The annual list of safest countries in the world for travelers is out–and, surprise surprise, the U.S. didn’t make the top 10. Nor even, the top 30!
The growing number of violent attacks may have something to do with that… indeed, since March, more than 500 violent riots have taken place in cities across America.
But, the are plenty of countries considered quite…so, when we can all start traveling again, there are some pretty great places to go. One of my absolute favorite places to hike and ski–Switzerland–is number one on the list!
According to a new survey by Insurly, the land-locked country is ranked #1 for safety, scoring a 93.4 out of a possible 100 in the company’s “World’s Safest Countries for Travelers.” Singapore came in second at 92.7 out of 100, and Norway took third place at 91.1.
The survey weighed different factors including the frequency of natural disasters, the quality of a country’s healthcare, the rate of violent crimes, terrorist threats, annual number of tourists killed, and the number of tourists injured while traveling on roads.
Switzerland, Singapore, Norway, Luxembourg, Cyprus, Iceland, Denmark, Portugal, Finland, and Japan made up the top ten. The U.S. came in at number 44 on the list. Hey, at least we managed to be a few spots ahead of Cuba.
In all seriousness though, it’s a shame we aren’t higher. We should be.
Switzerland Takes #1 Spot
Switzerland’s landing of the top spot doesn’t surprise me. My family and I have traveled there numerous times over the last decade for holidays and I always find myself wanting to go back.
We’ve hiked summers in the Bernese Alps, spending time in the Alpine towns of Murren, Wengen and Grindelwald. But, most especially, we love Switzerland for its skiing.
For my money, Zermatt is the place to go. Low-key, without the party scene of a Gstaad, and smaller and more home-spun than a St. Mortiz. When traveling with kids, it’s perfect.
Dollar-wise (and granted, it may not be as economical in the coming year given the recent depreciation in the dollar) but, in recent years — you couldn’t beat it. The ski industry in Switzerland has yet to be taken over by the Private Equity industry as it has been in the States…and, as such, Zermatt offers some insanely amazing skiing at a fraction of the cost of Vermont or Aspen!
Consider this: a family of five can get ski passes (And train passes!) for 7 days…plus ski rental equipment…for less than $1500 all-in. In all seriousness, with U.S. ski resorts charging $200 per person a day for lift tickets and another $50-$100 for equipment, a family could wind up paying $1500 for just one DAY of skiing in the U.S. (And, truth be told: the European ski experience sure beats the chicken fingers and fries culture of U.S. ski lodges!)
Just be careful…physcially careful. There are steep drop-offs almost everywhere you look. Unlike the U.S. that has some its lawyer-proof ways to prevent skiers from going over the edge, the Swiss assume that individuals will assume a greater sense of individual responsibility. As such, there are some rather treacherous spots that left even me, someone who grew up skiing in the steep, icy mountains of New Hampshire, pretty alarmed! Ultimately, we hired a ski guide to help us navigate the sometimes complex mountains…including a jaunt into Italy and back for the day.
Hotel wise, there are plenty of reasonable inns that include half board. I encourage you to check them out and start planning your next trip…
I’m definitely planning to head back.. .though, at this rate, is may need to wait until 2020!
In the meantime, there are plenty of other spots on the world’s safest list to start considering. Enjoy. One day we will be back traveling again and I suspect the pent-up demand will be highly welcomed in the industry. In the meantime, happy planning!