PART of the allure of travelling to a new country is how unfamiliar it is. But sometimes that can be a downside, for example when tourists unknowingly break the law or make a huge faux pas. Here are a few of the lesser known rules in place in some countries:
NOISE: It’s well-known that chewing gum is punishable in Singapore. But people who annoy others around them with music or other noises can face fines of up to 1,000 Singapore dollars (US$726). For “obscene songs or ballads,” the punishment is three months in jail. SMOMBIES: Have a bad habit of staring at your smartphone while walking around? In Lithuania, crossing a street while also using a mobile device could cost you up to 12 euros (US$13) in fines.
FASHION: Military-inspired camouflage gear in all colours and styles is forbidden by military law in Trinidad and Tobago. Whoever brings it into the country, buys it or wears it must pay a fine — and the clothing will be also seized, warns Germany’s Foreign Office. NUDITY: Don’t be caught without any clothes in the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, in the Swiss Alps. There, the canton can fine nude hikers for a gross violation of customs and public decency. Is going naked worth potentially paying 100 Swiss francs (US$101)?
BEVERAGES: Don’t think about bringing a soft drink into Nigeria — it’s one of several everyday items on the customs office’s long list of banned objects. Also on the list are ballpoint pens and soap.
PETROL: Heading out for a road trip through Germany? Be sure to always have enough petrol in the tank before getting on the Autobahn. Parking or stopping on the German highway can mean fines — and an empty tank, which can be avoided, is not recognised as a breakdown. – dpa