For me, planning a trip is fun. Excitement builds as the departure day approaches, and there is always a last minute rush to get everything done before heading to the airport to embark on a new adventure.

Researching authentic places to stay, deciding which interesting towns or villages to include on your itinerary, figuring out which activities to check out when you get there – all fun! Getting shots and visas – not so much!

And now? As part of your initial, pre-trip research, you can check out the Global Peace Index to assist in deciding which countries to visit.  A handy color-coded map let’s you see at a glance that whole areas of the world are “green” (as in go), or “red” (as in maybe not!).

Global Peace Index
Global Peace Index

The 2011 Global Peace Index Key Findings attest that, for the 3rd straight year, the world is a less safe place. Of course, your reaction to this report may be influenced by where you live. If you live in Iceland or Japan (per the report, the 2 safest nations), then traveling anywhere else can by definition appear a little scary. However, if like me you live in the USA, which ranked 82nd of 153 countries, you can in theory travel to over half the countries in the world, and be safer there than you would be at home. Although, no matter how adventurous you may be feeling, it would still be smart to avoid Iraq and Somalia, at 152 and 153 respectively!

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