Don’t travel until you know these laws

When travelling people love to feel free and they are capable of everything – except when you’re overseas, it’s important to remember there are just some things you can’t do.

Don’t feed the pigeons in Venice

Throwing birdseed in Venice’s Piazza San Marco is largely prohibited, and the consequences of refusing to follow the rules could land you a hefty fine.

However, the government has good reason for their law. The pigeons cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to statues and clean-ups every year. Although seed-throwing used to be the square’s trademark for tourists, staying on the good side of the city means opting for a wine, coffee or gelato on one of the piazza’s patios to watch the birds mill around instead.

You can only bring certain chewing gum to Singapore

Bringing chewing gum into Singapore has been illegal since 1992. The reason for the strange rule tourists and locals have to follow is due to the gum causing serious problems for the public transit system. Singapore’s government says the clean up for gum litter cost US$106,000 per year before the ban.

A hefty fine or in some cases, jail time, could be placed upon those who ignore this law.

However, certain gums are now allowed in Singapore for “therapeutic” purposes such as nicotine gum and sugar-free gum for dental health benefits.

No dirty magazines or alcohol in the Maldives

The Maldives is a primarily Islamic country and does impose strict laws many westerners would find strange. In particular, sex toys, dirty magazines and liquor sold past duty-free is illegal and unless you want to risk a humiliating bag search and a possible fine, leave it at home.

Don’t throw out your train ticket in Paris or Madrid

Unfortunately, throwing out a train ticket in Paris and Madrid might cost you way more than you bargained for, and despite how much it might let you off in other places, ignorance won’t work in these cities.

It is heavily advised to never throw out your train ticket while in transit, as getting out could risk you a fine from metro police – how are you able to prove you didn’t hop a turnstile without one?

Expert travellers and locals advise purchasing a ‘multi-trip’ ticket or a weekend-long metro card rather than a single trip ticket. You’ll save much more over a fine.

Kissing in Dubai might be tricky

If you’re thinking of taking a trip to the United Arab Emirates, you should be aware of the public decency laws, which are much different to countries like Australia and New Zealand. Public kissing and/or touching your partner can land you jail time. Hefty fines are also likely to be imposed, so make sure you keep yourself to, well, yourself if you’re wanting to explore Dubai or Abu Dhabi anytime soon with someone special.

Did you know any of these laws? Have you ever been caught by one of them? Let us know in the comments below.

Republished with permission of Over60.