Has the recent spate of upheaval around the world got you skittish about traveling abroad? No need to fret. There are still plenty of safe, stable places to visit. Look no further than the Vision of Humanity’s annual chart of the safest countries around the world. The study takes into account multiple factors, like political instability, presence of nuclear weapons, and numbers of police or security personnel, to create a Global Peace Index.
Based on this year’s data, the following are the ten safest countries to visit right now, so make sure your passport is up to date and steep yourself in tranquility at one of these amazing locales.
1. Iceland – This Nordic nation tops the safety index chart for the sixth year in a row. Iceland had low numbers of homicides, people in jail, and terror acts, and it’s geography as an island makes it virtually immune to border disputes.
2. Denmark – Regularly topping charts as one of the happiest countries in the world, Denmark now boasts being one of the safest as well.
3. Austria – Characterized by mountain villages, baroque architecture and rugged alpine terrain, Austria also scored high on the index for low weapons imports and peaceful elections. Bordered by two other countries that scored low on the index – Germany and the Czech Republic – Austria is a go-to for a serene vacation.
4. New Zealand – Known for its breathtaking beach views, majestic volcanoes and adventure travel, New Zealand also is a retreat with little internal conflict and violence.
5. Portugal – Portugal’s ocean-side location make it a major tourist destination. Apart from the beaches, the culture savvy traveler can also take in architecture that dates back to the 1500’s. Despite its many draws, Portugal is a relatively affordable location and ranked high on the index for overall safety.
6. Czech Republic – With its rich history of and ornate castles (think Prague, the capital, home to a 9th-century castle, preserved medieval Old Town and statue-lined Charles Bridge), the Czech Republic scored low on the index for low per-capita military spending and relatively few acts of violent crime.
7. Switzerland – Famous for its neutrality, Switzerland scored low on the index for both internal and external conflicts, making its lakes, villages and the high peaks of the Alps even more appealing to visit.
8. Canada – Canada ranked higher than the U.S., its neighbor to the south, in peace and safety despite its larger geographic size. This country is filled with vibrant cities, crossed by the Rocky Mountains and home to vast areas of protected wilderness.
9. Japan – Scoring high on the index for low incidences of homicide and little access to guns and other weapons, Japan is a must-go for travelers. From high-rise-filled cities to mountainous national parks, the tranquility (or bustle) of Japan is just a plane trip away.
10. Slovenia – While Slovenia does have a slightly higher than average police presence, many feel that this presence makes visitors to the country feel safer. This central European country also has negligible terror activity and few internal conflicts.