There’s one obvious reason why I hate watching TV news. It’s because I start believing that the world is now more dangerous than ever and the best way to be safe is to stay home. It’s actually the worst way. The last thing you want to regret about, when you will be on your deathbed, is not traveling.
When I need or want to visit a new country or city, I always check the US and UK government websites that regularly publish travel warnings to find out the latest news about certain country or place. The list isn’t the ranking. It simply contains information to let you know about the places that it’s advisable to avoid right now.
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1. AfghanistanThe Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to Kabul, Kunduz, Balkh, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Nimroz, Zabul and many other cities of Afghanistan. If you urgently need to visit Kabul, make sure you’re extremely careful on Jalalabad, Airport and Darulaman roads.
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There’s a very high threat of terrorist attack. There’s also a high threat of kidnapping. Although Afghanistan is an incredibly beautiful country, it’s not safe for traveling.
Well, even though I’m a huge lover of the Middle East countries, I agree with the US and UK governments that it’s best to avoid traveling to Syria right now. While many people don’t even think of visiting Syria, there are many those (like me) who love the country and want to explore its beauty.
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I pray for Syria as well as other countries that face armed conflicts and believe that I’ll have an opportunity to visit one of its cities.
Algeria is a fascinating country, albeit there’s a high threat from terrorism. I have a few friends who live there that I’d like to visit. If you are planning a trip to this country, check this information first. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all trips to areas within 100 km of the Tunisia and Libya borders, 100 km of the Mauritania border, and 450 km of the Niger and Mali borders, with the exception of Tamanrasset city and Tindouf town. Check the website before visiting Algeria.
When it comes to dangerous vacation destinations, it’s not only about armed conflicts. Honduras is one of the most beautiful countries in Central America. However, this wonderful country has some health issues and a relatively high crime rate – it has one of the world’s highest homicide rates, yet there’s a low threat from terrorism. Diseases such as malaria and Dengue fever are among the serious ones.
5. IraqThere’s a high threat of terrorism and kidnapping. Carjacking by armed thieves can occur even during daylight hours. According to the official site of the Bureau of Consular Affair, threats and violence against U.S. citizens persist so it’s best to avoid visiting the country right now. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all trips to Ninewah province, Anbar province, Salah-Al-Din province, Tam’mim (Kirkuk) province and Diyala province, and against all but essential trips to the rest of Iraq.
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6. EgyptEgypt is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world. However, it has recently become unsafe for tourists. In 2015, Egypt has been all over the news, especially in the summer. There’s a high threat of kidnapping and terrorism, albeit many tourist areas are rather safe. When visiting Egypt, keep an eye and be very careful. Stay away from large crowds and any kind of demonstrations. The crime rate is generally low. Anyway, when travelling alone, you should take extra care.
7. IndiaOne of my dream countries, India, isn’t safe too. There’s a high threat from terrorism throughout the country. When visiting India, be extra careful, especially in public places. Before planning your trip, monitor local travel warnings and news. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all trips to Manipur, Kashmir and Jammu. Phalgam, Sonamarg and Gulmarg are the popular tourist destinations that fall within the areas to which The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all trips.
8. MaliThe US Government issued a travel warning yesterday (December 7, 2015), which means it’s best to avoid visiting Mali this year. The UK Government advise against all trips to the parts of the provinces of Segou, Koulikoro and Kayes, as well as the provinces of Kidal, Tombouctou, Mopti and Gao. There’s a high threat from terrorism. There’s a high risk of kidnapping, especially in the north of Mopti. Think twice before going to Mali on vacation.
9. KenyaEven though thousands of U.S. citizens visit Kenya every year and most visits are trouble-free, The U.S. Department of State advise against traveling to Kenya. There’s a high risk of terrorism, including kidnapping, armed carjackings, home invasions, burglaries, grenade attacks that all can occur at any time of the day and night and in any location, especially in Nairobi.
10. SomaliaI can’t imagine how locals survive in Somalia. US and UK governments advise against all travel to Somalia. The situation in the country remains dangerous and unstable. There’s a high threat from terrorism throughout Somalia. Kidnappings are a daily threat in the country. Piracy is a big threat in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, and there’s a threat of maritime terrorism in the international and territorial waters off Somalia.
11. North KoreaDue to restricted access and very strict rules, it’s hard to feel relaxed while traveling to North Korea. Look for organised tours if you’d like to visit the country. This way, you will avoid many troubles and enjoy the country’s beauty. There’s a very low threat from terrorism. North Korea is a bit closed society so it’s hard to find any statistics, but it’s known that the country’s crime rate is very low.
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12. AntarcticaWhen planning your trip to Antarctica – I think not all of us are brave enough to visit this place – you should know your enemy first. Weather is what can take your life. The harsh and severe winds and frightfully low temperatures can lead to fatal consequences. If you want to go to Antarctica on vacation, there are several tour companies that offer awesome cruises during the Antarctic summer so pick the one and pack more warm clothing.
13. VenezuelaThere’s a significant threat from kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking, mugging, burglary, and violent crime throughout Venezuela, particularly in the capital, Caracas. When arriving in the country, take extra care and always stay alert since the violent crimes occur at any time and in any location, including streets and beaches. According to the NGO Venezuelan Violence Observatory, Venezuela has the second highest murder rate in the world.
14. Myanmar (Burma)
One of the most breathtaking destinations, the Golden Land, Myanmar, or Burma, isn’t that safe for tourists. Although there are no accurate crime statistics, according to anecdotal evidence there’s a risk of crime, including petty theft, mugging, and burglary. Monitor travel advice, alerts and warnings before planning your trip to Myanmar. International GSM roaming isn’t available in the country.
15. Democratic Republic of CongoThe US and UK governments advise against all travel to the eastern and north eastern areas of Democratic Republic of the Congo, and all but essential travel to the rest of the country. There’s a high risk of kidnapping for ransom, particularly in areas west and north of Goma, North Kivu. When visiting the country, avoid the crowds and any type of demonstrations, stay away from people offering you cut price diamonds and gold, and be alert whenever you go.
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16. Central African RepublicThe US and UK governments advise against all travel to the Central African Republic. There’s no British Embassy so you won’t get any help if you decide to visit the CAR against all the travel warnings. Tensions are extremely high across the country. There’s a high risk of kidnapping, reprisal killings, violence, looting and human rights abuses.
17. GuatemalaPanachajel and Antigua are among the popular tourist destinations in Guatemala. In fact, Guatemala is a safe country, but not for women, especially those who travel alone. Violence against women is a huge problem in Guatemala. According to the United Nations, at least two women are killed every day. Guatemala ranks 3rd in the killings of women in the world. So ladies, this destination is definitely not for you.
18. Danakil Depression, EritreaThe Danakil Depression is a breathtaking place that I’d like to visit one day, but unfortunately it’s extremely dangerous. Situated in the Afar Region near the border with Eritrea and Ethiopia where there’s much tension, it isn’t the safest vacation destination. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to any of Eritrea’s border areas.
19. NigeriaThere’s a very high threat from terrorism in Nigeria. Most attacks happen in the north east, particularly in Yobe, Borno, Gombe and Adamawa States. There’s also a high risk of kidnapping, especially in the Kogi region. If you are planning your trip to Nigeria, check out the places you can visit and should avoid here.
20. GeorgiaWith its green wooded valleys, snow-capped mountains, unique wildlife and exquisite cuisine, Georgia boasts spectacular beauty and is a rather safe country, yet The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all travel to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
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Forewarned is forearmed. This is a principle I live by. Sure, each country has its own issues and this list may be endless since we live in a very cruel world. When traveling, be alert and monitor local news to avoid any dangerous demonstrations. I believe that all of these 20 destinations will be safe in the future and we will have an opportunity to enjoy these captivating places.