Local Laws and Customs

local laws and customs to consider when travelling overseas

There are a number of essential things to consider when travelling solo. My solo travel tips page provides lots of information about this. However, it is also important to check whether the destination you are heading to has any local laws and customs you may not be aware of. Here are 10 destinations, each with an example of a local law which is very different to those in the UK…

1. France – concealing your face

In France, it is illegal to conceal your face in public places with masks or garments including full veils and balaclavas.

2. India – alcohol bans

In India, a ban on the sale of alcohol is often imposed. For example during elections, major religious festivals and national holidays.

3. Singapore – e-cigarettes

In Singapore, it is illegal to bring e-cigarettes into the country. You could be fined for doing so or face imprisonment.

4. Japan – tattoos

Tatoos were once associated with criminal activity in Japan. Because of this, some beaches, public swimming pools and hot springs will turn people away if they have a tattoo.

5. Thailand – smoking on beaches

In 2018, Thai authorities toughened the laws for smoking on beaches. They introduced a smoking ban on some popular beaches, including those in Pattaya, Phuket and Koh Samui. Anyone caught smoking in non-designated areas can face a hefty fine or up to one year in prison.

6. Germany – pedestrian crossings

If the red light on a pedestrian crossing is illuminated, it is illegal to cross the road. Anyone breaking this law risks getting a fine. Should an accident be involved because of it, the offending person will also have to pay all related costs.

7. UAE – kissing in public

There have been several people arrested for kissing in a public place. Public displays of affection are frowned upon.

8. Egypt – drinking alcohol in the street

You can be arrested for drinking alcohol in the street and anywhere other than in licensed restaurants or bars in Egypt, as it is illegal.

9. Kenya – homosexuality

Homosexual activity is illegal in Kenya. Any public displays of homosexuality such as kissing or even holding hands could lead to arrest and being imprisoned.

10. Ghana – military clothing

In Ghana it is illegal to wear military clothing, including camouflage.

Further Information and Suggested Reading:

For further information about local laws and customs, click on the UK Government’s website for up to date information and advice on foreign travel.

Destinations I have visited solo and can recommend, together with a link to local laws and customs…

Antigua & Barbuda

European Cruise – Greece, Croatia and Montenegro






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