Trials & Tribulations: Running afoul of Foreign Law
When traveling the world, it’s easy to forget that not every country has the same laws and rules you’re used to at home. Here are just a few to watch for that might cause you to inadvertently spoil your trip.
Planning a road trip abroad? Know the rules of the road before you gas up and go. Radar detectors are banned in all areas of Canada. In Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, the Yukon, and Northwest Territories, even possession may result in confiscation and a fine. In the UK, driving an unregistered vehicle gets you an on-the-spot fine of up to £900. If you can’t pay, the car will be impounded until payment is made. And in France, right on red means a big ticket.
The German autobahns, famous for their loose definition of speed limits, has many strict rules and repercussions. The threshold for driving under the influence of alcohol is lower than in the states. Also keep in mind that it’s illegal to use your cell phone while driving in Germany.
Wondering what to pack on your next vacation? Make sure to bring extra underwear to Thailand, where it’s illegal to go commando. If you’re headed to Greece, pack flats: high heels have been banned from sites such as the Acropolis. They like to keep things peaceful in St. Lucia, so leave that camouflage bikini at home, as all forms of camouflage or military uniforms are prohibited.
The Australian states Queensland and Victoria have banned potty mouths. Avoid dropping those bad words, and you’ll avoid a fine.
The Danish are not big fans of Halloween. Wearing masks in public is illegal in Denmark.
In Japan, anything containing pseudoephedrine is illegal. Leave the Vicks and Sudafed at home. Also be sure to check if your inhalers are allowed.
Every country has its own surprising laws and taboos: be sure to check with your travel agent and the State Department before embarking on any of your travel adventures.
By Jenna Storey