Spread the love

Lesser-Known Global Travel LawsAs seasoned travellers continue to explore the globe, many remain unaware of the less-publicized international laws that can impact their journeys. Speeding, littering, and unlawful photography are just a few standard regulations inadvertently violated by those traversing borders. In the Global Rescue Spring 2024 Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, seven per cent of participants admitted to receiving fines, warnings, or even detainment for breaking laws they didn’t realize existed.

Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies and a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the Department of Commerce emphasized the importance of understanding local rules before departure: “It’s critical to have some knowledge of your destination’s laws before travelling.”

Among the travellers who experienced penalties were those fined for littering in Bangkok, Thailand, and those detained for photographing a police station in Morocco or jaywalking in Krakow, Poland. Others faced legal issues for vaping in Singapore and sunbathing nude on a Brazilian beach.

The growing appeal of less-visited destinations is driven by the search for authentic experiences and adventure, but it also brings risks. Travellers seeking history and culture should be aware of the unique regulations enforced at famous landmarks like the Trevi Fountain in Rome, where wading or diving is banned. Meanwhile, in Venice’s Piazza San Marco, feeding the birds is prohibited, and visitors to the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel must refrain from photography. In Greece, high-heeled shoes are banned at the Acropolis to protect the ruins from damage.

Unusual regulations aren’t limited to historical landmarks. Visitors to Thailand must keep their shirts on when driving, as it’s illegal to drive shirtless. Conversely, while driving on Germany’s Autobahn, travellers can enjoy the thrill of sections without speed limits, but stopping, parking, and making U-turns are strictly prohibited. Running out of gas on this famed highway can lead to fines as it’s considered preventable, unlike mechanical breakdowns.

Richards reiterated the importance of understanding local customs, referencing the U.S. Department of State’s travel information web page, highlighting that local laws and ignorance bind international travellers is not a valid defence.

Proactive research into the rules and regulations of your destination can make all the difference in a more fulfilling and trouble-free journey. Travellers are encouraged to consult official government travel advisories, like those from the U.S. State Department and the Global Rescue travel safety guide, for comprehensive advice.




Written by: Yves Thomas