Before you set off on your next travel adventure, include some local research as part of your travel planning. You’ll probably uncover some rather bizarre local laws and some outdated rules that might sound amusing but could actually land you in trouble with the authorities. Here are 14 strange laws to get you started;
1. Do Not Feed The Pigeons – Italy – It’s illegal to feed pigeons in Venice, Italy (don’t tell Mary Poppins!) The pigeon poop actually pollutes the local buildings and a fine of around 50-600 USD should be enough to deter you.
2. Do Not Wear Hot Pink Shorts – Australia – In Victoria, it’s illegal to wear hot pink shorts after midday on a Sunday. But what about baby pink shorts?
3. Do Not Drive With The Headlights Off – Czech Republic, Denmark – it is a legal requirement in both Denmark and the Czech Republic to drive with your headlights on at all times. Weird, especially on sunny days, but it does make drivers more aware of the cars around them.
4. Do Not Forget Your Underwear – Thailand – It is illegal to leave the house if you are not wearing underwear.
5. Do Not Forget Your Clothes – Grenada – On the island on Grenada in the Caribbean, parading through town in just a swimming costume can, in theory, attract a fine of 270 USD. So keep the Speedos and bikinis for the beach.
6. Do Not Stare At Mannequins – UK – One law to remember when on your family holidays in the UK is that any boy under the age of 10 may not see a naked mannequin!
7. Do Not Pay In Pennies – Canada – It may be legal tender but paying for an item in pennies, or indeed any large number of coins, can be met with a refusal to serve you.
8. Don’t Jump – New York, USA – Just don’t jump in New York as the penalty for jumping off a building is death!
9. Do Not Drive A Dirty Car – Moscow, Russia – Dirty cars spotted in Moscow can end up with a 100 USD fine, although how dirty isn’t defined.
10. Don’t Drive When In A House Coat – California, USA – Another rather outdated law especially considering the trend for leisure wear; women may not drive in a house coat in California.
11. Do Not Stop On The Autobahn – Germany – If your travels take you to Germany then be aware that running out of gas and walking on the autobahn motorways is illegal. And each misdemeanor will get you a 100 USD fine.
12. Do Not Eat During Ramadan – UAE – Feeling peckish whilst visiting the United Arab Emirates? Well just make sure you don’t eat in public during the daylight hours whilst Ramadan is being observed. Two British tourists were sent to jail for this for three weeks and fines of 275 USD are not unheard of for drinking juice!
13. Do Not Kiss – England, France – No kissing allowed in England or France, well on train station platforms anyway. It is designed to stop train delays (?) although there is no formal penalty.
14. Do Not Chew Gum – Singapore – Chewing gum isn’t sold in Singapore and chewing it will get you in trouble, as will feeding the birds, spitting and not flushing public toilets. Singapore is a pristine and immaculate destination and they want to keep it that way.
By Julie Bowman