Man Standing on a Rock


What if I told you that going on vacation comes with a heavy dose of danger? While you may be focused on removing stress from your life by going on holiday, there is a chance that this removal may be a bit more permanent than you anticipated. 

There are many ways to die on vacation. Here are the top ten. The numbers cited are the total number of US tourists deaths from the years October 2002 to December 2014, according to our State Department.

1  Car accidents, 3,004  

Broken Car

The most likely way to meet your maker early just so happens to be one of the requirements needed to go on vacation in the first place, traveling. That’s right, the most common way to die on vacation, by a landslide, is getting in a car accident. There are places where driving laws are more of suggestions (India and Italy spring to mind) and places where roads were built on hopes and prayers, which, for all their otherwise wonderful attributes to life, turn out not to be good engineering foundations. But the truth is there is nowhere truly safe from these metal boxes on wheels, whether you’re driving or someone else is, or someone else is coming straight at you. It’s a crapshoot.

So, the best protection for you on vacation, as at home, is the humble seat belt.

2  Homicide, 1,913 

Crime Scene Do Not Cross Signage

The second most likely way is that darkest of fears — murder. But despite being this high on the list, it’s not a given that you’ll be slaughtered when you go away. Most nations are completely safe for travelers with only a few areas increasing the likelihood of being murdered.  That is to say that if Mexico alone was removed from the data, homicides wouldn’t even make this list. (Oh, and don’t go to Jolo in the Philippines, Somalia — seriously, the country is run by pirates — or anywhere there is a war on…)

3  Suicide, 1,383

Man in Blue and Brown Plaid Dress Shirt Touching His Hair

When traveling, danger can be anywhere. Yet sometimes, quite a lot actually, the  danger is you to yourself. Apparently a lot of people decide to change the scenery when they decide to change their life status. Or something about being away pushes them over the edge. Literally.

4  Drowning, 1,244

Igor Liberti

Perhaps the most insidious of all deaths, drowning can still follow you abroad.  While there are the obvious kinds of traveling to increase chances of drowning, such as scuba or cave diving, white water rafting, or simply going to the beach and getting caught in a rip current, water is everywhere, waiting for you to slip into its final embrace.  Take for instance the innocuously named Bolton Strid, a seemingly small, easily crossable creek in Yorkshire, England. A place to dip a languid toe. But the Strid holds a dark secret — it is actually the River Wharfe, which is about 90 feet wide, and much much deeper.  In fact no one is quite sure how deep it is though it has been recorded at depths of at least 273 feet.  No one is quite sure how many have died here, and the local authorities aren’t too keen to release the grim statistics. (Travel tip: Avoid the friggin’ Bolton Strid.)

5  Air accidents, 336

Sometimes you have to wonder how they stay up there, but, you know, mostly they do

While films and news reports make flying seem like one of the most dangerous ways to travel, it is in fact the safest mode of transportation. However, that does not leave it without risks.  While we often hear of relatively rare commercial airliner crashes, the majority of tourists perish whilst onboard smaller private aircraft.

6  Terrorism, 335 

Man in Black Suit With White Mask

While dying in a terrorist attack is rare, cases do occur.  Of course, the chances are increased by traveling to warring parts of the world. But there are instances of terrorist groups specifically targeting areas with the most tourists and expats, as has happened, sickeningly, in the South of France, in Spain and London and elsewhere.  

7  Drug related, 273

20 Mg Label Blister Pack

Dying of drug related reasons while traveling often overlaps with murder, but even still this number may seem surprisingly low. However, this is due to the distinction made by the U.S. State department to separate things such as tainted drugs or overdoses from murders that may occur in the pursuit of drugs. Regardless, if a strange man in a foreign country offers you an unidentifiable substance, it’s probably best to avoid ingestion. And better not to even be there in the first place.

8  Natural Disaster, 164

Snowfall! But you don’t want to be caught in this one.Par Scientif38

Whether it is a tsunami or an avalanche turning your triple black diamond ski slope into a tomb, Mother Nature has no restraints when it comes to ruining your vacation. Mother Nature can be a bitch. 

9  Maritime accidents, 116

It’s the small crafts that’ll get you…

The subject of myths and legends, of beauty and peril, nothing quite compares to the reputation of the ocean.  Whether tales of the Titanic or the Costa Concordia, or a brave soul braving to sail around the globe, or someone simply falling overboard, the seas are the largest and most overwhelming part of the planet, and will claim lives so many ways, so capriciously. Given the power and unpredictability of the oceans, it’s a wonder that death at sea is only at number 9.

10  Miscellaneous 

People Walking on Road Near Trees at Daytime Photo

Hiking, rafting, caving, extreme sports. Honestly, a) life comes with risk and doing something adventurous is going to come with greater risk. But a life without risk is, well, pretty dull; and b) you could have done any of that at home. At least you got away.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *