Living abroad is an exciting adventure. Experiencing culture, meeting new people, and trying new foods are all invigorating activities for anyone living in a new country. We encourage everyone traveling to new areas to do as much as they can to acclimate to their new home -- and that includes learning the ins and outs of local laws and practices. With that in mind, we share a few important, unique, and culturally significant laws in a few of the countries we offer corporate housing accommodations. That way, on your next trip abroad, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
Running out of gas on the autobahn is illegal. While you’ve likely heard of Germany’s speed limitless rural roads and highways, road-goers should be sure to fuel up before venturing out on the adrenaline-filled autobahn. As exciting as driving at speeds of 80+ miles per hour is, running out of fuel and receiving a hefty fine is a great way to ruin that “rush.”
No speed limit sign in Germany
On the topic of driving in Germany, it’s also important to remember that when stopped at an intersection, Germans proceed to drive based on direction. A driver to your right side has the right to drive first, rather than the “first come, first serve” approach in the United States and other countries. Germans also take crossing the street at crosswalks very seriously. While you may not get fined or arrested for jaywalking, you will likely receive disapproving looks from those abiding by the norm and using crosswalks.
When it comes to housing accommodations, many Germans “air out” their apartments and houses in the winter. In fact, when renting, many landlords require their tenants to do this. Because many homes are heated using steam, houses and apartments quickly become a breeding ground for mildew and mold. Opening windows once or twice a day helps release the moisture from the home and can prevent mold buildup.
For 72 hours before a state or national election, drinking is strictly prohibited. Whether an individual plans to vote in the election or not, all are banned from drinking alcohol for three days before an election.
As the first country to ban smoking in workplaces, restaurants, bars, taxis, etc., Ireland’s progressive anti-smoking laws may catch some expatriates off guard. Most notably, it is illegal to smoke in a car while children are in the vehicle. Smoking in buildings or in vehicles with minors will result in hefty fines.
Perhaps one of the most interesting laws in Ireland is that if a leprechaun knocks on your door, you must invite him in to eat. If this doesn’t show that the Irish are some of the kindest people on the planet, then nothing will!
Luxembourg is the only country to be ruled by a Grand Duke and a Parliament. The country has a fantastic economy and has been ranked as one of the most economically free nations in the world. Like its neighbor Germany, Luxembourg has a few unique driving laws. For example, all cars must have windshield wipers, even if they don't have a windshield.
Wherever your travels take you, keep these laws and regulations in mind! Other countries operate very differently from what you may be used to, whether it be through various laws, food and drink, or simply day to day living. You can make sure you are well equipped for life abroad with our cultural training. Happy travels!Back to Blog Listing