A Traveler’s Guide to the 2016 Global Peace Index

Is France really safer than the U.S.?

June 22, 2016 9:00 am

Every year, bad stuff happens all over the world and people wonder aloud if it’s still safe to travel (glossing over the fact, of course, that bad stuff also happens close to home).

But then Vision of Humanity publishes their annual Global Peace Index and faith is restored.

Here is the 2016 edition.

The Index, in which VoH generates a safety “score” for 163 countries based on police presence, crime rates, political situation and a host of other factors, is definitely worth combing through if you’re planning on going abroad in the coming months.

Or you can just browse your correspondent’s region-by-region breakdown, elaborated herewith.

Most controversial takeaway from this year’s list: France (46), which plenty of Americans have derided as unfit for safe passage in recent months, ranks 57 spots ahead of the United States.

North America
Safest haven: Canada (8)
Most dangerous game: Mexico (140)
Our pick: Cuba (85), because it’s finally legal to do so.

South America
Safest haven: 
Chile (27)
Most dangerous game: Colombia (147)
Our pick: Uruguay (35), because you can see the entire country in a week’s time, it’s refreshingly less trafficked by tourists than its neighbors (Argentina, Peru, Chile) and the beef is second to none.

Western Europe
Safest haven: Iceland (1)
Most dangerous game: Great Britain (47)
Our pick: Portugal (5), because the wine is just as good as it is in Spain, Italy or France but your dollar will go a lot further.

Eastern Europe
Safest haven: Poland (22)
Most dangerous game: Ukraine (156)
Our pick: Croatia (26), because Yacht Week.

Safest haven: 
Botswana (28)
Most dangerous game: South Sudan (162)
Our pick: South Africa (126), because it will never be cheaper to knock that safari off your bucket list than it is right now.

The Middle East
Safest haven: Qatar (34)
Most dangeorus game: Syria (163)
Our pick: Iran (133), because its tourism industry is bouncing back in a big way thanks to eased travel sanctions and a rich cultural history.

Safest haven: Japan (9)
Most dangerous game: North Korea (150)
Our pick: Vietnam (59), because you can live like a king on about $30 a day.

Safest haven: New Zealand (4)
Most dangeorus game: Papua New Guinea (99)
Our pick: New Zealand, because hiking the Milford Track is someting you’ll never forget.


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