Top 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog


Top 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations

The most incredibly dangerous places to visit — and why.


In case you hadn’t heard, there’s a new breed of travelers. They’re known as the “anti-tourist”. Instead of going to beautiful places promoted for tourism, these free-spirits love to visit areas that are not only discouraged by travel advisories, but are also deemed “forbidden”. The more the media makes a fuss about the place, the more the trip becomes exciting. With no police assistance or ambulance to a local hospital, they want to encounter danger, up close and personal.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations

The anti-tourists find thrill primarily from the difficult and dangerous experience, rather than from being in the new environment.

Remember that invincible feeling you had when you were a teenager? When you were excited to see the gritty and more dangerous places of the world? Well, for some people that feeling doesn’t dissipate, but grows stronger over time.

A travel psychology expert named Michael Brein identifies this behavior as “macho tourism”. When danger is being reported in a particular part of the world, the anti-tourists then desire to visit that place in order to A) prove that they’re tougher than the rest of us, and/or B) get an adrenaline rush and feel more alive. Remember the time of your childhood when your mother told you not to go to a seemingly creepy place, but you went anyway? And then you came home safe and said “Look Mom, I made it”? The anti-tourists are said to be relieving that early feeling of triumph.

No big surprise, but Instagram and Facebook may have contributed to this anti-tourism behavior. When people are able to travel to the baddest badlands around the world without being harmed, they are most likely to brag about it on their social networking sites, which encourages their ‘friends’ and followers to attempt similar feats for bragging rights.

Top 10 Most Dangerous Travel Destinations

When visiting the forbidden, the anti-tourists risk being kidnapped for ransom or held captive by terrorists; they often get caught in wars and strife arising in unstable territories, get lost and killed in deadly terrains, encounter wild and deadly animals, get robbed and or murdered by opportunistic local serial thieves and killers, or become infected with exotic diseases. Sounds fun, right? (jk!) But for as long as the craving for excitement exists, the anti-tourists will continue to ignore cautionary travel alerts, and will take critical travel advisories as a “go” signal.

There are also anti-tourists who risk their lives for a “personal mission”. Maria Rychlicki, a municipal government worker in Los Angeles, spent time in Lebanon, Egypt, Israel and Columbia when these countries were on State Department alert lists. She knows she has been picking trips that are on advisory lists, but she sees this as an opportunity to represent America.
“Visiting countries on the advisory list means I am not spending money to meet other American tourists. I have often felt I am a good ambassador of the American people. I have been, at times, the first American that people (in a foreign land) have met,” she claims.

We’re not encouraging people to travel to the “forbidden” and risk being kidnapped or killed, but if you are one of the few travelers who love to go to places that other people are afraid of, then these dangerous areas are ideal for you. Enter at your own risk.

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Originally from Denver and now living in NYC, Angie has been writing since she was small. She lives in the Flatiron district with her partner Tanya and their mutt Sparky (always adopt!) In her spare time she loves to paint (mostly abstract) and talk to random people on the street to find out what's interesting to them.

Reader Discussion: 93 Comments

  1. Judy Johnson

    Are you trying to tell me some people are dumb enough to travel to Somalia? I mean surely if the country’s own population is fleeing as fast as they can, It might be because there’s not much left to visit now.

  2. Blessed to live in a safe home and safe country here in the US. Don’t take it for granted, we just got lucky to be born here and not other parts of the world where there is literally no help for anyone. Prayers to all the good people out there.

  3. Bethany Derrick

    Does anybody actually go visit as a tourist to any of these locations? I don’t recall anybody ever saying hey let’s go to Somalia or Colombia on vacation or any of the other location.

  4. Marsha Willis

    Majority of these are war zones. I don’t think they count as tourist destinations. Maybe if you were a mercenary, you might call this tourism.

  5. Carolyn Watkins

    You may want to think twice before you travel on a vacation to these places because you may not be alive after you do so.

  6. Cindy Ruiz

    What’s very sad about these places is that they were victims before the tourists became victims. I think that these places just met an unfortunate fate, like Haiti, and poverty pushed them to be a hotspot for crimes. If only these places were given the help they needed, so that they no longer have to result to crimes just to be able to live everyday. A lot of people would avoid these spots because of that, but maybe there’s more to it than the crime rates.

    • There’s always ‘more to it’, but the danger that these places offer aren’t exactly worth it. I mean, we all want to come home safe from our travels.

    • Nellie James

      I love your perspective. However, it might be the responsibility of non-profit orgs and the government to do something about their issues. Even if we want to help them make a living, we can’t subject ourselves to danger just so they can have a way to live.

  7. Dawn McKinney

    Most countries struggle very hard because of recent domestic issues that appear in the headlines. We begin to make opinions about them as scary, as an enemy and that we should avoid them at all costs. But traveling there teaches us the opposite truth.

  8. Sandra Lopez

    I hope no reckless teenager goes here just for the sake of bragging rights. These places aren’t safe and this is something that they should take seriously. Not something that they should do for the sake of fun and games.

  9. To satisfy curiosity is one goal that one should address and not suppress. We only get our information from mainstream media and travel advisories about such places considered off-limits. But experiencing it first-hand will change the way we view those places.

  10. Brenda Harris

    As much as I’m curious about how these places look and if the advisories are real, I’m not courageous enough! 😁

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