When you're planning a visit to a destination you don't know much about, it's a good idea to learn a few things about the country before going. Being mindful of what you're packing is very important. It could be you're planning to visit one of the countries that have really serious dress codes for tourists. A general rule is: consider two things: the first one is the weather. But if you're going somewhere really hot, that doesn't mean that you should only pack shorts and dresses. You have to respect the local culture as well.
Sometimes, tourists don't do their research and end up getting ugly looks from the locals or hefty fines. Here are a few guidelines on what to pack if you are planning to visit some of the stricter countries.
10 Indonesia: Strict Rules Apply Mostly Just To Locals
It really depends what Indonesian island you have in mind when you start to pack. Bali is the most relaxed island of them and attracts tourists because there are so many activities you can do on Bali besides relaxing. But when you are in contact with locals, it's best to be respectful: it is advisable to leave revealing clothes at home, but no one will fine you if you insist on wearing them.
9 Keeping It Classy In Dubai
As long as you stay in touristy places, you can wear almost whatever you want. Guys, you have to wear closed shoes if you want to visit some of the fancier restaurants. Ladies, sandals are fine. If you want to visit parts of Dubai where locals live, you will be expected to show respect and dress according to their customs. You will get stared at otherwise - and that's not a nice experience.
8 Avoid Shorts In Uganda
Safari, lakes, and bustling cities: these are the top three reasons to visit Uganda. Experienced travelers advise to not wear shorts in Uganda. It's not like you're going to get fined if you don't: it's just that you'll attract more mosquitoes and that people might look at you funny - especially in rural areas. Another thing to avoid is tight-fitting pants and shirts. When rafting, of course, you can wear shorts. You're going to get wet anyway.
7 Packing A Tunic Is Always A Good Idea In Iran
Let these three outfits serve as a guideline when packing for Iran. Just like in other Muslim countries, women have to look 'decent'. That means covering as much of your skin as possible to avoid getting too much attention. Pack a scarf you can use as an accessory or you can wrap it around your head when visiting tourist attractions. Leave some room in your suitcase, though. You will want to buy locally: their colorful scarves are stunning.
6 'Morality Laws' In Sudan Are No Joke
Sudan has come a long way in their fight for women's rights, but that doesn't mean that morality laws are gone. Men are supposed to wear buttoned-down shirts and women have to cover the full length of their legs and arms. Women don't have to cover their heads by law, but it's highly advisable if they want to blend in better. As you can imagine, there are not a lot of tourists in Sudan.
5 Thailand Is Relaxed, Except When Visiting Temples
Thailand is a beloved tourist destination among young backpackers, newlyweds, and retirees alike. No one worries about what to pack when their mind is on dreamy beaches, but they forget to consider they will definitely want to visit some temples as well. A scarf goes a long way: you can cover yourself whenever it's expected. Sadly, there are many people disrespecting these rules. The local people are incredibly welcoming: be considerate in return.
4 Don't Wear Swimsuit On Croatian Streets
This law was introduced quite recently, in 2017. Croatians have had enough of tourists walking on streets wearing nothing but their bikinis. Croatia is not the only country with a ban on swimsuits. Hvar is the most strict Croatian island, but people get ugly looks when entering grocery stores in swimsuits everywhere else as well. It is considered highly impolite and a sign of bad taste.
3 Women In Saudi Arabia Have To Cover Up
Saudi Arabia opened up its borders quite recently and when they did, they understood that they can't expect tourists to fully adapt to their strict dress code for locals. For example, women are not expected to wear abayas - well, at least not outside of very traditional and religious places. Always cover your cleavage and pack light clothes. Even though it's really hot during the day, nights can get chilly, so pack a sweater too.
2 Keep It As Neutral As Possible In North Korea
When considering North Korea, you have to be willing to follow their rules if you want to enter the country. Don't wear anything flashy, shave your beard and take off any jewelry or piercings you wear. The only way to go there is with a group. Tourist guides always explain everything thoroughly just to make sure everyone packs only what they're supposed to.
1 It's Hot In India, But Bring Long Sleeves And Baggy Clothes
Even though India is a hot destination, that doesn't mean you should only pack rompers and shorts. It is highly recommended to pack baggy clothes and long sleeves instead. They will protect you from direct unrelenting sunlight. If you want to visit temples, you will have to cover your shoulders and knees, so an extra scarf can always come in handy, too.