Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs released a map that shows travel warnings as of March 2013. At initial glance, all the travel cautions make this visual quite jarring! Study it longer, however, and none of the warnings are that surprising: First world countries are green; major European countries are green. Avoid travel to Central Africa and most of the Middle East. Everywhere else, proceed with caution.
Regardless of the color of the country on this map, do your homework before you travel and visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs Travel site for the latest safety warnings. With the exception of some extreme situations (like, war-ridden destinations or countries with significant political unrest), keep in mind that every country has pockets of areas that are safe and not safe, which is true of any city as well.
One of the main ways I try to stay safe especially when I’m in one of the “blue” countries on the map is to sign up for tours that pick me up and drop me off at my hotel. I don’t wander around at night. I also do my research to make sure I’m booking hotels that are located in safe areas. On the flip side, just because I’m in a “green” country doesn’t mean I let my guard down either. In fact, in all my travels to-date, I’ve actually had more issues in “green” countries than any of the others! The net my message is this: No matter where you’re going, be on the offense when it comes to safety and that can make the difference between a great vacation and a bad one.
The interactive version of the map can be found by clicking here.