), and ask in the Pub whether a separate itinerary article makes sense.
For any type of itinerary, a map is very, very useful for planning and visualizing. A dynamic map may be generated from a list of GeoJSON co-ordinates, as was done with Trans-Siberian Railway, Bertha Benz Memorial Route and the Oregon Trail. Another option is to draw a static map, which is time-consuming but provides finer control.
Itinerary article titles
The following are some guidelines for naming itinerary articles:
- Use the traditional or legal name for a route if one exists. For example, the Annapurna Circuit, Route 66, Trans-Canada Highway.
- Articles on historical routes can use titles like On the trail of Marco Polo, but where the route has a name, such as Lewis and Clark Trail, use that instead.
- Where a route goes from a well-known destination to a less-known one, put the well-known one first, for example Hong Kong to Kunming overland.
The closer article titles come to these guidelines, the more likely readers and contributors will recognize them as itineraries.
In the past Wikivoyage permitted the creation of itinerary articles that were not about a specific route such as "Two months in Europe by rail" or "One day in Tokyo", but this practice is now deprecated for several reasons:
- "Personal" itineraries encourage creation of arbitrary articles that aren't collaborative. While everyone can agree on what should go in an itinerary article like Alaska Highway, a "One day in Tokyo" article is personalized to the taste of the author (not our diverse readership), thus defeating a primary advantage of Wiki.
- "Personal" itineraries often just duplicate content that should be in the main destination article. There is nothing that would be placed in the "A Long Weekend in Bangkok" article that should not be in the existing Bangkok articles.
- There are an infinite combination of "personal" itinerary articles, making it difficult for readers to know where to find information. "A Weekend in Sydney" might be a good article, but the same could be said about "An afternoon in Sydney, "Two weeks in Sydney", "A month in Sydney", or even "Another Weekend in Sydney!"
In order to keep itineraries actually useful to travellers, "personal" itineraries are now usually tagged for merging to the appropriate city or region destination article. We do keep itineraries without a recognised route in some cases, but they have to reach a level of completeness and quality to avoid being deleted or redirected. Mostly such itineraries instead have a specific theme, such as Historic Churches of Buffalo's East Side.
"One year" deletion rule
Since just about any topic can be an itinerary, itineraries must either be actively worked on or achieve some level of completion to be kept. (Sufficiently famous, marked routes such as Alaska Highway or Annapurna Circuit are exempt from this rule.) As such, itineraries that have been at outline status or less for one year without being substantially edited are subject to deletion via the votes for deletion process.
Creating an itinerary
To create an itinerary, use the search box or create a redlink to it, and follow the redlink. Choose "Itinerary" among the black links above the edit window, to pre-fill the page with the standard section headers. Open Wikivoyage:Itinerary article template in another window to see what should go into the sections (you could also use that page to paste the outline into your edit window, with or without the instructions).
The route description is the main part of the itinerary. What it looks like varies considerably. It must be complete enough for readers to follow it, but how much to write on the environment and sights on the way depends on the nature of the itinerary. Things told in the destination articles of places the itinerary goes through mostly do not have to be repeated: when you suggest overnighting in a certain city, you don't need to list hotels – if a specific hotel suits your theme, by all means mention it, but contact details can still be left to the city article.
If you would like to get a map line on the itinerary, use the tutorial on WV:Lines.
Itineraries are usually listed in a separate Itineraries sub-section of See in the relevant region or destination article and, for long itineraries like Trans-Canada Highway, as a Go next item for articles about cities (or parks) that are stops on the way.
Additionally itineraries are listed on the Itineraries page (or on a relevant subpage).