Top 5 places to avoid in Northern Ireland

 

Northern Ireland remains one of the most fascinating places on earth with its beautiful castles, breathtaking landscapes, and tales of knights and princesses. There are also the famous leprechauns that might hide a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but you shouldn’t hold your breath until finding one. But, even though it is considered a safe destination, Northern Ireland still comes with its dodgy places that should be avoided by tourists. Here are the top 5:

 

The main train stations in Belfast

Just like all other destinations in the world, the main train stations in these cities remain the places where you are most likely to lose your wallet or belongings. Keep in mind that train stations in Northern Ireland don’t have a special room where you can safely deposit your luggage, so you should carry it with you anywhere you go.

Stay away from pickpockets who will easily steal your dual screen portable DVD player, smartphone, wallet or laptop.

On the bright side, there are plenty of police officers and locals willing to help you find your way, so asking for help and directions shouldn’t be a problem, as long as you can understand the local accent.

 

 

Dodgy pubs after 10 p.m.

Irish people are known for their affinity to alcohol but don’t expect to run into trouble at each corner. Most pubs and restaurants are safe throughout the day and night, with some restrictions. If you’re a tourist, you should avoid the outskirts of the big cities like Belfast, as well as their bars.

A safer choice would be to stick to those in the old town or the center of the cities. These are usually frequented by police officers specifically to keep away troublemakers. However, you should be safe in almost all local pubs, cafes, and restaurants, as long as you mind your own business.

 

Shankill neighborhood in Belfast

Shankill is the name of both a region outside Dublin and a famous area in Northern Ireland’s capital city, Belfast. Both Shankill communities are known to be Catholic. The district in Belfast is also a center of loyalist paramilitaries, so you should pay more attention than in other places.

You should stick to neutral clothing and avoid any obvious displays of the Irish flag or the Union Jack to prevent conflicts. Although the neighborhood is safer now than it used to be twenty, thirty years ago, you should still be cautious.

 

 

The Falls

This region is separated by Shankill by the so-called “peace lines” which are tall walls with barbed wire. Before the ceasefire, it wasn’t a good idea to instigate one of the two parts of Belfast with religious or political signs.

Again, even though things changed in the past few decades and people seem to have finally put their differences away, it would be best to refrain from separatist or religious remarks.

You can easily recognize the neighborhood you are in by the graffiti on the walls. The Catholic neighborhoods (including Shankill) will have public displays of the IRA, INLA, and FTQ symbols, while the Protestant neighborhood (The Falls) will usually display the Union Jack flag, and the UDA, RHC, and UVF symbols.

 

IRA concerns

Although all the six counties of the country (Antrim, Down, Armagh, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone) are still depicted as conflicted areas in the media, the truth is that things have changed for the better.

There is still “sectarian” violence occasionally between the Catholics and the Protestants, but these internal feuds are usually far from the public eyes and the tourist zones.

The infamous terrorist group Real Irish Republican Army (RIRA) is still active in the country, but its goals are mainly symbolic. Their modus operandi doesn’t include terrorist attacks on tourists or civilians.

 

 

Top 5 places to avoid in Barcelona

 

Although with a population of only 1.5 million people, Barcelona is one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world, annually receiving over 8 million people from all continents. The exceptional Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine, the architectural wonders, the fascinating history or the famous FC Barcelona soccer team represent just the tip of the iceberg of this vivid city.

However, just like all other major cities, the capital of Catalonia is full of dodgy streets, sketchy bars, and questionable people. So, if you don’t want to let pickpockets, robbers or drug dealers destroy your vacation, here are some locations you should stay away from.

 

 

Las Ramblas/La Rambla after dark

The famous boulevard stretches from the Catalonia Plaza to the Mediterranean Sea and is a trendy destination for both locals and tourists. The beautiful beaches and the restaurants gather thousands of people every hour of the day and night. However, in the past few years, the destination became the crime scene of bloody terrorist attacks and not only.

The entire Ciutat Vella district, consisting of the famous streets of Las Ramblas, is known for its late night crime. The streets are packed with drug dealers, prostitutes, and robbers, so you should watch your steps. However, the area is quite safe in daylight due to the numerous open restaurants and cafes.

If you happen to wander on these streets after midnight, make sure you at least carry a LED flashlight with you or a pepper spray.

 

Barri Gotic or the Gothic quarter

On the other side of the Las Ramblas, the Gothic neighborhood is the home of various architectural beauties and places to visit. The Palau de la Generalitat de Catalunya, the Cathedral of Barcelona or the Plaça Reial are just some of the sites we encourage you to visit while in Barcelona.

The Carrier Ferran is packed with tourist shops where you can score good deals for souvenirs and local delights. You can also pay a visit to the famous Museu Picasso in the area that hosts some of the painter’s work or enjoy a traditional dinner at The Four Cats restaurant which was one of the favorite places for artists back in the day.

However, the Gothic quarter should be avoided after midnight as it remains the home of shady people and pickpockets.

 

 

Sagrada Familia

An architectural wonder and the symbol of Barcelona, the church of Sagrada Familia remains unfinished, even though the building started in 1882. The original project of the church is attributed to Antonio Gaudi, a famous architect who worked on it for over 40 years. His past 15 years of life were exclusively dedicated to the Sagrada Familia. Unfortunately, the building remains unfinished, and the currently estimated deadline is the year 2026.

Since we are talking about the most popular tourist attraction of the city, expect huge crowds, endless lines for tickets, as well as pickpockets, and robbers. Be extra careful when visiting this crowded area and keep all your belongings safe. We suggest avoiding wearing opulent jewelry that might attract robbers.

 

The metro

The public metro is the easiest way to move around Barcelona and visit as much as possible in your trip. It is extremely popular and affordable so most people, both tourists and locals, opt for it. However, the metro is not the safest place in the world since thieves and pickpockets also frequent it.

It would be a good idea to leave your jewelry and electronics in your hotel safe instead of flashing them in the metro. And, if you need a bag for your wallet and phone, purchase a fanny pack. They are stylish, trendy, and you won’t risk getting mugged.

 

Bars and restaurants in the center

Although the center of the city is packed with tourist attractions and countless bars and restaurants where you can drink the famous sangria, most of these places are very expensive. If you truly want to discover the laid-back lifestyle of people from Barcelona, take a walk in the port or go on narrower streets that are packed with hidden gems.

 

 

5 Places to avoid in Phoenix

 

Phoenix is America’s fifth most populated city, and in this area, you can find a couple of the most beautiful sights in the world. Places such as The Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, The Sonoran Desert promise to make your stay in Arizona truly unforgettable.

The gorgeous desert scenery and wildlife here sets Phoenix apart from other big, cosmopolitan American cities. Here you can find a balanced mix of wonderful scenery and urban life, perfectly suitable for your next vacation.

However, there are a few places you should stay away from for the sake of your trip. There is no need to worry, however, because Phoenix is a generally safe place, but as a tourist, you should be aware of sketchy areas. We compiled a list with some areas that you should be avoiding during your stay in Phoenix.

The West Side of town

The west of 7th Avenue sees the most crime that happens in Phoenix. Even residents usually avoid this area because most of the crimes happen in convenience stores and strip mall parking lots, so try to avoid stopping at any of those if you happen to be in this area.

 

Tower Plaza Shopping Center

The Tower Plaza Shopping Center and its surrounding areas (24th to 40th street) is a region you should most probably avoid. Here you can mostly find strip malls with businesses which cater to low-income clientele such as laundromats or fast food stands.

The Tower Plaza Shopping Center is an enormous lot which hosts supermarkets such as Walmart, Home Depot, and Walgreens. This is not a very dangerous place, but robberies, burglaries, and thefts are pretty frequent activities around here.

 

Southeast Encanto

This area is placed between the Van Buren and Thomas roads, and the most dangerous part of this neighbourhood is the area past the Circle K convenience store on 11th Street and Van Buren.

This area is known to have the highest rape rate in all of Phoenix, so it is safe to say that there is no business for you here as a tourist.

 

South Phoenix

South Phoenix is known as ground-zero for gang-related activities and street violence. Where poverty exists, crime tends to rise. Graffiti, random shopping-carts left on the streets and garbage are constant occurrences.

There are almost no good businesses in the area, not even basic shopping markets. However, at every corner, you can find check cashing places, smoke shops, and liquor stores. The rates of robbery, assaults, and drug arrests are very high, so this is truly a no-trespassing zone for a tourist.

 

Maryvale

Maryvale is a neighborhood in the greater Phoenix metro area. This is another neighborhood with a pretty sketchy reputation. It is advised that you avoid this place, especially the 59th Avenue and Indian School area. Crime maps indicated that this place has the highest crime rate in Phoenix.

From residents statements, we can find out that it is not advised to live here either, because the sound of gunshots will eventually become something casual for you. The mall in the area is closed down and it was transformed in a middle school because nobody bought from there anymore. At some point, whatever they bought was going to get stolen anyway. So it’s pretty obvious that you should stay away from this place.

If you want your trip to be safe and unforgettable for all the right reasons, make sure you avoid these sketchy areas. Check all the attractions that make Phoenix so well known, such as museums, the Sonoran Desert, or hot air balloon rides.

If you are traveling with your child, you will discover lots of baby stores here, where you can find a large variety of objects: from toys to baby swings. There are a lot of activities to do as a traveler here, so don’t let yourself be intimidated or scared by these areas, and plan a beautiful trip to Phoenix, Arizona.

 

 

Top 5 dangerous places in Florida

 

If you’re planning a trip to Florida either because you’ve never been or you’re considering retiring there in the upcoming years, it might be a good idea to make a list of places you can go to and those you should avoid. Even if the United States is generally considered a somewhat safe place, there are cities or areas you should steer clear of, and some of them are located in the great state of Florida.

While we don’t advise you to check out these destinations, we would like to make it clear that we don’t have anything against them or the people who live there. However, they might not make the best choice for those who travel alone, are women, or know little to nothing with regard to what they’re supposed to avoid in these parts.

 

Daytona Beach

Despite its incredible sights, this city scores as one of the most dangerous ones in Florida and the whole of the United States of America. It’s got an appalling crime rate and violent ones are more or less frequent. In fact, one in every three crimes is violent in this location.

On top of everything, Daytona Beach has an annual crime rate of 76 cases out of 1000 people, so it appears that it’s less safe than 98% of all other cities in the United States right now.

Palatka

There are two main reasons you could consider going to Palatka, and they are the fact that here’s where the Florida Azalea Festival takes place annually and the town has a somewhat small population of just 10,000 individuals. If you think that this low number is what makes it safe, you’re mistaken, though.

It has practically no social life at all, but what makes it risky is that every year over 600 crimes are reported despite the 10,000 residents living their life in the town. 58 crimes per 1,000 people is a lot, so it’s only safer than roughly 4% of the country. If you’re wondering about the high crime rate, it might be useful for you to know that Palatka has one of the highest unemployment rates in the States and it is higher than the national average.

 

Immokalee

This is another small city you might want to avoid. The poverty in the area is what drives people to crime, and even though violent ones are less prevalent compared to other areas in Florida, you might get mugged or threatened if you decide that visiting Immokalee is a risk you might want to take.

Eighty-five percent of those who live here do not speak English, which is another reason for the heavy unemployment issue. Teenage pregnancy and delinquency are common in this town, and that’s because a third of its whole population is aged under 18. Besides, only 3 to 4% of those who live in Immokalee have a bachelor’s degree.

Fort Pierce

Based on the number of reported crimes that we came across, it appears that the likelihood of you becoming a victim of one in this city is 1 to 17. While it might be less violent compared to other Florida destinations, there are several issues that the town should have to address in order for it to become an attractive tourist location.

For one, only 13% of those aged twenty-five or older have a Bachelor’s degree. At the time this article was written, there was no company owned by Asians or African Americans in the area, which should give you a pointer as to what other issues the city might be suffering from.

 

Miami Beach

Probably the most dangerous place in the entirety of Florida, Miami Beach certainly doesn’t seem risky at all if you were to consider its breathtaking views. But the fact of the matter is that both the rape rate and the violent crime rates here are more than double the national average.

Both property crime and thefts are more than three times the value of the national average. So if you want to travel to Miami Beach all by yourself and you’re carrying your valuables with you, you’d better think again. If you do have friends living there, you could hit them up so that they go along on your quests. You might even want to enjoy yourself on a griddler party in their company, who knows?

 

Where not to go in Mexico

 

For decades, Mexico has been a popular destination amongst Northern Americans fascinated by the beautiful beaches, the good beer, the ancient civilizations and, of course, the cheap prices. Nevertheless, Mexico remains a relatively safe country although there are numerous places you should avoid, especially if you’re a foreign tourist.

Although the country continues to be a top destination for Spring breaks and traditional bachelor parties, you shouldn’t get fooled by the promises. The crime rate is still high, especially in the country’s capital, Mexico City. The State Department even issued a “do not travel” warning for the American citizens to avoid these Mexican destinations.

 

Tijuana

Just south of California you’ll find the border city of Tijuana, one of the main tourist destinations for American citizens. It’s one of the closest Mexican cities to the American border so, in theory, it should be a safe zone. Unfortunately, this isn’t so as the city is a top destination mainly for drug cartels and drug dealers.

Although the crime rate has decreased in the past few years thanks to the continuous cooperation between the two countries, Tijuana remains a rather unsafe place. The war between rival drug cartels continues to scare people off, while the gruesome violence doesn’t show signs of ending anytime soon.

Ciudad Juárez

Just outside El Paso, Texas, the Mexican city of Juarez became the most dangerous city in the country in the past few years. There are no less than four international entry points connecting the two countries, so there’s plenty of space for drug dealers, cartels, and organized crime groups to operate.

Just ten years ago Juarez was declared the most violent city in the world, mainly due to the fight between rival drug cartels. The crime rate drastically diminished in the early 2010s, especially because the Sinaloa Cartel managed to defeat its enemy, the Juarez Cartel.

Nevertheless, the city remains one of the unsafest in the entire American continent, and it was credited as even more violent and dangerous than cities like Sao Paulo in Brazil or Bogota in Colombia.

 

Acapulco de Juarez

Commonly known as Acapulco, this Mexican city is a famous destination due to its astonishing beaches and breathtaking sunsets. It’s also one of the country’s oldest beach resorts, so it comes as no surprise that it still triggers the interest of American tourists.

Back in the 1950s, it used to be a glamorous destination and most A-list stars, including Elizabeth Taylor or John F. Kennedy Junior, spent plenty of time under the hot Mexican sun.

Unfortunately, the increasing crime rate and violence rate has drastically diminished the touristic potential of this area, turning Acapulco into a city that should be avoided. Beaches are left deserted, bars are shutting down, while the remaining touristic areas are constantly patrolled by police forces.

 

Los Cabos

Although many official statements from the Mexican government included Los Cabos in a list of the safest places to go in Mexico, recent data doesn’t support this affirmation. Furthermore, Los Cabos was listed as the city with the highest murder rate in the world in 2017, with over 365 homicides in the past year.

Los Cabos is also an extremely popular tourist destination due to its turquoise waters and endless beaches with fine sand. Unfortunately, it’s not safe to walk the streets of the city and many recent visitors have complained about the increasing number of robberies and other minor crimes, alongside violent crimes and notorious drug cartel fights.

La Paz

The capital of the state Baja California Sur, La Paz ranked as the sixth most dangerous city in the world in 2017. In fact, the entire region of Baja California Sur has experienced a massive increase in violence and crimes in the past year, including the previously mentioned Los Cabos.

La Paz remains a place where active crime scenes happen on a regular basis and these mainly imply the most powerful organized crime groups in the country. Unfortunately, the trend of rising criminality will maintain in the next few years, which will lead to devastating consequences on Mexico’s 20-billion dollar annual tourism business.  

 

 

Top 5 most dangerous cities in California

 

California is a great place to live, hence its nearly 40 million residents. It is the most populated state in the US and the third largest by area. With its sunny beaches and warm temperatures, Cali attracts millions of tourists per year, generating a total economy of nearly 3 trillion dollars.

Cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs or Oakland, although very popular destinations, also tend to have a high crime rate and may not be considered as the safest places to start a family. And if you want to learn more about the high crime rate in the California area, here are the top five cities you should probably avoid.

 

Oakland

Oakland is consistently voted as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States, with a high crime rate. And, with a violent crime rate of over 1,600 per 100,000 residents (according to Forbes statistics), you may not even enjoy a beach tent family vacation here.

On a more positive note, the rate of property crime has declined in the past few years so you’ll have a better chance of living without being assaulted or robbed if you don’t leave the house at all.

Emeryville

It may come as a surprise, but a city with a total population of just 12,000 inhabitants has the second largest crime rate in the state of California. Home of the Pixar Studios, Emeryville is located east of San Francisco and north of Oakland.

However, unlike Oakland, the high rates of property crime might make you feel safer on the streets than in the comfort of your own house. In the city of Emeryville, there is a chance of 1 in 7 to be the victim of a crime.

The good news is that the violent crime number has declined in the past five years, but we think that it’s still not safe to move there unless you score an excellent job and can afford a great security system.

 

Santa Cruz

With a population of just a little over 60,000 inhabitants, the city is known for its breathtaking landscapes, alternative community lifestyles, and the beautiful coastline.

Unfortunately, this city also has one of the highest crime rates in California for medium and large-sized cities. Violent crime rates and property crime rates are both at high levels, and it seems like the police cannot do much to stop that. Besides, Santa Cruz struggles with a high homelessness rate, with over 9,000 estimated people not having a place to stay.

Commerce

According to official FBI statistics, the city of Commerce is ranked as one of the most violent in California. With little over 13,000 people living there, this small city southeast of sunny Los Angeles deals with a high rate of property crime. Although the rates have decreased since 2016, there is still a long way ahead until Commerce becomes a safe city to live in.

 

Los Angeles

Although much safer than it used to be two decades ago, Los Angeles deserves the fifth place in our top due to a large number of crimes occurred in communities of all sizes and nationalities.

The City of Angels also faced national concerns as the LAPD revealed in 2015 that it had been under-reporting crimes on purpose over the past eight years. So, as much as you would want to grab your tanning lotions and facial moisturizers and head off to one of the city’s sunny beaches, it would probably be safer to move to other cities.

 

 

Zika places to avoid

 

The Zika virus, also known as ZIKV is an infection that is carried by mosquitoes and causes an illness that is usually very mild; in some cases, it can even be asymptomatic. The name comes from the place where this virus was first isolated in the year 1947: The Zika Tropical Forest in Uganda.

Since then, this virus has been known to appear in countries close to the Equator, thus spreading in the shape of a belt around the Globe. Starting from Africa, it reached Asia at first, then it reached over the Pacific Ocean into to American continent.

One of the reasons that the Zika virus has been of so much concern lately is not due to the infection itself, but rather due to the late consequences on patients, more specifically, pregnant women experience.

Travel destination to avoid

The main locations you should avoid if you are concerned about coming in contact with the Zika virus include but are not limited to: Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela, all of Central Africa, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Maldives, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba, Fiji, etc.

All these countries and areas are situated around the Equator and all have reported cases of Zika infections within their territory.

 

Pregnant women

Zika virus infection during pregnancy causes congenital abnormalities that affects the fetus. One of the most common defects that fetuses develop when the mother is infected with the Zika virus is microcephaly.

Among other severe birth defects, this one affects the newborn’s brain and can be related to other problems such as stillbirth or miscarriage. Another sickness linked to this virus is the Guillain-Barré syndrome, which affects the nervous system.

 

How to prevent Zika

Unfortunately, in terms of a vaccine, there is none existent at the moment to stop the Zika infection. The best method to prevent this sickness from spreading is to stop the mosquitos from reaching you. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by wearing shirts with long sleeves and long pants. Besides covering up any exposed skin, you could try to acquire pre-treated gear or clothes or to treat what you are wearing yourself.

Use sprays that contain insect repellent substances and follow the instructions on the labels. If used properly, these products are proven to be safe for pregnant women or women who are breastfeeding.

Take care when using such sprays around small children and infants, since some of these items contain chemicals that are not suited for children under the age of 3 and none are suited to be used on babies under 2 months old.

Use door and window screens in your home in order to keep the mosquitos out and install an air conditioning unit. When going outside, you can cover baby carriers and strollers with mosquito netting. Use the same type of protection for yourself if you plan on sleeping outside.

Avoid having sexual contact or use a condom in order not to get infected with the Zika virus or to stop spreading it if you or your partner recently traveled to an area with potential risk. The time needed for you to use these preventive methods depends on a few factors such as whether you or your partner show any symptoms and whether one of you is, or trying to get pregnant.

 

After returning home

Even if you’re not feeling any discomfort at all after you have returned home from a country which has the risk of Zika, you should still take steps towards preventing mosquitoes from biting your skin for at least 3 weeks. This way, if you are infected, at least you will prevent the virus from spreading.

It is extremely important that you talk to your doctor in the following cases: you have symptoms after returning from a location with a known Zika risk; you are pregnant and just have returned from such an area, even if you don’t feel bad; you are thinking about becoming pregnant after a trip to a country with a known Zika risk.

What to do if you have Zika

As mentioned before, there is no specific treatment or vaccine for the Zika virus. Treat the symptoms according to the following methods:

  • Sleep more; give your body the chance to rest.
  • In order to prevent dehydration drink more water.
  • Take acetaminophen against fever and joint pain.
  • In the case that you are already following treatment for another condition, talk to your doctor prior to taking new medication.

 

Zika and animals. What we know.

  • The way Zika virus spreads among people is primarily through infected mosquitoes’ bites.
  • Apart from humans, only apes and monkeys can be infected with Zika. Afterward, these animals may experience mild sickness and fever.
  • Pets such as dogs, cats, birds have not been reported as becoming infected with the Zika virus.
  • As far as current studies suggest, mosquitoes are the only animals that contribute to the spread of the virus.
  • There is no proof that the virus can spread to people from animals through interactions like touching, licking, coughing or sneezing.

In some parts of Africa and South America, mosquitoes could become vectors (get infected) by feeding on the blood of apes or monkeys infected with Zika. Those mosquitoes could then pass the virus to a human, although there is a small chance of that happening.

Currently, more research is required in order for us to better understand how apes and monkeys may spread Zika among humans. Although we do not have a vaccine yet, researchers are working on one and hopefully, it will not be long until they get a breakthrough.

It is not hard to stay away from this infection as a tourist, even if you visit some of the countries mentioned at the beginning of this article. All you have to do is be cautious and protect yourself mainly from mosquitoes during your trip and for a few weeks after you return.

 

 

Where not to go in El Salvador

 

If you plan on visiting South America, you’re going to need a lot more than just money and a passport. You’ll have to take your time to understand the culture and civilization of each country, while also paying attention to potential dangerous areas.

And, while Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina are definitely on every tourist’s list, there are plenty of hidden gems in South America that would make great vacation destinations. El Salvador is one of these countries that has a specific charm. It is the home of around 6,5 million people and is known for its beautiful landscapes.

Agriculture and tourism dominate the country’s economy that has mainly developed in the past 30-40 years. However, although it ranks amongst the first states with the highest industrialization rate, El Salvador continues to deal with high crime rates, inequality, and poverty.

And, as much as we would love discovering new places with just a tourist map and the right facial moisturizer to prevent sun rays from harming our skin, the country is filled with cities that should be avoided by foreigners. Here are some of them.

 

San Salvador

If you had to ask the locals what the safest places to stay and travel to in El Salvador are, none of them would pick the country’s capital, San Salvador. Despite being the largest city and the home of all local institutions, San Salvador is by no means a safe place to travel, especially if you are alone or a woman.

The capital is the headquarters of street gangs and has an alarming crime rate of about 14 deaths per 100,000 people. This city is beautiful and maintains something of the classic charm of a former colony.

However, if safety is amongst your concerns, you should probably stick to the cities along the Ruta de Los Flores or “The Route of Flowers,” inside the country, and not spend too much time in the capital of El Salvador.

La Libertad

Another important tourist attraction in El Salvador, this city has nearly 36,000 inhabitants. The main points of attraction remain the city’s national park, the fish restaurants, and the beautiful beaches. It is also known as one of the best spots for surfing in the country.

But, as mesmerized as you might be by the place’s beauty, staying safe in La Libertad should be your number one concern. Although the crime rate has decreased in the area in the past few years, as a traveler, you need to pay attention to pickpockets and gang members.

To stay safe in this city, you need to follow some basic ground rules for all tourists – don’t use the public transportation at night, choose taxis instead, don’t wear expensive jewelry or display your possessions in public. You should avoid hanging out in locations that seem abandoned and should never rent a luxurious car.  

San Miguel

Although the city is small, there are still numerous dangers lurking around every corner. Some of the neighborhoods are filled with gang graffitis and, while the locals are still very friendly, you wouldn’t want to spend your night wandering on the streets of San Miguel.

Most gang members are involved in non-violent crimes like mugging and stealing, so you should avoid displaying your brand new designer aviator sunglasses or DSLR camera. In fact, it would be best to avoid the city or just go for a walk during midday.

 

 

Top 5 dangerous places for women travelers

 

Bad things are happening in the world. Women are killed and kidnapped on a daily basis. However, you shouldn’t let that scare and prevent you from traveling. On the contrary, it should inspire you to do some research and to find out which are the most dangerous countries you probably should avoid going to.

And to help with that, we’ve created this list, which we tried to make as comprehensive as possible. Take this travel information with a pinch of salt, as things are always changing from one year to another. And to be completely transparent, a terrorist attack could happen anywhere, so these countries are just unfortunate.

We tried to cumulate many factors, from the attitude towards females to the freedom of speech, and most importantly, we decided to take into consideration the way police treats women and if their voices matter just as much as male ones do. If you are from the U.S., these things might seem shocking, but unfortunately, they are a reality for many throughout the world.

The most dangerous place, who did end up on top of our list for a reason, is Egypt. The U.S. Department of State even issued a travel warning. It’s not dangerous for females per se, but it’s a scary place to visit due to the frequent terrorist attacks that happen there and for the increase in activity by groups such as ISIS. These groups kidnap people, raid churches and even murder people in plain sight in some remote cases.

However, some travelers say that this notoriety is a bit unfair, because not all Egypt is like that. Cairo and almost all larger cities are rather safe and amazing to explore without anyone bothering you. Egypt is a fascinating place, marked by millennia of history and pharaohs, filled with attractive destinations like The Pyramids, The Sphinx, and thousands more.

At number two is another country that is dangerous for solo travelers, but not so much for groups. Morocco received a reputation not because of terrorist attacks, but because of petty crime. Pickpocketing, street robberies, burglaries, purse-snatching are frequent, and people advise that you use a travel agency for everything or have at least a local to show you around.

Another advice that will help you stay under the radar is to wear clothes that cover your entire body and not to flash your valuables like phones and laptops. Moroccans are friendly and helpful people, but like in most underdeveloped countries, stolen goods sell well. However, friendly as they may be, you should expect catcalling.

Travelers also pinpointed Jamaica as an unsafe place for single women. Resorts are generally safer, but if you leave the comfort of their perimeter, you might find yourself dealing with unsolicited attention – in a very bad way. Especially in the cities of Montego Bay and Kingston. Like many cultures, Jamaicans can be homophobic, so if you’re traveling with your partner, be discreet.

At number four we have a surprising, yet super popular place. The Bahamas has been a favorite with U.S. citizens for years. Why is it so dangerous, you ask? Because this chain of islands has seen an increase in armed robberies and assault, not only from locals but from tourists too. More and more flock to the New Providence each year, and along with money, some bring violence with them.

It is the price the island nation has to pay for its popularity. A United Nations report said that it has one of the highest incidences of sexual assault in the whole Caribbean. Bahamas’ government has promised to invest more in protecting both groups and to improve its laws.  People pointed out that the police force has to be more efficient in catching criminals.

And lastly, we have our neighbor, Mexico. The country is blamed for the fault of just a tiny percentage of its population, including drug dealers and thieves, but that didn’t stop the State Department to advise that travelers should avoid Mexico in its entirety.

However, tourist flock there by the millions. More than 35 million people visit places like Cancun and Mexico City each year, and they don’t seem to have too many problems. The country has a low crime rate, but the capital has many sketchy neighborhoods that you’d better avoid if you are a female, especially late at night.

 

 

Where not to live in Phoenix

 

In case you are considering moving to Phoenix, we wanted to help you by showcasing what five of the most pest-affected areas are, which should be avoided.

Moving is always a big challenge, accompanied by mixed feelings of excitement and heartbreak. However, after settling in, all these will pale in the wonders of residing in Arizona.

There are 295 bugs and other insects identified by the Arizona Insect Identification. To fight some off, there are a few methods you can apply, like a good insect repellent, fogger or even using a somewhat basic mosquito net.

 

Common pests in Phoenix

The trouble is that bugs are not the only pests in Phoenix. We’ll begin with the most common ones, out of which the Africanized Bee seems to be the most aggressive and vicious. The American Cockroach is also known to take refuge in homes and other buildings, especially in warm, humid areas.

Ants are also very easy to find in Arizona. From Fire, Black, Pharaoh, Carpenter to Harvester Ants, some of them will bite while others won’t.

In Phoenix, it is very likely to meet the Arizona Desert Scorpion, which is also the largest species of scorpions in the United States. They are nocturnal creatures, and although venomous, they do not pose a threat to human life.

Spiders come in various species, some harmless, others very harmful. Among them, the most dangerous ones are Black Widows and Arizona Brown Spiders.

Termites represent every homeowner’s nightmare. They are great survivors, feed on wood, and work in family groups. Ticks are also notorious parasites which are very dangerous as they carry the Lyme Disease pathogen.

Last, but not least, Yellow Jackets are very common in the Phoenix area. They are very aggressive and their stings are quite painful.

 

Areas in Phoenix to avoid

Arizona is very similar to the Amazon, where it never gets cold; therefore, life cycles never actually stop. Creatures like scorpions, termites or crickets are right at home in this region.
Based on specific pest issues, the valley of Arizona, Phoenix in particular, a few so-called bug hot zones clearly stand out.

For example, scorpions can be found everywhere in this area; however, there are larger concentrations in specific zones.

 

Top five pest hot zones in Phoenix

Now that you know what you are up against where pests are concerned, you should know which areas to avoid. According to specialists from pest control, there are five main bug hot zones in Phoenix.

The Scorpion hot zone includes 85383 in Peoria, 85207 in Mesa, 85338 in Goodyear, and 85268 in Fountain Hills. As mentioned earlier, scorpions are everywhere in Arizona, but the largest concentrations can be found here.

Bed Bugs hot zone includes 85281 and 85282 in Tempe, where there are many student housings.

Mosquitos represent an issue as well in this city. Most of them are concentrated on 85029 and 85027 in Phoenix.

The Roof Rats hot zone includes older neighborhoods with a big number of orange trees, such as 85018 in Phoenix and 85251 in Scottsdale.

Cockroach hot zones include 85017 and 85008 in Phoenix.

Vintage stylized photo of skyscrapers in Manhattan at sunset, New York City, USA. View up of building

Conclusions

Although the Phoenix insect diversity can get pretty strange, harmful and sometimes even life-threatening, this should not stand in the way of your moving plans. This city has a lot of positive things, too. Affordable housing, quality education, extended activities for children, and generally beautiful weather are just a few of the qualities Phoenix has to offer.

According to the U.S. Census from 2015 Arizona, Maricopa County, and Metro Phoenix ranked among the top 10 areas in the country for national population numbers added. The Phoenix Business Journal reported Arizona as the eight fastest-growing state in the United States.