Wondering about safety when travelling internationally? We’ve rounded up the 10 safest countries to travel according to the Global Peace Index.
Safest Countries to Travel to in 2019:
Tourism to Iceland has been booming lately – and it’s not without reason. This little country a few hours from eastern Canada has so much to offer. Budget airlines definitely made it more enticing to travel to this Nordic nation, but the country itself has been raved about by most people who have visited.
Iceland is home to dramatic landscapes, waterfalls, geysers, volcanoes, hot springs, Northern Lights, glaciers, and more! Not to mention that it made it to the very top of the 2018 Global Peace Index, meaning it’s one of the safest countries to visit in the world.
2. New Zealand
What’s not to love about this country down under? You can climb a volcano (or a few), sail in the Bay of Islands, go wine tasting on the North and South Island, learn about Māori culture, visit Hobbiton, walk the Milford Track, witness the Southern Lights (aurora australis), hang out with sheep, and go skydiving! Take your pick in New Zealand. The landscapes in New Zealand are worth the flight alone.
Split into two islands; the north and south island, you’ll find some of the most impressive landscapes here in New Zealand. Rent a car or camper van and head out to explore the unknown.
This Central European nation might not be on your bucket list yet, but prepare to add it. This is one of the safest countries in Europe, and the capital city of Vienna’s been voted the “city with the best quality of life” numerous times.
Austria is a small country, and along with an efficient train system, it’s actually quite easy to explore. On top of its rich history, it’s also surrounded by the Alps, filled with charming villages and overflowing with beer, bratwurst, and cakes. Don’t forget about the art and music scenes, and not just classical styles! Some of the best art can be found at the Leopold Museum in Vienna and Salzburg’s Museum of Modern Art. Wander along a little alleyway after your museum visit and relax at an outdoor cafe with a Viennois and a pastry. How European!
Everyone seems to be heading to Portugal – and not just because it’s where Colton jumped the fence in The Bachelor! Portugal has seven different regions, which all provide a unique experience for tourists. There’s beaches, grand architecture, city life, world record-breaking surfing, and of course, wine tasting.
Along with being one of the safest countries to travel in Europe, it is also one of the warmest. You’ll be able to visit plenty of palaces and castles while soaking up the sun, and indulging in all the Portuguese chicken (peri peri) and egg tarts (pasteis de nata) along the way.
There are more bikes than people in Denmark, which should be an indication of how eco-friendly and active the country is. Plus, it is number five of the safest countries to travel. Denmark also happens to be the birthplace of Hygge, which can be truly experienced by the waterfront in the summer and in basement bars with fireplaces during the winter.
Expats in Denmark tend to mention how the predominant family-friendly outlook on the work/life balance. While that might not impact you directly as a tourist, it definitely helps make the whole country a little bit more relaxed and overall happier. One of the many reasons Denmark is often named one of the world’s happiest countries.
Home sweet home! Canada made it to rank number 6 on the 2018 Global Peace Index. Number 6 out of 163 isn’t too bad.
We have all four seasons, with an abundance of activities and festivals to match year-round. From fantastic food in the urban centres of Toronto and Montreal, breathtaking scenery, and our fair share of bucket-list destinations from coast to coast, who doesn’t love Canada?
If you want to explore more of Canada, we have some great articles for you!
- 10 Natural Wonders of Canada You’ve Never Heard Of
- The Ultimate Guide to Underrated National Parks in Canada
- The Best Summer Vacation Spots in Canada
7. Czech Republic
Beyond the chill vibes and interesting history of the capital city of Prague, there are over 2,000 castles around the country of Czech Republic. That includes some of the oldest castles in the entire world – namely Trosky Castle and Karlstejn Castle.
Castles aren’t the only part of the Czech Republic that is rich in history. There was documented beer brewing as far back as the year 993, which might be one of the reasons for the large beer culture of this safe country. Make sure to grab a beer at a local pub or at one of many beer festivals. As the “Heart of Europe,” you have access to so many different cities and countries. With its location in the centre of Europe, you don’t really have an excuse not to visit!
In Singapore, there is a rich mix of history and modernity, a mix of luxury and backpacker experiences, and impressive natural sights throughout the concrete jungle. It’s an international city-state that has many faces all in a small area, where great food, beauty and culture and there to be discovered.
Hop on Singapore’s squeaky clean and safe (but no gum chewing!) subway and head to the many neighbourhoods to explore some modern art, architecture and stop to sample the excellent food options along the way. Wander the streets of Chinatown’s 19th-century shops and temples or go for a plate of fish and chips in Little India. Go for a swim at the top of the Marina Bay, or walk through the free (and enormous) botanical garden in the middle of the city. Bring your kids on the trip or spend your nights drinking at some of Asia’s top bars. This little country has a ton to offer locals and tourists alike.
As one of the world’s top safest countries to travel to, Japan puts a strong focus on crime prevention, making it a very peaceful place to visit. Everything is harmonious and perfectly in its place in a country like Japan. From Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines to modernized vending machines and themed cafés to views of Mount Fuji – there are several parts of Japan you will fall in love with.
If you’re a techie, you’ll love the robots and gadgets in this Asian nation. If you’re into religious sites, you don’t have to walk far to stumble across the most beautiful temples found in each and every city. Foodies will also find the perfect spots to satisfy their hunger. Not only can you feast on sushi, but there’s also ramen shops, tonkatsu (Japanese pork cutlet), and Japanese curry restaurants aplenty. While being drenched in history, Japan is simultaneously light years ahead.
Landing at number 10 on the list of top safest countries is the home of Guinness and natural wonders such as the Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway. The Wild Atlantic Way is the world’s longest defined coastal driving route, measuring 2,600 kilometres. There is also the Causeway Coastal Route, the Boyne Valley Scenic Route, the Ring of Kerry, and more epic road trips.
Ireland is a great (and safe) destination in Europe for outdoor enthusiasts. Beyond the stunning and largely unspoiled landscapes for hikers and cyclists, Ireland is also one of the best places to surf (especially in Bundoran and County Sligo). While you’re out exploring everything Ireland has to offer, don’t skip out on dancing to some traditional music. The locals will be sure to welcome you warmly!
Other countries at the top of the Global Peace Index include Slovenia, Switzerland, and Australia.
How are the Safest Countries Determined?
The safest countries are determined by the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of “peacefulness,” based on a range of criteria. The GPI uses 23 different factors from reliable sources to perform this analysis and sorts them according to three themes. These themes are the level of Societal Safety and Security, the Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict, and the Militarization.
Examples of the 23 factors included in the analysis are internal conflict, relations with neighbouring countries, political instability, terrorism impact, displaces people, and incarceration rate.
While the term “safety” is more of a personal one, the Global Peace Index measures “peacefulness” on a global scale. Unfortunately, this year, the GPI showed the world is the least peaceful it has been in a decade – but that doesn’t mean you should not travel! It just means you need to be cautious while travelling, which isn’t a new concept.
How to Register Your Trip with the Canadian Government
Did you know that you can actually register your trip with the Government of Canada? This means they can notify you in case of an emergency abroad or at home. They’ll know where you are and have a way to reach you.
While you do not need to register in order to receive consular services in the case of an emergency, it is strongly recommended because you will receive first-hand information on how to stay safe during a natural disaster or civil unrest. Find out more about registration of Canadians abroad here.
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