It can be much easier than you think to make a mistake and break the law in a foreign country without even knowing it, that is until the long arm of the law come down on you. There are some truly bizarre laws out there for things like high heels, chewing gum and swimwear, so before heading off on your next overseas holiday the following are just some of the things you need to consider.
For men its forbidden to wear loose-fitting swim shorts into a public pool, with only 'speedo's' or 'budgie smugglers' allowed. While the penalty imposed is not a financial one, you may well find yourself banned from the pool altogether.
If caught feeding the pigeons in St. Mark's Square, Venice you will in all probability face a fine. The act was enforced to reduce the number of pigeons in the area which were causing damage to the historic monuments and structures.
The autobahn in Germany, Austria and Switzerland can be unique way of traveling through Europe however running out of fuel or walking on the autobahn in Germany can get you a fine. According to the German StVO (Straßenverkehrsordnung) - the road traffic regulator in Germany, the fine can be from €30 / USD$35 / AUD$45 or up to €70 / USD$70 / AUD$90 depending on the circumstances.
When heading to Singapore it pays to leave the Juicy Fruit at home and opt for a Tic Tac instead. There area a number of items that are prohibited from importation into Singapore however the ban on chewing gum is enforced in order to keep public spaces clean. An exception is made for dental or nicotine gum.
For those who like to combine a love of the great outdoors with nakedness, its worth knowing that in Switzerland the practice is banned. The Swiss canton Appenzell banned the indecent act after a naked German man walked past a family picnicking in the Alps in 2009.
If you are planning on undertaking some sightseeing around Greece's many historic cities and monuments then leave the high heels at the hotel. Officials in Greece have banned high heels, food and drinks from many archaeological sites because of damage they have caused to the relics in the past.
It's not actually known how this bizarre law is enforced however its illegal to urinate in the ocean in Portugal. While I thought it was one of the unspoken rules of bathing, this strange law is in place for a reason.
In the Maldives its considered illegal to take a bible with you to the park or the beach. Technically if you remove it from your place of residence, you are breaking the law.
Many visitors to Spain are unaware that if caught driving wearing flip flops or thongs it's considered a criminal offense in Spain. I think for the most part this law is not so bizarre and its probably better to drive barefoot instead for safety reasons.
The law in Scandinavia states that drivers must have dimmed headlights on at all times even during the day. This is attributed to the regions harsh weather conditions and long winters.