Where not to go on holidays

When choosing a specific tourist destination and country, you are hoping for a carefree time, but in the current geopolitical situation and with terrorist threats, it is not so safe everywhere.

For this reason it is worth checking on UK Government’s Travelling Advice website before arranging a holiday. Each country of the world is described in terms of safety for travelers. For some of them, the Ministry only issues warnings, for others it explicitly advises against trips to certain areas.

Dangerous tourist destinations. The threat is not only terrorist attacks but also dangerous weather conditions such as storms or hurricanes
Dangerous tourist destinations. The threat is not only terrorist attacks but also dangerous weather conditions such as storms or hurricanes

Dangerous tourist destinations

Threats to tourists are a relatively recent topic when it comes to traveling. However, nowadays  you have to keep in mind that terrorists can unexpectedly hit the place you will be visiting. The risk may be greater or smaller, but it always exists.

Unfortunately, we are living in a time where there is no place has near a hundred percent guarantee for a safe holiday. However, there are countries that tourists are particularly advised against visiting. Not only possibility of terrorist attacks, but also the political situation within the country itself can be dangerous, with possible riots or even civil war.

Not only politics but also nature …

Dangerous tourist destinations. The threat is not only terrorist attacks but also dangerous weather conditions such as storms or hurricanes
Dangerous tourist destinations – places advised to avoid.

Cautions may also apply to climatic conditions – for example, a warning for those traveling during or just before a hurricane season some tropical countries experience. In this case you will be mainly concerned about staying informed about the current weather conditions, which change dynamically in a given period. Then it is best not to travel to such areas at all, because the power of nature is unpredictable.

In this case, it’s worth taking a look and checking where the storm is now …

Back to the topic.

See where not to go on holiday this year:

List of countries with a warning against danger issued

As of February 2018, warnings for the following countries are issued on the website of the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The international situation is of course dynamic, therefore it is for the best to check for the current recommendations on its website or, in case you don’t speak Polish, the website of UK government.

Armenia – a warning against traveling around the Armenian-Azerbaijani border due to tense political relations between these countries.

Pakistan – advise against travelling; kidnappings, terrorist attacks, but also natural disasters are constant threats.

Algeria – there’s an uncertain situation within the state itself, and also a high risk of terrorist attacks.

Turkey – Polish MFA warns against traveling to the eastern and south-eastern parts of the country, where military operations are taking place especially at the border with Syria. In other regions you have to be careful, because there is a terrorist threat, and since the 2016 coup attempt there’s been a state of emergency in Turkey.

Democratic Republic of the Congo – do not travel at all because of tense internal situation. You may encounter riots, demonstrations and group assaults and abductions.

Cote d’Ivoire – a warning was issued before traveling to this country, especially after the civil war that took place there. There’s a danger of attacks on tourists, mainly for robbery purposes.

Egypt – Polish MFA has a position that advises against traveling to Egypt, excluding group trips to resorts on the African side on the Red Sea (Hurghada, El-Gouna, Safaga, Marsa Alam) and Sharm el-Sheikh on the Sinai Peninsula. However you still should be very careful and avoid leaving the resorts.

Philippines – despite attempts to protect tourists by local authorities, there is no certainty that fights between government forces and rebels will not get through tourist areas. Therefore, Polish MFA discourages travel, especially to the southern parts of the Philippines (Mindanao islands and the Sulu archipelago) and the islands of Cebu and Bohol.

Guinea-Bissau has not been safe for years due to internal conflicts, high levels of crime and the activity of drug gangs.

India – due to the unclear political situation we discourage you from visiting the states of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tunisia – despite the efforts of local authorities, Polish MFA advises against traveling to Tunisia, especially to the western and southern parts of the country. The exception is to possible group trips to reputable hotels with full protection facilities, but without leaving the resorts themselves.

Venezuela – due to internal unrest, increased crime and various inconveniences (lack of fuel, cash at ATMs, medicines), Polish MFA advises against traveling to Venezuela.

Ethiopia – despite having abolished the state of emergency in 2017, there’s still internal unrest and high criminal activity.

South Korea – possibility of a sharp deterioration in relations with North Korea, as the conflict between the two states has lasted for years. It is worth keeping track of the political situation in this region.

North Korea – as in the case of South Korea, there is a high probability of a dynamic deterioration in relations on the Korean Peninsula. It is worth following the current situation.

Myanmar – general internal conflicts are ongoing in this country, for this reason MFA warns against trips to Myanmar, especially to the states of Kachin (with the exception of the capital Mytkyina), northern Shan, southern Chin and Rakhine (except Thandwe and Ngapali).

The Caribbean (including Cuba, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Haiti, Puerto Rico) – this area experiences hurricane season, therefore there may be hurricane warnings. You have to keep track of the situation, especially in June-November, but most often, hurricanes occur in the months of August-September.

Great Britain – MFA continues to warn about trips to the islands. The British authorities have reduced the terrorist threat from critical to serious. However, it is worth keeping your eyes open while visiting the islands, especially in public and attractive tourist destinations.

France – the state of emergency was lifted, but there is still a real threat of terrorist attacks. MFA advises against participating in mass events in France. There are still roadside checks and you need to be vigilant.

Ukraine – a threat to civilians occurs mainly in the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, where military operations are carried out. Caution should be exercised in the rest of Ukraine.

Israel, Jerusalem and Gaza – an anxious situation internally affecting these areas caused a warning by MFA to not travel there.

Iran – internal and international tensions caused MFA to issue an advice to stay vigilant and keep up with the news.

Lebanon – the most dangerous areas are the border areas with Syria and Israel, refugee camps, the Bekaa valley and the eastern part of Akkar province and the southern suburbs of Beirut.

Belgium – Belgian authorities have reduced the level of terrorist threat to two in a four level scale, but the danger of attack still exists. Keep vigilant.

Senegal – due to recent attacks on tourists and ongoing military operations, the ministry is warning about excursions to the Casamance region in Senegal.

Each of these threats is very real but obviously there will be travelers who go to those dangerous areas despite warnings. Then, and you need to keep it in mind, embassies or consulates will be unable to help you.

At this point, it should be mentioned that we have created a ranking of the best travel agencies, which we think are worth recommending. Talking to employees in travel agencies, you can ask about which tourist directions to avoid.

Here you can check the list of Polish embassies and consulates abroad (in Polish).

If you decided to visit those places despite warnings and speak Polish, it’s a good idea to sign up to Odysseus website, keeping track of tourists in foreign countries. In case of danger or problems, Polish MFA will be able to contact you, give advice or direct to another diplomatic unit.

Let us know in the comments and publish your opinions on countries, places and locations that are better off not to go on holiday. Help yourself and take care of the safety of your holiday travel. Safety is the key to any holiday trip!

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