- Forbes released its “most dangerous places to travel in 2020” list
- For the most part, some of the most dangerous countries include: Iraq, Part of Egypt, Yemen, and Somalia
- While some of the safest countries to visit include: Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, and Palau
With affordable flights and technologically advanced ways of travel, the world had never been smaller. But of course, wherever you go, there are always risks that come along with the place.
This is where the International SOS, a medical travel security risk service company, and their 11th annual Travel Risk Map come in handy. This map predicts the most dangerous places to travel in 2020, as well as the biggest issues that travellers will face in the year ahead.
According to Matthew Bradley, regional security director at International SOS, the number one risk for next year is risk from geopolitical shifts. “Civil unrest is generated from inequality and people wanting to have a different situation in their country than they had in the past,” says Bradley. “We’ve seen that most notably in Hong Kong, in other lower-risk countries like Chile and in some higher-risk countries like Bolivia, Ecuador and Lebanon.
Risks that should be considered when traveling are geopolitical, medical, as well as weather conditions.
Issues such as the upcoming U.S. presidential elections as well as their changing tensions between them and the Middle East should be taken into consideration. Social disturbances in Europe and Russia also flag them as potential threats to travellers.
The availability of healthcare and the threats of infectious diseases should also be noted. Globally, it is expected that there will be increases in epidemics and infectious disease outbreaks in 2020.
Among the worst threats for natural disasters are hurricanes and wildfires for the United States, floods in parts of Europe and earthquakes in places ranging from Turkey to Japan.
“Natural disasters are really impacting every corner of the globe,” says Weisbrod. “So being as prepared as possible and aware of the risks is what we recommend to travelers. And then having a way to stay informed if something does take place.”
Arguably, some of the most dangerous, extreme-risk countries are mostly located in Africa and the Middle East, including places like Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Some places which have mixed ratings are Mexico (which has recently been on the headlines due to the high-profile murder of some Americans), some locations in India, as well as Egypt.
Erika Weisbrod, director of security solutions at International SOS says that certain regions within each country are understandably more dangerous than others. Therefore, she says that “understanding where you’re going in a country is important as opposed to ruling out traveling to a country altogether.”
On the flip side, some of the lowest-risk countries around the world include the Cayman Islands, Finland (also names as the happiest place in the world in 2019,) Iceland, and Seychelles.
But ultimately, preparing for a trip requires a lot of research about the risks in whatever the destination is and what are the best tools any traveler can prepare to face them.
In any case, if you want to view International SOS’s Travel Risk Map, you can click this link to use the interactive tool. Or read on for a list of of some of the most and least dangerous countries in the world.
Some of the Most Dangerous Countries (in no specific order)
- South Sudan
- Central African Republic
- Part of the Congo (DRC)
- Part of eastern Ukraine
- Parts of Pakistan
- Part of Egypt
Some of the Least Dangerous Countries (in no specific order)
- San Merino
- Turks and Caicos Islands
- Cayman Islands
- Cape Verde
- Marshall Islands