Safe and Sound in the New Year
Safety should always be a top priority when traveling the world and the good news is that there's no shortage of safe and secure destinations worth visiting in the New Year. Here are 30 to consider for 2019.
Renowned for the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, Zambia earns a best-possible level 1 advisory (exercise normal precautions) from the U.S. Department of State and ranks relatively high on the Global Peace Index.
If you've got any reservations about touring Asia, a trip to Japan in 2019 is certain to put your mind at ease. The Economist even ranked Tokyo the safest city in the world as recently as 2017.
Slovenia is among the safest places you can visit in Europe and its capital city of Ljubljana received the coveted European Green Capital Award for 2016 based on its stellar environmental record.
Iceland was the most peaceful country in the world in 2018, according to the Global Peace Index. But that's just one of the many reasons this island nation's tourism industry is exploding.
With a Global Peace Index value of under 1.2, New Zealand trailed only Iceland among the world's most peaceful destinations last year. You'll want to get planning soon though as spring (fall in New Zealand) is among the best times to visit.
Scandinavia is undoubtedly one of the world's safest regions. Norway, in particular, is guaranteed to have visitors feeling safe and secure the minute they touch down.
Chile is among the safest places to visit in South America in 2019. It receives a level 1 advisory (exercise normal precautions) from the U.S. Department of State so visitors should just be careful to avoid potential scams or crimes of opportunity such as pickpocketing in crowded places.
Seeking a peaceful destination in mainland Europe? Consider Austria. Only Iceland and New Zealand ranked better on the Global Peace Index last year. Like other popular places around the world, your biggest concern if any here is likely non-violent thieves.
Despite the recent murder of an American tourist, Costa Rica possesses one of the lowest homicide rates in Latin America and the Caribbean and is widely regarded to be one of if not the safest in Central America. It's also the happiest country in the world, according to the Happy Planet Index.
With a Global Peace Index value of 1.32, Portugal is the fourth-most peaceful nation on the planet. You'll want to watch for pickpockets in crowded tourist areas in places like Lisbon but that's good practice no matter where you are.
Singapore is the most peaceful destination in Asia, according to the Global Peace Index. On top of that, The Economist named it the second-safest city in the world behind Tokyo.
The safest country in North America, Canada offers a variety of exciting destinations to visit in the New Year, including beautiful Quebec City, the closest Americans will get to Europe without venturing overseas.
Known for its numerous spa and wellness resorts, Scottsdale ranks among America's safest cities, according to WalletHub's most recent research, checking in at 15th among the 180 cities analyzed.
Portland is one of only 24 American cities to earn a total safety score of 80 or better in WalletHub's recent study of the safest cities in the U.S. and is an easy choice for visitors to New England in 2019.
Boise is tied with a handful of other U.S. cities for the lowest unemployment rate and ranks among the top cities in terms of home and community safety, which takes into account assaults and thefts per capita, the presence of terrorist attacks and mass shootings, among other indicators of safety.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
A popular summer vacation destination, Virginia Beach is the fourth-safest city in America, according to data from WalletHub, boasting the third-fewest assaults per capita.
Denmark reports relatively low crime rates and ranked fifth on the Global Peace Index in 2018, cementing itself among the safest destinations in not only Europe but the world.
Although it boasts a population similar to that of New York City, Switzerland is one of the safest countries travelers can visit, routinely checking in toward the top of respected studies on peace, safety and threat level.
If peace and safety are high on your list, there's a strong case to be made for Finland. It's among the happiest countries in the world and has the lowest overall threat, according to the 2018 Travel Risk Map, which assesses medical risks, security and road safety.
Like its Scandinavian neighbors Norway and Finland, Sweden is one of the safest places you can travel to in 2019, narrowly edging out both of the aforementioned countries on the Global Peace Index last year.
Unlike a majority of the countries on this list, Germany receives a level 2 travel advisory from the U.S. State Department due to recent acts of terrorism. Still, visitors are only advised to "exercise increased caution" when visiting and crime is relatively low.
With a safety index of 84 (out of 100), the Netherlands ranks as the 15th-safest country in the world, according to SafeAround based on analysis of various sources taking into account threats such as mugging, crime, road death toll, the occurrence of terrorist attacks and wars.
Ireland sits just between Japan and Slovenia on the Global Peace Index and Irish terrorism has declined dramatically since the late 1990s. Therefore, there should be nothing stopping you from experiencing the Emerald Isle at its best in 2019.
Visitors to Malta are certain to feel not only safe but welcome as locals on this small island nation in the Mediterranean are among the friendliest you'll meet. Its beautiful climate and array of attractions can't be beaten either.
Australia is well known for its natural beauty and friendly locals but you can also add safety to that list. It should come as little surprise that the continent/country ranked inside the top 15 of the Global Peace Index for 2018.
One of the most peaceful and safest countries in Asia, Bhutan is a breathtaking destination located between China and India on the Himalayas' eastern edge. This predominantly Buddhist nation measures prosperity based on citizens' happiness levels.
Celebrated for its screensaver-worthy beaches, this booming East African island nation possesses one of the world's best Global Peace Index values. The U.K. government points out that petty crime is common but most crime is non-violent. What's more, visitors can ensure a safe and pleasant trip by practicing common sense such as avoiding accommodations that aren't registered with the Mauritius Tourism Authority. Better yet, work with a travel agent.
It's rare for criminal activity to impact tourists in the Cayman Islands and visitors can really reduce their risk by avoiding summer's hurricane season.
Hungary was among the many European countries to rank inside the top 20 of the Global Peace Index in 2018, receiving a value of 1.53. That's just behind Germany but ahead of more popular European destinations like France, Spain, Italy and the U.K.
Guadeloupe is one of the safest places in the Caribbean. Plus, few destinations are as rewarding and getting there is easier than you might think.
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