Traveling offers soul-enriching adventures and the magnificent joy of engaging all of your senses in new experiences. Many travelers, specifically those who love exploring the world on their own, choose international cities as their first destinations because they usually have a lot to offer.
However, such cities may not be safe for foreign solo wanderers and the dangers are not limited to different types of scams and pickpocketing. In fact, some international cities are homes to armed gangs that particularly target western travelers.
This means that friendly tourists and business travelers may end up being be attacked, assaulted, and physically harmed regardless of the attackers’ motives.
If you’re planning a solo trip soon or are traveling the world alone, then make sure to stay away from these five cities.
5. Caracas, Venezuela
The U.S. State Department warns American travelers to keep Venezuela out of their travel plans due to the increased violence, crime, political unrest, poor health infrastructure, kidnapping, and the arbitrary arrest and detention of American citizens. In fact, many airlines no longer fly to Venezuela altogether.
According to the State Department travel advisory, the political unrest and protests in Venezuela often result in extreme violence and a battle between civilians and the police force, leading to many arrests and deaths. Moreover, gangs have been engaging in robberies, murder, and everything in between, against regular people.
The country’s even witnessing critical shortages of medical supplies, medicine, electricity, food, and water.
Travelers who are planning to visit Venezuela are advised to change their plans to stay safe.
4. Bogota, Colombia
In the heart of Colombia, you find the lively and historically-rich capital, Bogota, which is renowned for producing world-class coffee and stunning flowers. According to statistics, thousands of US travelers head to Bogota and rural Colombia on a yearly basis for tourism, volunteer work, and cultural studies. Dangerously, many western travelers who choose this country as their travel destination might not be completely aware of how risky it really is.
Unfortunately, beautiful Colombia is home to armed street gangs, drug cartels, terrorists, and criminal organizations that engage in assaults, homicides, armed robberies, extortions, kidnappings, and more.
Things are so bad that the U.S. Government employees are not allowed to use public transportation and are required to travel by plane during the day, while tourists are advised to stay alert of their surroundings at all times as well as have a safety plan in advance or consider traveling with other people.
3. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico is a popular travel destination because of its accessibility and cultural beauty, and its capital is no exception. In fact, more than 150,000 visitors cross the border (legally) between the US and Mexico every single day.
Unfortunately, many solo travelers in Mexico City have endured assault, mugging, and even kidnapping, among other violent crimes. Solo female travelers are particularly recommended to avoid going out or using public transportation at night due to nocturnal gang activities.
Statistics indicate that criminal incidents occur in Mexico City at a frightening rate compared to the rest of the country. Although many travelers manage to go around Mexico City safely, it’s only wise to stay vigilant while there, make a safety plan in advance, and avoid traveling alone.
2. New Delhi, India
New Delhi attracts tourists and business travelers from all over the globe all year round. However, as the city is figuring out its own identity in the global community, it’s also dealing with the risks that accompany expansive growth. One of the main dangers of visiting New Delhi is the threat of sexual assault toward foreign women, and the situation gets worse if the woman is traveling solo. Both the US Department of State and the British Foreign Ministry are warning solo travelers about such assaults.
Women are strongly advised to have a safety plan before leaving their countries and consider traveling in groups.
1. Jakarta, Indonesia
Many travelers craving a tropical vacation choose Jakarta as their travel destination, especially that the city is known for offering its visitors wonderfully unique culture, great adventures, and lots of inspiration. But the things that hide behind the pretty surface can turn any dream-like vacation into a terrible nightmare. The British Foreign Ministry warns visitors of the two major safety concerns in the city; random kidnappings of foreign travelers and threats of terrorism.
What’s more, Jakarta is dangerously located where most of the earth’s volcanic eruptions and earthquakes take place. This makes the area prone to tsunamis and earthquakes without previous notice. The threats of terrorism and natural disasters are a dangerous combination that can significantly disrupt transportation, healthcare, and other crucial services. The last thing any traveler wants is to be there while it’s happening.
To avoid dangers while exploring our beautiful planet, travelers need to understand the different types of threats and risks that may be lurking in any chosen destination as well as never ever leave to the airport without a safety plan.
Some valuable pieces of advice from the State Department include: Following the Department of State on social media to stay updated, reading the news and understating the political situation of every destination, and enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program to receive the latest alerts and notifications.