What Not To do Around The World

40 Tourist No Nos

What not to do around the world.

United Arab Emirates

  • No drinking in public.
    Drinking or even being under the influence of alcohol in public is a criminal offence in the UAE. At 18 you can drink in licenced places in Abu Dhabi but you must be 21 in Dubai.
  • No Sleeping Around
    Unless you’re married, having sex could result in you being prosecuted and possibly even deported from the UAE! Even sharing a hotel room with the opposite sex (if unrelated) is a crime.
  • No Kissing In Public
    Public displays of affection are enormously frowned upon in the UAE, and kissing somebody in public could see you behind bars in no time.
  • No E-Smoking
    Electronic cigarettes are illegal in the UAE, and they will be confidscated at the border if you try to bring them with you on your holiday.
  • Always Dress Up
    When you’re in public places such as shopping centres, women have to dress up and ensure the tops of their arms and legs are covered. Swimwear can also only be worn at pools or beaches.


  • No Camo
    It’s an illegal offence in Barbados for anyone to dress in Camouflage patterned clothing – even children! So leave your child’s Action Man t-shirt at home.


  • No Drinking After Hours
    If you’re planning on drinking in the evening in Sigapore. Make sure you’re wearing a watch! It is illegal to drink alchohol in public between the hours of 10:30pm and 7am.
  • No Pets Allowed
    If you’re travelling with a pet, Singapore won’t be your best bet. You’re allowed to keep them indoors here, but having your pet in any public area is against the law.
  • Don’t be a litter bug
    Littering is a criminal offence in Singapore. In fact, even chewing gum has been banned from the country and eating anything on public transportation is also illegal!


  • No Putting Your Feet Up
    Putting your feet up on a chair or table is considered incredibly rude in Thailand. Pointing at anything using your feet, or touching someone with your feet is equally as insulting.
  • No Whistling at Night
    It is considered bad luck in Thailand to whistle at night, as it will result in superstitious locals thinking you’re calling spirits.
  • Always Resect The King
    It is illegal to speak even slightly negatively about the King in Thailand – or any member of the Royal Family for that matter. Even saying something as a joke could land you in jail.
  • Don’t Touch Anyone’s Head
    Buddhist Monks are allowed to touch people’s heads in Thailand. The head is seen as the most holy part of the body, and touching or covering someone else’s is seen as disrespectful.


  • No Milk In Your Tea
    Teas come neat in China, and it is a huge insult to ask for milk. Instead, just enjoy the huge variety of neat, unique and delicious teas available and wait until you’re home for a milky ‘cuppa’.
  • No Hugs or Kisses
    Similarly to Japan, you should never greet anybody by embracing them or kissing them unless you know them extremely well. It is unacceptable behaviour in China.


  • Don’t Eat With Your Hands
    There’s loads of food you might like to eat with your hands – and the ever-present bread rolls and pizza in Italy are no exception. However, it is considered rude to use your hands here!
  • Don’t ‘Rock Out’
    It’s not that Italians don’t like rock music, but making the ‘rock on’ horns hand gesture in this country actually insultingly translates as you telling someone their wife is unfaithful.


  • No Getting High
    Jamaica is famous for lots of things – sunshine, beaches and getting high! Contrary to popular belief, it is strictly illegal to smoke marijuana here. Many people seem to think otherwise!

United States

  • Always Use The Crossing
    Even if the roads are completely clear on your travels around the USA, make sure you wait for the go ahead before crossing the road. Jaywalking is illegal in many states around the USA.
  • Always Tip
    Tipping is customary in the USA, and it actually makes up a large proportion of waiters’ and waitress’ salaries. It’s hugely frowned upon not to leave a trip in the majority of states here!
  • No Drinking If You’re Under 21
    Lots of 18 year olds love to get drunk in the UK, but they might not have such fun time in the USA until they’re a bit older. It is against the law in many states to drink under the age of 21.


  • Never do the ‘Nazi Salute’
    Under no circumstances should you ever do the ‘Nazi Salute’ or anything similar even if you are only messing around! You could be punished with up to 5 years in prison.
  • Don’t Give Germans German Wine
    If you want to bu a German local a bottle of wine, stick to the wine that’s been imported from elsewhere. Giving German wine says that you don’t trust them to provide quality wine themselves.


  • No Mooning
    Any indecent behaviour, such as showing your bum in public, ins not tolerated anywhere on the Greek islands. In fact, some fancy dress costumes can also go against Greece’s decency laws.


  • No Hugs or Handshakes
    Physical contact with the opposite sex is incredibly frowned upon in most parts of INdia. Unless a local goes to shake your hand or hug you first, it’s best to avoid it.
  • No Kissing
    The same goes for kissing in public. In many parts of India kissing in public could actualyl result in you getting arrested for public obscenity.
  • No Binoculars
    If you’re into bird watching or plane spotting, it is safer to leave this hobby at home. Indian authorities don’t like any cameras or binoculars near military sites, airports or railway stations.

Czech Republic

  • No Stag Dos
    The majority of bars and restaurants in the city centre don’t allow large stag groups to enter, as they want to avoid any offensive behaviour. Drunken behaviour in public can also result in hefty fines.
  • No Jaywalking
    Similarly to the USA, jaywalking is also an illegal activity in the Czech Republic. Always cross at signed crossings, and wait for the green man signal to light up if there is one.


  • Always Pack Your Passport
    If you’re travelling to different districts in Austria, don’t leave your passport in the hotel. It is the law that it must be within the same district as you, and a driving licence wont’ do as alternative ID.


  • Be Careful Giving Flowers
    If you’d like to give someone flowers during your stay here, avoid red resoes as they signal romantic intentions, and while lilies are for funerals. Flowers should also be given in odd numbers!
  • No Sharp Gifts
    Furthermore, if you’d like to give someone a different gift instead during your stay, make sure you don’t give them anything sharp such as cutting knives – it signifies the end of a friendship!

New Zealand

  • No Confusing Them With Australians
    This one goes without saying really, but New Zealand locals find it hugely insulting (and very irritating) if their accent is referred to as sounding at all Australian.


  • Always Carry Cash
    There are lots of places in Russia – from cafes to restaurants, and even many shops – that require cash and won’t accept credit cards. So it’s a good idea to keep cash on you at all times.
  • Don’t Give Flowers In Even Numbers
    You may wish to give somebody thank you flowers during your stay in Russia, but make sure the bouquet is made up of an odd number of flowers. An even number is for funerals here.


  • Always Use Cutlery
    It’s considered extremely insulting to eat anything with your hands in Chile – even foods that you love to pick up such as hamburgers or chips! Make sure you always use your cutlery in public.


  • No Hugs
    You should never hug people that you don’t know when you visit Japan – particulaly anyone from the older generation. It can make the locals feel incredibly uncomfortable here.
  • Don’t Stand On The Wrong Side
    Travelling up the escalator can be tricky business in Japan, and it is frowned upon and rude to stand on the wrong side. Stand on the right in Osaka and the left in Tokyo – or just copy the locals!


  • No First Names
    When visiting Kenya, the etiquette is to not call someone by their first name. You should call people Mr or Mrs Last name or Sir or Madam if you don’t know it!
  • No Talking About Sex
    Not only is public effection strongly frowned upon in Kenya, but so is even talking about sex when you’re in mixed company. It is considered very rude, and 80% of the country and Christian.

What Not To do Around The World

Infographic by FlyDubai. For travelling hacks whilst aboard check out this infographic.





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