With winter coming up, you might be thinking about planning a vacation to somewhere warm right about now. Well, before you do, make sure you take a look at the 2018 updated map of travel safety by country, put out by International SOS and Control Risks. They’ve rated each country by medical, security and road safety. If you’ve got the travel bug, then you’ll want to read this list for sure!
International SOS held a survey in 2017 asking how many people changed their travel plans due to security risks. An insane 58 percent of respondents answered that they changed their plans - a large portion said they did so due to natural disasters that occurred this year.
The countries ranked the lowest for medical risks include many that you’d expect, like the United States, Canada, most of Europe and Japan. Also in the list of medically safe countries is Chile, South Africa and Uruguay. So if you travel to any of these countries, you won’t need to worry too much if you end up getting sick or injured.
Those of high risk include places such as Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea. Countries including Russia, India, China and Brazil have all been given the rating of “rapidly developing variable risk,” perhaps due to occasional political instability and growing economies.
Many of the island nations in the Caribbean have less-than-favorable medical rankings due to the disastrous hurricanes that decimated many places recently. Haiti has the lowest medical ranking of all of the Caribbean islands. It might be safer to avoid traveling to these places while they’re still recovering.
Planning to drive to your travel destination or rent a car while there? Your best bets for safe driving will be Canada, Scandinavia, the UK or Israel. If you’re looking at traveling to Iran, Thailand, Kazakhstan or South Africa, you may want to stick to being a pedestrian for the most part.
Interestingly, the United States doesn’t make it onto the list of the safest countries to visit for security. The ones that do make it, however, include Greenland, Iceland, Switzerland and Denmark. The least safe countries for security are Libya, Syria, Mali and Yemen, among others.
If you’re just really not into taking any kind of risk, look no further than Scandinavia - specifically, Finland, Norway and Iceland, which have the safest rankings of any country in all three categories. Although start saving up now, as these places generally aren’t cheap to travel to!
And conversely, if you’re a total adrenaline junkie who loves taking huge risks, you could look into the following countries with the worst scores in all categories: Syria, Libya, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau or Somalia.
Disclaimer: We’re not suggesting you go to these places.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) also recently released a list of most dangerous places to travel to, measuring the extent to which people and businesses may experience violence and/or terrorism in the country in question. The following are some that the WEF advises staying away from at the moment…
There aren’t any official travel advisories put on Jamaica, but the WEF advises against traveling there because of rampant violent crimes. Even tourists staying in resorts can be affected. If you’re looking for a sunny beach vacation, it might be good to look elsewhere for the time being.
Guatemala is particularly dangerous because of its border with Mexico. Crime is frequent, including car theft and armed robbery. Guatemala even has the fifth-highest rate of homicide in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The strife between Russian nationalists and Ukrainians has continued through to the present. The fighting has primarily taken place in Crimea, the Donetsk oblast and the Luhansk oblast. Even civilians regularly get caught up in the fighting.
This one may not come as a huge surprise, but extreme recent shortages of necessities has led Venezuelan citizens to desperate measures just to feed their families. Things such as water, food and medicine have all been on the list of shortages. Additionally, Venezuela has one of the highest murder and crime rates in the world.
While the United States is obviously a safe place to travel, some human rights groups are keeping tabs on how the country is changing with Donald Trump in office. It’s interesting to note that Freedom House has observed a decline in internet freedom, due to things like a rollback of net neutrality. Freedom House also categorized the US as a “country to watch” for Trump’s questionable approach to civil liberties.