The 10 Countries Named the Safest Places to Travel This Year

As special an experience as travel can be, it can also come with some risks. You’re not in your comfort zone, so you’re more likely to be distracted and because of that, a target for thieves. You might also be visiting tourist attractions with large crowds and are more likely to experience a terrorist attack or other act of violence.

Suffice it to say, if safety isn’t on your mind when travelling, it should be. Fortunately, a company has published a report highlighting what it found to be the world’s safest travel destinations. The company Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection has published the list for the last nine years.

To compile it, it looks at data from the Global Peace Index and the US State Department’s travel safety rating, along with the average GeoSure Global scores of the major cities in each country and traveller surveys. This year’s report shared that the criteria for how it ranked a “safe destination” had changed as the definition of what that is changed.

“[…] A safe place was originally a place that’s largely free from terrorist activity,” this year’s report reads. “Then it became a place that was safe from disease outbreaks. Now, it’s a place where all types of people can move about freely without discrimination or harassment. […] Are there places where people can move about freely, stay disease-free and be sheltered from severe weather events?”

Safest places to travel Canada
Image: Unsplash

First on this year’s list is Canada, which ranked sixth in 2023. The company shared that its “cold weather and low population density make for safe travels”. It also ranked first for safety because of its transportation, lack of violent crime and health measures. It was also found to be the safest place for women and those in the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities.

The only downside to travelling to Canada is its natural disasters. “Canada’s plethora of forests were seemingly all burning, which has reduced air quality in most major Canadian cities,” the report reads. “This made travel to Canada difficult for people with respiratory conditions.”

Next on the list is Switzerland, which ranked ninth in 2023. It scored well due to its history of low crime and safety. Norway came third, Ireland fourth and the Netherlands fifth place.

Switzerland skiing safest places to travel
Image: Getty Images

The report also notes that though many countries aren’t mentioned on the list, if they are near others that ranked, they’re likely to also be safe. It gives the example of Norway and Denmark making the list of safest countries, meaning it’s safe to assume nearby Finland and even Estonia are safe, too.

“Since Switzerland is a perennial top-10 finisher, what does that say about Austria?” the report reads. “Probably more of the same.”

Also worth noting is the report’s caveat, which says the ratings don’t mean any given country that made the list is safe right at this moment, or that all parts of the country are equally safe. “Like any other measurement, you need to balance our rankings with what’s going on in the world as you’re booking your travel,” it says.

Ahead is the company’s list of safest places to travel in 2024:

  1. Canada
  2. Switzerland
  3. Norway
  4. Ireland
  5. Netherlands
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Portugal
  8. Denmark
  9. Iceland
  10. Australia
  11. New Zealand
  12. Japan
  13. France
  14. Spain
  15. Brazil

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