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Is Marshall Islands Safe?

Marshall Islands is generally safe for tourists, with low crime rates. However, be cautious of petty theft and avoid isolated areas at night. The country is prone to tropical cyclones and tsunamis, so monitor weather advisories. Medical facilities are limited, so ensure adequate travel insurance. Respecting local customs and modest dress is advised, especially in outer islands.

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Safety & Security

Marshall Islands is generally considered a safe travel destination, with low levels of crime and civil unrest. However, travelers should exercise caution and take necessary precautions.

  • Petty Crime: While violent crime is rare, petty crimes such as theft and pickpocketing can occur, especially in crowded areas or tourist hotspots. Remain vigilant and secure your valuables.

  • Scams: Be wary of scams targeting tourists, such as overcharging for goods or services, or individuals offering unsolicited assistance or tours.

  • Civil Unrest: Although infrequent, political demonstrations or civil unrest can occur. Monitor local news and avoid large gatherings or protests.

  • Disputes: Disputes between locals or involving tourists, while uncommon, can escalate quickly. Avoid confrontations and seek assistance from local authorities if necessary.

  • Terrorism: The risk of terrorism in Marshall Islands is low, but travelers should remain vigilant and follow the advice of local authorities.

It's advisable to exercise common sense, be aware of your surroundings, and respect local laws and customs to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip to Marshall Islands.

Health & Medical

Travelers to Marshall Islands should be aware of potential health risks and take necessary precautions. The country has a high prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases like dengue fever and chikungunya. Ensure you use insect repellents and cover up when outdoors.

  • Vaccinations: Routine vaccinations like measles, hepatitis A, and typhoid are recommended. Yellow fever vaccination may be required if traveling from an infected area.

  • Medical Facilities: Healthcare facilities are limited, especially on outer islands. Serious medical conditions may require evacuation to the United States or other countries. Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance.

  • Water and Food Safety: Avoid tap water and only consume bottled or purified water. Be cautious with street food and ensure proper hygiene when handling food.

  • Tropical Diseases: Diseases like leptospirosis, zika virus, and lymphatic filariasis are present. Take precautions against insect bites and practice safe sex.

  • Air Pollution: Air quality can be poor due to vehicle emissions and burning of solid waste. Those with respiratory conditions should take necessary precautions.

Natural Disasters

The Marshall Islands, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, faces several natural disaster risks that travelers should be aware of. The country's low-lying atolls make it particularly vulnerable to sea level rise and coastal flooding caused by climate change and extreme weather events.

  • Tropical Cyclones: The Marshall Islands lies in the Pacific cyclone belt, making it susceptible to powerful tropical storms and hurricanes during the cyclone season from June to November. These storms can bring destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and storm surges.

  • Droughts: Prolonged periods of drought are common in the Marshall Islands, leading to water shortages and impacting agriculture and food security.

  • Tsunamis: Due to its location in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Marshall Islands is at risk of tsunamis triggered by earthquakes or underwater volcanic activity.

While the risk of natural disasters cannot be eliminated, the Marshallese government and local communities have implemented disaster preparedness measures and early warning systems to mitigate potential impacts. Travelers are advised to stay informed about weather conditions, follow instructions from local authorities, and consider travel insurance that covers natural disasters.


Transportation in Marshall Islands can be challenging for travelers. While there are some paved roads on the major islands, many outer islands have only unpaved roads or no roads at all. Public transportation options are limited, with buses and taxis available only on a few islands.

  • Domestic Air Travel is often the most reliable way to travel between the atolls and islands. However, flights can be infrequent and subject to delays or cancellations due to weather conditions.
  • Boat Transportation is also common, but safety standards may not meet international norms. Travelers should exercise caution when using local boats or ferries, especially during rough seas or storms.
  • Rental Cars are available on some islands, but the quality and availability of vehicles can vary. Roads are often narrow and poorly maintained, so defensive driving is essential.

It's advisable for travelers to plan their transportation carefully, allow for flexibility in their schedules, and prioritize safety over convenience when exploring the Marshall Islands.

Cultural Norms

The Marshall Islands is a nation with a rich cultural heritage deeply rooted in traditional Marshallese customs and values. As a visitor, it's essential to respect and appreciate the local culture to ensure a rewarding and harmonious experience.

  • Dress Code: While casual attire is generally acceptable, it's advisable to dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or attending cultural events. Revealing clothing should be avoided.

  • Greetings: Marshallese people place great importance on respectful greetings. A simple nod or a friendly "Iokwe" (hello) is appreciated when encountering locals.

  • Hospitality: The Marshallese are known for their warm hospitality and generosity. Accepting invitations to share a meal or attend a cultural event is considered a sign of respect and gratitude.

  • Traditions: Observe and respect local traditions, such as removing shoes before entering homes or avoiding public displays of affection. Attending cultural events like traditional dances or handicraft demonstrations can provide valuable insights into the Marshallese way of life.

  • Environmental Awareness: The Marshallese have a deep connection with their natural environment. Visitors should be mindful of their impact and follow guidelines for responsible tourism, such as avoiding littering and respecting marine life.

By embracing and respecting the Marshallese culture, travelers can foster meaningful connections and create lasting memories during their visit to these beautiful islands.

Emergency Services

Emergency services in the Marshall Islands are limited, especially for tourists visiting the outer atolls and islands. While basic medical facilities are available on the main islands, their capabilities are often constrained by a lack of resources and personnel.

  • Medical Evacuation: Travelers with serious medical emergencies may require evacuation to facilities in Hawaii, Guam, or other countries with advanced medical care. This can be costly and time-consuming, underscoring the importance of comprehensive travel insurance.

  • Police and Fire Services: Police and fire services are present on the larger islands, but their response times and capabilities may be limited, especially in remote areas. Travelers should exercise caution and prioritize personal safety.

  • U.S. Embassy Assistance: The U.S. Embassy in Majuro can provide assistance to American citizens in case of emergencies, including coordinating medical evacuations and liaising with local authorities. However, their resources are also limited.

  • Private Services: Some resorts and tour operators may offer emergency assistance or have arrangements with local medical facilities. Travelers should inquire about these services and their scope before embarking on their trip.

It's crucial for visitors to the Marshall Islands to have comprehensive travel insurance, carry emergency contact information, and be prepared for potential delays or limitations in accessing emergency services, especially when venturing beyond the main islands.

Frequently Asked Questions

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Is Marshall Islands safe for tourists?

The Marshall Islands is generally safe for tourists. However, visitors should exercise caution, especially at night, and avoid isolated areas. Petty crimes like theft can occur. It's advisable to secure valuables and be aware of your surroundings.

Is Marshall Islands safe for solo female travelers?

The Marshall Islands is relatively safe for solo female travelers. However, it's recommended to dress modestly, avoid isolated areas, and exercise caution, especially at night. Respecting local customs and cultural norms is important.

Is Marshall Islands safe for families?

The Marshall Islands can be safe for families with children. However, parents should take precautions regarding sun exposure, water safety, and access to medical care. Exploring the islands' natural beauty and cultural experiences can be enriching for families.

Is Marshall Islands LGBTQ+ friendly?

The Marshall Islands has limited legal protections for the LGBTQ+ community. Same-sex relationships are not legally recognized, and societal attitudes can be conservative. LGBTQ+ travelers should exercise discretion and respect local norms.

Do you need a visa to go to Marshall Islands?

Visitors from most countries do not require a visa for stays up to 90 days in the Marshall Islands. However, a valid passport is mandatory for entry. It's advisable to check specific visa requirements based on your nationality and intended length of stay.

Can you drink tap water in Marshall Islands?

Tap water is generally not safe to drink in the Marshall Islands. Visitors are advised to drink bottled or purified water to avoid potential health risks from contamination.

What is the currency in Marshall Islands?

The US dollar (USD) is the official currency in the Marshall Islands. Credit cards are accepted in major establishments, but cash may be necessary for smaller transactions.

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