Travel Tips: Legal Tips for Travel
- Know the local laws of the countries you are visiting.
- In some countries including UAE, even holding hands not to mention other explicit public display of affection (PDA) can land you in jail – for a year or sometimes more!
- Even countries like USA has some strange laws – wear low-waist jeans or skirt 3 inches or more below your waist to reveal skin or underwear in Albany, Georgia and you will be looking to pay a fine of $25. Repeat the offence and the fine escalates to a 200.
- In Texas, you go to jail for sipping beer more than thrice while standing.
- Smoking and chewing gums in Singapore public transport systems including Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit system can land you a fine and a jail term.
- If driving in France or through France, pack a breathalyzer – it is a legal requirement, even for tourists.
- In some countries, it is against the law to photograph certain places, such as government buildings, airports and ports or anything that may be police or military property.
- Avoid trysts with drugs. Do not even engage or allow any stranger to engage you in discussions about drugs or black market exchanges of any type for any reason. Different nations have different laws about drugs and you may never know when it will land you in jail.
- Even carrying some prescription medicines can come under the gambit of drug dealing – so, check and crosscheck with your embassy when in doubt.
- Possession of Firearms: In general, firearms, even those legally registered in your home country, cannot be taken along to a destination country without a permit obtained in advance from the embassy or a consulate of that country. The firearm also needs to be registered with foreign authorities on arrival. Kindly check with your embassy.
What to do if you are involved in an incident or an accident:
- Notify the appropriate authorities especially if medical attention is required.
- Make notes on the circumstances of the accident and, if possible, take photographs.
- Obtain the names and addresses of witnesses and others involved in the accident.
- Account for your belongings.
- Be prepared to provide information on your insurance.
- Have information available on any pre-existing medical conditions that could affect your treatment and know your blood type.
- If detained by police, make no statements until you consult a lawyer.