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]

Meet LiLou: The World's First Airport Therapy Pig

Kseniia Derzhavina/iStock via Getty Images
Kseniia Derzhavina/iStock via Getty Images

There's a new reason to get to the airport early—you might run into a therapy pig who's there to make your trip a little easier. As Reuters reports, LiLou the Juliana pig is a member of San Francisco International Airport's "Wag Brigade," a therapy animal program designed to ease stress and anxiety in travelers.

Aside from her snout and potbelly, LiLou can be recognized by her captain's hat and red "hoof" polish. She spends the day with guests who are happy to take a break from the pressures of traveling. She might comfort them by posing for a selfie, playing a song on her toy keyboard, or offering them a head to pet.

After bringing joy to people's day, LiLou goes home to her San Francisco apartment where she lives with her owner, Tatyana Danilova. In her free time, she goes on daily walks and snacks on organic vegetables. She even has her own Instagram account.

Airports around the world are embracing the benefits therapy animals can bring to customers. The Wag Brigade program at San Francisco includes a number of dogs, and earlier this year, the Aberdeen Airport in Scotland debuted its own "canine crew" of dogs trained to make travelers feel safe and happy. Therapy miniature horses have even been used at an airport in Kentucky. According to the San Francisco Airport, LiLiou is the world's first airport therapy pig.

To see LiLou turn on the charm, check out the video below.

[h/t Reuters]

The Most Popular Tourist Attractions in Each State

Hot air balloons drifting over the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Hot air balloons drifting over the Rio Grande River in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Greg Meland/iStock via Getty Images

In 2018, Americans took about 1.8 billion trips for leisure purposes alone, the U.S. Travel Association reports. But what types of attractions do they visit during those trips? Thanks to new data from Groupon and Viator, a TripAdvisor company, we now have the answer.

Map of the Northeast of the United States, showing a few of the most popular tourist attractions in that region
Groupon

Groupon mapped out each state’s most popular travel experience and classified them according to price, type, and region. Tourists in the northeast United States tend to gravitate toward what Groupon describes as “exploration and discovery” activities, like the Founding Fathers Tour of Philadelphia, Maine's Portland City and Lighthouse Tour, and the day trip from Boston to Martha’s Vineyard.

Map of the Midwest region of the United States, listing a few of the most popular tourist attractions in those states
Groupon

The Midwest is by far the cheapest place to vacation, with the cost of attractions in the region averaging about $48. Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and North Dakota are great states to visit if you’re looking for a top-ranked food tour, while South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Illinois offer plenty of educational tours and experiences (including a movie site tour for Field of Dreams fans).

Map of the Southern region of the United States, listing some of the most popular tourist attractions in that area
Groupon

Experiences in the South are fairly varied. Visitors have plenty of options, whether they’re looking for a historic tour of Asheville, North Carolina's Biltmore Estate (the largest privately owned house in the United States) or a day of thrills at Virginia’s Busch Gardens amusement park. Tourists in the South do seem to prefer watery activities, though—the region is popular for dinner cruises and dolphin watching.

Map of the Western region of the United States, listing some of the most popular tourist destinations in the area
Groupon

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the West is easily the most expensive region for visitors, averaging about $176 per attraction. Tourists in this region tend to gravitate toward experiences like helicopter tours and hot air balloon rides, all of which push the region toward the pricey end of the scale. Still, if you’re looking for astounding natural beauty, there are few places with more variety than the American West.

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