Traveling can lead to a great, relaxing time off of your everyday life. Whether you work in an office, a construction site, or as a stay at home mom; everybody loves a good vacation. But what if where you want to go isn’t exactly very easy to get to? We aren’t talking the Brazilian rainforest, or Mount Everest. We are talking about places that are hard to get to due to political tensions or wars. Before doing the research, you might not have even known that these countries were difficult to get to. Strap in, because we’re about to tell you about ten difficult places for Americans to go.

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11 10. Russia

Political tensions between Russia and America have been making it an issue for many Americans to get into the country. Even though the country is not impossible to get into, the application process is extremely lengthy. The application includes pages and pages of questions (dozens of them) as well as your past and present places of work, itineraries for your flights, and your complete travel history. Because of the fact that you have to present all of your itineraries for the trip, having your plane tickets purchased and booked is a must before even applying, which makes it especially worrying.

10 9. Cuba

Cuba is a great vacation spot; especially in recent years. However, if you plan on staying anywhere but a resort designated for tourists, it is very difficult to travel to Cuba as an American.

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When filling out the applications to travel to the beautiful island country, you must choose from 11 independent travel opportunities, some of which include visiting family, business reasons and more. Along with this, there are also regulations on spending money at military-owned organizations, which include hotels and many shops and stores.

9 8. North Korea

With so many rules, laws, and regulations for those who live in the country, traveling in and out of the area is extremely difficult, especially for Americans. Not to mention the fact that it can be dangerous. In 2016, a 21-year-old American named Otto Warmbier traveled as part of a tour. After being accused of stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel, he was imprisoned and sentenced 15 years of hard labor. During that time, he suffered a head trauma and was sent home (while in a coma) after a year of imprisonment. Not long after, he died from his injuries. People still aren’t completely sure what happened.

8 7. Iran

Like North Korea, Iran only accepts visitors if they are part of an organized tour group. Through certain organizations, or if you are traveling for business, it is possible to travel independently, but there is a very long application process.

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In order to do such a thing, you must receive an authorization code from the Iranian government, which usually happens only a few days before your trip, meaning that it can be a very stressful time. At one point, getting into the country was completely impossible for Americans; when President Donald Trump had his travel ban, Iran banned Americans as well.

7 6. Saudi Arabia

Even as a tourist, it is very difficult to get into Saudi Arabia; despite it being an ally of the United States and a great supplier of oil. It is so difficult, in fact, that some travel sites, including, recommend that you should simply apply as an English teacher in the area that you would like to go. That way you can travel independently and avoid any tricky travel applications you may run into otherwise.

6 5. India

Even though traveling to India isn’t exactly thought of as a difficult process, if you are American, it definitely can be. When trying to get a travel visa to go into India, it is extremely time-consuming; embassies request an application for a visa at least a month in advance and if you need it faster than that, it will cost you quite a bit of money.

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Sometimes the long process even delays trips and sets vacationers back a bit of money. What gets us is the fact that it’s usually hardest for Americans.

5 4. Sudan

The US Department of State (a branch of government that is in charge of the country’s relations with other countries) does not recommend going to Saudi Arabia all together, due to terrorism and violence. All visitors must register three days before their trip, to make sure that authorities and the US government are aware that they are going to leave the country and once they arrive in the country, they have 24 hours to register with the local police. Along with this, it is not uncommon for tourists to be detained by the local police until their documentation is verified.

4 3. Libya


Libya is another country that the US Department of State does not recommend going, despite the fact that it isn’t exactly prohibited. Even without the government advising your trip to Libya, the country is also very limited on operational international airports; even those are very fickle.

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The US embassies also state that they are not to blame for any visas that are denied, and they also refuse to help you with your trip. In fact, in 2014, all American embassies were closed down due to violence.

2 2. Angola

Going to Angola may not even be worth it, which is how a lot of people see it. The very long process begins with a request for a letter of invitation. Yes, a letter of invitation. Your request must be written in perfect Portuguese and can cost hundreds of dollars. It would be a smart idea to book your plane ticket and get your visa after you know you will be allowed to enter, however, the rules state that you must do all of this before you send out your request for a letter of invitation.

1 1. Central African Republic

The final country on our list is quite a doozy. The US, again, advises against any American going to this country, since there is a very high rate of intercommunal violence and a very poor security situation. It is due to this that there is a very small number of American embassies. There have been times when the country was completely off limits to any tourists due to these security and violence issues. Because of the severity of the situation, we aren’t sure we recommend it either!

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