Check local laws and customs before travelling

Travelling without checking the local laws and customs of your destination could land you in big trouble.

It’s easy to take the things we do in the UK for granted, such as topless sunbathing or even kissing in public, but in some countries these activities are illegal and can land you with a hefty fine, deportation, or even imprisonment. It’s often only when an arrest receives media attention, such as the arrest of a couple in November for allegedly kissing on the mouth in a restaurant in Dubai, that tourists become aware that we need to familiarise ourselves with other cultures.

As we expand our horizons and travel further afield out of the familiar Euro-zone, it’s important to be aware of local customs and laws. We spend time researching potential holiday destinations, checking flights, accommodation and even consumer reviews, but rarely do we stop and think about differences in culture and the implications they can have.

When researching your chosen holiday destination, spend some time investigating local customs and laws. You may be surprised to learn that it is illegal to sunbathe topless in the Maldives and Abu Dhabi. Or that homosexuality is illegal in some popular holiday destinations such as Morocco and Goa. Ladies, watch out for the length of your skirt too as wearing a skirt above the knee is some countries could result in receiving a fine or certainly an official warning.

Where to get more information and advice:

A great place to find out about local laws and customs is to check out the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website, which offers up-to-date, country by country travel advice.