This Is the Safest Place to Travel in 2020

Hint: Bring a jacket.

This Nordic country had the lowest risk in three major categories
Jarand K. Løkeland / Unsplash
By Kirk Miller / November 18, 2019 11:19 am

International SOS, a medical and travel security risk services company, just updated its Travel Risk Map, which assesses every country based on travel and security medical risks, as well as road safety. 

Conclusion? If safety and well-being are important to you, head to Nordic lands.

As Forbes notes (quoting the Nordic Council of Ministers), the secret to the region’s continued success in medicine, safety and general well-being comes from what the countries call “unglamorous cooperation,” AKA countries in the area working together on big issues pertaining to safety and health.

The key findings from the updated Travel Risk Map:

  • The only countries to score the low or “insignificant” risk assessments in all three categories were Norway and Iceland. 
  • The United States scored the best/lowest rating only for travel medical risks, which is described as “Quality medical care is available throughout the country. Specialist care, emergency and dental services, and quality prescription drugs are widely available. Low risk of infectious diseases.” We also placed in the second lowest categories for road safety and travel security.
  • Speaking of road safety, drivers should pretty avoid most of Africa, as well as Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Thailand, which all had a driving mortality rate of over 25 per 100,000 people. 
  • Extreme travel security risks hit a bit closer to home, with several parts of Mexico and Central America listed as “extreme” risks. These areas are defined as “Government control and law and order may be minimal or non-existent across large areas. Serious threat of violent attacks by armed groups targeting travelers and international assignees. Government and transport services are barely functional. Large parts of the country are inaccessible to foreigners.

The International SOS also released a 2020 Risks Forecast, which suggests the top health and security risks for the new year include “risks borne from geopolitical shifts,” along with mental health issues, physical health and cyber-crime. 68 percent of the 1300+ business travel leaders surveyed also expected increased security threats and 31 percent predicted travel plans will be disrupted by epidemics, up 17 percent from last year. 

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