List of people by number of countries visited

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This is a list of people by number of countries visited.

There are a number of people claiming to have visited every country in the world, though there is great debate as to how many countries there are in the world. The most commonly agreed base number is the number of United Nations member states,[1] of which there are 193. According to the United Nations, "The recognition of a new State or Government is an act that only other States and Governments may grant or withhold."[2] As a result, the membership of some countries to the United Nations is blocked by one or more other members, such as Taiwan and Kosovo,[3] and there are also two observer states, the Holy See and the State of Palestine.

Additionally, there are various dependencies and territories that maintain autonomy, their own government, immigration, and/or print their own currency, and can be widely held as de facto countries by travellers. ISO 3166 is maintained by ISO as an updated list of the aforementioned derived from United Nations sources (Terminology Bulletin Country Names and the Country and Region Codes for Statistical Use maintained by the United Nations Statistics Divisions),[4] and lists 249 countries.

The Travelers' Century Club, whose membership is limited to those travellers who have visited one hundred or more territories of the world,[5] maintains its own official list of countries and territories, a total of 327 as of January 1, 2018,[6] which includes geographically separated areas, such as Hawaii and other areas of cultural interest. The Best Travelled is an on-line travel club with personal rankings[7] which divides the world into 1,281 regions, and has a verification process to check on travellers' claims.

Definition of visit[edit]

There are no official criteria of what constitutes a visit. The Travelers' Century Club considers even the shortest stops, including port-of-call or a plane fuel stops, valid visits.[8] However, most seasoned travellers advocate that transiting in an airport does not qualify as visiting a country, for example, on a question posed on TravelBlog, "How do you count the countries you have been in?",[9] 91% of the respondents who expressed an opinion on this common question stated that to visit a country a person must clear immigration and exit the airport.

Some travellers propose that actions such as staying one night in a hotel, or buying a meal, are essential, yet others note that countries and territories such as the Vatican City or Antarctica do not have hotels or restaurants. Based on the opinions on traveller's blogs it is wise to focus on a core set of criteria where there is agreement by the majority as follows:

Generally Accepted Criteria for Visiting a Country

  • Clearing immigration (where available) and exiting the airport or vessel terminal
  • Immigration arrival stamp in passport (where available)

Generally NOT Accepted Criteria for Visiting a Country

  • Transiting in an airport or seaport
  • Overflying airspace
  • Skirting a coastline in a boat or ship
  • Skirmishing across a border without passing through immigration (where available)

Handling of former states[edit]

Where a country splits into independent states, such as the USSR, then travellers CAN count the new states if they had formerly travelled in them, but NOT count states they had not physically visited prior to disintegration. For example, if a traveller had visited Kiev and Moscow in the former USSR, they could count the new independent states of Ukraine and Russia, but not Armenia.


Person Date Countries visited Citizenship Notes
Benny Prasad 2004-2010 194+ Indian Benny Prasad traveled to over 194 sovereign countries and 51 dependent countries (including Antarctica) in 6 years, 6 months and 22 days (from 1 May 2004 to 22 November 2010). He has the fastest time for visiting all 257 countries in the world.[10]
Sascha Grabow algeria 2015.jpg Sascha Grabow 1987–2016 207 German Sascha Grabow is a Getty photographer and former ATP tennis player. He is the founder of the website His final country was Somalia where he arrived on 2 June 2016. Visited: 207 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Antarctica + Gagauzia + Kosovo + Northern Cyprus + Palestine + Transnistria + Western Sahara + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland + South Ossetia + Abkhazia).[11][12] He has visited 304 TCC countries.[13]
Artemy Lebedev in Krasnoyarsk.jpg Artemy Lebedev 1987–2015 202 Russian First person in Russia (even more precisely - among all the inhabitants of the former USSR and Eastern Europe) to visit every country in the world. His final country was Saudi Arabia (17 September 2015), where he was trying to get for five years. Visited: 202 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Antarctica + Kosovo + Palestine + Western Sahara + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland).[14] He has visited 292 TCC countries.[13]
Albert Podell 1962–2018 202 American

Albert Podell, a former editor of Playboy magazine. (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland + [Somaliland] + Palestine + Transnistria).[15] and Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth by Albert Podell.

Sal Lavallo Sal Lavallo 2004-2017 196 American Visited every country in the world by age of 27. [16]
Graham-Hughes 2.jpg Graham Hughes January 2009–December 2012 201 British Guinness certified him for 193 UN member countries, while certified him for 192 UN member countries only, for merely stepping over the DMZ (Korea). He visited all Countries without using any aircraft and the first person to do so. Target: 193. Visited: 201 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo + Palestine + Western Sahara + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland).[citation needed]
Gunnargarfors.jpg Gunnar Garfors 2000–2013 198 Norwegian Gunnar decided to make it his mission to travel to every single country in the world. He accomplished his goal on May 8, 2013, earning him the title of the youngest person to travel to every country, while maintaining a full-time job. He was 37 years old. (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo + Palestine + Western Sahara).[17]
Johnny Ward.jpg Johnny Ward 2006–2017 197 Irish Ward is an Irish entrepreneur and travel blogger who has visited every country in the course of his blogging efforts.[18][19][20][21]
James Asquith 2008–2013 196 British A British traveller who is the official Guinness World Record holder for being the youngest person to visit every country in the world. Target: 196 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo).[22]
Cassandra DePecol 2015–2017 196 American She visited 196 sovereign countries from July 24, 2015, to February 2, 2017; she thus obtained the Guinness World Record for "Fastest Person (Female) to Travel to All Sovereign Nations".[23]
AudreyWalsworthWakeIsland2009.jpg Audrey Walsworth 1969–2013 193 American Walsworth has visited all 193 United Nations member states, including all 324 territories listed by the Travelers' Century Club (an organization for the world’s most widely travelled people), which counts separately regions that are geographically, politically, or ethnologically removed from their parent country.[24] She is one of only 24 people who have completed the Travelers' Century Club list according to their official history.[25]
Chris Guillebeau in sepia.jpg Chris Guillebeau 2002–April 2013 193 American Chris Guillebeau writes books and travels. Over the past ten years he has visited every country in the world.[26]
Anthony Asael 2005–2009 193 Belgian Anthony Asael is an international photographer who works for the Corbis/Getty agency. He is also the founder of the not-for-profit organization Art in All of Us. He photographed and organised creative programs in schools in each of the 193 UN countries.[27]
Mike Spencer Bown 1990–2013 193 Canadian Canadian Adventurer[28]
John Bougen and
James Irving
28 August 2002 – 12 February 2003 191 New Zealander Two New Zealanders who attempted to visit all the world's sovereign countries in existence at the time in six months, raising money for charity. They visited all but two countries: Afghanistan and São Tomé and Príncipe.[29][30]
Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh 1939–2017 143 British Prince Philip accompanied Her Majesty The Queen around the world, on Commonwealth tours, state visits and trips across the UK. That globetrotting has seen him visit 143 countries in an official capacity in the decades that followed [31]
JohannesPaul2-portrait.jpg Pope John Paul II 1978–2005 129 Polish, Vatican In his 26 years of travel, the Pope John Paul II made 104 pastoral trips outside Italy. In all, he visited 129 countries.[32]
Queen Elizabeth II in March 2015.jpg Queen Elizabeth II 1952–present 120 British The Queen has travelled the equivalent of 42 circumnavigations of the Earth, visiting 120 countries, according to royal historian Kate Williams[33]
Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg Hillary Clinton 2009–2013 112 American During her tenure as the US Secretary of state, she visited 112 countries covering a total of 956,733 air miles making her the most widely travelled secretary of state in history.[34]
Simon Reeve DSC01134 2.JPG Simon Reeve (British TV presenter) 2002–present 110 British TV presenter who has travelled to more than 110 countries making series for the BBC.[35]
Michael Palin (2).jpg Michael Palin 1980–present 96 British As part of numerous travel documentaries.[36]
Matt Harding in Tokyo 1.JPG Matt Harding 2003–present 93+ American He has filmed several videos with his travels that have become quite popular.[37] See details in Where the Hell is Matt?
Cropped rte.JPG Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 2003–present 93 Turkish Erdogan visited 93 countries during his time as prime-minister and president. (Including: Vatican City + Kosovo + Palestine + Wales + Monaco)[38][39]
Richard Birrer 1976–2015 193 American Claims visits to 203 countries (193 UN members + Antarctica + Vatican City + Greenland + Taiwan + Wales + Scotland + Northern Ireland + Kosovo + Palestine + Western Sahara) and climbed all 7 continental summits.[40][41][42][43]
Dumitru Dan.jpg Dumitru Dan 1910–1923 76 Romanian He crossed five continents over three oceans, through 76 countries and over 1,500 cities.

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "United Nations member States - Non-member state maintaining observer mission". 13 June 2010.
  3. ^ "Kosovo". Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  4. ^ "3166 - Country codes". ISO. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  5. ^ "About the TCC | The Travelers' Century Club". Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  6. ^ "Countries & Territories - The Travelers' Century Club".
  7. ^ "Best Travelled People - Best Travel Forum". The Best Travelled. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  8. ^ "Countries & Territories". Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  9. ^ "How do you count the countries you have been in?". Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  10. ^ Samuel, Dibin (10 January 2011). "Benny Prasad sets world record globetrotting for Christ". Christian Today India. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  11. ^ "Interview with Sascha Grabow & other Extreme Travelers". Spiegel Magazine International Edition (in German). April 15, 2011.
  12. ^ "Sascha Grabow: around the world in 29 years". LonelyPlanet. May 15, 2015.
  13. ^ a b
  14. ^ "Посетить все страны мира - угу: tema". 2015-09-17. Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  15. ^ "How One Man Realized His Dream of Visiting Every Country".
  16. ^ Cheslaw, Louis. "193 Countries 193 Questions". Conde Nast Traveler. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  17. ^ "This guy visited every country in the world before turning 40".
  18. ^ Meltzer, Hannah (16 March 2017). "From Ireland to Yemen and South Sudan: Meet the Man Who's Just Visited All 197 Countries in the World". The Independent. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  19. ^ Meltzer, Hannah (29 March 2017). "This man has visited every country on Earth and made $1m – and you can do it too". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  20. ^ Rizzo, Cailey (29 March 2017). "How One Man Became a Millionaire While Visiting Every Country in the World". Travel + Leisure. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  21. ^ Lakritz, Talia (31 March 2017). "This 33-year-old traveled to every country in the world and made $1.5 million doing it". Business Insider. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  22. ^ "Youngest person to travel to all sovereign countries (overall)".
  23. ^ McNulty, Rose. "How Cassandra De Pecol became the first woman to travel every country on the planet—and stayed insanely fit". Retrieved 2017-02-14.
  24. ^ "Trailblazing Woman Visits Every Country in the World (Promoted)".
  25. ^ "TCC History - The Travelers' Century Club".
  26. ^ "Travel Lens: Chris Guillebeau's World".
  27. ^ "193 member countries: photographer Anthony Asael has been to all of them".
  28. ^ "Confessions of a Travel Addict: Mike Spencer Bown (World's Most Traveled Man)". Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  29. ^ Guinness World Records - Most Sovereign Countries Visited in Six Months retrieved 9 February 2014
  30. ^ "Around the world in 169 days" retrieved 9 February 2014
  31. ^ "Prince Philip: A duty to Queen and country". BBC News. 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2017-05-31.
  32. ^ "The traveling Pope: 104 international trips to 129 countries". Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  33. ^ "Queen's travel miles add up to 42 times round the globe". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-10-30.
  34. ^ Landler, Mark (January 4, 2013). "Scare Adds to Fears That Clinton's Work Has Taken Toll". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  35. ^ "Australia with Simon Reeve - Simon Reeve - BBC Two". BBC. Retrieved 2017-10-29.
  36. ^ "Explorer Michael Palin hasn't lost hunger for travel as he visits Brazil for new series".
  37. ^ Where the Hell is Matt? 2012 on YouTube
  38. ^ "T.C. CUMHURBAŞKANLIĞI : Yurt Dışı Ziyaretler". Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  39. ^ "T.C. Başbakanlık Kamu Diplomasisi Koordinatörlüğü". Retrieved 2017-01-28.
  40. ^ Birrer, Richard (24 May 2018). "My Travel Record". Most Traveled People. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  41. ^ Birrer, Richard (Spring 2017). "Doc Engineers Global Odyssey from Saudi Base". Al-Ayyam Al-Jamilah: 20–23 – via Aramco Services Co. Houston TX.
  42. ^ Kutt Nahas, Donna (23 April 2018). "Man to Match Mountains". Newsday. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  43. ^ Birrer, Richard (2015-03-03). "The Best Traveled, Member, UN Verified". Best Traveled #37. Retrieved 2015-03-03.