If you know the local laws before you travel then you are much better prepared for your trip. An expensive annual holiday can be ruined by some time behind bars due to ignorance.
When you are preparing for your big trip you probably go through a similar routine. You get the best priced deal, read hotel reviews and find out what there is to do once you get there. But did you ever consider the local laws unique to the destination? They could be quirky and very different to your rules at home. Simple things like having a gamble online could be viewed differently depending on which country you are in.
Here are some examples:-
The United States of America has a split law making system between Federal and State law. Federal are laws determined in Washington which apply across the country. State laws are local laws within that State. To add to the confusion there can be further local laws which aren’t even binding across the whole State.
For instance, did you know that laws on jaywalking and whether you can turn right on a red light are decided at State level. There are also rules on the legal age to drink although I tend to use 21 as a guiding principle.
Let’s say you like a flutter and wanted to go online with your laptop or tablet. Well in most places you’ll be okay yet America (the land of the free) has been very anti-online gambling for years. Quite an irony when it is home to such as Atlantic City and Las Vegas! (baby 😉 )
Europe is full of history and local laws. It is often quoted at parties and in quizzes that in the UK a pregnant woman is allowed to urinate in public as long as it is on the wheel of her carriage (modern term = car).
Less ancient rules which may practically apply are driving rules. Do you drive on the left or drive on the right? Who has right of way? I came a cropper with this in The Netherlands a few years ago when I nearly had an accident. I was on the main road when someone came out from a side road and I had to slam the brakes on. It was later explained to me by a colleague that a road sign (I was unfamiliar with the type of road sign) means the side road has right of way. There are also some interesting driving rules in Norway too.
If you are not on a Muslim pilgrimage then Saudi Arabia may not be high up on your travel plans. I did however live there for 17 months and learnt a lot about their culture. They don’t have one set of police out there, they have two! The uniformed police and the religious police (mutaween pronounced as mutawwi). The religious police go around looking for compliance with Shari law and will be quick to clamp down if you walk around in public with shorts on, yes shorts.
Saudi also has other strict rules such as no alcohol whatsoever. You can not travel alone with a woman unless she is a member of your family or she has a male family member with her.
Singapore is a very popular destination. It is very clean city due to very strict anti-litter laws. They are also famous for banning chewing gum and even Jehovah’s witnesses. Also they apply the death penalty if you are caught bringing drugs into the country.
Singapore also grabs international headlines when they apply canning as a punishment for graffiti and other forms of vandalism.
So be prepared. Research and know before you go. Get to know the local laws before you travel.