Countries like France, Spain, China, and Italy will likely remain sensational travel destinations long into the future. These places offer a rich history, an amazing culture, and, of course, room to rediscover your inner fashionista. However, if you’re like me, you may feel like the popularity of these locations has made them a little cliché.

Naturally, this may compel you to explore more novel and lesser-known options. This is certainly a great thing, as there are many hidden gems scattered across the globe. That being said, it’s important that you exercise a good amount of caution when doing this. For several reasons, there are certain places you’re better off not traveling to right now.

I’ll be breaking down a list of the top countries American travelers should avoid in 2024 below.

5 Countries American Travelers Should Avoid Right Now

A few of the top destinations I strongly recommend you rule out of your list of options right now include:

#1 – The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA)

Main Reason(s) Risk of Missile and Drone Attacks

Lots of scuba diving sites, stunning natural landscapes, and a plethora of delicious cuisines are only a few of the top reasons why visiting Saudi Arabia should be on anyone’s bucket list. However, you may want to hold off on visiting this paradise for now.

Not too long ago, the threat assessment level was raised to Level 3 – Reconsider Travel. This is because the region is facing considerable unrest right now, and visitors can expect anything from drone and missile attacks to acts of terrorism. So, unless you get a rush from putting yourself in life-or-death situations, visiting this place should be a no-no.

#2 – The Republic of Cuba

Main Reason(s) Trade Embargo

Cuba has one of the most stunning visages in the world, so it’s no surprise that it continues to attract visitors left, right and center. That said, you’ll likely have to wait a while to see these sights in person.

The biggest reason for this is that the U.S. and Cuba have maintained a pretty strained relationship for several decades now. While this doesn’t mean you can’t visit the region, it complicates the process greatly. So much so that you could spend several months gathering the permissions and documents you need for the trip. If you’re down for that level of work, then, by all means, go for it. But if you want a much less stressful planning process (like most of us), you may want to shift your focus.

#3 – The People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria

Main Reason(s) Risk of Kidnapping and Terrorism

Due to its perfect location between the desert and the Mediterranean Sea, Algeria has one of the best climates in the world all year round! The hospitality and cultural wealth of the Algerian people are also legendary, which is why it’s so sad that visiting the country is out of the question right now.

The Bureau of Consular Affairs ranks Algeria at Level 2 – Increased Caution. This is because of the high incidence of terrorism and kidnapping in the area. Plus, making travel arrangements in this area can be pretty challenging, as many travel agencies in the country are known for scamming travelers.

#4 – The Syrian Arab Republic

Main Reason(s) Risk of Kidnapping, Terrorism, and Unjust Detention

Syria is one of the few sites in the entire world that’s precious to both Christianity and Islam. Let’s not forget that it’s also a cradle of civilization with lots of local festivals to delight visitors night and day. But for all its natural charms, visiting this region is just too risky.

While the Syrian War may be technically over, Syria still ranks at Level 4 – Do Not Travel (the highest threat level on this list). The volatility of the situation there is underscored by the fact that the U.S. has not had an embassy in the region in more than a decade. With challenges like armed conflict, terrorism, and civil unrest to contend with, you definitely don’t want to be there right now.

#5 – The Republic of Nauru

Main Reason(s)Expensive (and Complicated) Travel Process

Remember those small, little-known pockets of vacation heaven I mentioned earlier? Nauru is one of the best examples of such places! The country has less than 15,000 residents and is one of the least-visited countries in the world. Thanks to that, travelers can enjoy the beautiful caves and beaches of the island nation to themselves—that is, if they can make it in.

Gaining entry into Nauru is a long and rather tedious affair. So, if you’re looking for a quick getaway, the time it’ll take you to process a trip here will likely put you off. Other than that, Nauru isn’t such a bad place to be!

Honorable Mentions

  • Burkina Faso
  • Belarus
  • Lebanon
  • Haiti