It’s a new year, which means plenty of potential new travel adventures are on the horizon. In your trip planning process, you may have several considerations running through your mind, from cost to distance, the activities available, and whatever else you may want to have a comfortable stay. But likely at the top of that list is safety.
To help you narrow in on where to go, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection published its Safest Destinations report, highlighting the best spots to visit in 2024, when safety is top of mind. And if you’re from the United States, the safest destination may be closer than you think.
For nine years, the company has compiled its list of the safest nations across the world to visit via a survey of travellers evaluated alongside data from the Global Peace Index and the State Department’s travel safety ratings, along with the average GeoSure Global scores of the major cities in each country. However, a few other things about how the list comes together have changed over the last decade.
This country is the safest to travel in 2024
“… A safe place was originally a place that’s largely free from terrorist activity. Then it became a place that was safe from disease outbreaks. Now it’s a place where all types of people can move about freely without discrimination or harassment,” the company shared in its 2024 rankings. ” As definitions of a safe destination have evolved, so too have the world’s safest places. Are there places where people can move about freely, stay disease-free, and be sheltered from severe weather events?”
The answer is yes. And No. 1 among them, according to the rankings, is Canada, which moved up from the sixth spot in 2023. As for how it came out on top, the company shared that “cold weather and low population density make for safe travels.”
Canada also ranked as No. 1 for safety in transportation, lack of violent crime, and health measures, and as the safest place for women and those in the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. However, Berkshire Hathaway did note that there are still natural disasters to keep in mind when visiting Canada, chief among them wildfires. “Canada’s plethora of forests were seemingly all burning, which has reduced air quality in most major Canadian cities. This made travel to Canada difficult for people with respiratory conditions.”
Coming in second for 2024 is Switzerland, which moved all the way up from the ninth spot in 2023, scoring high marks for its history of low crime and safety. However, the company noted that Canada is a place where natural disasters are possible, including avalanches and rockslides.
Rounding out the top five safest countries are Norway in third, Ireland in fourth, and the Netherlands in fifth place — the latter fell from the No. 1 spot in 2023 due to an increase in petty crime.
Want more information on your dream destination? See the full rankings at bhtp.com.
This story first appeared on travelandleisure.com