strange laws abroad

The Strangest Laws Abroad That Could Land You In Deep Water

11 October 2018

Travel Information

There’s no doubt that we all love to holiday, but did you know you could be falling foul of local laws next time you step onto foreign soil?

Laws and customs are different wherever we travel, but sometimes, the most unexpected, seemingly innocent items, or actions could get you into the kind of deep water you didn’t bank on as part of your holiday adventure!

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) recently launched a campaign to encourage travellers to check the local laws and customs of their destination before they travel.

Before you venture on your next break, check out these surprising laws to avoid a globetrotting faux pas, or worse still, a massive fine, or imprisonment.

Did you know…

1. Taking gum into Singapore is illegal. What’s more, selling it there could get you a fine of up to $100,000.

Chewing gum

2. Benylin cough syrup isn’t permitted through customs in Zambia.

3. Enjoy a tipple while relaxing on your holiday? Be extra careful if travelling to the US. You could get arrested while in public, even if you just look intoxicated! Public intoxication is a misdemeanour in most states, but in Texas, you could be fined up to $500.

4. Eating a sandwich or having a drink while chilling on church steps or courtyards in Florence is an offence. So saves the snacks until after you’ve mooched around the iconic Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral.


5. Don’t even think about a kiss or cuddle in public while in the UAE as public displays of affection could lead to arrest and imprisonment.

6. If you’ve opted for a holiday-let in Switzerland, beware that flushing the toilet after 10pm in an apartment building is illegal - thanks to their noise pollution laws.

7. You can only dance in Japan after midnight if the lights are on! This law links back to days when dance halls were sometimes locations for prostitution. Strut-your-stuff into the early hours – but make sure you keep the lights up!


8. Sitting on the pavement in many US cities is an offence. So don’t be tempted to take a rest if you’ve been waiting too long for a bus in California, Virginia and many other popular holiday spots.

9. Medication we innocently purchase over the counter at home is against stringent anti-stimulant laws in Japan, including decongestants Sudafed and Vicks. Many other countries ban medication that we use at home without a prescription, so check before you travel with medication abroad.

Wherever you go on your next adventure, visit the FCO website www.gov.uk/travelaware for up to date information on what your location has in store for you. Also remember to buy reliable travel insurance before you travel. Globelink can get you covered up to age 89, with free Cruise cover, over 100 Adventure Activities covered as standard and 50 Pre-Existing Medical Conditions covered as standard.

Read also: Don’t Bring These Items on Your Trip When Travelling.

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