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5 places to avoid when backpacking


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Backpacking is a classic way of travel for students, and understandably so, travelling with simply a backpack and staying in hostels is far cheaper than going to a five star hotel and much more in the student budget!

However, not everywhere is safe for backpackers, there are some countries that, beautiful though they may be, are better avoided when backpacking. Here are five examples, plus ways to stay safe when backpacking, in whatever country you choose to visit:

1. Venezuela

Venezuela is beautiful, there's no question of it, but it's not particularly safe. The capital city Caracas is well known for its criminality, and it has the second highest murder rate of any country in the world (according to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory). If you do decide to go, make sure to only use taxis from trusted companies (kidnappings are rife) and plan your first night in advance. It's also a good idea to limit your cash and valuables. Perhaps this beautiful country is better avoided for the solo traveller!

2. North Korea

North Korea brings it's own set of obstacles, being a Communist country that is notoriously closed off. North Korean laws differ greatly from our own and unless you are on an organised tour, it's not an easy place to actually get into, so not the greatest for backpackers. If you're in the US, from September 1st, this will not be an option as the government is banning travel there, following the death of a US student.

3. Yemen

The country's capital Sana'a is a UNESCO World Heritage site and there are beautiful flora and fauna in Socotra, but now may not be the best time to visit the country. Between the fighting, kidnappings and ongoing terrorist attacks, it might better for the student backpacker to wait for the situation to ease a little before visiting.

4. Somalia

Aside from the well known Somali pirates, there are other reasons why this shouldn't be the top of your backpacking list. The Global Peace Index states that Mogadishu is considered to be one of the most dangerous places in the world, as kidnappings and terrorism occur on a regular basis.

5. Phillipines

The Phillipines may have beautiful beaches and relaxed locals, but the political situation there is rather unstable, especially in the South of the country in areas such as the island of Mindanao and the Suli archipelago. According to the British Foreign Office, the threat of terrorism, kidnappings and other attacks is high, so it's definitely not a place you want to go on your own!

For more travel advice like this visit HolidayPirates, the free-to-use travel search platform and app.

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