Musement takes a look at ten items prohibited in other countries so that you can pack your bags accordingly so that you can arrive at your destination sans problems.
Travel opens the mind and brings us closer to other cultures, giving us a new lens through which we view the world. However, within those cultures are customs that are unfamiliar to us, so it is important that we are well-informed before we depart, and that we don’t overlook any detail that might raise eyebrows when we arrive at our destination. This includes being aware of certain objects that are prohibited in certain countries, some of which may even be considered crimes.
Did you know that wooden clogs are not allowed in Capri? And that you can’t carry a pocketknife in Scotland? Here’s a look at which objects you should leave at home depending on where you are traveling:
1. Antelope hair, India
In India, clothing and accessories made from antelope hair are prohibited, and owning them is considered a serious crime. The best-case scenario is that you are fined and the article of clothing in question is confiscated. Worst case? You could wind up in prison for up to six years! So now you know–don’t pack items of this sort, and if you buy clothes or accessories as a souvenir from India, make sure to ask for a receipt that lists the product materials so that you can prove that it is not made of antelope hair. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
2. Designer knock-offs, France
Importing, possessing, and owning fake products is considered a crime in France. Violators are fined and, depending on the case, possibly sent to prison. Airports monitor for these items, so we suggest that you leave your fake Louis Vuitton at home if you are traveling to Paris or to another part of France. There’s just no faking French glamour.
3. Pocketknives, Scotland
If you carry a multiuse pocketknife when you travel, you should leave it at home if you’re going to Scotland. Here, knives or pocketknives are prohibited, and can land you in jail.
4. Gum, Singapore
Did you know that it is illegal to chew gum in Singapore? If you can’t live without it, traveling here will be quite a challenge! You will have to resort to candy because this Asian country prohibits the import and consumption of chewing gum.
5. Tobacco, Thailand
Bad news for smokers: if you travel to Thailand, you can only bring one carton of cigarettes into the country, even if you are in transit to another destination. You might come up short if you disobey this rule as extra cartons will be confiscated, and you will be fined for excessive quantities. And resisting the penalty will bring your situation from bad to worse–your tobacco addiction could end up taking you to court.
6. Camouflage, Barbados
Unless you are a member of the military, leave your camouflage at home if you are traveling to Barbados. If you are seen sporting the print on this Caribbean island, your clothing could be confiscated and you might be fined.
7. Yellow clothing, Malaysia
Yellow clothing has not been allowed in Malaysia since 2011, as it was the color used in protests by the opposition party. In addition, and an interesting aside, the song, “Despacito,” is also prohibited since the government concluded that its lyrics are not in accordance with Islamic culture.
8. Clogs, Capri
If you were thinking about showing off your wooden clogs in the idyllic island of Capri, we suggest you take them out of your suitcase and opt for less noisy footwear to complement your Insta-ready attire. Since the year 1960, clogs have been prohibited in this Italian city, everywhere except for the beach area, so as to not bother the neighbors. By the way, Capri’s inhabitants love peace and quiet so you won’t be allowed to listen to your radio in outdoor areas.
9. Tattoos, Sri Lanka
If you have tattoos, be careful in Sri Lanka as locals consider certain tattooed symbols offensive, especially crosses or other symbols with religious motifs. It is best to keep the ink covered and be careful about what you wear in general–especially if you visit temples.
10. Don’t forget your bathing suit for Malta!
When visiting Malta, there is an article of clothing that, contrary to the previous places, you must bring: a bathing suit. And that is because what is prohibited in Malta is nudity. Therefore, it is essential to be minimally covered when going to the beach. And, nope, going topless is not allowed either. If you want to avoid a penalty, it is best to cover up.