When traveling abroad, it is respectful and appreciated to observe the customs of the country you are in. Have you ever come across some odd laws while traveling abroad? Here are several unexpected laws that may help you in your travels.
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 on St. Lucia
St. Lucia is a lush, tropical Caribbean island dramatic mountain landscapes. often called the “Hawaii of the Caribbean”. For your next visit, avoid packing any Camouflage. Wearing any camouflage on the island is in fact illegal.
Feeding Pigeons in Venice
For many years, it has been a tradition for tourists to turn themselves into human statues in St. Mark’s Square by holding out a handful of birdseed or breadcrumbs. That practice is now illegal. Those who violate the rule can be fined up to $700. The “residual” from the overfed pigeons is actually damaging the statues and building facades in the historical city. Personally, I am not too upset about this one.
No PDA in the United Arab Emirates
When traveling to UAE, avoid public displays of affection (kissing, hugging, or even holding hands), even in its main city of Dubai. Technically, it is also illegal for non-married couples to share a hotel room. A little harder to enforce, but a law, nonetheless!
Avoid Wearing Stiletto Heels in Greece or Rome
In order to preserve the ancient Greek or Roman sites, the governments have banned shoes that could do damage to the ancient monuments including the Acropolis (Parthenon) in Athens and the Colosseum and Forum in Rome. If you show up in heels, you may have to remove your shoes and tour barefoot. So, be sure to pack a pair of flats you love!
Please Keep Your Top on in Fiji
Fiji is a beautiful tropical paradise where sunbathing and swimming are part of daily life, but if you are looking to go topless or nude, you may want to consider a different destination. In Fiji, topless or nude sunbathing is not allowed in public. When away from your resort, please respect the locals by wearing skirts or shorts that cover your knees and women should also cover their shoulders. I often carried a sarong with me in case I needed additional cover up.
When traveling abroad, be sure to familiarize yourself with some of these odd laws and be respectful of the local culture and traditions. A good travel advisor will often help by providing many travel tips prior to travel, including ones like these.