A gavel on a book in front of the US flag

Six strange US laws Canadian travellers should be aware of

Every year, Canadians take a trip across the border to the United States. Although there are various reasons Canadians like to travel south, one of them is familiarity. Of all the countries in the world, the US is one that is possibly the most similar to Canada. We share the same language and have similar geography and culture. There are many comparison points – that is, until you start comparing the laws.

Wacky US laws Canadians should know about

There are a number of peculiar laws across the United States that make certain actions illegal, and many of them wouldn’t even cross the mind of the average Canadian traveller.

Reader’s Digest recently put together a list of strange laws in the US. Here are some of them:

  1. Don’t wear your pants low: In Albany, Georgia, it is illegal for you to wear your pants or skirt three inches below your hips, showing your skin or underwear. If you’re caught, you may be fined $25.
  2. Sit down while drinking: Standing with friends on a patio and enjoying a beer is a common sight among Canadians, especially those on vacation. However, in Texas, it is illegal to take more than three consecutive sips of beer while standing. This is only one of many strict drinking-related laws in the state.
  3. Be careful who you flirt with or tickle: It’s illegal to tickle a female in the State of Virginia. Even more surprising: Did you know that it is illegal to flirt in New York City? “This old law – still in effect in the Big Apple – states that if a man looks ‘at a woman in that way,’ he could be levied with a $25 fine,” says Jackie Middleton.
  4. Don’t share your food: It’s common for people to share their meals, especially when travelling and trying out a new restaurant. However, don’t do this if you are in Oklahoma. It is illegal to take a bite of someone else’s hamburger. When in doubt, buy a second burger.
  5. Keep Fido at home: If you plan to visit Las Vegas, you are better off leaving your furry friend at home, unless you plan on walking it early in the morning. It is now illegal to walk your dog on the Las Vegas strip outside the hours of 5 a.m. to noon.
  6. Don’t eat garlic: You might want to skip the garlic when eating in Indiana. “Forget about dinner and a movie. If you eat garlic in Indiana, don’t leave the hotel for at least four hours. If you head out to catch a streetcar, theatre performance or a movie within four hours of consuming garlic, you could be entertaining a fine,” says Middleton.

These wacky laws are a great reminder to always research the location you will be travelling to, even if you will be in a familiar country like the US. The last thing you want is to find yourself in legal trouble for breaking a weird law that you were unaware of. When you plan your next trip, make sure that you review the laws of the state and city you will be visiting. A few minutes of research time could save you from an unexpected legal issue.

The other thing you should research before travelling is your travel insurance coverage options. Travelling without travel insurance or assuming you have coverage through your credit card could be a financial risk. Eliminate the risk, and get a quote for travel insurance for the USA today and travel worry free with Blue Cross.