Getting arrested is a serious matter but getting arrested in a foreign country is an even bigger problem so it’s important to pay special attention to the rules and laws of a country when visiting. The obvious laws like driving without driving inappropriately and using illegal substances should always be avoided but there are some rules that you may not know you are breaking. Here are some surprising ways to get arrested when you should be enjoying your vacation.
1. Taking Things Home
One of the most visited sites when going on vacation is the beach and oftentimes tourists think that it is okay to take some of the beach back with them, whether that be a bit of sand or shells and pebbles. In some countries, it is illegal to take those items and it could result in either hefty fines or some prison time or in the case of one tourist, forcing him to travel thousands of miles to return the pebbles he took. Things are also often taken from monuments like the Colosseum and the Giza Pyramids. Someone wise once said “take nothing but photos; leave nothing but footprints” but as you’ll read later on that this doesn’t even hold true.
2. Bathing in Roman Fountains
Rome can get pretty hot during the summer months and unfortunately, public fountains are not for cooling off. Cities like Venice and Florence are known for their one-of-a-kind fountains and were forced to crack down on those wanting to break the rules. In addition to banning sitting on fountains and steps, they’ve also put a fine on those who find themselves in the fountain, whether it was by choice or by accident. And it doesn’t matter if you go down to your undies and take a dive or wet your big toe, you’ll be paying at least €450.
3. Hiking in Flip-Flops
If you ever want to go hiking, having the right footwear is important, so important that you can get fined in some parts of the world for wearing the wrong shoes. The Italian seaside of Cinque Terre has a steep fine for those who decided to take a trek without the right footwear. The reason being is that rescue groups need to be called to save the ill-prepared tourists. As such local authorities have imposed a $4,000 fine for the wrong shoes.
4. Bringing Plastic with You
Many parts of the world have begun to ban single use plastic, and more are starting to jump on the bandwagon. One such place is the Italian island of Capri which put a stop to plastic use in 2019. Straws and cups are no longer found in any restaurants or cafés. For those who try to smuggle plastic into the country and get caught, face a fine of €500. To date, over 80 countries have banned single-use plastic bags, and more are projected to join by the year’s end.
5. Taking Pictures
Taking pictures is a necessary part of every holiday but as we mentioned earlier on in the article, the quote “take nothing but photos; leave nothing but footprints” does not apply to every country. In 2018, an English tourist took and shared a picture at the Egyptian airport and unfortunately, they didn’t realize the military helicopter sitting in the background and was subsequently arrested. In France, taking a picture with a gendarme will lead to your camera being confiscated. In the UAE, it is illegal to take pictures of strangers without their written consent.
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