List of people by number of countries visited
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, yet there is great debate as to what is the definitive number which forms the yardstick. The most commonly agreed base number is the Member States of the United Nations, which lists 193 countries. 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. 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, and there are also Observer States such as Vatican City. Additionally, there are various Dependencies and Territories which maintain their own autonomy, 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), and lists 249 countries. Ultimately, the Travelers' Century Club whose membership is limited to those travelers who have visited one hundred or more territories of the world, maintains its own official list of countries and territories, a total of 324 as of 1 January 2014, which includes geographically separated areas, such as Hawaii and other areas of cultural interest. This list of people by countries visited does not prescribe the correct list to refer to, rather, it lists the quantity of countries visited from any of these competing lists.
Definition of Visit
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
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 cities in the former USSR, they could count the new independent states of Ukraine, as well as Russia, but not Estonia.
|Chris Guillebeau||2002 - April 2013||318||Chris Guillebeau writes books and travels. Over the past ten years he has visited every country in the world. Target: 324 Travelers' Century Club.|
|David Stanley||December 1965 - Present||236||A Canadian guidebook writer (Lonely Planet and Moon Handbooks) who has visited every UN member country except Chad, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. In addition, he has been to 46 dependencies and territories including all of those mentioned on this page.|
|Graham Hughes||January 2009 - December 2012||201||Guinness certified him for 193 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).|
|Gunnar Garfors||? - 2013||198||Gunnar decided to make it his mission to travel to every single country in the world — 198, to be exact. He accomplished his goal on May 8, 2013, earning him the title of the youngest person to travel to every country. He was 37 years old. Target: 198 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo + Palestine + Western Sahara).|
|James Asquith||2008 - 2013||196||A British traveller who became the youngest person to visit every country in the world. James Asquith spent a whopping £125,000 to achieve his dream. Target: 196 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo).|
|Daniel Kahleyss||1981 - 2013||196||An aviation blogger who travels to fly classic, rare and unusual aircraft - as a passenger - all over the world. He visited all 196 countries recognised as such by his native Germany (193 UN members + Vatican City, Kosovo and Cook Islands) by 2013 at age 34. He is possibly the only person to visit all said countries by using air transportation, except the Vatican, whose sole heliport is not open to public use.|
|Albert Podell||1962 - 2012||196||
Albert Podell, a former editor of Playboy magazine, did what all of us fantasize about but very few achieve: He traveled to all 196 countries on Earth. On the way he was chased by water buffalo, broke a few bones, ate weird foods, and was arrested, robbed, and almost lynched. Target: 196 (193 UN members + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo).
|Mike Spencer Bown||1990 - 2013||195||Canadian adventurer, world's most travelled man|
|Kashi Samaddar||1995 - 2011||195||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. 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.|
|Sascha Grabow||1971 - Present||195||A German Adventurer & Ex-Tennis-Pro who has visited 190 UN member states + Taiwan + Vatican City + Kosovo + Palestine + Western Sahara to date, specialising on overland trips across all six inhabited continents while in 2010 also setting foot onto Antarctica.|
|John Bougen and
|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.|
|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||1926 - Present||116||As part of numerous state visits with a significant number aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.|
|Michael Palin||1980 - Present||96||As part of numerous travel documentaries.|
|Recep Tayyip Erdoğan||2003 - 2014||93||Turkish Prime Minister has visited 93 countries during his time in the office.|
|Matt Harding||2005 - Present||80+||He has filmed several videos with his travels and have good hits. See details in Where the Hell is Matt?|
|Dumitru Dan||1910 - 1923||76||He crossed five continents over three oceans, through 76 countries and over 1,500 cities, wearing out 497 pairs of shoes.|
|Harry Lee McGinnis||1992 - March 2008||66||66 countries.|
|Dr Tim Killeen||1993 - Present||63||British adventurer has visited 63 countries to date including overland trips across North America and Eurasia and circumnavigating the globe westwards without flying 2010-2012.|
|Ibn Battuta||1325 - 1353||around 40||Moroccan adventurer and writer. Wrote about his travels extensively in the Rihla. One of the most well traveled people before the invention of the steam engine.|
- List of sovereign states
- List of pedestrian circumnavigators
- ISO 3166
- Dependent Territory
- Travelers' Century Club
- "Travel Lens: Chris Guillebeau’s World".
- "This guy visited every country in the world before turning 40".
- "British traveller 24, spends £125,000 and five years visiting every country on earth".
- "How One Man Realized His Dream of Visiting Every Country".
- Guinness World Records - Most Sovereign Countries Visited in Six Months retrieved 9 February 2014
- "Around the world in 169 days" retrieved 9 February 2014
- "60 facts about The Queen". The Royal Household. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
- "Explorer Michael Palin hasn't lost hunger for travel as he visits Brazil for new series".
- Where the Hell is Matt? 2012 on YouTube
- "American walker goes round the world at 80 years". Reuters. 17 April 2008. Retrieved 2013-10-15.