So you’re ready for your trip. Your luggage is bursting with stuff like snacks, prescriptions, medicines, warm clothes, an umbrella, sneakers for sightseeing, and a fancy camera for snapping photos. However, you shouldn’t forget to know more about the place you’re visiting. Here are some international laws you should know before you travel.
Feeding pigeons is illegal in San Francisco
- Feeding promotes overbreeding.
- Pigeons lose their ability to scavenge on their own.
- The large population of pigeons is considered a health hazard.
Smoking, chewing gum and spitting is illegal in Singapore
Singapore is renowned for its cleanliness, thanks to its strict laws on smoking, chewing gum and spitting. So when you’re in the city-state, see to it that you don’t do any of these acts in public (although there are designated spit cans), or you’ll be smacked with a hefty fine.
Sinus medications are banned in Japan
Don’t bring your sinus or allergy medications in Japan—they’re illegal there. Any products that contain codeine (e.g. cough syrups, opioid) or pseudoephedrine (e.g. Vicks inhalers, Actifed) is prohibited. If you’re carrying over-the-counter medicines with you, only a couple months’ worth can be brought in, as long as they’re allowed. Take note that some prescription meds are illegal, even with a customs declaration.
Don’t bring a bible to Maldives
Practice of any religion other than Islam is against the law in Maldives. While you’re in the country, see to it that you don’t bring a bible or crucifix with you; doing so can get you prosecuted.
Driving with a breathalyser is required in France
Whether you’re a local or tourist, you’re required to bring at least a couple of single-use breathalysers in your car when driving around France. If you get caught driving without it, you‘ll have to pay a fine of 11 Euros then and there. This law is intended to curb the number of drunken driving accidents in the country. As part of its effort, France has also increased the penalties for driving under the influence.
Taking photos in airports is forbidden in Kazakhstan
If you’re on a trip to Kazakhstan, make sure you don’t take any photos at the airport or any military establishments and official buildings—it’s against the law. While there are signs that indicate these bans, avoid snapping pictures near such places even when there aren’t any notices around.
Wearing high heels at ancient landmarks is forbidden in Greece
You shouldn’t wear high heels or any spiked shoes when visiting ancient landmarks in Greece. Apparently, this is because landmarks like the Acropolis have been damaged by tourists. Then again, walking long distances with spiked heels isn’t such a good idea in the first place.
Snacking near public buildings is prohibited in Italy
It’s not allowed to eat and/or drink on the steps or courtyards of public buildings and churches in Florence. Snack there and you’ll get fined. If you must eat, do it on the expensive tables, where you must spend for your food.
PDA is outlawed in UAE
If you’re visiting United Arab Emirates with your significant other, remember to not engage in any public displays of affection. Aside from being frowned upon, kissing in public could get you arrested. If you want to show affection without getting in trouble, do it in private.