Call for an instant quote
0345 90 80 161
Open Mon to Fri 09:00 - 17:30 | Sat 09:00 - 16:00 (GMT)
30 August 2013 11:05
Wearing a bikini away from Barcelona's beach area can bring a fine for unwary holidaymakers
Holidaying Britons face a host of unknown ways in which they can get on the wrong side of the law when abroad - with many mistakenly see their passport as a "get out of jail free" card.
This warning comes from the Foreign Office (FO) which has listed a range of blunders travellers can make in the wrong place; whether chewing gum on Singapore's Mass Rapid Transit trains; feeding pigeons in Venice or donning military-style camouflage clothes in Barbados.
Other errors would be wearing a bikini, which can get you fined in Barcelona if you wear it away from the beach front - along with wearing just swimming trunks and going bare-chested - and eating near churches in Florence, Italy.
In Japan, some nasal sprays containing pseudoephedrine, which are commonly available here, must not be taken into the country.
It is even illegal to take mineral water into Nigeria.
Topless sunbathing is banned in Fiji and public observance of religions except for Islam is prohibited in Maldives for non-Maldivians and visitors.
With so much to look out for, it makes sense to put your mind at rest when heading away for a break by taking out
travel insurance. FO consular services director Charles Hay said consular staff cannot interfere in another country's legal processes and travellers are often unaware that local laws apply to them as well as residents of the country concerned.
Mr Hay urged British travellers to research their destination beforehand, and pointed to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice for laws and customs information for different countries.
An FO report said more than a quarter (27%) of cases of consular help being required by Britons were over arrests or detentions.
UK nationals end up going against the law unexpectedly each year, with fines, arrests and jail terms resulting, said Mr Hay. He added that the Foreign Office wants Britons to enjoy themselves while abroad but they have to realise laws differ from country to country.
"What may be perfectly legal in the UK could be subject to a fine or even a jail sentence in another," he added.
06 December 2016
Eating a handful of nuts every day can help reduce your chances of suffering heart disease and other serious illnesses, scientists have claimed.
03 December 2016
Thousands of Britons could be heading off on snow-sports holidays without appropriate travel insurance cover, it has been warned.
01 December 2016
Pilots at German airline Lufthansa are on strike again after a two-day break in their campaign of walkouts.
02 December 2016
Britons are among the top spenders in Europe when it comes to holidays, new research has found.
30 November 2016
The UK should think about resuming flights to the popular tourism resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, according to a major United Nations agency.
29 November 2016
Plans are in place to develop a new aviation arrangement between the UK and US, to ensure holidaymakers can still fly between the two countries once Britain departs the EU.
26 November 2016
Hundreds of Lufthansa flights have been grounded after pilots working for the airline took part in a strike.
25 November 2016
The US is warning its citizens that Europe is facing a "heightened risk of terror attacks" at Christmas markets and other seasonal holiday events.
24 November 2016
A groundbreaking radiotherapy machine that can track the changing position of tumours in real time will soon be used to treat cancer patients in the UK.
23 November 2016
Top airline bosses are urging the government to scrap air passenger duty ahead of Wednesday's Autumn Statement.
22 November 2016
Winter sun is now the most popular holiday type, according to new research conducted by travel experts.
19 November 2016
A holiday price increase of 10% on trips to Europe could cause tourists to postpone their getaways next year, experts are warning.