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When travelling abroad, it’s important to remember that laws may differ. Something that may be widely available or tolerated back home, could be restricted or even illegalised in other countries. Below are some of the everyday things that people often forget are restricted in other countries.

Your favourite snacks

You may not be able to buy certain foods or drinks in other countries. For example, Kinder eggs are banned in the US. And many processed foods widely eaten around the world are banned in EU countries for their high pesticide content. Taking certain foods into the country without declaring them could also be illegal. Australia is known for its strict border policy when it comes to imported foods, but many other countries can be equally strict. 

Your favourite TV shows

When trying to watch streaming platforms like Netflix abroad, you may find that your IP address is blocked and that you cannot access any content. Why is my IP address blocked? Because not all countries have access to the same content. You may not even be able to stream live sports from back home or watch certain movies. Fortunately, a VPN can be a way of legally getting around this in many cases.

Certain medication

It’s worth making sure you’ve got all the meds you need before travelling abroad, as some medication may not be available in other countries. Some medications may even be banned from taking into certain countries. For example, Tramadol is banned in Egypt and Adderall is banned in Japan. You can even be arrested for taking codeine into Greece. 

Certain clothing

Some countries have strict laws as to what you can wear. Revealing too much bare skin is often frowned upon in many muslim countries. This includes popular beach retreat, the Maldives – while you are allowed to wear a bikini in most resorts there, wearing a bikini on the beach outside a resort could get you into trouble. On the opposite end of the spectrum, burqas are banned in France. Camo-patterned clothing is meanwhile illegal to wear in many Caribbean countries unless you are in the military. 

Public displays of affection

PDA such as kissing and holding hands is widely accepted in many western countries, but frowned upon in some other areas of the world like Laos and Dubai (where kissing in public is illegal!). On a related note, it’s worth noting that homosexuality and sharing a bedroom with someone you’re not married to are also illegal in some countries. For some couples, this could be important to look into. 

Taking photographs/videos

A lot of countries have laws involving taking photographs or videos of certain things. For example, in some countries, you cannot take photos of government buildings or temples. In fact, there are a few famous landmarks in which photography is banned in certain areas including Westminster Abbey, Uluru, The Valley of The Kings, The Sistine Chapel and Amsterdam’s Red Light District. Other interesting laws include a ban on selfies in Mumbai.


Many countries do not permit you to smoke in certain public areas, Vaping meanwhile is completely banned in some countries including Turkey and Norway. Meanwhile, many countries restrict the sale and consumption of alcohol. This could be something to consider before packing your vape pen or a bottle of wine.