Revealed: The surprising ways holidaymakers could be fined

The VERY surprising ways holidaymakers can be fined, from wearing bikinis and camouflage to building sandcastles

  • Britons might even face jail time if they break some of these rules and laws
  • The list includes a new driving rule for Brits planning on road-tripping in the EU
  • READ MORE: It’s official – sea air really IS good for you, neuroscientist reveals

After splashing the cash on a summer holiday, the last thing you need is to be burdened with a hefty fine on top of your travel costs.

But that’s exactly what could happen – and for seemingly innocent reasons.

From sandcastle restrictions to camouflage bans, holiday destinations are riddled with legal tripwires that if disturbed could result in a financial headache, or worst still, time behind bars.

Read on for some of the rules to be vigilant for… 


The removal of pebbles from Lalaria beach (above) on the Greek island of Skiathos is banned

In the past, tourists have been caught pinching the beautiful white pebbles from Lalaria beach on the Greek island of Skiathos – where Mamma Mia! was filmed. After worries surfaced that this was slowly destroying the beach, a ‘take a picture, not a pebble’ campaign was launched, and the removal of the pebbles was banned. 

The authorities there even installed a pebble amnesty box at the airport. If you get caught stealing one, you could be hit with an £857 (€1,000/$1,125) fine.

Not only that, but since 2017, it’s been illegal to remove sand from Sardinia’s beaches, with rule-breakers facing fines from anywhere from £429 (€500/$562) to £2,574 (€3,000/$3,376).


Several countries, including Barbados, Jamaica and St Lucia, have laws in place that forbid people from wearing camouflage clothing to make a distinction between civilians and members of law enforcement and the defence force. The Barbados police force says that ‘any person found guilty of any of these offences is liable on summary conviction to a fine of £756 (2,000 Bajan dollars)’.


Singapore is known for its eye-catching cleanliness and it’s a standard it’s determined to hold tourists to. It’s prohibited to bring chewing gum into the country and the sale of the confectionary has been banned since 1992. Littering in the city-state, meanwhile, leads to hefty fines – you might be charged as much as £5,773 (10,000 Singapore dollars). 


Sorrento in Italy (above) has brought in a fine of over £424 (€500/$562) for those wearing inappropriate bathing suits 

Beach lovers take note – tourists can receive fines for wearing swimwear beyond the beach in the southern Italian beachside town of Sorrento. Last year it brought in a fine of over £424 (€500/$562) for those wearing inappropriate bathing suits. 

Not only that, but if you walk around certain Spanish cities and holiday hotspots in a swimsuit, bikini, swimming trunks or even bare-chested you can be fined. For instance, you’ll be fined as much as £257 (€300) in Barcelona or Mallorca. 


If you’re planning to visit ancient monuments on your holiday to Greece this year, it’s worth noting that it’s forbidden to wear high heels during your tour. In 2009, the Director of Greek Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities said: ‘Female visitors must wear shoes that do not wound the monuments. These monuments have a skin that suffers and people must realise that.’


While swearing is legal in your own home in Australia, cursing at the park, beach or coffee shop is considered a crime in territories across the country, as we previously reported. For example, in New South Wales, the NSW Summary Offenses Act 1988 says offensive language must not be used ‘near a public place or a school’, with anyone caught swearing liable for a fine of up to £342 (660AUD). 


Any tourists spotted giving pigeons food in Venice (above) can face fines from $80 (£69) to $775 (£664)

Tourists should be aware that in the near future, they’ll need to pay a fee of €3 to €10 (£2.50 to £8.50/three to 11 dollars) to visit Venice as part of a scheme introduced to control the city’s crowds. Those who don’t pay up could be fined up to €300 (£255/$300). 

The fee was due to be introduced in January 2023 but it was recently announced that its launch had been delayed to an unconfirmed date. 

What’s more, in a bid to control the number of pigeons and the damage they cause in Venice, the city has banned feeding them. Any tourists spotted giving pigeons food can face fines starting from £43 (€50/$78).


Vapes retailer Vape Club is warning Brits who travel with vapes or e-cigarettes to check for any restrictions on the devices in their destination – or they could receive a hefty fine or a prison sentence.

The most serious punishments are in the popular destinations of Thailand, Singapore and Australia. In Thailand, vapers can be fined up to 30,000 baht (£670/$878). The Thai embassy says the ban was introduced in 2014 by the Thai Government for health reasons and that anyone found vaping in Thailand ‘could be arrested and face jail time or a fine’.   

In Singapore, possessing an e-cigarette could mean a fine of £1,150 (2,000 Singapore dollars). Travellers to Australia could face a fine of up to £115,000 (222,000 AUD) if they’re caught bringing nicotine e-liquid into the country. In Qatar, vaping has been illegal since 2014, and anyone who breaks the law could be fined up to 10,000 riyals (around £2,200), or face a maximum of three months in prison.


Britons must display a UK sticker on their cars when driving them in the EU – the GB (above) identifiers are no longer allowed

Recent research by eBay looked at the driving rules that could put UK motorists at risk of being fined.

For instance, Britons must display a UK sticker on their cars when driving them in the EU – the GB identifiers are no longer allowed. If they flout this rule they could be fined up to £120 (€141/$141).

Also, when driving in the EU, you are required to carry a warning triangle (two in some countries) and reflective jacket that can be used to alert other drivers in the event of a breakdown. If you don’t have these while road-tripping in France, for instance, you could be fined £116 (€135/$152). 


Want to build a sandcastle on Levante Beach in Benidorm? You’ll need a municipal permit beforehand – otherwise, you could be fined up to €150 (£125/$150).

Smoking on the beach, sleeping on the beach and using shampoo or soap on beaches could also result in fines of hundreds of euros.

Fancy sipping a beer while out and about walking in Madrid or Barcelona? Beware. Drinking in public is banned in those cities. Flout this rule and you could be fined up to €600 (£500/$600).

Thanks to British holiday park provider Parkdean Resorts, eBay and for providing information for this article. 

Want to build a sandcastle on Levante Beach in Benidorm? You’ll need a municipal permit beforehand – otherwise, you could be fined up to €150 (£125/$150)

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