Happy New Year from Starling Safety!
Please find below a travel safety calendar for the upcoming month, as well as travel tips, analysis and guidance to help keep you safe.
You can also register with our site for free and see country-specific analysis as well as travel tips left by other users. The more everyone contributes, the more we will all benefit from safer travels.
The year 2017 saw the defeat of Islamic State on the ground but the group has not been eradicated. Surviving members and sympathisers are now likely scattered in many parts of the Middle East, North Africa and the wider world, preparing to commit further terrorist attacks. The Starling Safety world terrorism map is displayed below. The threat posed by radical Islamist terrorism will not be contained until its warped ideology, which continues to inspire radicals, is undermined. This process could take years.
Political violence will continue to affect many parts of the world this month. The conflict in Yemen is likely to drag on far beyond January. Even if fighting somehow ceases, the humanitarian crisis could take years to address. Instability will also likely persist in places such as Myanmar, eastern Ukraine and northern Nigeria.
Time will tell whether the latest unrest in Iran will spread or be contained or pacified. Expect disruption and violence in cities around the country for the time being at least. Watch for rising anti-Kabila sentiments in the Democratic Republic of Congo as well. Public anger at leaders attempting to extend their rule will likely be seen in a number of countries around the world this year, from Latin America to East Asia.
Bangladesh will also hold the Bishwa Ijtema, the largest gathering of Muslims anywhere in the world. The prayer event brings together millions of worshippers from around the globe and can have an impact on local travel and accommodation availability.
Seasonal weather changes
In the northern hemisphere expect a continuation of cold, wintry weather with an impact on travel this month. In the southern hemisphere, expect summer conditions, including milder weather.
Popular travel destinations at this time of year include the Alps, Australia, Brazil, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, the Caribbean, Central America, east Africa (particularly Kenya and Tanzania), Florida, Hawaii, New Zealand, the Persian Gulf (particularly the UAE), South Africa as well as south and southeast Asia (everywhere from India to Vietnam).
The following countries and territories also mark notable weather changes this month:
Antarctica: the average temperatures are usually at their highest this month, just below freezing.
Falklands: the temperatures are usually slightly warmer than normal from now until February.
Guyana: the November-January rainy season comes to an end this month.
Panama: the rainy season that began in May ends this month (if it has not already ended).
Rwanda: the rainy season that began in November ends this month.
Seychelles: the rainy season that began in November ends this month.
Haiti: Ancestry Day
Worldwide: New Year’s Day holiday continues in many countries
Buddhism: Mahayana New Year
Burkina Faso: Revolution Day
Sikhism: Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday
Laos: Pathet Lao Day
Cambodia: Liberation Day
Christianity: Orthodox Christmas
Japan: Coming of Age Day
Benin: Traditional Religions Day
Christianity: Orthodox Christian New Year
United States: Martin Luther King Day
Bangladesh: Bishwa Ijtema (second segment, lasting until 21 January)
Brazil: Sao Paulo’s Foundation Day
Monaco: Saint Devote’s Day
We hope you have safe travels ahead.