Local laws and customs

To get the most out of your holiday, it really pays to know about local laws, customs, travel tips, food and culture.

Here are our top ten tips for an unforgettable, trouble-free and more authentic holiday.

  1. Guidebooks will outline local laws, religion and customs and always check the Foreign Office travel advice for the country that you’re visiting.
  2. Dress appropriately – don't wear your swimming costume in a supermarket. Rules will be stricter in churches and mosques and other holy places.
  3. Be respectful when talking about local cultures and traditions.
  4. Find out about religious festivals so that you’re not causing offence without realising it.
  5. Check local laws and attitudes towards sexual behaviour, particularly homosexuality, and respect local attitudes and laws on public displays of affection.
  6. Always ask before you photograph local people.
  7. Never take illegal drugs abroad, or bring them back to the UK. Many foreign countries do not grant bail before a trial and in some countries, drug offences – including possession – result in the death penalty and you’ll receive a UK criminal record for the offence committed abroad.
  8. The British Embassy cannot make local authorities drop charges or get you better jail conditions.