The Safest and Most Dangerous Places to Travel in the World in 2018

In a recent video, Nuseir Yassin of Nas Daily asked, “Is Africa safer than America?” Turns out the answer is sometimes yes.

The 26-year-old Harvard graduate spends his time traveling the world and making daily one-minute videos. In the post, he shared the current statistics on crime rates from Numbeo, which showed that the African cities of Kigali, Rwanda, and Casablanca, Morocco, are both considered safer than Chicago, Illinois. In fact, he noted that Kigali is three times safer than the American city.

“When it comes to underdeveloped countries, our brains get lazy,” Nas noted. “We tend to classify, generalize, and stereotype.”

So how to we avoid the stereotypes and see the world safely?

Prior to any trip, Mike and I review several official sources for legitimate information rather than the sensationalism that can be found in media reports. One of these sources is the U.S. Department of State website, and another is the World Atlas Global Terrorism Index.

We look not only for country information but also for specific details related to the cities and regions we plan to visit. For example, the United States is currently ranked number 32 on the global terrorism index. That is up from its number 35 spot last year, and the U.S. is currently more dangerous than Tunisia, Kuwait, Uganda, Algeria, and Russia. However, your risk of danger is likely quite different if you’re visiting Hawaii or Alaska than it is if you’re headed to New York City or Washington, D.C. The same thing goes for every country on the planet.

The Smartraveller site run by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is excellent for providing this kind of regional advice. Instead of warning you not to visit the entire country of Azerbaijan, for example, it notes degrees of safety for different areas and provides good common-sense advice to travelers.

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 5.05.59 PM.png

Despite upgrades released in January 2018, the U.S. Department of State travel map is still generalized by country.

Want to play it safe with your travel? Check out the safest countries in the world as ranked by the 2017 Global Peace Index:

  1. Iceland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Portugal
  4. Austria
  5. Denmark
  6. Czech Republic
  7. Slovenia
  8. Canada
  9. Switzerland
  10. Ireland

You can read about our adventures in Iceland, including general travel tips and ways to save money in this expensive country. We’ve spent time in all of the countries on this list, and you can click the links in the list for our travel tips and stories from each locale.

As defined by the 2017 Global Peace Index and the World Atlas Global Terrorism Index, the most dangerous countries are currently the following:

  • Syria
  • Afghanistan
  • Iraq
  • South Sudan
  • Yemen
  • Somalia
  • Libya
  • Sudan
  • Central African Republic
  • Ukraine
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Turkey

However, as previously stated, several of these countries have regions that are currently safe for tourism. We recently visited Egypt, India, and Turkey with our children and encountered no danger whatsoever. We’ve also spent enjoyable time in Ukraine and Iraq, again with no problems at all.

Bottom line? Do your research, use common sense, and don’t be afraid of the world.


Mike with our new Libyan friends, Mohamed and Mohamed, in the overnight sleeper car we all shared from Tangier to Marrakech, Morocco


Ben with his new Egyptian friend, Aziz, at the Great Pyramids of Giza in Cairo, Egypt

2016-04-12 13.34.18

Angela learned to make traditional bread from Kadijah, the house manager in Rabat, Morocco, who also took her on tours of the ancient medina and mosques


Ben and Zack with our Syrian friend, Moutasm, who we stayed with in Istanbul, Turkey