Brief History of the Project
The Travel Guides Project was created by Ben McDole in 2010. Soon, Sergio Pérez joined to the project so Ben managed the travel guides for North America and Sergio took care of the rest of the world. Sometime after, Edwin Zhang joined the project to help with the APAC travel guides.
In 2012, Sergio Pérez took the leadership of the project, adding CJ Crooks and David Hartford to the project to manage the North American travel guides, Julio Sosa for the Latin American, and Antonio José Rodríguez for the European ones.
The third stage started in 2014, when Sergio left the project and Antonio José became the project lead. Since then the former members have left the project and there is a completely new team in place with tons of motivation to continue working in presenting the community the travel guides so you can better plan your trips to the many GPs around the world.
Goal of the Travel Guides Project
When we plan a trip, either alone or with friends or our significant others, we can look for information about my destination using several sources:
- Asking friends who have gone there about that destination.
- Buying a travel guide. There are many commercial travel guides that offer you a lot of suggestions and hints about the place you want to visit.
- Asking someone you know from the country or city I want to visit. They can give me the best hints, because they know from first-hand what to do, where to go, when being careful, etc.
From the three information sources described above, we are going to focus on the last one. Having someone we trust telling us all these things about the destination of our trip can and will give us more confidence in the success of the trip.
This is the concept we want to use in our travel guides. The travel guides are written by people who want to share their knowledge of their home towns, the cities where they have lived, or just a town and surrounding area that they knows very well. These people want to help us, the travelers that are going to visit the city, to prepare our trips, look for accommodation and plan our sightseeing.
In these travel guides this the information that you can typically find:
- How to get to the city. This is mainly focused in the nearby airports, but there are also information about trains, buses and roads.
- Accommodation: hotels, hostels… even the cheap places!
- A description of the venue and how to get there from the airport and from the staff hotel.
- Places for enjoy a good dinner, also the typical food you can taste in that city.
- Where to go for visiting the city? What are the less known places for sightseeing?
- Some tips for safety (because each country has its own laws and customs).
Each of the region managers try to find some volunteers to write the travel guide for each GP within the region(s) they have assigned. They usually contact the RC for each particular city to find them, but this is not the only resource they use. They may know someone that want to help with a travel guide, or even contact someone proactively to propose creating it!
Once they have some volunteers for the travel guide, the volunteers are given guidelines and advice on how to create a guide of the highest possible quality.
The importance of being a volunteer
We have been speaking of the Travel Guides Project team, its leader, its members, its goals… but this is pointless without acknowledging the key stone of the project: the volunteers who create the travel guides.
During the goal description we remarked that each travel guide is created by volunteers who want to help the judge community to plan a trip to the city that they somehow know well. If we do not find volunteers the travel guide is not created.
Being a volunteer for writing the travel guide will report you several benefits:
- First of all, you will be helping your fellow judges to plan and enjoy more the trip to the city of your travel guide. This is the main motivation for most volunteers.
- You will be working with a team, leading some tasks, taking responsibilities, interacting with other judges. This will help you to develop skills in team working and/or team leading, taking into account deadlines, tasks distributions, information searching, etc.
- You will be participating in an international project. Yes. Many people will see your work. And who knows maybe you are recognized with an Exemplar nomination by someone. We’ve seen recognitions for exemplary work leading a travel guide or writing part of one.
On the other hand being a volunteer ties you to some responsibilities. The most important is to deliver the travel guide in time. Yes, timing is important. For example some judges factor in before applying to a GP in particular if there is something extra to do in that city, or perhaps other judges want to plan the trip looking for the best airport to go to that city from his hometown as soon as they know they have been selected to be on staff.
Where can I find the travel guides?
From now on the travel guides will be published in this blog. As soon as the team has a travel guide available the travel guide will be published on this blog and it will be posted on the JudgeApps forums.
Also, if you are part of the staff of the Grand Prix, you will be able to find the travel guide as one of the documents uploaded in the JudgeApps event for the GP.
In any case, if you want to look at past travel guides, you can find them in the Judge Wiki.
If you have any suggestion or you want to participate writing a Travel Guide for your hometown GP please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org