One thing you might want to consider when you head overseas on a holiday is that the local laws and traditions might be somewhat different to those you are used to back home.

Some of those laws are well known, like the fact that you have to be 21 to purchase alcohol in the USA, but there are some that you might be aware of.

And in some cases, there are some you might not quite believe…


Anyone who has visited Italy before will be aware of the fact that street traders are a common sight on the streets - particularly if you are in the big cities like Rome. However, you need to be aware that if you purchase goods from an illegal street trader, you yourself could be in trouble with the local police and get hit with a fine.

You might get tired walking around the streets but you need to be careful where you stop for a rest as in some places in Italy, it’s an offence to sit on monument steps and you could once again face a fine. It’s a similar story if you were to eat or drink in the immediate vicinity of some churches and historic monuments.

If you’re heading for the beach and see a shell that catches your eye, leave it where it. You could be fined if you were to remove it.


There’s a good chance that a lot of people will have been to Spain in the past and at some point, have walked from the beach into town to grab something to eat or drink whilst still wearing their swimming trunks or bikini.

In some places - including Barcelona - you’ll actually be breaking the law by heading into the streets in a bikini or wearing your swimming shorts, whilst it is also frowned upon to be bare chested.

On the actual beach, avoid using any soap or shampoo in the showers when in the likes of Malaga and Benidorm as it could see you fined up to €750.

If you hire a car then make sure you have the correct footwear - you could be punished with a fine if your choice means you can’t drive safely. That’s true of something like flip flops, which could come off your feet whilst driving and affect the pedals.


Not that we’re saying you will but if you lose your inhibitions a little after a drink and think it would be funny to moon someone, don’t do it in Greece. The end result could be a heavy fine or even a prison sentence.

Decency laws are a big thing in Greece and certain fancy dress costumes - which might be amusing on a stag or hen do elsewhere - could also land you in a whole heap of trouble.


Anyone heading for Paris will no doubt pay a visit to the Eiffel Tower, where they can grab a quick photo as a memento of their visit. If you take that photo after dark however when the tower is illuminated, then it must be for private use as controlled images rights are in place for photos taken outside daylight hours.

One big no in France is concealing your face in public - including the use of a balaclava or full veil. You could be hit with a fine of €150.


Quite often when you’re back at home, you might take your chances and cross the road when the red light is on at a pedestrian crossing. Doing so in Germany however is against the law and could see you fined, whilst you would also be liable for costs in the event of an accident.


As in Spain, you could be hit with a fine for walking through a town shirtless or in swimwear.

Czech Republic:

If you cross a road or tram tracks within 50 metres of a designated crossing rather than using the crossing then you can be fined. You can also be fined if you cross at a crossing when the green pedestrian isn’t illuminated.


Rules around photography can be confusing, and taking snaps of - or near - military sites is a huge no, and includes the Suez Canal. Your best option is to check if you are unsure whether you will taking a picture that falls outside the law. Using a drone is a huge no - they are banned unless you have permission from the Ministry of Defence.


You might find a range of whale products on sale whilst visiting Iceland but no matter how nice they may be, bringing them back to the UK is illegal and could see you hit with a fine of up to £5,000.


Japan has strict rules on drugs and some common prescription drugs can fall outside the law - as can some over the counter medication that includes codeine. Before travelling, you are advised to check with the Japanese Embassy or consulate and if you have medicine that is approved, you are generally limited in how much you can carry.


Alcohol is only available on resort islands and should not be taken away from resorts onto local islands. Holding alcohol outside resorts is likely to be frowned upon by the police and locals.

St Lucia:

It’s an offence for anyone to dress in camouflage clothing - and that includes children.


eCigarettes and refills are illegal and can be confiscated - with you also handed a fine.

United Arab Emirates:

Swearing and making rude gestures can see you jailed or deported, whilst kissing in public is frowned upon.