Travelling abroad this summer? Are you familiar with the local laws and customs of your destination?

According to research from the FCO (Foreign & Commonwealth Office), Britons travelling abroad are risking arrest, prosecution or even prison by not researching the local laws and customs of the country they are travelling to before they go.

The FCO study found that nearly half of all women that sunbathe topless do so without first checking if it is against the law. And one in ten men also confessed to mooning or streaking on holiday, risking arrest and a fine.*

* Source – ITIJ August 09

Jess Prasad, the FCO’s Know Before You Go campaign manager, said: “Different countries have different laws and customs, and what’s acceptable in Spain may not be acceptable in Greece and Turkey.”

What can seem like a bit of harmless fun on holiday, can turn out to be a serious offence in some countries with potential consequences. With more people choosing to travel outside the eurozone this summer, it is more important that holiday makers familiarise themselves with the local laws and customs before they go.

In July 2008 alone, Dubai police arrested 79 people, the majority of whom were tourists, for topless sunbathing, nudity and other acts that were deemed indecent by the authorities.*

* Source – ITIJ August 09

Even stricter laws apply in Abu Dhabi where kissing in public is considered an offence, yet over half of Britons travelling abroad have done so, possibly risking prosecution and a fine.*

* Source – August 09

Remember, the Foreign & Commonwealth Office will help you if you do find yourself in a spot of bother abroad but only to a certain extent.

24/7 travel insurance top tips:

  • Read up on local cultures and learn a few words of the local language before you go.
  • Respect local cultures, traditions and holy places – if in doubt ask for advice or don’t visit.
  • Always take note of the British Embassy or local British Consulate whereabouts and contact details at your destination so you know who to call if necessary.

For all kinds of useful travel advice including country-specific information, visit

Don’t forget to pack travel insurance!Carry your travel insurance documentation with you on holiday and keep the 24 hour emergency assistance number on you at all times along with your policy number. Contact us today for an instant 24/7 travel insurance quote, for just £5.91* 24/7 travel insurance will cover you for a 3-day trip to Europe!

*Premium £5.91 includes Insurance Premium Tax; based on an individual traveller aged under 55 taking out a Standard single-trip policy for 3 days in Europe including personal possessions cover and purchased within 14 days of departure date. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (August 2009) and are subject to change.