7 Foreign Laws You Might Not Know in Rights

Holidays are all about enjoying yourself, but it's important to be aware of the different laws abroad to avoid getting into trouble. Here are some of the laws that could get you into trouble.

Laws you might not know:

  • In some parts of Spain you can be fined for being in the street in your bikini or swimming shorts. Being bare-chested can also lead to a fine. And in Magaluf you cannot drink alcohol on the street between 10pm and 8am.
  • Concealing your face in public places in France or Belgium is illegal. This includes balaclavas, full veils or any other garment or mask that covers your face. You can be fined for this, even if you are a tourist.
  • In the cities of Venice and Florence, you may be fined if you drop litter. In Florence it is an offence to sit on steps/courtyards or to eat and drink outside the main churches and public buildings.
  • In Greece, indecent behaviour, including mooning, is not tolerated. The police can arrest you and you can be fined heavily and put in prison. Your travel insurance may not cover you if you have been drinking.
  • In Egypt, although homosexuality is not illegal, homosexual acts in public are illegal and there have been a number of arrests and jail time for those breaching Egyptian laws on public decency.
  • Australia has strict quarantine rules in order to keep out pests and diseases that could affect plant, animal and human health. All luggage is x-rayed on arrival. Your contaminated items can be confiscated and destroyed, and you could get a large fine.
  • And in America, laws are different in each state, so it would be a good idea to double check what the laws are in the ones you will be travelling in. Although be aware that jaywalking – not crossing the road at the designated area or when the light is red – can get you a fine.

General rules for holiday travels:

  • You must show some form of identification if asked by the police. In most cases, a photocopy of your passport should do, but you may be asked to produce the original document at a later point.
  • Travel advice for LGBT tourists
  • If you are visiting a mosque or a religious shrine you should dress modestly  – you can read our tips on how to cover up on holiday.
  • If in doubt, ask permission before taking any photographs.
  • It is an offence to import, sell, or in most places, possess any controlled substances (illegal drugs). You can be fined and be put in prison.
  • Find out how to be an ethical tourist