If you fancy leaving your money-belt, travellers cheques and first-aid kit at home in favour of blending in with the locals in a safe, healthy and friendly holiday environment, it’s a good idea to plan where you go wisely. While we all know people who love a good ‘travel tale’, these predicaments are easily avoided and mostly rare – especially if you choose a holiday destination with a reputation for safety and take certain safety tips seriously.
In a survey conducted by the IPE (The Institute for Economics and Peace) in 2012 they calculated and ranked countries by a raft of criteria to determine their GPI (Global Peace Index), this survey is being conducted again in 2013, but the top ten countries are expected to remain a safe bet for travellers as there are a few common denominators among the world’s safest destinations.
They tend to be small in terms of both size and population, fairly affluent, and for the most part, they are free and open societies with democratically elected governments and freedom of the press. Examples of such countries include the breathtaking adventure holiday hotspot New Zealand (the largest of the safest countries by far), squeaky-clean Singapore and the Dutch southern Caribbean islands such as Aruba.
Closer to home, sophisticated and politically-neutral Switzerland is a safe European bet, and many of the Scandinavian countries are great if you’re after a civilised, cool and cultural break. While Iceland is the only country in the world with a murder rate of 0.0! Indeed, Iceland is so safe, that its 700 police officers have to take second jobs because there isn’t enough crime! However, if you’re wanting some European heat and sun in a safe place, Cyprus, with its Orthodox church and traditional Greek family values is a great place to go for idyllic island beach life without hawkers or sunglass snatchers!
Safety tips: (sourced from Lonely Planet)
• Never keep all your money in one place, and if out and about do not keep all of your money on your person • An obvious one, but do not keep your wallet/purse in your back pocket as it is like an advertisement for pick pockets • Keep copies of all your important travel documents such as passport, visas, travel insurance etc… • But most importantly, if you are accosted, do not be a hero. At the end of the day stuff is replaceable you are not
If you take some of the above to heart it will only help to ensure that your trip of a lifetime is fun, fulfilling and exciting in the right way.