Is it safe to travel to the Middle East and North Africa?
Photo by Emile Guillemot on Unsplash

Before you travel anywhere, there are measures you can take to lessen your risk of encountering crime and/or danger. Travel smarts and awareness are enough to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip in most places. In a few parts of the world, however, at certain moments, advance research will tell you that you simply should not go at all.

In the wake of the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, tensions in the Middle East are rising. And for Americans, at least, the travel landscape is changing with it. But how much, exactly? In a post titled “Is It Safe to Travel to the Middle East Now?” Fodors looked at the situation on a country-by-country basis. Using info current “as of January 8,” it designates 22 countries as “Go Ahead,” “Proceed With Caution,” “Reconsider for Now,” or “No-Go” and provides detail and rationale for each choice (all are “intended for a U.S. and Western audience”). Check out the post here, and see my own supplemental advice below.

Is it safe to travel to the Middle East and North Africa?

As Fodors says in the post, no single paragraph online can adequately sum up a whole country and its travel environment. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date with the State Department’s travel advisories—as well as with advisories offered by the U.K. and other Western countries—for any destinations you’re considering. You should also enroll in the State Department’s STEP program. And anywhere you go, you should consider travel insurance (here’s the annual plan I use), but especially when you’re going somewhere you associate with higher risk.


Have your own tip? Email it to!
Want to see more tips? Click here for all 1,617!

Want even more travel tips? Sign up here for the Daily Travel Tip newsletter! Enter your email address and check “Daily Travel Tip” to receive Johnny’s best tips in your inbox each day!

If you already subscribe to our weekly newsletter, you can sign up on the same page. Just fill in your email and check “Daily Travel Tip” on the same page. You’ll receive an email with a link to update your preferences. On that page, just click the Daily Travel Tip box and Update Profile.

4 Comments On "Is It Safe to Travel to the Middle East and North Africa?"
  1. Julie|

    I agree with all your advice. Be informed. I signed up for the UK updates as well after reading on your blog last year…The rest of the world is much more aware of issues than most Americans (generally speaking).
    Our last trip to Africa, we signed up online for the USA STEP program for our trip to Uganda. Our day of travel home, we received many text messages via STEP about a serious issue and that we should travel around the city not through it to be safe. We did that, at the airport, we boarded safely- right next to a C5 US military plane parked on the tarmac – not that we read anything about this in any USA news reports…

  2. lee laurino|

    Even with travel insurance you need to check what and if the company covers cancelation in the event of an unsafe event. I have been told before (but the rules may have changed) if the country is considered a risk to travelers before you book, then cancelation is not covered.

    I plan to ask them again this week since my next trip incluses travel to Israel and through the Suez Canal.

  3. David Miller|

    You could not pay me to go anywhere in the Middle East. Those people are crazy and hate Americans. There are plenty of places to visit that are safer.

    1. Johnny Jet|

      That is the most ignorant comment ever.

Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *