Updated: Nov 18, 2019
OK...so you think you already know the basics for staying out of trouble when traveling abroad, right? Observing the customs of the country or countries you are visiting is courteous and appreciated, but did you know that there are some “unexpected” laws in several countries that could impact your wallet...or worse? Here are several of the craziest and most unexpected laws you could ever think of....you might thank me later!
Not Flushing a Public Toilet in Singapore
Singapore likes to keep its street and facilities clean. Neglecting to flush could cost you $500! Littering could cost up to $1000 and being caught chewing bubble gum can hit you for $600! While the only penalty is a stiff fine, it’s probably a good idea to respect the city’s wishes and keep that gum at home...and remember to flush!
Wearing Camouflage in St.Lucia
St. Lucia is a gorgeous Caribbean island, often called the “Hawaii of the Caribbean” because of its lush tropical greenery and dramatic mountain landscapes. But, did you know it is illegal to wear any form of clothing with Camouflage on it? The same is true in other Caribbean locations. To be safe just leave the camo at home..
Wearing stiletto heels in Greece or Rome
Okay, it’s not illegal everywhere, but if you show up to an ancient Greek or Roman site in high heels, you may have to remove your shoes and tour barefoot. In order to preserve the sites, the governments have banned shoes that could do damage to the ancient monuments. That includes the Acropolis (Parthenon) in Athens and the Colosseum and Forum in Rome.
No PDA in the United Arab Emirates!
Public displays of affection (kissing, hugging, or even holding hands) should be avoided while traveling in the UAE...even it’s main city of Dubai. Tourists have been arrested and thrown in jail for kissing in public. And, did you know that it is technically illegal for non-married couples to share a hotel room? A little harder to enforce, but a law, nonetheless!
Keep your top on in Fiji!
Fiji is a beautiful tropical paradise where sunbathing and swimming are part of daily life, but don’t get caught with your top (or pants) down...Fiji is an extremely conservative and Christian nation and public nudity and topless swimming or sunbathing are illegal. So stay covered up to stay out of jail.
So, be sure to familiarize yourself with some of these strange and baffling laws before you travel...A good travel professional can help you navigate the process. But you still want to make sure you know before you go. I appreciate my customers greatly, but I really don’t plan to add “arranging bail” to my list of services!