With cheaper flights available, the world is pretty much open to those who wish to vacation globally. However, there are some pretty dangerous places to travel these days and the following are just some destinations that should be avoided or visited with caution.
The US State Department warns about several dangerous locations and the British Foreign Office has gathered data about pretty much the same countries, based on requests for consular assistance during 2014 by British nationals. These requests included arrests, sexual assaults, deaths and hospitalizations, among other situations.
— Telegraph Travel (@TelegraphTravel) July 28, 2015
Yahoo! Travel mentions the story of 20 mostly retired travelers who were arrested by Chinese authorities in Mongolia during July. The authorities suspected them of having links to a terrorist organization. The group of wealthy mainly retirees consisted of Indian, South African and British nationality and all were enjoying a 47-day organized tour of “Ancient China.”
However, just after visiting a mausoleum dedicated to Ghengis Khan, they were arrested as they boarded a plane in the city of Ordos. Up until now, except for the occasional petty street crime towards tourists (which, let’s face it, can happen anywhere), Mongolia has been a safe destination for tourists, especially those on a guided tour. It seems with ISIS and terror threats all over the world, authorities are being more strict.
The Dominican Republic, with its gorgeous beaches and crystal clear turquoise ocean, attracts thousands of tourists every year. However, it turns out this is yet another of the most dangerous places to travel. Reportedly, tourists have been targeted on a frequent basis in criminal acts, including as many as 39 tourists murdered in the last three years.
Just found out the Dominican Republic is one of the most dangerous places to travel.. Glad I’m going there in 2 weeks
— Brooke Chatterton (@brooke_chatts) July 23, 2015
According to the US State Department, levels of professionalism to expect from the local police in the Dominican Republic vary widely and often include attempts to solicit bribes, as well as extreme force on the part of the officers. So if you find yourself hit by a criminal act, it could apparently be even worse when you report it to the cops.
While in the Caribbean, one of the most dangerous places for travelers is Honduras. A beautiful, tropical location with its beaches, turquoise ocean, and ancient ruins hidden in lush jungles, according to Escape Travel, Honduras is a popular destination, although they warn against visiting the city of San Pedro Sula.
My father just left for Honduras, one of the most dangerous places to travel to, to play in a music festival
— Madi Perras (@mperras05) July 30, 2015
However, it turns out in general the country has incredibly high crime rates, especially due to the fact that half the population (approximately 3.5 million people) live below the poverty line. Back in 2012, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime listed Honduras as having the highest per capita murder rate in the world.
Egypt is on most people’s bucket lists, due to the popularity of the pyramids and other spectacular landmarks. However, even here there are more dangers in recent years. With the constant threat of terrorism and the political instability over recent years, often violent protests hit the streets of Cairo, making it a dangerous place to travel for foreigners.
For those who indulge in travel photography, bear in mind that it is now illegal to photograph public buildings, police stations or military facilities. It is also risky to photograph any protests that happen in the streets of Cairo.
For example, back in November 2011, three US study-abroad students were arrested, accused by local police of being involved in the protests, and detained for more than a week before they could be released and deported back to the US.
The US State Department now gives various warnings to US travelers on its website.
“US citizens are urged to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security by knowing the locations of police and fire stations, hospitals, and other places to relocate to feel secure. U.S. citizens should also carry identification and a cell phone or other means of communication that works in Egypt, and it is advisable to pre-program the U.S. Embassy’s number and email into the device.”
The best thing to do before heading off for an exciting vacation is to do your homework. Do a thorough check with authorities to find out if the destination you have chosen is among those most dangerous to travel and take all the necessary precautions for health, safety and security. Getting arrested and deported is not the best way to end your vacation!