10 Countries the U.S. Has Issued a Warning for Americans Not To Travel To

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The U.S. State Department issues travel advisory warnings that, among other functions, tell you how brave of a traveler you are. Level 4 Advisories mean “you’re freaking nuts if you go here and you’re not in the Armed Forces,” for lack of more formal language.

These countries made the dubiously distinguished Level 4 Travel Advisory echelon, so let things cool down before you travel to any of these places.

Russia

Saint Isaac's Square SPB - Provided by Pavlikhin via WikiCommons
Saint Isaac’s Square SPB – Provided by Pavlikhin via WikiCommons

If it’s not the shelling from across the Ukrainian border that gets you, it may just be the authorities, who aren’t fond of Americans these days. There was a time not so long ago when visiting Moscow or Saint Petersburg was commonplace for Americans, and you’d be safe unless you did something overtly dumb.

Today, you’re walking into a country put on edge by war and wary of Westerners, which is not exactly a recipe for a winter holiday.

Haiti

Haiti, Jalouzi - By Zoust500px via Canva
Haiti, Jalouzi – By Zoust500px via Canva

Few nations are as perpetually out of sorts as Haiti, and by “out of sorts,” we mean completely destroyed. Watch one of countless YouTube madmen who travel to Haiti prepared for the worst and still leave the country in disbelief.

The endless squalor, roving gangs patrolling the country’s major roads, lawlessness, and general sense that anything can happen at any time—so long as it’s something bad—make Haiti a fitting recipient of the Level 4 Travel Advisory status.

Yemen

Yemen by ugurhan via Canva
Yemen by ugurhan via Canva

Yemen’s unfortunate geographic location has made it the site of an ongoing civil war with no end in sight. Civil wars are usually not great for tourism.

Venezuela

Venezuela - Provided by Pixaby via Canva
Venezuela – Provided by Pixaby via Canva

Since dictator Hugo Chavez took power in Venezuela, things have gone downhill fast. The nationalization of the country’s oil industry has proven economically disastrous, crime is rampant, and starvation is common. The regime of President Nicolas Maduro (whose claim to power is questionable at best) remains unfriendly towards the United States.

Somalia

Mogadishu in 2017 - Provided by Mohamed Bashir Osman via WikiCommons
Mogadishu in 2017 – Provided by Mohamed Bashir Osman via WikiCommons

For Cliffs Notes on why the State Department considers Somalia unsafe for visitors, just watch Captain Phillips. You don’t have to look for trouble in this nation on the Horn of Africa because the trouble will find you (so long as your cargo is valuable enough).

Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar - Provided by Vyacheslav Argenberg via WikiCommons
Bagan, Myanmar – Provided by Vyacheslav Argenberg via WikiCommons

Unseasoned travelers might view Myanmar in the same category as Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, or other nearby Asian nations. They’d be wrong.

Myanmar finds itself amid a civil war kicked off by a military coup in 2021. As military-led governments that take power by force tend to do, the current leadership in Myanmar has been loose with the guns. Even humanitarian workers have been caught in the crossfire.

The Sudan(s)

Sudan Capital, via Canva
Sudan Capital, via Canva

Whether you’re considering traveling to Sudan or South Sudan (a young nation that’s seen nothing but war since gaining its formal independence in 2011), you won’t be very safe. This part of the world is resource-rich but economically poor, ravaged by war, and seemingly always unstable.

Afghanistan

A Ravine in Kabul, Provided by Bodow via WikiCommons
A Ravine in Kabul, Provided by Bodow via WikiCommons

Afghanistan wasn’t exceptionally safe when the American troops were there. Now that the Western forces are gone, and the Taliban is running things, you may be somehow even less safe traveling to Afghanistan.

So much for that peace and stabilization mission, huh?

Ukraine

Kiev Provided the Archive Team via WikiCommons
Kiev Provided the Archive Team via WikiCommons

Hopefully, we’re wrong, but the forecast for peace in the Ukraine in the next five years isn’t looking great. So delay those Kiev travel plans indefinitely unless you’re planning to join the war effort.

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