Travel Aware is an awareness campaign that we run in partnership with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to make people aware of information that might prove useful whilst travelling abroad.

Take a look at our answers below to know more about foreign laws!

1. Answer: Spain

In some parts of Spain it’s against the law to be in the street wearing only a bikini or swimming shorts. Being bare-chested has also been banned. Some local councils will impose fines if you’re caught wearing swimwear on the seafront promenade or the adjacent streets. (FCO Travel advice)

2. Answer: 27

ID checks are carried out randomly by police in many countries.

You must carry your passport at all times in the following countries: Azerbaijan, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Montenegro, Netherlands, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

Some countries will accept a photocopy: Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, France, Georgia, Greece, Latvia, Moldova, Portugal and Turkey. However, you may be asked to report to a police station with the original or be accompanied to its location.

Belgium, Iceland, Italy and Spain require some form of photographic ID on request.

3. Answer: United Arab Emirates

In 2008, a Swiss national was sentenced to four years in prison in Dubai for having three poppy seeds on his jacket after he ate a bread roll at Heathrow Airport.

4. Answer: Japan

The use or possession of some common prescription and over-the-counter medicines are banned under Japan’s strictly enforced anti-stimulant drugs law. This includes Vicks inhalers, medicines for allergies and sinus problems and even some mild painkillers like those containing codeine. Customs officials may not be sympathetic if you claim ignorance. If in any doubt, check with the nearest Japanese Embassy or Consulate before you travel. (FCO Travel advice)

5. Answer: Australia

Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria all have laws regulating offensive language which includes anything considered as:

  • disorderly
  • offensive
  • threatening
  • indecent, and
  • violent

In Queensland and Victoria use of offensive language in public may result in imprisonment for up to six months.

6. Answer: Cyprus

Eating or drinking anything, including water, whilst driving in Cyprus is illegal, and could lead to a fine of €85.

7. Answer: Thailand

It’s a criminal offence to make critical or defamatory comments in any format, including online, about the King or other members of the Royal family in Thailand. This is known as Lèse Majesté and is punishable by a prison sentence of 3 to 15 years, or longer. Foreign nationals have been convicted of Lèse Majesté. (FCO Travel advice)

8. Answer: Some parts of the Caribbean AND Zimbabwe

And countries including: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia.

9. Answer: Russia AND Belarus

In Russia and Belarus it is illegal to drive a dirty car. There are quite a few unusual driving laws when you are abroad, for example in France all drivers are required to carry a breathalyser and in Scandinavia it is illegal to drive without headlights, even in daylight.

10. Answer: United Arab Emirates

It is illegal to use e-cigarettes in the UAE. Alcohol is also banned and there are very stringent drug laws as part of the ‘war on drugs’. Sentences can include corporal punishment and all possessions and money will be seized.