Safety is always paramount when considering a travel destination. There is a lot of turmoil in the world and minimizing exposure to violence, crime and public unrest - especially when travelling with children and loved ones - is very important. To help in trip planning, Lonely Planet has released its list of safe destinations.
The safest countries in the world for travel in 2020, according to a new report
The Nordic nations of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Iceland are some of the safest countries in the world to visit, according to a new report from security specialists at International SOS.
The organisation released its 11th annual Travel Risk Map, an interactive map which predicts the safest and most dangerous places to travel in 2020, as well as the biggest issues travellers will face. Countries were ranked in different risk categories: insignificant, low, medium, high and extreme.
The Nordic nations were grouped in 'insignificant', along with Switzerland, Greenland and Slovenia. The US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and most of Europe were rated as having a "low" level of travel risk, in addition to Argentina, Japan, China and Namibia.
According to International SOS, criteria was based on "the current threat posed to travellers by political violence, social unrest, as well as violent and petty crime." Other factors include transportation infrastructure, industrial relations, the effectiveness of security and emergency services and susceptibility to natural disasters.
Those ranked as having a "medium" risk level include Russia, India, South Africa, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Mozambique, Brazil and Indonesia.
Aerial view of Rio De Janeiro. Corcovado mountain with statue of Christ the Redeemer, urban areas of Botafogo, Flamengo and Centro, Sugarloaf mountain.
The International SOS report ranked Brazil as "medium" risk ©microgen/Getty Images
The report considers Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Afghanistan to be "extreme" risk countries due to ongoing conflicts, while Mexico has a mixed rating. The states of Chihuahua and Tamaulipas are considered "high" risk, while the rest of the country is deemed "moderate". India, Egypt and Madagascar also have mixed ratings.
For the full report, see here. If you have any health or security concerns about a country you're planning to visit, it's always best to check your government's travel advisory reports.