The Riskiest Things People Do on Vacation

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When you go on vacation, you may feel more free-spirited and openminded to try things you wouldn’t otherwise do. 

That’s part of the fun of vacation—you get the opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone and explore. 

However, there are times when this can come with risks. When you’re traveling, it’s important to weigh the potential risks and benefits of any activity and make the right decision for you.  

Even things that seem like they’re harmless might not be. For example, there was a recent news report about nine people who were injured in a hot air balloon near Las Vegas. One person had serious injuries, and eight others had minor injuries after the balloon made a hard landing, showing even hot air balloons don’t come without risks. 

Beyond that, the following are some of the riskiest things people do on vacation and when traveling.  


Diving is something that many people may center their entire vacation around doing. It’s a much-loved activity for a lot of people, but there are situations where it can be risky.  

The riskiest diving spots are the ones that are typically more off the beaten path. They may be places that you have to travel quite far to get to, and while the dive may offer an adrenaline spike and beautiful scenery, it can be risky. 

For example, one of the most popular and also the most dangerous diving sites in the world is the Blue Hole in Dahab, Egypt. This diving spot is a submarine sinkhole, and the depth is far beyond what you would experience with typical recreational diving.  

Cliff Diving 

Cliff diving is something you’ll often see people doing when you’re on vacation, but it’s still one of the most dangerous extreme sports in the world, even for people who are experienced.  

When you’re jumping at a distance of, let’s say 20 feet above the water, you hit the water at around 25 miles an hour.  

That can cause a concussion, break bones, or compress your spine.  

The World High Diving Federation recommends that no one dive from heights of more than 20 meters unless there are professional rescue scuba divers below.  

Choosing a Risky Destination 

The destination you choose can play a role in just how risky your next vacation might be.  

A check of the U.S. State Department’s website and travel warnings can give you an idea of where you might find the most chance of being in danger.  

For example, while the Philippines has a lot of natural beauty and is a budget-friendly destination, tourists are advised to avoid all non-essential travel to certain areas such as the Sulu Archipelago because of terrorist threats and kidnappings.  

Other beautiful places that are also highly risky include Honduras, Egypt, India, and South Africa.  

It’s important to know the specific risks of any destination before planning your next trip.  

Standing Out 

Even if you go to a fairly safe place if you stand out or scream “I’m a tourist” in the way you dress or behave, you’re putting yourself at risk. 

Many times, not just in locations abroad but even in big cities in the United States, if you stand out and are obviously a tourist, you’re more likely to be targeted in different ways. This can include everything from being charged more in restaurants to being the victim of certain crimes. 

As much as you can, try and blend in with the locals wherever you are. 

Avoid being too loud, overly intoxicated in public, or wearing flashy jewelry.  

Getting very intoxicated is a big one here. If you go on vacation and you regularly drink to the point that you aren’t aware of your surroundings or your guard is down, you may be vulnerable to dangerous situations.  

Taking Helicopter Tours 

Helicopter safety is an area of discussion right now.  

There have been several high-profile helicopter tour crashes in recent years, including one in New York City.  

Helicopters can be generally safe, but never without risk entirely. 

The biggest risks when it comes to helicopters tend to involve pilots who aren’t experienced and may be operating their own aircraft, but as the incidents in recent years show, even professional pilots may have issues.  

Finally, if you’re traveling, you may need to put your phone away. If you’re constantly looking for directions or taking Instagram videos, you may not be paying attention to what’s around you. 

This can make you a target for criminals, but it can also put you at risk of being involved in accidents if a car or vehicle hits you.  


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