These Are the World’s 25 Safest Cities

A photo of Tokyo's skyline.
A photo of Tokyo's skyline.
Torsakarin/iStock via Getty Images

When looking for a new place to visit or live abroad, there are many factors to consider. Nightlife, culture, and popularity are all important, but so are more practical matters—like safety. As AFAR reports, The Economist Intelligence Unit published its annual list [PDF] of the safest cities in the world after judging 60 cities across 57 metrics. Places from around the globe, including the U.S., make the cut, but Tokyo claims the top slot.

Japan's capital city earned a 92 on the EIU's 100-point scale. According to the study, it excels in areas like digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security, ranking within the top five places in all four categories. Tokyo also topped the Safest Cities Index released by the EIU in 2017 and 2018.

Based on the list, East Asia is home to many of the safest places on Earth. Singapore comes in second place, followed by Osaka in Japan. Seoul, South Korea, also shows up, tied with Copenhagen, Denmark, for the eighth spot. A few additional European cities appear in the top 25, including Amsterdam in the Netherlands and Stockholm, Sweden, as well as some American locations, like Washington, D.C., Chicago, and San Francisco.

Before planning your next international trip, or move, check out the full list of the 25 safest cities in the world. And to see if you can afford to travel there, read up on which of the world's cities are most expensive.

  1. Tokyo, Japan

  1. Singapore

  1. Osaka, Japan

  1. Amsterdam, the Netherlands

  1. Sydney, Australia

  1. Toronto, Canada

  1. Washington, D.C.

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark

  1. Seoul, South Korea

  1. Melbourne, Australia

  1. Chicago, Illinois

  1. Stockholm, Sweden

  1. San Francisco, California

  1. London, England

  1. New York, New York

  1. Frankfurt, Germany

  1. Los Angeles, California

  1. Wellington, New Zealand

  1. Zurich, Switzerland

  1. Hong Kong

  1. Dallas, Texas

  1. Taipei, Taiwan

  1. Paris, France

  1. Brussels, Belgium

  1. Madrid, Spain

[h/t AFAR]

When Should You Book Your Thanksgiving and Christmas Flights? Right Now!

zoff-photo/iStock via Getty Images
zoff-photo/iStock via Getty Images

For many people, paying for distressingly expensive airline tickets is just part of life when it comes to traveling for the holidays. And, while you might think you’ll get the best deal by checking fluctuating prices obsessively from today until the day before Thanksgiving, you’re probably better off booking your flights right now.

“Once you get within three or four months, the chance of something cheap popping up for Christmas or New Year’s is not very likely,” Scott Keyes, the founder of Scott’s Cheap Flights, told Travel + Leisure. “Certainly don’t wait until the last week or two because prices are going to be way higher.”

This is partially because airlines devise algorithms based on last year’s ticket sales and trends, and they know many travelers will fork over some serious cash rather than decide not to go home for the holidays—and there are always plenty of people who wait until the last minute to book their flights. In fact, so you know for next year, the absolute best time to book holiday travel is actually during the summer.

Scott Mayerowitz, the executive editorial director of The Points Guy, admits that it is possible to save a little money if you’re extremely diligent about following flight prices leading up to the holidays, but he thinks your mental health is worth much more than the pittance you might (or might not) save. “The heartache and headache of constantly searching for the best airfare can drive you insane,” he told Travel + Leisure. “Your time and sanity [are] worth something.”

If you’re not willing to throw in the towel just yet, you could always track the prices for a little while, and give yourself a hard deadline for booking your flights in a few weeks. Mayerowitz says buying your seats at least six weeks in advance—or earlier—is a good rule of thumb for holiday travel. That still leaves you several weeks to periodically scroll through flight listings and get a feel for what seems like a reasonable price.

To minimize your travel anxiety even further, try to fly one one of these dates, and check out eight other tips for a stress-free holiday trip.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

Welcome to Cool, California. Population: 2520

Alan Levine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Alan Levine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

It’s not hard to find U.S. towns with some pretty weird (and sometimes depressing) names, so we shouldn't be surprised that people have the option of settling in the tiny town of Cool, California.

Initially named Cave Valley, due to the limestone formations nearby, the town popped up around 1849 during the California Gold Rush. The population eventually grew to 4100 people.

It's unclear when the town went from Cave Valley to being Cool. One legend suggests that a beatnik named Todd Hausman bequeathed the name after passing through in the 1950s, but the veracity of that story is doubtful since the Cool Post Office was founded as early as 1885. According to Condé Nast Traveler, records show that a reverend named Peter Y. Cool came out to pan gold and settled in the town in 1850, possibly serving as the source of the change.

Whatever the origin of its name, the town of Cool has ample branding opportunities. There’s the Cool Grocery Store and the Cool Beerwerks brewery and restaurant, which specializes in Hawaiian-Japanese fusion cuisine. Cool has held the Way Too Cool 50K Endurance Run every year since 1990.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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