Traveling is an enriching and incredibly liberating experience, but that doesn’t mean you’re free to do anything you want, especially in some countries around the world that are very strict with their laws … even weird laws.
Know the weirdest laws in the world that every traveler should know that can keep you from paying fines or even going to jail.
– The Most Important Thing to Do Before You Travel
Before you get started, it is critical that you do a good search on your travel destination before you get there.
You can visit travel sites or a specific travel agency website, talk to an online travel agent, visit booking websites and even make an online travel booking to the destination that suits you, among other initiatives that will allow you to prepare everything in advance.
However, if you prefer to handle everything live and in color, you can go to your city’s best travel agency to talk to a travel agent, get to know the travel agency offers, the airlines that fly to their intended destination, cheap air flight tickets, the insurance companies that exist and what travel insurance is available, among many other procedures that any travel requires.
On top of that, you need to study your destination reviews about the country’s local rules and laws to be as prepared as possible for what you will find. You should always follow their rules even if they´re the most strange laws around the world. Here are 7 weirdest laws in the world you should know next time you book a trip.
#1 – Chewing Gum in Singapore
If you are thinking of going to Singapore next year, keep in mind that you cannot carry gum in your travel backpack, otherwise, you will be fined.
This is a law in force since 1992 that prohibits chewing and selling chewing gum. The law is enforced to keep public spaces clean and to preserve the environment. The government believes that chewing gum is very harmful to human health – the only exception is if it can prove that chewing gum has therapeutic benefits.
#2 – Wearing High Heels in Greece
Attention ladies, this warning is for you! If you like to travel and are thinking of visiting the main historical cities of Greece, namely the oldest monuments, know that you should leave your high heels at home.
It is very uncomfortable to go on holiday with high heels, especially when you are visiting and discovering or rediscovering a locality. However, high heels are prohibited by law in Greece because their use can damage ancient monuments and threaten the efforts of the people who preserve them.
#3 – Riding a Bike with Feet off Pedals in Mexico
There are many strange things that are banned in the world, but riding a bike with feet off pedals in Mexico is one of the most unusual. Cyclists cannot lift the pedals’ feet as this may lead to loss of control of the bicycle and consequently to fall. This law was introduced in 1892 and was implemented as a way to protect the physical integrity of cyclists.
If you asked yourself: is traveling to Mexico dangerous? The answer is Mexico is not the most dangerous places to travel since you don´t ride a bicycle! By the way, it is possible to ride a bike without hands – this action does not constitute any danger!!!
#4 – Stepping On Money in Thailand
If you are one of those people who have multiple travel apps on your smartphone and found last minute travel to Thailand that save you money, make your reservation immediately.
However, once you get there, look where you are going because stepping in Thai money will cause you to lose all of your travel savings and may even drive you to jail.
The Thai banknotes bear the image of the king, and there is a law stating that whoever treads them is offending the monarchy and may be sent to prison.
In Thailand, there is yet another “funny/strange law” that forbids tourists (and locals too) to leave home without wearing underwear and few understand why this law was created. We can also ask how do the police know if a person is wearing underwear or not and if there are no far more dangerous crimes happening?
#5 – Feeding Pigeons in Italy
It is forbidden to feed pigeons in St. Mark’s Square in Venice, Italy because it is attracting more birds to this place. The implementation of this law seeks to prevent more pigeons, as historic buildings and monuments are increasingly damaged due to the presence and droppings of birds.
Pigeons are known to be birds that can carry dangerous diseases, and tourists who carry bread or other foods in their travel bag to feed them are at risk of receiving high fines.
#6 – Wearing Flip-Flops While Driving in Spain
It always depends on the tourist destination you choose and whether or not you are a more or less adventurous person. But many tourists like to rent a car and set off to discover a particular region – it’s a way of feeling more connected to the local culture.
However, if you do this in Spain, be careful to always wear good shoes or boots. Never drive on flip flops, open shoes or even high heels (worse if you are barefoot) because there is a law that prohibits such an act and imposes heavy fines on those who do not respect it.
#7 – Stopping and Preventing a Wedding in Australia
Everyone has watched a movie when someone enters the church and confesses their feelings for the bride or groom and the marriage ends at that time because the bride or groom runs away from the altar with the person who made the statement. Everyone can imagine this scenario, right? In Australia, it is more difficult to do so.
There is a law that prohibits such behavior (probably instituted by someone who has been abandoned on the altar) who obliges you to pay an extremely high fine and going to jail for a maximum of 2 years if you do it.
So if the love of your life is going to marry someone else in Australia, be aware that the possibility of appearing on top of a white horse to kidnap her or him from the altar and be happy forever can be very costly.
There are many other ridiculous laws in the world that do not directly affect tourists, such as the weird law in China which states that it is forbidden to reincarnate without government permission – we would like to know how this is even possible and to whom the fine is addressed? -, finding ketchup in school cafeterias in France, implementing an annual waist size rule among aged people 40-74 in Japan and many other weird laws around the world. Get to know them before you get there because after can be too late and expensive.