Travel trivia – local laws and customs

  1.  If your EHIC card covers doctor’s bills and hospital stays in Europe, buying a supplementary travel insurance policy is a waste of money. True or false?


  1. Which is a good way to counter the effects of jet lag?

a.  Keep your watch set on the time back home.

b.  Take a long nap as soon as you arrive.

c.  Have a few alcoholic drinks on the plane so you’ll relax and sleep.

d.  None of the above.



  1. Blood clots can develop in the lower leg during extended travel by air or motor vehicle. How often should you move around to keep your circulation normal?

a.  Every 15 minutes.

b.  Every 30 minutes.

c.  Every hour.

d.  Every two hours.


  1. We dial 999 and the Americans dial 911, but what is the number for emergency services in Europe?


  1. In which country are Sat Nav speed camera alerts illegal, resulting in a confiscated license, impounded vehicle, and £1000+ fine?


  1. If you usually wear glasses or contact lenses to drive then you must carry a spare pair of specs when driving in Spain. True or false?


  1. Which of the following countries requires you to keep your headlights on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in the following countries

a.  Sweden.

b.  Switzerland.

c.  Bulgaria.

d.  All the above.


  1. If you have an accident in Finland involving a reindeer, elk or any other large animal you do not have to report it. True or false?


  1. In which capital city is it illegal to use a car horn?


  1. Where is it illegal to wear high heels?


  1. Where is it illegal to drive in flip-flops?


  1. Where is it illegal to be naked in your own home if the curtains or blinds are open?


  1. Where is it illegal to run out of fuel?


  1. Where are you forbidden to die?


  1. Where are you forbidden to urinate in the ocean?


  1. Where it is against the law to frown?


  1. Where is it against the law to flush the toilet after 10pm?


  1. Food tastes worse on a plane. True or false?


  1. Where is it against the law to stand on money?


  1. Where is it illegal to place a stamp upside down on an envelope?






  1.  False.  While it’s worth getting an EHIC, it is not enough on its own. You should still get travel insurance that includes medical and repatriation cover.  While your EHIC card will cover some doctor’s bills and hospital stays (providing the same level of state-provided medical care as someone who lives in the country you are visiting), it will not cover medical evacuation or repatriation (flying you home), which could run to thousands of pounds.
  2. The correct answer is: d. None of the above.  The trick to overcoming jet lag is to get acclimated as soon as possible. Set your watch on destination time while you’re still in the air, avoid napping (don’t sleep until it’s bedtime where you’re going), and skip alcoholic drinks while flying since they can disrupt normal sleep patterns and dehydrate you. Instead, drink plenty of water and move around as much as you can on the plane.
  3. The correct answer is c. Every hour. If you can, walk up and down the aisle of the plane. If traveling by bus or train, make the same effort. If traveling by car, stop and walk around every hour or so, according to the US National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.  While seated, you can move your legs and stretch and flex your feet, which improves blood flow in your calves. Movement prevents blood from pooling. Except for compression stockings, wearing loose, comfortable clothing and sitting in an aisle seat can also reduce the risk of developing a blood clot.
  4. 112 is the 999 equivalent in Europe.
  5. France.  If you are caught with a working device, the French police can confiscate your license, impound your vehicle, and fine you up to 1,500 euro.
  6. True.  Take two pairs of glasses to drive in Spain.  As a tourist or holidaymaker, you may be asked to pay the fine on the spot but, although Spanish police are said to be lenient with tourists in relation to spare glasses and contact lenses.
  7. The correct answer is d. All the above.  It is compulsory to keep your headlights on 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  8. False. It is illegal not to report it to the police.
  9. In Nepal’s capital city, where a horn was widely used as a substitute for a brake, Kathmandu’s drivers appear to have kicked their noisy habit for good.
  10. In Greece at important archaeological sites.
  11. Driving in flip-flops is illegal in Germany, France and Spain and subject to on the spot fines. In Spain, the law goes even further, banning any backless shoes, footwear which is open at the front, high heels and driving barefoot.
  12. Singapore.
  13. Germany’s autobahns. You are not allowed to stop without a valid reason and no fuel is not considered a valid reason.
  14. Five places around the world.
  • The island of Itsukushima in Japan is considered too sacred a place to die. Births are similarly banned.
  • The Arctic town of Longyearbyen in Norway is so cold that bodies can’t decompose there, so the gravely ill are dispatched to other parts of the country to live out their days.
  • In Sarpourenx (France) and Falciano del Massico (Italy), the cemeteries are full so there’s simply no more room to bury the dead.
  • The House of Parliament in London.  Anyone dying there is entitled to a state funeral so it has been outlawed.
  1. It is illegal to pee in the ocean in Portugal.
  2. Unless visiting a hospital or attending a funeral, in Milan it is against the law to frown.
  3. In Switzerland.
  4. True. But not necessarily because the food is bad.    At high altitudes, our taste buds simply don’t work properly. The low humidity dries out our nasal passages, and the air pressure desensitises our taste buds, which is why airline often opt for salty stews or spicy curries.
  5. In Thailand, it is a punishable offence to disrespect the king or anyone else in the royal family. As the Thai Baht bears the king’s image, you are not allowed to deface it or stand on it.
  6. In the UK.  You could receive a fine.

Published on 31/12/18

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