Looking for a trip that promises peace of mind in 2023?
For many travellers, safety is one of the most important factors when choosing a destination.
The pandemic hiatus in travel has also left many of us more cautious when visiting new places.
An annual roundup by US travel insurance company Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection (BHTP) reveals the 15 safest countries to travel to in 2023 – including 11 in Europe.
Several factors contribute to the rankings, including survey results from people who have visited the destinations, Vision of Humanity’s Global Peace Index (GPI), the latest travel advice from the US State Department, and GeoSure Global scores, which combine crime, health and travel alerts for major cities. However, some countries, such as Finland, were not included in the ratings.
Outside of Europe, Australia (4th), Canada (6th), New Zealand (10th) and the United Arab Emirates (13th) also made the list.
Here are the 11 European countries that made the rankings.
11. Relax with a beer in Belgium
Belgium is one of the safest countries in the world, coming in at number 15 on the BHTP list and 22 on the GPI.
The biggest threat? Your calorie intake. Just lay off the beer and chocolate and focus on Bruges’s chocolate box houses instead.
The US State Department places the country, along with many others, in its Level 2 category, advising travellers to ‘exercise increased caution’ due to the possible threat of terrorism, however.
10. Explore the United Kingdom at ease
Why not make 2023 the year for exploring the British Isles, from the rugged northern coast of Scotland to the sandy beaches of Cornwall?
Brits looking for a safe holiday destination could consider a staycation as the UK makes the BHTP list as the 14th safest country in the world, up from 18th last year, and comes 34th on the GPI.
Again, the US State Department places the country in its Level 2 category due to the possible threat of terrorism.
9. Laze in lush landscapes in Ireland
Although it has slipped down the rankings a little, Ireland still comes 12th in the top 15 destinations on the BHTP’s annual list of the world’s safest countries.
It also claims third place on the GPI and has a Level 1 rating from the US.
The ‘Emerald Isle’ is sure to bring you peace of mind with lush landscapes and dozens of magnificent mediaeval castles.
8. Soak up the sun stress-free in Spain
Spain is one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations and, luckily, it’s also pretty safe.
It ranks 11th on the list of safest countries in the world according to BHTP and is in the GPI top 30.
It has slipped into the US State Department’s Level 2 category which advises increased caution due to the potential threat of terrorism and civil unrest.
But it remains a stress-free getaway with an idyllic coastline and sensational food.
7. Breathe mountain air in Switzerland