Questions regarding what is permitted or forbidden in various places including unforseen technicalities.

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39
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2answers
66k views

Is weed still legal for tourists in Amsterdam?

I have heard it's not legal starting from 2013. I also heard they postponed applying this? So what's the deal? Allowed or not?
37
votes
10answers
11k views

If, like Edward Snowden, your passport was revoked/cancelled, how can you travel?

As per the news, NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has had his passport revoked by the United States Government. From the article: It was not immediately clear how Snowden was able to travel, ...
34
votes
2answers
35k views

Why are you now required NOT to smile in passport photos?

Passport photos these days are usually pretty specific - certain size, color, etc. But the odd requirement the past few years is that usually you're not allowed to smile in them. We're discussing ...
32
votes
4answers
1k views

Your address at destination: What if you don't know any address?

Often, when entering a country, you must fill a form that asks, in particular, where you will stay. What if you don't know yet? Even worse, what if you don't have your guidebook in hand luggage, and ...
32
votes
6answers
6k views

What happens if you cannot pay for a hotel?

What happens if you cannot pay for your hotel stay because you accidentally run out of money (can happen) or your credit card was blocked (much more likely)? I assume you cannot arrange the money on ...
31
votes
3answers
2k views

Birth while traveling on-board an airplane

Yesterday, a friend of mine who works as a purser (chief flight attendant) helped a lady with delivering her baby during a flight to Manila, Philippines while over the ocean :) I know that pregnant ...
31
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it technically illegal for US citizens to visit Cuba?

There is a belief that US citizens would be doing something illegal if they were to visit Cuba. I remember hearing years ago while in Mexico where lots of people go on sidetrips to Cube that it's not ...
27
votes
5answers
12k views

Can a tourist buy a gun in the USA?

This came up as a discussion. With recent incidents in the news, it's often argued by some members of the public in the US that guns are a requirement for safety, and that everyone should have the ...
27
votes
4answers
12k views

Legalities and safety concerns of visiting prostitutes in Amsterdam

A friend of mine left his girlfriend after a long (~5 years) relationship. To cheer him up a little bit, we decided to go to Amsterdam, as they have liberal prostitution and drug consuming laws. ...
26
votes
6answers
4k views

What are the main differences in traffic regulations between the US/Europe?

There are the obvious ones. The US has the keep-your-lane system, where as in Europe you are expected to keep to the right (left for UK) as long as possible. On my latest travel to the US, I was ...
23
votes
2answers
7k views

What should you do if you get arrested in a foreign country?

If a traveller - for whatever reason, is arrested on charges (valid or otherwise), what steps should he/she take to ensure their safety, local and home legal aid and security? How can one make sure ...
22
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I carry a passport around everywhere I go in the UK?

I am a new student in the UK. I attend classes both in London and Cambridge. Should I carry my passport with me wherever I go within UK? Or is a college identity enough? My parents are visiting me ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Are medical doctors legally doctors wherever they are?

"Is there a doctor on board"? Who hasn't heard this announcement while flying, specially long distance. I once talk to an American medical doctor on a non-American carrier who told me he tries to ...
22
votes
2answers
832 views

Breast feeding in Iran

We are considering a trip to Iran with a 5-month old. What is the local attitude to breast-feeding in public places? Is it legal? Are there any severe consequences? Do you need to use some special ...
20
votes
6answers
5k views

What to do if drugs / a bomb are planted in your travel bag?

So the scene: You're flying from Bogota, Colombia to New York, USA. You arrive, pick up your bag from the carousel, and figure you'll stuff your netbook you used on the flight into your bag now ...
20
votes
1answer
3k views

What happens when a foreigner gets a traffic fine in the United States?

What happens when a foreigner gets a speeding ticket / traffic fine in the United States? I've heard that the issuing officer will demand payment on site or will confiscate the drivers license. That ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you just charge your phone/ipad/laptop at the airport at any outlet?

Recently, a guy got arrested for charging his Nissan Leaf. I don't have an electric car yet, but I do this so often. That is, when I am traveling and I see an outlet I feel free to charge my gadgets. ...
19
votes
1answer
909 views

Can I bring an anti-religious book into Saudi Arabia?

Could I bring books like The God Delusion from Richard Dawkins to Saudi Arabia? What will happen if they saw this book in my hand during the check-in or somewhere else in Saudi Arabia? What about ...
19
votes
4answers
5k views

Sunbathing naked in public parks in Germany

I've learned it's practiced to sunbathe naked in public parks in Germany. But also in some parts of some parks. What are the general legal regulations about naked sunbathing in public parks in ...
18
votes
9answers
7k views

What kind of ID does the US accept when visiting bars or drinking age events?

For tourists visiting the states, what kind of ID do you need to carry with you to visit bars or drinking age events? I understand the passport is the main piece of ID but do they accept any other ...
18
votes
6answers
990 views

Can you get married while traveling?

As a traveler getting married while traveling must be the ultimate experience. Can you actually legally get married while traveling?
18
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the rates posted on hotel room doors / in the lobby for?

When I'm travelling, I often see hotel room rates posted on the back of the hotel room door (typically in the US) or in the lobby, behind the check-in desk. These rates are typically eye-wateringly ...
18
votes
3answers
12k views

What harm can be done with a copy of one's passport?

In one of the questions on this site, it was suggested the use of Dropbox to save a backup copy of your passport, in case you need to proof who you are if your original document is lost. I like the ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Are there any US laws that a US citizen MUST obey while traveling, even if those laws do not exist in the country he is traveling to?

It goes without saying that the laws vary from country to country, and what is illegal in one country might be both legally permitted and culturally accepted in another. For example, in the US the ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How fast may you drive on the Autobahn?

As every American teenager "knows" there is no speed limit on the Autobahn. My understanding, however, is that there is still such a thing as excessive speed even on this free-for-all. So, ignoring ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

Is it safe and legal to sleep in my car in California (L.A. area)?

I will be visiting California and some parts of the US West Coast in the coming September. I'd like to rent a car for travelling, and to reduce travel expenses I would like to sleep in it some nights. ...
17
votes
2answers
6k views

What happens if you lose your passport at an airport / during transit?

Once, when flying from India to the UK, I left my passport on the plane's seat-back pocket and forgot that I left it there until I reached the passport control desks. Fortunately in this case, I ...
17
votes
1answer
3k views

How does “Fuel Dumping” work?

Recently, I saw a lot of blog post, forum posts etc on Fuel Dumping. For me it seemed like you can book a flight with high fuel charges, and then add another unrelated leg to the flight that you not ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Is wild camping possible in Germany? Where?

Is it possible to do wild camping in Germany? Are there specific zones for that? If yes, can someone recommend a few, preferably with nice trails to walk. The idea is to go into nature.
16
votes
2answers
805 views

What exactly is allemansrätten in Sweden?

My understanding is that it is a limited right for a traveler to camp out on any "unsettled" property in Sweden, public or private. Of course, there are important restrictions, such as NO right to ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I find which European countries require headlights on during daytime?

I know that the driving law in several countries in Europe require headlights on during daytime, some of them only in winter. But where can I find which countries have such a requirement? Just to ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

Can the ship's captain really perform your wedding when in international waters?

On the question about whether you can get married while travelling, Mark Mayo posted a comment that any marriage has to be on dry land or close to it. But I'm sure all of us have heard of ships' ...
16
votes
3answers
760 views

Declaring illegal substances at customs - what would happen?

I've always wondered this. Occasionally I declare medicines, or wood carvings or whatever when going through customs. The point of asking you to declare these things is so that they can inspect and ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Under what situations can a passenger be restrained by flight crew?

I came across a news story recently where a passenger was restrained using tape for unruly behaviour on an Icelandair flight. Under what situations is a flight crew allowed to take such action, and ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Do I have to enter the UK on my UK passport?

I'm a British National (Overseas), which basically means that while I don't have the right of abode in the UK, I am permitted to visit the UK without a visa. However, my passport has expired, and ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

What questions should I be able to answer when entering USA?

Last time I entered USA, the border officer asked me a lot of questions. Some of them were quite personal and others were about my destination in the USA. For example, he asked me where I would stay. ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Do rental cars in France come with the two legally required breathalyzers?

As of June 2012 France requires all cars / drivers to carry two self-test breathalyzers. Do all rental car companies supply them and if I use one what is the charge associated with it?
15
votes
2answers
1k views

What's the value of the “genocide” and similar questions on the US customs form I-94?

It's been a while since I’ve been to the United States, so I’m not sure whether it’s still being used, but I remember having to always fill out form I-94 which asked some odd questions: such as ...
15
votes
3answers
967 views

Will I get in trouble if I drink beer in public in Dubai?

As far as I know, Dubai is a Muslim country. And as far as I know, it is forbidden to drink alcohol in Muslim countries. Is this also true for Dubai and tourists? So as a tourist can I drink alcohol ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

TrueCrypt Volumes: Will it cause any trouble?

From various sources (mainly friends and dubious internet sites) I heard that you can get in trouble if you have encrypted volumes/files on your laptop while entering USA. Apparently they assume that ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

Is it really forbidden to cross the Indian border with Indian rupee?

Last week I tried to exchange some Swiss Francs into Indian rupees. For that I visited a big bank and they told me that they have rupees but I'm not allowed to import any into India. Is this really ...
15
votes
5answers
699 views

Why does US Customs & Immigration ask the purpose of my trip when I'm returning home?

As a US citizen, when I re-enter the US, I am often asked where I was, how long I was there, and the reason for my visit. Why am I asked these things? Am I required to answer? Don't I have a legal ...
15
votes
1answer
745 views

Couldn't return papers to border officials last time. Should I be afraid when going back to USA?

Three years ago I was on holidays in Canada and visited the Niagara Falls. I also went to the American side of the falls and got something like a "short-term visa". I also got a green paper with all ...
15
votes
2answers
10k views

Is it legal to smoke weed in Prague?

I know that buying and selling marijuana in Prague is illegal. As I were there in October 2012 I haven't seen any coffeeshops, but I have seen a lot of people smoking weed in bars or on the streets, ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

How to avoid letting a rental business hold my passport in Thailand?

I'm considering renting a motorcycle in Thailand, and the terms on the rental company's website state they will hold my passport for the duration of the rental. While I do not intend to leave the ...
13
votes
3answers
550 views

Are non-Saudi women allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia?

A link from Are there any man-only places in the world? called No Women Allowed by Fox News repeats a claim I've often heard: Women need a man, or government permission, to do just about anything ...
13
votes
2answers
642 views

Can tourists or other travellers in China get in trouble for using a VPN or other method to get around the “Great Firewall”?

The People's Republic of China blocks some very popular websites used throughout the rest of the world including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. This is known colloquially as the "Great Firewall of ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the real legal status of an airport transit area?

According to Russian president Vladmir Putin in the Edward Snowden case, an airport "transit area" is not subject to the authority of the country in which it lies, because the passengers there are not ...
13
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any laws which prohibit officials from taking a passport out-of-reach of the passport holder?

Normally when you cross a border, the border guards check your passport in your view (i.e. the passport never becomes out-of-sight for the passport-holder). But sometimes a guard comes, and takes the ...
13
votes
2answers
379 views

How to understand the registration rules in Serbia?

A country like Serbia obligates you to register your stay within 24h. Now how to understand that if you move constantly and do not stay in a place where they do it for you. Do you have to register ...