Strange Laws You Should Be Aware Of When You Travel

Be Aware Of Laws In The Places You Travel Beforehand

Chewing gum is not allowed in some places, so its best not to even have it along when traveling, and always be aware of the laws in the places you are visiting.
Chewing gum is not allowed in some places, so its best not to even have it along when traveling, and always be aware of the laws in the places you are visiting. | Source
Spitting in public is considered to be rude and even vulgar in some places, so its best to refrain from it. Besides that, it is gross.
Spitting in public is considered to be rude and even vulgar in some places, so its best to refrain from it. Besides that, it is gross. | Source
How about, just don't spit anywhere, that's even better advice.
How about, just don't spit anywhere, that's even better advice. | Source
Say "NO" to crack!
Say "NO" to crack! | Source
Don't let those boxers show or face fines in some areas.
Don't let those boxers show or face fines in some areas. | Source
High heels are not allowed in some of the historic sites and ruins in Greece, so wear sensible shoes instead.
High heels are not allowed in some of the historic sites and ruins in Greece, so wear sensible shoes instead. | Source
Don't even pack noisy shoes like clogs, shhhh. The idea is NOT to draw attention to yourself when traveling, blend in as much as possible.
Don't even pack noisy shoes like clogs, shhhh. The idea is NOT to draw attention to yourself when traveling, blend in as much as possible. | Source
NO Bigfoot hunting in certain protected parts of Washington State! The law was basically enacted to protect people from being accidentally shot when they are mistaken for "Bigfoot".
NO Bigfoot hunting in certain protected parts of Washington State! The law was basically enacted to protect people from being accidentally shot when they are mistaken for "Bigfoot". | Source
No shooting Saguaro Cactus in Arizona! These holes were actually made by birds, but shooting causes even more damage.
No shooting Saguaro Cactus in Arizona! These holes were actually made by birds, but shooting causes even more damage. | Source
Not only are holes unattractive in the cactus's, they can eventually cause the cactus to become unstable and fall.
Not only are holes unattractive in the cactus's, they can eventually cause the cactus to become unstable and fall. | Source

Some Of Them Make Sense, Some Are Just Strange...

One smart thing to do if you are a traveler is to look into the laws and customs of the place you will be visiting and study them before you leave. The last thing you want to do is to draw unwanted attention to yourself or offend someone, especially in a foreign country. And worse yet, you certainly don't want to find that you've broken a law, especially in another country.

Walking down streets here in Las Vegas, you pretty much see it all. You have people in very revealing clothing, every kind of shoes imaginable, and among the American citizens especially, swearing or using profanity. American's have become so accustomed to using profanity that the shock value of it has become practically non-existent.

There are places, however, where using profanity and swearing will get you in trouble, if you're caught. It's best if you just don't do it at all. If you need to, practice before leaving for your trip. Have a "cuss jar" where you deposit money every time you let one of those expletives fly. Then work on lessening it until you stop altogether. I've heard some people talk in such a way that nearly every other word is profane. I don't know if it is from over-exposure to that language in media or just in every day life, but expletives don't seem to carry the weight that they used to years ago, and using them has become a bad habit for some people.

NO SWEARING

If you are planning to travel to the Australian states of Victoria and Queensland, be aware that cursing is against the law there according to laws passed in 2011. In Victoria, the fine is $240AUD and in Victoria the fine is $100AUD. So, keep the profanity quiet and it might help to pick up a few Australian swear words just to be sure you don't say those either!

In the early 1990s, swearing became illegal in Virginia Beach, VA. If caught, you could face a possible fine of $250 and up to ten days of community service. Virginia Beach is striving to be a family friendly destination, and for obvious reasons, profanity does not fit in with that type of atmosphere.

Swearing is also banned in Long Beach, California, but only on miniature golf courses. So, no matter how frustrating that little windmill thingy is, don't cuss about it. Just enjoy the game and try not to take it so seriously.

BANS ON LITTERING, CHEWING GUM AND SMOKING IN PUBLIC

Chewing gum is illegal is places such as Thailand and Singapore, and using chewed gum to litter by throwing it in a public place is illegal in the UK (From what I've read at least). You can chew gum in the UK, just be careful to properly dispose of it. This is common sense anyway. When you are traveling to another country, you have to remember that you are a guest in that country and should act accordingly. Respect the laws there and the people, respect the land and help to keep it clean, and chances are you won't have any problem.

Singapore is a place that is actually known for a lot of its stringent laws since they strive to keep the city clean and orderly. There are fines for littering there, just as there are for littering in many places and those fines can be up to $1,000. It's best to just be respectful of the country you are visiting and its people while you're there. It is also illegal to smoke in public in Singapore, so if you are in doubt, just refrain from smoking.

DON'T SPIT IN PUBLIC

In many countries it is not only rude to spit in public, it is a social taboo. And when you are a guest in another country, you want to be very careful not to do things that are illegal and offensive. Spitting is one of these things. In fact, since the 1800's, many have viewed spitting in public as vulgar, especially if it is done in mixed company.

Places in the United States have laws against spitting, such as Burlingame, California and Dodge City, Kansas. Overseas, you don't want to be caught spitting in public in Vancouver, Barcelona or Singapore. If you do spit on the public streets in these places, you could be looking at jail time or a hefty fine. It's just not worth it, so refrain from doing it in the first place.

ILLEGAL TO POSSESS OR USE SILLY STRING OR CONFETTI IN SOME PLACES

I had no idea that it is illegal to have or use confetti in Mobile, Alabama, and chances are not many people do know that. But it is illegal. It's been found to be very hard to clean up and just not good for the environment, so it has been banned in Mobile.

Middleborough, Massachusetts has been known for being a little bit "law-happy," but one law that is not happy is that you cannot possess or use Silly String. In addition, there is a Silly String ban in places such as Southington, Connecticut, Huntington, New York and Ridgewood, New Jersey. You also cannot use Silly String at Halloween in Los Angeles.

I assume that the reasoning behind these laws is the difficulty in cleaning up whatever Silly String is made of and the pollution it causes, not to mention that it's unsightly. So, refrain from bringing Silly String or confetti along with you when you are traveling, and you should have no problem.


Watch What You Wear!

WATCH THE WAY YOU ARE DRESSED

In some places, it is illegal to wear revealing clothing. Laws forbidding indecent dress are really very common, so it pays to use some common sense when packing that suitcase. Dress in a business casual way most of the time, or at least if you do wear jeans, wear a solid color shirt with them.

No profanity laced t-shirts. In fact, in all the years my husband traveled while he was in the Air Force, he was always told to never wear t-shirts or any other type of shirts with any writing or pictures on them. Stick to solid colors, semi-conservative clothing, and you should be OK.

The last thing you want your clothing to do when you are traveling, especially overseas is to shout "hey, I'm an American!" (If you are an American). You want to try to blend in, fly under the radar, not draw unwanted attention to yourself. You don't want someone to know specifically what country you are originally from. Blending in with the locals when traveling is always a good thing.

Thailand has a law forbidding not wearing underwear, so pack plenty of underwear. It's always a good idea to wear it anyway, especially for hygienic reasons. No going "commando!"

Some countries like Qatar forbid revealing clothes, and revealing is often defined as nothing tight or transparent, and definitely nothing that shows either the shoulders or the knees. Even places like Naples and south of Naples have laws against mini skirts, cleavage showing and too low cut jeans. And Vatican City forbids revealing clothing when one is entering either a church or a museum.

In addition, many places that are beach destinations forbid walking the streets in bikini's and other swimwear and require cover-ups to be worn. It is always best to check the laws of the place you will be visiting to make the trip enjoyable. You might just keep yourself out of trouble, too.

PULL UP THOSE PANTS!

Not only is it unsightly to have your pants going down to the middle of your butt, it is illegal now in some places. Fashions do change, but anything that could offend someone like those trendy saggy pants, shorts or skirts should be left at home when you are traveling. No one needs to see those boxers, even though you may be really proud of them. And no one needs to see a lady's thong either. Say no to crack doesn't just apply to plumbers in this case.

In fact, several metropolitan areas around Atlanta, Georgia, have banned saggy pants and that goes for skirts and shorts as well, if they fall three inches below the hips. In Forest Park, Georgia, it will cost you $1,000 if you are caught wearing them, so don't. A town in Louisiana, Delcambre, LA was the first to prohibit showing underwear in public. In Montgomery county in Alabama, adults that wear these face a possible $150 fine and kids will pay $100. I guess they figure adults oughtta know better so they pay more if they are caught.

PAY ATTENTION TO THE SHOES YOU ARE WEARING

It might sound silly, but there are places that forbid high heeled shoes for women. If you are visiting the historic sites around Greece, high heeled shoes are forbidden due to the damage they cause to these delicate structures. There has been damage in the past to the Acropolis, making a law like this necessary.

It makes sense anyway, if you are touring ruins, why would you be wearing high heeled shoes in the first place? This is where the term "sensible shoes" comes in. It is always smart to wear shoes that are comfortable and not too trendy and that are good for walking.

Carmel, California had a similar ban back when Clint Eastwood was the mayor, only it wasn't enforced very often. The reasoning behind the law was that women were hurting their ankles on the cobblestone streets, and the city enacted a law basically to protect itself from lawsuits. From what I've read, there is even a souvenir permit that visitors to Carmel can buy allowing them to wear high heels.

In some places, it is even illegal to wear shoes that make "excessive noise" such as clogs and shoes with noisy soles like sandals with wooden soles. Along the lines of a "fun fact," it was once said that the city of Blythe, California at one time outlawed the wearing of cowboy boots by anyone that does not own a minimum of two cows. That law is not enforced today, if indeed there ever was such a law.


Remember ~ No Bigfoot Hunting Or Cactus Shooting!

NO HUNTING FOR BIGFOOT

Yes, there are places that forbid visitors to hunt for Bigfoot, so if you are tempted to do that, don't even visit certain counties in Washington State like Whatcom County and Skamania County. There are ordinances in effect in these places protecting "Sasquatch" or Bigfoot as they are sometimes known. And these laws have been in effect since 1969. The laws basically exist to keep hunters from shooting other people, mistaking them for "Bigfoot." So, when you look at them that way, they make sense. Just don't center your trip around hunting Bigfoot, and you should be ok.

DON'T SHOOT CACTUS'S IN ARIZONA

And finally, don't shoot a Saguaro cactus in Arizona. These cactus's have become endangered due to people shooting holes in them and otherwise defacing them, so damaging a cactus in Arizona carries stiff penalties, including up to 25 years in jail. It is said that in 1982, a man shot so many holes in a cactus that it fell on him and killed him, so it's just plain smart not to shoot them anyway, besides being illegal.

When you are traveling, just keep these common sense tips in mind and be respectful of the culture and land of other places you visit. Be polite and respectful of the people in every place that you visit and mind your manners. Mom was right when she told you to do these things anyway, so listen to Mom and you'll be fine!

Safe travels, and have a wonderful trip! Get out there without getting into trouble and make some fantastic memories!

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Comments 15 comments

Time2Spare profile image

Time2Spare 4 years ago from Richmond, Virginia

Wow Kathy,, this is a very interesting hub.. I had no idea that we had to take notice into so many tiny details... thanks a lot for sharing this information....


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

You're welcome Time2Spare! :) I didn't realize there were so many unique laws out there either! :) Good stuff to know for travelers though! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!


SusieQ42 4 years ago

Interesting facts, Kathy. I definitely would not be seen in public in my underwear!


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Me neither SusieQ42! :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)


SusieQ42 4 years ago

You're welcome.


shiningirisheyes profile image

shiningirisheyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

Kathy - This was a fascinating read. SOme of these laws I whole heartily agree with.

Excellent and interesting article.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Me too, shining! Thanks so much! :) I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment! :) Thanks bunches! :)


ICarrie profile image

ICarrie 4 years ago from Georgia

That was a really interesting read, I enjoyed it. In general I don't think there should be a law for every silly or stupid thing that some people do, but still some of these laws do make perfect sense. Thank you for a thought provoking hub.


conradofontanilla 4 years ago

In Los BaƱos, Laguna, Philippines, don't throw your candy wrappers or cigarette butts in the streets. Put them in you bag because there are no waste cans around.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Wow, that's interesting, conradofontanilla, thanks so much for sharing some helpful information! :) That will be helpful to know for those visiting the Philippines. Thank you! :)


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

You're welcome ICarrie! :) Glad you enjoyed reading this. Most of it does seem like common sense, but then in some places the laws are different from laws that people in the United States are familiar with. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Much appreciated! :)


Elise-Loyacano profile image

Elise-Loyacano 4 years ago from San Juan, Puerto Rico

"The idea is NOT to draw attention to yourself when traveling, blend in as much as possible." That is excellent advice.

I had no idea confetti was illegal in some places. Very informative article.


KathyH profile image

KathyH 4 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thank you Elise! :) Glad you found some of the information helpful! I had heard of things against the law like spitting on sidewalks, but had never heard that confetti was illegal in some places either! :) Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Much appreciated! :)


catgypsy profile image

catgypsy 3 years ago from the South

Wow, some really interesting laws I never knew about! A fun hub to read!


KathyH profile image

KathyH 3 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada Author

Thanks, catgypsy! So glad it was interesting and helpful! :) Thanks so much for reading and for commenting! :)

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