4000 Islands, Laos

Is Traveling Safe?

Many people have fears surrounding travel. But with so many amazing places to visit in this world, fears that hold you back are limiting you from experiences more than they are protecting you. I’m here to help with my Fighting the Travel Fears series

I can understand why so many people think traveling isn’t safe. There are a lot of unknowns in the world and a lot of crazy stories on the news. You might think it’s just too risky to leave the comforts of home. But the world is much safer than you think!

The Unknown

Try to remember that “unknown” sometimes mistakenly translates to “unsafe” in the mind, but that doesn’t make it accurate. Something unfamiliar can seem scary and unsafe, but often the places we travel to are safer than our own backyard.

Keep in mind that the news sensationalizes things and usually makes situations sound worse than they really are. Do some research about the destinations you’re interested in visiting to see what other travelers are saying. Online forums are a great place to start. You can find people who have recently traveled where you’re thinking of going.

Getting a first-hand account of the situation can be extremely valuable.

The Current Situation

Also keep in mind the current events of the country you want to go to. When I went to Dubrovnik, Croatia a few years ago, several people questioned whether it was safe because of the war. The war that led to the break up of Yugoslavia, which occurred almost 20 years earlier, in the early 1990s. They haven’t been at war for years, and the city showed no signs of war. It was a beautiful place with friendly people, and I never once felt unsafe. So even if a country was unsafe a few years ago, doesn’t mean it still is. Situations change.

On the other hand, if there is a current war on a particular country’s soil, please skip it for now.

Poor Does Not Equal Dangerous

Just because a country isn’t wealthy doesn’t mean it is unsafe. Sometimes those who have the least have a better perspective on life and just want to show you their beautiful country.

I spent two months traveling through Southeast Asia, an area not known to be terribly rich, and I had a great time. The people were friendly and helpful, and again, I felt safe the whole time.

One more piece of advice about safety: Even in a safe place, be smart.

  • Leave your valuables at home
  • Don’t carry a lot of money on you
  • Always be aware of your surroundings

If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. But don’t let fear hold you back. Most places are safer than you think, and pushing a little past your comfort zone can bring great rewards.

Read more in the Fighting the Travel Fears series to tackle your travel-related fears!

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  1. Jennifer

    Good post! I find most parts of the world are safer than at home. Case in point being the shooting in Colorado recently at a movie theater. I’ve never once been concerned with something like that happening any place I’ve traveled.

    1. Author
      Ali Garland

      Thanks Jennifer! So true! And there are so many good people in the world.

  2. F traveler

    in my opinion about 90 percent people in the world are good and innocent. media always shows the another pictures about places and peoples because many reason and political benefits behinds the original pic. my american friend Nick visit my country Pakistan to see media is wrong or right. after visiting he said me life is going very well here.

    1. Author
      Ali Garland

      Very true, most people are good, and the media does often try to scare us. Thanks for the comment!

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