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Staying Safe

I wouldn’t say there are places you shouldn’t travel to because each site has its pluses. I will, however, say there are locations you shouldn’t visit right now or spots you should be more cautious of visiting.

Staying safe while traveling is a precaution every traveler should take seriously. One of the best ways to do this is to see how well a country scores on the Global Peace Index (GPI). It ranks each country from one to five, with five being the highest.

Some people may think to avoid some developing countries in the world because they think that’s safest. But, the reality is that even some advanced countries in North America and Europe can be quite dangerous.

So, where are the safest countries in the world, and how do your favourite holiday destinations rank on this list?

Staying Safe While Travelling

There are different ways of staying safe while traveling that aren’t crime-related. When choosing a vacation destination, tourists often don’t consider environmental, natural, and health security.

Pollution

If you have lung complications like asthma or chronic bronchitis, it’s best to avoid traveling to the most polluted countries in the world or the most polluted cities in the world. China, Saudi Arabia, and India have multiple cities with high smog levels that could cause severe breathing problems.

Corruption

It is good to research each country’s socio-political state before you go. Popular holiday destinations like Nicaragua, Cambodia, and Guatemala are among the most corrupt countries in the world. Exploited tourists are often forced to pay large amounts of money as bribes.

Driving

If you plan on renting a car on your holiday, you first need to know which side of the road the country drives on and any unique road signs. The second most important thing to know is what routes to take and how roadworthy these streets are. 

If it’s your first time driving in a foreign country, try to avoid the most dangerous roads in the world. Among them are the remote Dalton Highway in Alaska and the zig-zag road of Stelvio Pass in Italy. If you’re in the countryside, look out for herds of goats or cows blocking the path, like on Zojila Pass in India.

Air Safety

It’s probably not a good sign if your introduction to the country is perilous. You haven’t even set foot off the plane yet, and you might already be in trouble at the most dangerous airports in the world

Thankfully, hazardous airports do not indicate the country’s GPI, but it is wise to be aware of these landing areas and maybe reroute your flights to another.

Staying Safe in Dangerous Areas

These are the destinations you’ll also have to be extra cautious of whether you’re a novice or seasoned traveller.

Asia and Oceania

Asia and Oceania are typically safe and have low crime rates. So what makes them so dangerous? They have some of the most dangerous places in the world relating to nature or manufactured disasters.

Places like Fukushima in Japan remain one of the most highly toxic places. Even though the earthquake that caused a nuclear plant to explode happened more than ten years ago, its radiation levels are still unsafe for humans. 

Mount Sinabung in Indonesia is another dangerous location because of the island’s active volcano. The most recent eruption was in 2020, sending thick ash into the air and displacing thousands.

Europe

Europe typically ranks high on GPI lists, but not all cities are safe. Of course, the bigger the city, the bigger the potential for crime, but places like London, Amsterdam, Hamburg, and Bucharest are among the most dangerous cities in Europe

The most important things to look out for are pickpocketing, drink spiking, and bag snatching. It’s also advisable to not walk alone at night.

North America

Ontario, British Colombia, and Alberta are the most dangerous cities in Canada. The country currently has an opioid crisis that causes an uptick in thefts, drug-related crimes, and vandalism. When visiting, it’s best to stick to touristy areas.

The most dangerous cities in the United States are due to similar reasons. Drugs and gang-related crimes are common in low-income or remote towns. For this reason, Detroit, Memphis, and St. Louis are among the most dangerous cities.

Africa

A few South African destinations have made the list of the most dangerous cities in the world. These include Durban and Cape Town. While both cities have stunning beaches and natural beauty that attract millions of tourists, they also have high violent crime, theft, and assault rates.

South America

While the continent has beautiful landmarks like Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, and the Atacama desert, many of them are in the most dangerous countries in the world, too. If you plan on visiting these breathtaking attractions, do so through a reputable tour guide and agency instead of braving it alone.

Where is it Safe?

With all this negative talk about destinations worldwide, where is it safe? From the safest cities in the world to the best continents, here’s a quick breakdown.

Asia and Oceania

Naturally, when you start planning your relaxing trip, you’ll want to visit the most peaceful countries in the world to get the best experience. The good news is that there are quite a few countries to choose from. 

Japan, Bhutan, Singapore, and Malaysia have some of the lowest GPI rankings. At the same time, New Zealand is the second safest country in the world. 

Europe

Iceland is the safest country in the world. Naturally, the capital city, Reykjavík, is also among the safest cities in Europe. Other cities on that list include The Hague, Helsinki, Warsaw, and Zürich.

North America

If you’re looking for the safest vacation spots in the US, there’s a good chance you’ll find them in California, Hawaii, and Arizona. These states hold some of the safest cities in the US, with plenty of activities to fill your itinerary.

Africa

Africa gets a bad rep for having dangerous or corrupt countries on their list. But did you know there are a few countries exempt from this? Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, and Zambia are among the safest African destinations to travel to.

Each country has abundant outdoor activities, beautiful natural scenes, and mounds of flavourful local foods.

South America

The safest country in South America is Uruguay. The country is one of the smallest on the continent and one of the most underrated, too. This could contribute to its low crime rate.

Argentina, Chile, and Paraguay are also great options for a safe tour of South America. 

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