List of people by number of countries visited

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This is a list of people by number of countries and territories 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 travelers who have visited one hundred or more territories of the world,[5] maintains its own official list of countries and territories, a total of 325 as of 1 January 2016,[6] which includes geographically separated areas, such as Hawaii and other areas of cultural interest. This list of people by countries visited does not prescribe one list as correct; rather, it lists the number of countries visited from any of these competing lists.

The Best Travelled[7] is considered to be the authoritative Reference for the 1281 world regions and for well travelled people. They hold a verification process[8] to check on people's claim and verify who have been to 193 countries. Their UN Master List[9] regroups all those travellers.

Definition of Visit[edit]

There are no official criteria of what constitutes a visit. It is generally agreed that transiting in an airport does not qualify as visiting a country, and that to visit a country a person must clear immigration and exit the airport or vessel terminal. Some countries do not stamp passports or issue visas.

Generally Accepted Criteria for Visiting a Country

  • Clearing immigration (where available)
  • Immigration arrival stamp in passport (where available)

Generally NOT Accepted Criteria for Visiting a Country

  • Transiting in an airport
  • Overflying airspace
  • Skirting a coastline in a boat or ship
  • Skirmishing across a border by foot, vehicle or otherwise without passing through immigration

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/ Territories visited Notes
Chris Guillebeau in sepia.jpg Chris Guillebeau 2002–April 2013 193 Chris Guillebeau writes books and travels. Over the past ten years he has visited every country in the world. Travelers' Century Club.[10]
Graham-Hughes 2.jpg Graham Hughes January 2009–December 2012 201 Guinness certified him for 193 UN member countries only. certified him for 192 UN member countries only. He successfully 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).
Sascha Grabow 1987–2016 202 Sascha Grabow is a Getty photographer and former ATP tennis player. He is the founder of the website Visited: 202 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Antarctica + Kosovo + Palestine + Western Sahara + Scotland + Wales + Northern Ireland).[11]
Anthony Asael 2005–2009 193 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.[12]
Gunnar Garfors 2000–2013 198 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).[13]
James Asquith 2008–2013 196 A British traveller who became the youngest person to visit every country in the world. James Asquith spent £125,000 to achieve his dream. Target: 196 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo).[14]
Albert Podell 1962–2012 196

Albert Podell, a former editor of Playboy magazine. (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo).[15]

Mike Spencer Bown 1990–2013 193 Canadian Adventurer
Kashi Samaddar 1995–2011 193 First person to have visited all countries on 27 May 2008 at Kosovo. Later visited South Sudan on 9 July 2011 on the Independence day of South Sudan and also certified as most travelled person & fastest to travel all Sovereign Countries.[16] Holder of four World records- certified by Guinness World records, World Records Academy, World Amazing Records, Asia book of Records, Limca Book of Records, India book of Records & Others.
John Bougen and
James Irving
28 August 2002 – 12 February 2003 191 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.[17][18]
JohannesPaul2-portrait.jpg Pope John Paul II 1978–2005 129 He was one of the most travelled world leaders in history, visiting 129 countries during his pontificate.
Queen Elizabeth II March 2015.jpg Queen Elizabeth II 1952–Present 120[19] The Queen has travelled the equivalent of 42 circumnavigations of the Earth, visiting 120 countries, according to royal historian Kate Williams
Hillary Clinton official Secretary of State portrait crop.jpg Hillary Clinton 2009-2013 112 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 traveled secretary of state in history.[20]
Shanaka Gooneratne 1987-Present 100
Michael Palin 1980–Present 96 As part of numerous travel documentaries.[21]
Matt Harding in Tokyo 1.JPG Matt Harding 2005–Present 93+ He has filmed several videos with his travels that have become quite popular.[22] See details in Where the Hell is Matt?
Cropped rte.JPG Recep Tayyip Erdoğan 2003–2014 93 Turkish Prime Minister has visited 93 countries during his time in office.[23]
Dumitru Dan.jpg Dumitru Dan 1910–1923 76 He crossed five continents over three oceans, through 76 countries and over 1,500 cities.

See also[edit]


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  10. ^ "Travel Lens: Chris Guillebeau’s World". 
  11. ^ "TBT UN Masters". 
  12. ^ "193 member countries: photographer Anthony Asael has been to all of them.". 
  13. ^ "This guy visited every country in the world before turning 40". 
  14. ^ "British traveller 24, spends £125,000 and five years visiting every country on earth". 
  15. ^ "How One Man Realized His Dream of Visiting Every Country". 
  16. ^ "The travel bug". The Financial Express. 1 February 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016. 
  17. ^ Guinness World Records - Most Sovereign Countries Visited in Six Months retrieved 9 February 2014
  18. ^ "Around the world in 169 days" retrieved 9 February 2014
  19. ^ "Queen's travel miles add up to 42 times round the globe". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-04-18. 
  20. ^ Landler, Mark (January 4, 2013). "Scare Adds to Fears That Clinton’s Work Has Taken Toll". The New York Times. Retrieved 7 February 2016. 
  21. ^ "Explorer Michael Palin hasn't lost hunger for travel as he visits Brazil for new series". 
  22. ^ Where the Hell is Matt? 2012 on YouTube
  23. ^


External links[edit]