A safe vacation destination is one of the most important factors when planning family travel. The Global Peace Index shows which countries have the top rankings for peace and security.
But there’s more to vacation planning than that, so let’s look at some of the best and safest countries for family travel this year.
How We Ranked The Countries
The Global Peace Index (GPI) measures how peaceful each country is. It looks at 23 factors, like how many conflicts a country is involved in, crime rates, and relationships with neighboring countries.
However, the GPI data doesn’t know if an area is a great vacation destination. For example, Bhutan and Mauritius are in the top 25 using the GPI data, but they’re not common vacation destinations for U.S. travelers.
Based on our research, world travel, and recommendations to our travel agency clients, we’ve filtered the data by places we’d recommend to friends and family as the top nations for your next trip.
- We’ve taken the GPI safety data, our research, and our experience to provide the top destinations for family travel.
- European countries like Norway, Slovenia, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark rank highly, with low crime rates.
- Are you considering Asia? Singapore and Japan are very safe places for families.
- New Zealand and Canada are also among the top ten safest countries.
The Safest Places to Travel With Family in 2024
Let’s get to the list! As a reminder, these are all from the top safest countries list, but arranged in the order we think is best for family vacations.
#1: Switzerland (2023 GPI Ranking: 10)
Switzerland is a peaceful place and one of our favorite countries. With beautiful mountains and clear lakes, it’s hard to beat for scenery. The above photo was taken in the town of Wengen. Read more about our Switzerland family vacations or our stay at the Swiss Holiday Park (pictured below)
Its cities are clean, and its people are kind. Its public transport system is one of the best in the world! No rental car is needed here; you can get to even small towns with a rail pass.
#2: New Zealand (2023 GPI Ranking: 4)
New Zealand is our top choice for a family vacation. We’ve traveled a lot, but we’re quick to answer New Zealand when anyone asks about our favorite destination. The most scenic areas can be found around the Queenstown area on the south island.
We love the outdoor activities in New Zealand. There’s little fear of petty theft or other standard travel concerns—it’s a great destination.
#3: Iceland (2023 GPI Ranking: 1)
Iceland is the number one safest country for families to visit in 2024, a title it’s held for 14 years! Volcanoes and geysers are more common than significant crimes in the rugged beauty of Iceland.
This is a great place to explore if you’re looking for the outdoors. Iceland is known for amazing northern lights during the winter, though you won’t see the sun much. There are less than 2 hours of daylight during the shortest days of winter.
During the summer, it’s just the opposite: there’s hardly any nighttime!
Iceland is a great place to rent a car or camper van and explore the island, stopping at famous attractions like the hot springs of Blue Lagoon. Check out this amazing footage of Iceland, it’s enough to make us want to book another trip now:
#4 Australia (2023 GPI Ranking: 22)
Having lived here, Australia is still one of our favorite places. Friendly locals, safe cities, and great scenery make this one of the best places to visit.
Visit downtown Sydney (one of our favorite big cities in the world), swim in the great barrier reef, or drive the grey ocean road between Melbourne and Adelaide in this big country country. Or even better, combine an Australia trip with New Zealand, another fantastic, safe country.
The one negative: it’s the furthest country on our list from the United States, with flights taking almost 15 hours, even from the West Coast of the U.S.
#5 Japan (2023 GPI Ranking: 9)
Japan is an excellent choice for families who want to travel safely to Asia. Japan combines a safe place to visit with history and culture. Plus visiting Tokyo, one of the busiest cities in the world is something to see!
Enjoy a trip to Tokyo Disneyland or take the bullet train to the historic city of Kyoto (make sure to see the bowing deer). There’s plenty to do in this country.
Streets are clean and well-lit at night, and public transportation is some of the best anywhere.
#6 Norway (2023 GPI Ranking: 24)
Norway ranks high as a safe Scandinavian country. Nature lovers will find plenty to like with Norway’s fjords, mountains, and northern lights.
Discover the rich cultural heritage of this country. Kids can learn about Vikings, see wild reindeer, or fish in crystal-clear waters.
#7 Austria (2023 GPI Ranking: 5)
Austria is a top pick for safe family travel. It lands in 6th place on the safety scale for 2024. Enjoy the peaceful streets of Salzburg and the beautiful city of Vienna.
Explore the breathtaking mountains of the countryside and the beautiful Alps.
#8 Slovenia (2023 GPI Ranking: 8)
Lesser known than other countries on this list, Slovenia is a top choice for families who love adventure and peace of mind. Slovenia features a high safety index score and an excellent healthcare system.
Explore its stunning glacial lakes, beautiful national parks, and vibrant cities.
#9 Finland (2023 GPI Ranking: 13)
Finland is another top choice from a Scandinavian country. This country is peaceful, with very few violent crimes.
This Nordic gem offers forests to explore and cities that charm, all in a sense of peace. Enjoy the northern lights, a sauna visit, cozy cafes, and crisp winter sports safely.
#10 Portugal (2023 GPI Ranking: 7)
Portugal also stands out in the cities or off the beaten path. Less crowded spots offer a quiet charm without a lot of crime.
We loved Portugal’s old neighborhood charm. And while there were no sunny skies on our January trip, it was a great place to experience new activities safely.
#11: Denmark (2023 GPI Ranking: 2)
Denmark is a country where families feel safe traveling. Its low crime rates mean you can relax and enjoy your trip. Streets are clean, people follow the rules, and trouble is rare.
Kids can play outside without much worry. This makes Denmark a top choice for those who want peace on their vacation. You’ll find friendly faces and cozy towns all around this Scandinavian spot.
#12: Sweden (2023 GPI Ranking: 28)
Sweden is another top pick for family travel, with little crime to worry about.
Kids and adults will love Sweden’s cool spots, like parks and museums. Everyone feels welcome here. The streets are safe, even at night.
#13 Ireland (2023 GPI Ranking: 3)
Just as Sweden offers a secure backdrop for family adventures, Ireland greets visitors with open arms and a peaceful setting. Families discover a warm welcome across this green island.
The people are known for their kindness, and the streets are calm and safe.
Exploring Ireland means finding joy in the simple things – like music-filled pubs and stunning coastlines.
With safety at its heart, Ireland stands out as one of the world’s friendliest places to visit with your loved ones.
#14 Netherlands (2023 GPI Ranking: 16)
The Netherlands is another safe country. Famous for being well-run with minor crime, it’s another good choice if you’re looking for a country in northern Europe to visit.
Visit the Netherlands’s charming scenery of beautiful canals and windmills, and sample tasty cheese without worry.
Plus, there’s plenty of fun stuff to do, from museums to bike tours of cities like Amsterdam!
#15 Costa Rica (2023 GPI Ranking: 16)
Coming in lower on the GPI list, Costa Rica is still an excellent choice for families planning to travel in 2024. The country’s strong safety index score and beautiful scenery make it a great place to visit.
We spent a few weeks exploring this country’s lush rainforests, finding exotic wildlife and relaxing beaches.
The rich biodiversity of the tropical landscapes makes Costa Rica one of our most recommended countries for a family vacation. Just keep in mind much of this Central American country isn’t as modern as a tropical destination like Hawaii.
#16 Singapore (2023 GPI Ranking: 6)
Moving from rugged landscapes to the bustling cityscape of Singapore, we find both a country & city that’s super safe. While high on the GPI ranking list, we rank Singapore slightly lower because it’s more industrialized and there’s less natural beauty. Still, it’s a unique modern city to visit, and we wouldn’t talk anyone out of visiting here!
Singapore takes pride in its strict rules that keep crime very low. Singapore’s law enforcement uses high-tech ways to stop crimes, and walking around the island nation is safe, day or night. Laws are strict on littering and vandalism, keeping the streets clean and safe.
There’s plenty to do here on a family trip, seeing the top sights like Gardens by the Bay.
Global Peace Index
The Global Peace Index measures how peaceful countries are. Let’s look at the 2024 list:
|Top spot for 14 years
|Safe, mainly rural areas
|High safety levels
|Low crime, high safety
|Safe, especially rural areas
|Low violent crime rate
|Secure and peaceful
|Neutrality and security
|Ranked high for safety
Scores are based on factors like crime.
Tips for Safe Family Travel
Exploring new places is one of our favorite things, yet keeping everyone safe is our priority.
Choosing reputable accommodations
- Family-friendly hotels offer comfort and peace of mind, with features like pools, game rooms, and safe play areas for kids.
- Always look for spots with excellent reviews from other families from websites like ours or TripAdvisor.
Researching local customs and laws
- Once you’ve found your next destination, learn about the local customs and laws. Each country has its customs that travelers should respect.
- For example, Singapore is very strict about keeping streets clean and has tough laws against littering.
If you’re used to different laws at home, learning these details keeps you on the right side of the law abroad.
Staying aware of the surroundings
- Knowing local customs and laws is just the start. Keep your eyes open while traveling. Watch for unusual behavior or things that seem out of place. Stay alert in busy places like markets or train stations where petty crimes happen.
- Keep valuables like passports and wallets in places that are hard to get to, like an inside pick of a bag that requires two zippers to open.
Consider these places if you plan a trip with your family in 2024. They’re peaceful with low crime rates; we’ve been to most of them. They all have beautiful sights and fun things to do for everyone.
So pack your bags and prepare for an adventure where you can relax knowing everyone is safe!