There is a lot to think about when you’re travelling and staying on the right side of the law is one of them. There are plenty of horror stories of unsuspecting travellers breaking the law in other countries and finding themselves in the middle of a news story.
It’s easy to think that the laws of your own country are the laws pretty much everywhere. This is where many people go wrong. Even if something seems like common sense to you, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t against the law. In some countries it is against the law to smoke or vape, so even if you are used to going to a vape store UK, you may not have this same freedom in some parts of the world.
Don’t assume you’re exempt from local laws because you’re a foreigner and that’s not the way you do things at home.
Do your research before you travel
No matter which country you’re travelling to, be sure to do your research on the laws and cultural norms in the area. As well as the major laws, looking into those surrounding drugs, drinking, socialising and even things like kissing in public. Only look at trusted sources of information so that you can be sure you’re getting the correct information.
Check your luggage
It’s very easy to get caught out at customs with illegal items in your baggage. Even if something seems innocuous enough to you, it may cause problems. If you are on any prescription medication, check that it can be safely brought into the country you’re travelling to. Legal medication in one country may be illegal in another. If the medication is vital, you may need a special letter from your doctor when you travel.
Follow local customs
Although technically not illegal, not following cultural customs could offend people and lead to issues that do end up involving the police and causing a safety issue. You do not wish to seem disrespectful, even if you disagree with a particular custom. This could apply to dress codes, drinking, swearing, public displays of affection and behaviour at holy sites. If in doubt, ask someone, they will usually be happy to give you advice.
Know what to do if you get into legal trouble
If you do find yourself in trouble with the local authorities, then it is vital that you know what to do and what your rights are. In most major countries there will be a consulate you can contact, of your will need to find out how to contact your government if necessary who will be able to advise you and provide support.
While the vast majority of trips go off without a hitch, it’s always a good idea to be prepared in case you find yourself accused of a crime in another country. Good research before you go can avoid a lot of misunderstandings and so is knowing your rights and who to contact in any circumstance.