If you’re travelling, the last thing you want is legal trouble. Instead, it would be great if you could enjoy the whole holiday and then return home with some great memories. Unfortunately, not knowing the unusual little laws that each country has can easily land you in hot water. Here are some offences you don’t want to commit while you are travelling.
1. Taking medication with you
Unless you have a valid prescription which has been approved to enter the country, you might want to avoid travelling with medication. Even the most innocuous seeming products, like medicine for the common cold, can be banned in some countries and fully legal in others. Some cough syrups are illegal in Japan, lots of painkillers are banned from entering Greece and the UAE, and sleeping pills or painkillers can’t be taken in Singapore without a license. It’s important to check out the rules before you travel, as even having a doctor’s note isn’t always enough.
Vaping might be a big new trend, and it’s a good thing that it’s replacing real cigarettes, but not every country around the world has embraced them yet. In Thailand, they are actually still illegal. If you’re caught using one that you have brought into the country, you could be facing a fine. The maximum charge is up to ten years in prison, and as Thailand has been known to make examples out of foreign visitors, you’ll want to be very careful here.
3. Staying with a partner outside of marriage
If you’re not married, it’s important to be careful about where you travel to. In the UAE, it’s not lawful to have sex outside of marriage – to the extent that women who report rape can even be arrested for the offence. A real couple, Iryna Nohai and Emlyn Culverwell, found out that they were going to have a baby while they were on holiday there – and ended up getting arrested for unlawful sex as a result. You should avoid sharing a hotel room, as this is also against the law if you aren’t married thanks to the implications of what you might be doing in there.
If you’ve got a bit of a blue tongue, you might want to hold back while you’re in Australia. Swearing is actually an offense there, and being caught doing it in public could land you right in front of a magistrate or judge. In Queensland or Victoria, you could end up with a jail term of up to six months. If you end up swearing at a police officer, you’ll need to get help from a lawyer to avoid having you trip turn into a much longer stay. It’s the same story in the UAE.
5. Connecting to someone’s Wi-Fi
If you need to upload a selfie to Instagram or check your emails, you should consider going to an internet café or somewhere where the Wi-Fi is free. Why? Because connecting to someone else’s Wi-Fi without permission is illegal in Singapore. This is seen as hacking, even if you get in there without needing a password or having to do anything tricky. There’s up to three years in jail on the table if you get caught, so watch out for this one.
It’s really important to understand the rules and cultural differences of a country before you visit. Spend some time researching the place you are travelling to, and make sure that you act sensibly while abroad. This will reduce your risk of getting arrested for something seemingly innocent.
Author Bio: Lucy Taylor is an avid blogger who enjoys sharing her tips and suggestions with her online readers. Working as a legal expert at LY Lawyers, Lucy often helps people dealing with legal problems, addictions and crime.