BUDGET TRAVEL ADVICE

To Go or Not to Go: 2013

Some of the world's most beautiful and historic destinations are, at least temporarily, off-limits because of natural disasters, crime, or political unrest. Here, we warn you away from the real trouble spots—and debunk some of the bad press.

To Go or Not to Go: Go to the islands, stick to the beaten path in Athens.

Haiti

When we say a travel destination "has it all," we usually don't mean crime, cholera, damaged infrastructure, and limited police and medical resources. Unfortunately, that is the situation in Haiti three years after a magnitude-7 earthquake demolished much of the already-impoverished nation (which shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic), killing more than 300,000 people. While Haiti has spent billions just to maintain basic services, risks are high and resources for visitors are slim—traveling there as anything but a volunteer will only add to the strain. The U.S. Department of State warns that Americans have been victims of murder and kidnapping, including attacks on arriving visitors that have occurred right outside the Port-au-Prince airport.

To Go or Not to Go: Don't go.

Syria

Sure, Syria boasts some of the most dramatic ruins and landmarks in the Middle East, but this one's a no-brainer: "No part of Syria should be considered immune from violence," reports the U.S. Department of State, warning Americans not to visit the troubled nation (and those Americans who remain in Syria are urged to leave immediately). Anti-government activity and the Syrian government's use of deadly force—including aerial bombing of civilian areas, armed clashes between government and opposition groups, and the arrest, detention, and torture of individuals—have made Syria one of the most dangerous places on earth. And once inside, it can be difficult to get a flight out or to cross the border into neighboring countries, which include Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Israel.

To Go or Not to Go: Don't go.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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