One of the most exciting and enjoyable things about travelling abroad is to experience a different culture – to indulge in tastes, practices and environments which you wouldn’t find in the UK.
Although many travellers may be aware of some major cultural differences, for example the expectation that women will cover their arms, legs and torsos in Egypt, the majority usually fail to do any real research into the laws and customs of their chosen destination.
Unfortunately this has caused several travellers around the world to suddenly find themselves in hot water with local police, usually for something which would not be considered illegal in the UK.
For example, in Venice you can be arrested for feeding pigeons, and in Nigeria it is illegal to import mineral water. Furthermore, in Barbados, you could find yourself in a serious situation if you are caught wearing camouflage print – even if you’re a child!
One of the biggest examples is in Holland, where tourists have heard about the relaxed marijuana laws, however very few actually know that it is only legal in a few specialist areas. Any tourists caught with narcotics outside of these areas will be in big trouble.
Although these laws may seem extremely strange, it is important to research your chosen destination before you travel, just to make sure that you will not accidentally cause offence or break the law. Just think about how you would feel if you saw a tourist flouting the British laws.
If you would like more information about researching your chosen destination, you can visit our Local Laws and Customs page.
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