For the 50+ Traveler

While some of these destinations might be beautiful or have a history worth learning more about, unfortunately, they're fairly dangerous to visit as of this writing. Read up and decide for yourself if you think you can plan around the risks.

1. Colombia

Exotic culture, gorgeous cities, and some of the freshest coffee should make Colombia a desirable travel destination this year, except there are some highly dangerous elements at work in the country right now.

Historically associated with kidnappings, cartels, and corruption, Colombia has turned over somewhat of a new leaf in those respects. Unfortunately, there are some other factors that have made the country a risky choice for 2018.

Last year, the country had a massive landslide that killed hundreds, and since December through March is the rainiest season, it's especially best to avoid travel during these times as that's when landslides are more likely to happen.

Stay away from the areas bordering Venezuela as there's a higher presence of illegal drug traffickers and weapons. Health authorities have also issued a Zika warning, and say that there's a risk of virus transmission in Colombia.

Perhaps 2019 will be a safer year for visiting Colombia! If it is, you'll have plenty of places to check out including the capital, Bogota, and the exquisite colonial city Cartagena.


2. Yemen

Sana'a is the largest city in Yemen, and it's so historically significant that it's been titled a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Landmarks like the Ghumdan Palace, National Museum of Yemen, and Archer Beach on Socotra Island are but a few reasons that some might be interested in traveling to the country.

Although Yemen was starting to gain some popularity in terms of travel, recent warnings of terrorist attacks and kidnappings have killed the buzz around the country. Not to mention the fact that Saudi Arabia is currently bombing Yemen with the assistance of the United States in an effort to destroy the Iran-backed Houthi rebel movement.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has actually issued a warning that anyone currently traveling in Yemen should leave immediately for their safety.

3. Dominican Republic

Ranked up there with Mexico, the DR (as it's affectionately called) has become one of the top Caribbean destinations over the years. With the primarily good weather, fantastic resorts, and attractive prices, it's no wonder why!

Besides being a great getaway island, there's a lot of history and architectural beauty to be found in places like the capital city, Santo Domingo. The city is populated with magnificent colonial buildings and has over 500 years of history to learn about. There's also a thriving nightlife with lots of bars and clubs to check out.

Sadly, Hurricane Maria recently hit the Dominican Republic and did some significant damage to large chunks of the island. The FCO warned against traveling to the Dominican around the time of the hurricane, and although the warning has since been removed, travelers will want to be cautious for a number of reasons.

First, the time of year for traveling to the DR is important. June through to November is hurricane season, and it goes without saying that you want to minimize your chances of being there through something like that.

Second, travelers do need to be aware of crime. Armed robberies, especially near the border, are frequent enough that travelers should be wary. Resorts certainly decrease the danger, but caution is still advised.

Dominican Republic beach
Dominican Republic. Pixabay / Einfach-Eve

4. India

Not only is India a wonderfully exotic country that offers a distinct, one-of-a-kind experience, there have also been a lot of great deals for travelers looking to tour the land. Phenomenal food, historically relevant landmarks like the Taj Mahal and the fact that English is spoken nearly universally in India are but a few reasons it's attractive to many travelers.

Unfortunately, dangers can come in all shapes and sizes and there are some hidden ones in India that you might want to consider before booking a trip.

High population and other factors have caused severe pollution levels that can pose a threat to travelers. Air quality is quite poor, so anyone with a preexisting medical condition will want to be careful. This also extends to the elderly who might find that the air quality paired with the intense heat and enormous crowds is too overwhelming.

With a population of over 1.3 billion, there are bound to be some bad seeds, and India does have a high crime rate which is another concern for travelers looking for as safe a trip as possible. Women in particular need to be careful.

5. Myanmar

Whether it's sampling the delicious cuisine, laying eyes on some of the world's most beautiful pagodas, or the fact that Myanmar is one of the cheapest countries to travel to may cause some to seriously consider a Myanmar trip. The locals are said to be friendly, and there are a number of fun activities like hot air balloon rides over Bagan or artisanal markets at Mandalay.

While it can be a wonderful destination, recent events have caused some doubt. Political and civil unrest has led to over 500,000 Rohingya refugees fleeing the country, and visitors are cautioned that they should do extensive research on the current climate before booking a trip. The FCO website also keeps the public updated as to the current safety status.

Though one or more of these exotic locales may have been on your travel bucket list, it may be safer and cross them off for 2018. Hopefully the prospects of safely vacationing in these countries improve next year.