Every year, millions of Americans head overseas for leisure, adventure, or business. While many destinations welcome visitors with open arms, others are fraught with potential dangers, from civil unrest and crime rates to health threats. Based on travel advisories, crime rates, and other factors, here are eight countries that American tourists might want to think twice about before booking a flight.
Afghanistan has been a zone of conflict for decades, and the situation remains volatile. Kidnappings, terrorism, and violent crime are rampant. Though the landscape can be breathtaking, the risks for American tourists are extremely high.
Visiting North Korea isn’t just potentially dangerous; it’s also fraught with restrictions. Tourists have very limited freedom to explore and are always under surveillance. Moreover, several Americans have been detained here under dubious circumstances in recent years.
Civil war, terrorism, and famine make Yemen one of the most perilous destinations for travelers. Attacks on civilians, including at the airport, are common. For Americans, the risk of kidnapping and terrorist threats is significant.
Ever since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, Libya has been in a state of political turmoil. Armed groups have filled the power vacuum, and the risk of getting caught in violent clashes between factions is high.
Apart from the ongoing civil unrest, Somalia faces piracy issues off its coast. The Al-Shabaab extremist group, affiliated with Al-Qaeda, also carries out regular attacks in the country, making it a very high-risk destination.
Though rich in history and culture, Syria’s ongoing civil war has made it one of the deadliest places on earth. With multiple factions at war, including ISIS in certain areas, the danger for tourists, especially Americans, is immense.
Political instability, high levels of crime, and economic collapse characterize the situation in Venezuela. Caracas, the capital, has one of the highest homicide rates in the world. Shortages of food, electricity, and medicine also pose risks to visitors.
As one of the world’s newest countries, South Sudan has been embroiled in civil conflict almost since its inception in 2011. Ethnic violence and a collapsing economy mean that basic services are scarce, and the dangers for tourists, especially from kidnapping and tribal warfare, are acute.