Sometimes it feels as if we have fewer and fewer options when it comes to travelling abroad, but at the end of the day nowhere is 100% safe – accidents and unexpected events happen.
These five countries are among the safest in the world, to visit and to live in. There are at least five more we could add – what would be yours? Tweet us at @GoTimeshare with your suggestions.
Worlds away from the hustle and bustle of city life, nature and clean air dominate in New Zealand.
Crime rates are very low, partly because of their tough judicial system and loss of life due to crime is almost zero.
Finland politically is stable – it’s not a country that makes enemies and the people are friendly. Its geographical location – rather like Norway and Sweden – make it something of a safe haven, too, away from the madness happening in other parts of the world. Like New Zealand, nature plays a big part in the locals’ lives, and although it’s magical in winter, it’s a beautiful place to see in the clear light of summer months, too…
Canada is another very diplomatically friendly country – it’s seen as neutral and the character of its people seems to combine the best of American and British (without the worst traits!). The holiday offerings in this country are endless, from beach-centric, sporting, laid back cities like Vancouver to its “Swiss version of New York”, Toronto. Toronto is often used as a backdrop to replace NYC in movies – a lot of films are made in this vibrant city as it’s cheaper to shoot them here. Mountain resorts like Whistler make wonderful ski destinations, while the Laurentian Mountains with their multi-coloured foliage are one of the prettiest autumn destinations in the whole world.
From the cosy coffee shops of Vienna to the magical charm of Mozart’s birthplace, Salzburg, Austria ticks so many boxes for a family holiday. The air is fresh, the cities are clean and its café society is almost on a par with that of Paris. Linger in a café with a good book or just watch the comings and goings as you make your way through a Viennese pastry or a decadent slice of chocolate Sachertorte (the recipe is still a secret, to this day!) For culture vultures Vienna and Salzburg are must-not-miss cities – there’s so much to see, make sure you allot at least a couple of days to discover it all.
Historically, and culturally, Portugal can be divided into three parts: Celtic, Iberian and Arabic-influenced. The north is so different from the south, it’s like having two countries run by the same government. If you love a driving holiday, Portugal is a dream choice for a wonderful timeshare holiday. Even the parts that get busy in summer, like the Algarve, are uncrowded in the winter months (they start getting busy around Easter time then it all calms down again in late September), while Lisbon is getting a lot of rave reviews from visitors at the moment for its vibrant atmosphere, creative designers and quirky boutiques and its beautiful local beaches which attract the surf crowd all year round. The Algarve attracts a lot of golfers and families who prefer a quieter holiday and fewer crowds and celebrity attention than somewhere like Marbella.
The Portuguese also tend to speak very good English, generally, so you just need to learn a few important words like “obrigado” (thank you – or “obrigada” if you’re a woman). And…they probably do the best sweet breakfast treat ever – the famous “pastel de nata”, a flaky, cup-shaped pastry filled with a luscious, creamy custard filling, perfectly “burnt” on the top!