These are the safest (and most dangerous) countries you can travel to next year

Nov 22, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

As the year quickly draws to a close, we all have our eyes on our future travel plans.

And though it’s important to exercise caution no matter where in the world you travel, certain places really shine in terms of safety — while others earn dreadful marks for being high-risk destinations.

On Thursday, International SOS, a travel security services company, released its annual Travel Risk Map for the upcoming year.

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

The color-coded map highlights destinations where travelers might encounter medical and security risks. The categories range from “insignificant” to “extreme” travel security risk and “low” to “very high” medical risk. The ratings consider everything from prevalence of infectious diseases and political violence to the quality of medical care and probability of petty crime. There’s even a map that helps travelers visualize the quality of road safety in a given destination, based on 2018 data from the World Health Organization (WHO).

In terms of medical risks, the U.S., Canada, the bulk of Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Uruguay, Chile and South Africa pose a “low” threat. On the flip side, countries such as Venezuela, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are destinations where you should exercise increased caution.

You’ll find the most “insignificant” security risks in Norway, Finland and Greenland, as well as Denmark and Iceland, among a few others. Sounds to us like 2020 will be a great time to make sure the northern lights are on your must-see list. For context, there’s a “low” security risk for the U.S., Canada and Sweden.

Countries you may want to avoid due to “extreme” security risks include Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and Somalia, to name a few. There are also “high” security risks in Haiti, Venezuela, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Egypt and Mexico, among others.

In various instances, though, security threats are concentrated in just a few regions and cities as opposed to throughout an entire country. Interestingly, North Korea has been deemed “medium” risk.

Oh, and you may want to keep off the roads of Vietnam, Thailand, Belize, South Africa and others.

“Obviously [the map] is overall reflective of location risks, but we do advise that consumers do as much research on their destinations as possible,” an International SOS spokesperson told CNN.
No matter where your travels may take you, it’s always worth putting in the time and effort to understand what to expect when you get to your destination.

Before you go, check out our guide on how to stay safe while traveling abroad, as well as how to avoid the measles and other medical mishaps.

Featured image by Tatsiana Volskaya / Getty Images

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 3X points on dining and 2x points on travel, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Regular APR
16.24% - 23.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.