For many travelers, the warmth of the welcome they receive in a foreign country can make or break their trip. After all, who wants to travel halfway around the world only to be met with hostility? Feeling appreciated by the people of your destination can help you forget long flights, stomach complaints and all of the other horrors of journeying abroad.
But how to find friendly people? Enter a survey released by InterNations, a global network for people who live and work abroad. The organization polled its 20,259-person membership, hailing from more than 187 countries, to find out which countries are the most welcoming to expats — and, by extension, to travelers as well.
What’s most interesting about this list of the friendliest countries is how unexpected it is. Popular travel destinations like Italy (44th), France (51st) and the United Kingdom (55th) are nowhere near the top; instead, you’ll find quite a few hidden gems ideal for those seeking a warm welcome from the locals.