One of the biggest concerns, when you travel abroad with your kids, is safety. Traveling alone can be fun if you allow a bit of uncertainty to spice up the trip. But when children are in question, safety is of paramount importance. We created this list based on several pieces of research and statistical data from relevant international institutions. We consulted the Global Peace Index, which ranks 163 countries on a series of metrics, including the amount of ongoing domestic and international conflict as well as crime rates and access to guns. We also took a look at the findings of the U.S. Department of State’s Travel Advisories page and their cool interactive map, as well as the United Nations 2019 World Happiness Report.
Interesting, although not surprising, is that most of the countries on the above-mentioned lists are in Europe. In this list, we skipped several of them to gain diversity and worldwide coverage. If you want to plan your family trip ahead and not worry about the safety of your children, here is a list of the ten safest countries for family travel in 2020.
Iceland occupies the number one spot on the Global Peace Index (GPI) list, earning the title ‘safest country in the world’. Until recently, it was not in the top offers of tourist agencies but budget flights from Canada (Iceland is only a few hours by plane from Eastern Canada) made it easier for North Americans to visit this beautiful Nordic country.
The low crime rates are not the only reason why tourists come to Iceland. This remote paradise is rich with dramatic landscapes, geysers, volcanoes, waterfalls, glaciers, and more. Nature-lovers instantly fall in love with the country’s dreamy and exotic natural sights and your kids will love it too. If you want a peaceful nature-oriented holiday, book your flight to Iceland – safety will not be your concern.
Tourists per year: 2,195,271
GPI rank: 1
Of all the destinations in the Americas, Canada finished highest in the safety rankings, occupying the number 6 spot in the GPI list for 2019. It is the second-largest country in the world, with an incredible geographical variety that attracts over 20 million tourists annually. The huge domestic and foreign tourist industry is mostly situated in the areas of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver/Whistler, Niagara Falls, Vancouver Island, Calgary/Canadian Rockies, British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, and the national capital region Ottawa.
The big cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are widely known for their cultural diversity and traditional hospitality, while the opportunities for nature-oriented holidays are endless. There are 20 World Heritage sites in Canada, 9 of which are Cultural Heritages and 10 are Natural Heritages. On top of that, Canada is one of the cleanest eco-friendly countries in the world.
Tourists per year: 20,800,000
GPI rank: 6
Slovenia is a small country with an excellent geographical position which offers a great natural diversity. From the Adriatic Sea beaches in the south of the country to the heights of the Julian Alps, there are plenty of things to do in all four seasons. Slovenians are warm, friendly hosts who will make your stay pleasant and memorable.
There are plenty of kid-friendly attractions which makes Slovenia a great family destination. Outdoor activities like skiing and hiking in the mountains, swimming in the sea, cycling, and much more, to interactive museums and other indoor entertainment. The best of all – everything is within a 200 km radius from the capital of Ljubljana.
Tourists per year: 1,067,416
GPI rank: 8
4. New Zealand
Tourism New Zealand, the marketing agency responsible for promoting the counter’s tourism internationally, markets New Zealand as a ‘clean, green adventure-playground’. Activities such as bungee jumping or whale watching exemplify, which are typical tourist attractions in the country, are totally in accordance with this slogan. Other popular activities include sightseeing, adventure tourism, hiking, and camping. Also, for those who prefer a more traditional holiday, the New Zealand beaches are among the most beautiful and exotic beaches in the world.
Most of the tourists that come to the country are from Australia. Still, there are plenty who fly all day to get to this super-popular destination. Over 4000,000 visitors from China go to New Zealand yearly, followed by 350,000 US citizens, and around 240,000 British travelers. No wonder that New Zealand was the first country to dedicate a government department to tourism, in 1901.
Tourists per year: 3,820,000
GPI rank: 2
If you want to treat your family with an exotic holiday and still feel safe and secure than Bhutan is a perfect destination. It is a land of unique culture and virtually unspoiled nature sites. Bhutan is a remote kingdom, shrouded in mystery and magic, where a traditional Buddhist culture carefully embraces global developments. Located in a remote part of the Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan offers a truly unique traveling and cultural experience.
But the untouched nature and preserved traditional culture have a cost, both financially and in terms of movement restrictions. Aware of the environmental impact tourists have on the country, the government imposes a law by which all tourists must travel on a planned, prepaid, guided tour. Most foreigners cannot travel independently in the kingdom. The arrangements must be made through an officially approved tour operator. There are also huge tourist taxes, which prevent mass-tourism in favor of higher-quality tourism.
Tourists per year: 250,000
GPI rank: 15
At first glance, Japan appears very modern, futuristic even. But once you get there and travel around a bit, the country’s traditional culture rises in its greatness. Spend a night or two in a traditional Japanese inn (ryokan,) meditate with monks, enjoy in the splendor of a Kyoto geisha dance, or walk through the countless Zen rock gardens. That way you can experience the power of Japanese traditional culture, breathing lively from under the modern, futuristic veil.
Aside from being very safe for family travel, Japan is amazingly easy to get around: you can spend your entire journey using nothing but its super-efficient public transport. The 2017 Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report placed Japan at the 4th place out of 141 countries worldwide. and at the number one spot in Asia. Japan gained very high scores in health and hygiene, safety and security, and cultural resources and business travel.
Tourists per year: 31,190,000
GPI rank: 9
Besides being in the top 3 safest countries in the world, Portugal is one of the most popular tourist destinations globally. It’s a country with a lot to offer – old castles, cobblestone villages, charming cities, and plenty of golden shores on the Atlantic Ocean. One thing the whole family will enjoy for sure is the Portuguese food. Portuguese are masters of simple, yet delicious meals. Try their cheese, olives, fish and seafood stew in general, smoked meats, and of course, their wine (don’t miss trying the famous vinho verde or young wine.)
Tourists per year: 12,800,000
GPI rank: 3
Singapore is a melting pot of cultures, and one of Asia’s hit-list destinations. It is a cosmopolitan city-state that became independent from the British in 1965 and is classified as an Alpha+ global city. Like Portugal, Singapore is also a destination for the foodies. It offers everything from cheap fast-food to 5-star fine dining. Top of all, its one of the safest cities in the whole world. It has one of the world’s lowest crime rates. With English being the dominant of the four official languages, it’s easy for tourists to understand when speaking to the local population.
One thing to have in mind is that Singapore is not a cheap destination. It is expensive by Southeast Asian standards with everything costing double what it does in the rest of the continent.
Tourists per year: 17,400,000
GPI rank: 7
Austria is one of the most peaceful countries in Europe and worldwide. Being fourth on the GPI ranking, it’s no wonder the country attracts millions of tourists annually. Vienna alone is home to 6,5 million tourists a year and ranks among the top 10 most visited cities in Europe. With fantastic mountain landscapes, Austria is a treat for nature-lovers. Hiking, biking, mountain highways, skiing are just a few of the things you can do in Austria. If you’re more into urban tourism, then you’ll enjoy their Baroque architecture, royal palaces, museums filled with masterpieces and historical heritage, alongside its coffee-house culture and high-quality life.
Tourists per year: 20,800,000
GPI rank: 4
Last but not least – Australia, the ‘land down under’. Chris Hemsworth, an actor and Global Ambassador for Tourism Australia, promotes the country as “a place to relax. feel the sand between your toes and get as close to nature as you can.” If you’re up for a holiday there, plan your budget good – Australia is one of the most expensive countries in the world!
Popular Australian destinations include the coastal cities of Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne, as well as Queensland, the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest reef. Its unique wildlife is also another significant point of interest in Australia’s tourism.