StudentUniverse Travel Blog

11 Things You Should NEVER Do While Abroad

Whether you are studying abroad, vacationing, backpacking or any other reason for traveling internationally, there are certain things you should never do.

1. Take pictures of security-related buildings

If it’s a government building, cool looking police quarters, or even inside an airport – ASK FIRST! In many countries you can be detained for photographing these places.

2. Buy Knock off products

You will be arrested if you’re caught.

3. Trust anyone giving you a “great deal” (unless it’s StudentUniverse)

99% of the time they are trying to rob you or sell you something illegal.

4. Buy illegal drugs

The penalties for drug charges in most countries are severely worse than in the US, including imprisonment without bail or trial for up to a year!

5. Lose track of what you’re spending

Americans have been arrested for mistakenly going over their credit limit while abroad.

6. Join a protest

Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is an American thing. In other countries, demonstrations can quickly result in violence, detention and deportation.

7. Drink too much

Drinks are a lot stronger in other countries. Don’t make poor life decisions because you drank what is normally your limit.

8. Speak louder because you are speaking a different language

Just because someone speaks a different language, doesn’t mean they are deaf!

9. Use “American” hand gestures

Different gestures mean different things depending where you are. For example, you may think you’re giving the peace sign to someone in the UK, but they might take it as you flipping them off.

10. Drive off the main roads

More than 200 U.S. citizens die each year from car accidents while abroad. If you are going to drive, know the rules of the road for that country and don’t forget your International Driving Permit.

-And finally for the love of Pete –

11.   GET ARRESTED!


Have you ever seen the show “Locked Up Abroad?” If you haven’t, you should. You do not want to end up in a foreign prison where you have no rights. But if you do find yourself in a legal situation, contact the closest U.S. embassy or consulate for help.

Still planning your next trip abroad? Make sure you check out StudentUniverse for the best deals on flights, hotels, tours and more!