Travel Tips: 10 New Laws That May (or May Not) Affect Your Travels in 2015Kelsey Knoedler
Selfies, e-bikes, and Uber have been outlawed… in some places, that is. These are just a few of the things that cities, states and countries around the world are banning in the attempt to make the planet a better place. While other popular travel destinations are passing new laws this year that will loosen some ridged regulations to make things like drug and alcohol use easier. How will these new laws in 2015 affect you as a traveler or as a world citizen? Learn about ten new laws that will come into effect in 2015 and decide for yourself if they may prevent you—or encourage you—to vacation in some of the most visited destinations on the globe.
1 / E-bikes in Utah
Attention e-bikers: you’re no longer welcome in Moab. Or at least in parts of the city. Moab, Utah has put a ban on the use of electric bikes on mountain bike trails as they now consider them motorized vehicles. Ebikes can still be used on designated motorized trails, but watch out for jeeps, ATVs and other larger vehicles that may be sharing the road. Some of the most popular trails will now be inaccessible, so be sure to check www.blm.gov for a map of the routes before you hit the trails.
Guests on our private Zion National Park Bike Tour in Utah
2 / Uber in France
New laws in France will place tighter regulations on chauffeured rides, meaning the use of Uber POP will no longer be legal. Uber has also seen new laws eliminating the ride-share app in Spain, Netherlands, Germany, and India, and Cambridge, MA is trying to find a way to regulate the system without eliminating the concept. California has begun regulating Uber already by enforcing stricter insurance coverage laws and requiring insurance companies to offer specific policies for ride-share companies.
3 / Wine in Massachusetts
Massachusetts wine connoisseurs rejoice—you can now order wine to be shipped to your home from outside the state. Previously, it was illegal for about 98% of wine produced outside of Mass to be shipped to residents. This means that Bay Staters can now order wine from our vendors on tour to be shipped home rather than lugging it back in your luggage! Thanks to Drew Bledsoe, former New England Patriots quarterback and current winemaker in Washington state, for championing the push for this new law!
Ship home some bottles of Brunello from one of your wine tastings on our Tuscany Bike Tour
4 / Bags in California and Chicago
If you plan on doing some grocery shopping during your visit to Cali, Hawaii or Chicago this year, be sure to pack some reusable bags or plan to pay at the checkout for paper or canvas sacks. Plastic Bags have been banned in California except for use with produce and meats. California is the first U.S. state to impose a ban on plastic bags although they are illegal in all populated counties of Hawaii as well. Chicago outlawed the use of plastic bags in 2014, and the new ordinance will go into effect in August of this year. Most European countries charge shoppers for using plastic bags, and a law in Norway in 2015 will impose a new tax on plastic bags, making them even more costly for shoppers.
5 / Tiger Selfies in New York
If you were planning to snap that fantasy photo with a ferocious Bengal at the Coney Island circus to impress the ladies on match.com (I know you were), then think again. New York has banned selfies with tigers, lions and other big cats in response to a social media trend of posting selfies with Tigers. This law comes into effect in February 2015.
6 / Dog Dining in California
Restaurant goers in California now have an allergy to worry about that doesn’t include gluten. A law in California now allows pet parents to dine with their dogs on outdoor patio spaces. Of course, the restaurant still has to approve. So keep an eye out if you’re lunching at a sidewalk café in Pasadena or sipping an IPA at a San Diego bier garden as Fido the foodie may be sitting at a neighboring table.
You might meet a friendly pooch at one of our vendor visits on tour, but this little pup will stay in the garden
7 / Wheels in Venice
What did we do before roller suitcases? Luckily, visitors to Venice no longer have to worry about asking that question. In November 2014, major world news sources announced a roller suitcase ban for the city of Venice. After worldwide uproar, city officials denied the accusations, claiming that the ban is meant for commercial carts and will not apply to tourists’ luggage. However, Venetian leaders do encourage visitors to avoid damaging the precious cobblestoned alleys by carrying luggage or finding other alternatives like suitcases with rubber tires.
8 / Smoking in England
Kids in the UK can breathe easier; starting in October of this year, it will be illegal to smoke in cars with child passengers in England under the new smoking ban. Drivers could face up to a £10,000 fine if they’re caught breaking the law. Though this probably won’t prevent you from visiting the UK, it may be another reason to encourage you to visit this beautiful and now healthier, cleaner, and safer city.
Enjoy the fresh air of a healthy picnic lunch in Loire, al fresco
9 / Food Trash in Washington
Visitors to Washington state better think twice before tossing your lunch in the trash. A new law in Washington requires residents and businesses to compost all food and other compostable items and can result in up to a $50 fine. Though local officials won’t be standing at the trash can waiting to bust a tourist with a ticket, the businesses you visit could get fined, so be responsible and respectful and think before you trash. And don’t forget to compost your tea bags, coffee grounds, egg cartons, paper products, balloons, and wine corks! Visit www.networx.com for a complete list of items that are compostable.
10 / Marijuana in the U.S.
Amsterdam’s lax restrictions on marijuana have ushered millions of tourists to the lovely cycle-covered city, and more and more U.S. states may be seeing an influx of visitors from all over the country and the world who are coming to partake in the recreational drug. Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. join Colorado and Washington state in 2015 by legalizing recreational marijuana use. Italy will also allow medical marijuana in 2015 but says they do not intend for the new law to lead to recreational use in the future. Netherlands, Uruguay and North Korea remain the only countries that have legalized and regulated marijuana altogether.
Have you been inspired by one of these new travel laws for 2015? Eager to ship off to Venice before they outlaw roller suitcases? Hoping to order some bottles of Bordeaux from that amazing wine shop on tour? Contact us, and one of our travel experts will be happy to assist you.
TAGS: Travel Tips
CATEGORIES: DuVine Style