UNUSUAL FOREIGN TRAVEL WARNINGS FOR VISITING THE U.S.
Here's what governments around the world think their own citizens should know before coming to America.
- •DON’T GET RIPPED OFF AT AN ORLANDO GAS STATION (UK)"Petrol stations that do not display the price of fuel usually charge considerably more than the national average for a gallon of fuel. They’re often found close to tourist destinations and airports, and notoriously near to Orlando International Airport."
- •DO NOT USE HOTMAIL OR GMAIL (AUSTRALIA)“Use discretion when deciding whether to link to free internet services available in public places to connect to your corporate network. Avoid using webmail services such as Hotmail or Gmail for official business.”
- •THE TAP WATER TASTES GROSS (AUSTRIA)Austrians are not into the taste of American tap water: “Tap water—while not very tasty (it’s chlorinated)—is usually considered safe to drink.”
- •DON'T CUT IN LINE (CHINA)“In the United States, when many people are lining up for services at some distance away from the window, wait your turn in line. Failing to observe this convention could lead to unnecessary disputes.”
- •DON'T PEE IN THE STREET (SWITZERLAND)Switzerland is careful to note that the U.S. takes a very hard-line stance against nudity, especially when kids are involved. Also, it cautions, don't pee on things: “The legal system can be very different from one state to another and is often inspired by more rigid moral principles than in Switzerland. For example, bathing topless or without a shirt is forbidden (even for children), as is urinating in the street or taking partially naked pictures of children (even at home).”
- •AVOID BEING NAKED (GERMANY)Like Switzerland, Germany advises its citizens that they might find themselves on the wrong side of the law while just trying to enjoy a day at the beach: “Although the laws in individual states criminalizing nudity as ‘indecent exposure’ are rarely prosecuted and punished, it should definitely be noted that nude bathing, and even changing clothes on the beach, can be construed as indecent exposure and therefore may cause problems. Only at a few beaches is nude bathing per
- •FEEL FREE TO SHACK UP (AUSTRIA)Don’t be afraid to get a single hotel room with your special friend, Austria advises: “The rights of homosexual couples are liberal. Also, the cohabitation of unmarried couples (in hotels, etc.) can take place without any problems.”
- •DO NOT STALK ANYONE (GERMANY)Germany sees fit to advise its citizens against following and harassing others on American soil: “In the U.S., repeatedly following or repeatedly harassing another person, called ‘stalking,’ is punishable by law.”
- •DOORS MIGHT BE CLOSED (RUSSIA)In a warning about crime, the Russian government advises: “In some parts of the country, especially in derelict areas within the major cities, the majority of people prefer to keep their doors closed and to avoid going out alone at night.”
- •DON’T EXPECT AIR TRAVEL TO BE SAFE (CANADA)The Canadian government is not impressed by U.S. air safety policies. “Do not expect safety standards to be the same as in Canada,” it warns. Maybe Canadians just aren’t used to having to take off their shoes?
- •TAKE CARE OF THE FLOWERS (CHINA)The Chinese government suggests several common rules of etiquette for the U.S., including the following suggestion: “Take good care of flowers and trees, etc.”
- •VACCINES DON’T CAUSE AUTISM (MEXICO)The Mexican government recommends getting vaccinated for measles and other preventable diseases before visiting the states. Then, it forcefully underlines the safety of vaccination (loosely translated): “There is [absolutely] no link between the MMR vaccine and autism.”
- •THE AMERICAN DREAM ISN’T REAL (RUSSIA)Russia’s advisories get snarky, advising Russians of the U.S.’s hypocrisy over economic inequality: “The ‘American dream’ originates from here, as does another model—the special democratic character of American society with its ‘incredible freedom.’ However, due to the presence of the ‘young aristocracy’—already formed in the 20th century—and the specific model of American society, inequalities in socio-economic status between rich and poor are no lesser than in any other country in the world.”
- •WATCH OUT FOR EXPENSIVE DOCTOR VISITS (AUSTRALIA)Australia’s government strongly recommends preparing with a comprehensive traveler’s insurance plan: “Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs...A visit to a doctor in the United States for even minor complaints can cost several hundred dollars, excluding laboratory tests or medication costs.”
- •DON'T LEAVE TRASH IN YOUR CAR (CANADA)A CBC report has several tips for Canadians who get pulled over on American roads, including “don’t leave litter on the vehicle floor, especially energy drink cans,” and “try not to wear expensive designer clothes.”