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Skyscanner USA's Top Ten: Unusual Laws to Watch Out For While on Vacation

Source: Skycanner USA

Italy has introduced more than 150 ‘public security’ laws, many of which were met with surprise by both the Italian press and tourists alike due to their curious nature. One such law implemented in Vigevano, near Milan, bans people from sitting in the shade at the foot of a local monument – much to the surprise of a local couple who were promptly fined US$270 each for taking a moment out of the hot afternoon sun.

And, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has reported that Americans spend twenty minutes longer cleaning their house before they go abroad than they do researching the local laws and customs of where they are travelling to.

The last thing travelers want to feel on vacation is the long arm of the law, but with many destinations across the globe beginning to clamp down more strictly on tourists who do not obey local regulations, it pays be ‘in the know’ before arriving abroad. Skyscanner’s Top Ten this week takes a closer look at some of the most bizarre and unusual laws around the world to help tourists stay out of hot water while on vacation.

London, England
If you’re writing postcards to send back home, be careful how you place the stamp. If the stamp shows an image of the Queen, it could be considered an act of treason if you and stick it on upside down.

Paris, France
While riding the Metro might be the easiest way to get around, don’t get carried away with the romance of the city and give your partner a kiss because it’s illegal to do so on any railway in France.

Hong Kong
Be sure to steer clear of any lover’s quarrels while visiting this cosmopolitan city. It’s completely legal for a betrayed wife to kill her husband but only by using her bare hands; however, if she decides to go after her husband’s mistress, she may kill her using any manner she chooses. Yikes!

Dubai, UAE
Dubai’s luxurious resorts and stunning beaches may seem like the ideal place to spend a romantic holiday, but don’t get too affectionate - kissing in public here is illegal, and many tourists have fallen foul of this law in recent years.

Rome, Italy
Even though the act of ‘adjusting’ themselves may seem to be a common practice by many men, in Italy it is illegal for males to touch their genitals through their clothing in public. Formerly thought to be a way of warding off bad luck, grabbing the crotch has been illegal since 2008.

If you’re riding a bicycle in Mexico, it’s illegal to lift your feet from the pedals since it could cause you to crash. But if you do crash, don’t start shouting profanities in public because this is illegal as well.

South-East Asia
The durian, a fruit native to Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, has a smell so incredibly strong that it is banned from many public places in South-East Asia. While not strictly a law, it’s probably best to avoid bringing a durian back to the hotel for everyone’s sake.

Amsterdam, Netherlands
A curious loophole in the law means that smoking tobacco in a public place such as a coffee shop in Amsterdam is banned, while puffing away on pure cannabis –in designated “coffee shops”, as they are known, is entirely legal.

The Swiss must have excellent post-dinner bladder control - flushing the toilet in apartments here after 10pm is actually illegal. It is also against the law for a man to relieve himself whilst standing up after 10pm, although we’re not sure how this particular charge would stand up in court.

In a bid to keep the streets of this super-efficient city clean, the authorities in Singapore decided in 1992 to ban chewing gum completely. Stick to a mint to freshen up after dinner.