There are a million reasons why people travel – it can be for business, for fun, to get away and relax, to volunteer, you name it.

And with today’s airfares being quite accessible, wanderlust has taken a part in all our hearts; we are now more curious than ever, more excited to experience other countries and other cultures and more eager to get out of our comfort zone.

Traveling, of course, has risks, but so does being alive, and whatever can happen to us in China or in Germany, can happen to us in our hometown.

Some countries are considered more dangerous than others, and this insecurity can be due to a lot of factors, like the weather, gang violence, political crises or even natural terrain. Of course, every country has its own magic, and more adventurous travelers will still want to visit

While no place is 100% safe and secure– you can be easily robbed in your own hometown– some destinations, for instance, are known as highly dangerous and unsafe for many reasons, including:

political strife, weather conditions, natural terrain, violent gangs, and more. Still, each country of the world offers its own special allure to travelers and travelers still want to go, so how to stay safe while traveling?

Well, let’s start with a list of countries were traveling to is considered dangerous:

Brazil – Brazil is one of the most blessed countries on Earth, with its natural landscapes, beautiful beaches, super nice people and delicious food. But it also has one of the highest crime rates, and murder rates can be 4 higher than in the U.S.

Russia – Russia is an architectural gem and a must-go when trying to get acquainted with Eastern culture. But a rise in criminality has been happening these past few years due to political unrest and terrorist activities. Also, the country is not LGBTQ friendly, and therefore a high rate of hate crimes is reported.

Zimbabwe – Famous for the marvelous Victoria Falls and for its huge game parks, Zimbabwe is also very unsafe. Politically, the country is not stable, and the economic crisis leaves the locals in a state of desperation, which results in an increase of robberies.

Haiti – If you have heard about Haiti in the past couple of years, it was probably due to some natural catastrophe. But this isn’t the only bad thing about this otherwise breathtaking country – there is a lot of violent crime, like kidnappings that result in beatings, rapes and even murder.

Kenya – This is where you can find the famous Nairobi National Park and enjoy unparalleled nature as a work of art in itself. But it’s also one of the countries in the African continent that has one of the highest crime rates, and you can find anything, from pickpockets to carjackers and even terrorists.

There are a lot of other countries with high crime rates, but these are some of the most appealing. Of course, if you really want to get to know a place nothing is going to stop you, so we advise you to take a few precautions in order to come back in one piece from your little big adventure.

When visiting some of the most dangerous tourist destinations, keep in mind these tips on how to stay safe while traveling (alone or with company).

1. Be careful when planning your route

Unfortunately, public transportation is not safe everywhere you go, and countries with high crime rates are often prone to carjacking, so basically ground travel can be dangerous in general.

Search for safety tips about the specific country you are going to and try to plan your route accordingly. If there is a need for a guide, take that extra step in order to keep yourself safe.

2. Investigate the dangers

Of course, Brazil is dangerous, but you can’t compare big cities like São Paulo to smaller, interior cities where things run smoothly and slums are inexistent.

When visiting a country, try looking for information about crime rates regarding the specific area you are traveling to, because it isn’t the same in every part of the country and sometimes you can worry too much for nothing.

Try finding a guiding book that is up-to-date – it’s a reliable source of information that will gather all you need to know when looking out for yourself.

3. Get ready for everything

After doing your research, you are informed of what you are getting yourself into. That being said, you should be ready for what is coming. If you are traveling to a country where mosquito bites can make you sick, be sure to get vaccinated and take insect repellent with you.

Are you flying to a country where there is a political uproar? Try to avoid the areas where the violence is stronger, book your accommodation somewhere else and avoid the turmoil. Check your list of needs as much as you have to, but go into your adventure as ready as you can be. Take note of these tips:

  • Do not forget to purchase adequate travel insurance that fits your trip.
  • Make copies of your travel documents.
  • Take all the medicine you need.
  • Buy a money belt and use it to store documents and money.

4. Don’t exhibit material goods (among other things)

Keep your watch at home, don’t go around waving your camera and don’t even get into political debate somewhere you shouldn’t. You can be poor by your standards, but whatever little thing you have, it can be much more for someone else who lives in poverty, where even a pair of shoes is connected to being wealthy.

Also, try not to say anything that might be perceived as culturally offensive, because all countries are different and some take disrespect towards their laws and traditions a little bit too serious and it might get you in trouble.

The same goes for some types of clothing; always try to dress accordingly in places where dress codes are strict. In case of doubt, do not flaunt anything, not even your opinion.

5. Show respect

There is a simple thing you should always “pack” when traveling and that is essential when talking about traveling safety tips and that is common sense. If you are going to a country where alcohol is forbidden, do not drink it.

If people are religious, respect their faith. If the country you traveled to has a curfew, respect it. It’s the only way to make sure you enjoy your vacation the way you deserve without causing harm to others or having others cause harm to you.

If you don’t feel comfortable with all these rules, try to go to places where freedom is of the essence and you can enjoy yourself more at ease.

So, this concludes the list of five things you should take into consideration when traveling somewhere dangerous or simply culturally strict, in order to not get yourself in trouble. These are tips for traveling alone or in a group, but when it comes to dangerous countries, we would advise you to not go all by yourself.