1. BelarusSince the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the Russian military has also built up a considerable presence on the border between Belarus and Ukraine. Belarusian law enforcement entities have detained U.S. citizens for purported involvement in political protests and alleged associations with opposition parties, including arresting U.S. citizens near the protests. Some detainees were harassed or suffered mistreatment at the hands of Belarusian officials.
2. BrazilThe South American country offers many attractions for travelers. Still, it is one of the most dangerous places to travel with children because of the high rate of violent crimes, including mugging, theft, and kidnapping for ransom. Brazil has been experiencing civil unrest since its most recent presidential election, making it an even riskier travel destination.
3. HaitiAs one of the world’s most impoverished countries, Haiti is one of the most dangerous to travel to, especially for United States citizens. Kidnapping Americans, including children, and holding them for ransom is such a common occurrence the U.S. State Department has issued a “do not travel” advisory. Carjackings and armed robberies targeting Americans frequently occur. In addition, protests in the country turn violent at unpredictable intervals.
4. KenyaKnown as one of the world’s best wild game viewing sites, Kenya has a strong tourist appeal. However, the frequency of violent crimes, including mugging, home invasion, armed carjacking, kidnapping, and terror attacks, combined with limited emergency services, make the east African nation far too risky to travel with a family in tow.
5. North KoreaNorth Korea’s isolationism gives it an air of mystery. For some travelers, that sense of the unknown strongly appeals to them to attempt a visit to the communist country. Because a dictator controls North Korea, there is very little crime, and the threat of falling victim to a terrorist act is relatively low. However, the state is hostile and highly suspicious of foreigners, especially Americans. Engagement in political or religious activities is enough to warrant arrest and detention in North Korea. The risk to American travelers is so significant the U.S. State Department issued a “do not travel” advisory due to the potential for arrest and long-term detention.
6. RussiaRussia may have an intriguing history and stunning architecture, but it is a dangerous country for Americans to travel to. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the former Soviet Union was inhospitable to westerners, wrongfully detaining several American citizens. A dramatic increase in hate crimes, political unrest, and acts of terrorism make Russia extremely unsafe to travel with children.
7. ZimbabweZimbabwe is one of Africa’s most popular tourist destinations due to Victoria Falls and the number of wildlife parks in the country. Despite Zimbabwe’s natural beauty, it is a dangerous country for visiting families. Due to poor economic circumstances, opportunistic crimes such as car theft, home theft, and pickpocketing are commonplace. More violent crimes, including home invasion, carjacking, and assault, are also rising. Foreign travelers are frequently the targets of these criminal acts because they typically carry large amounts of cash. In a perfect world, families would feel free to travel to any country they desire without fear of falling victim to a violent crime. Fortunately, plenty of countries are still family-friendly, safe, and welcoming to visitors.
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Demi Michele is a seasoned traveler, turned freelance writer. Having explored most states and ventured internationally, her love for outdoor cafes, new cuisines, and cultural immersion shines through her wide range of articles. Based in Texas with her family and two Scottish Terriers, Demi turns her adventures into captivating travel narratives to share with readers.