It can be tempting to pack your favourite swimsuit and head off on holiday without researching if the costume is appropriate. That being said, some countries are more well known for having certain requirements, such as in France where men need to wear Speedo styled shorts (we mean the old school traditional tiny 'speedos' or briefs that the brand is best known for, though other forms of Speedo swimwear and brands are available) and not typical cloth short swimsuits. Also in Italy where often everyone has to wear a hair net or swim cap in the swimming pool.
Unusual destinations and swim suit requirements
What isn't so well known, is that in Italy, foreign beach-goers can offend the locals if they don't wear cover-ups over swimsuits. In certain locations like Lerici, on the Italian Riviera, it is against the law to walk the streets in just a swimsuit. Across from Naples on the island of Capri, you can't walk around in just a swimsuit, neither can you wear any noisy-sounding shoes!
Qatar and Saudi Arabian holiday makers would be wise to understand there are some strict laws about covering up. Local women will be dressed head to toe in clothing that covers their bodies when swimming. While visiting women are not legally required to cover up anywhere, it is wise to wear some extra clothing, like a long t-shirt when swimming.
7 Swimsuit Rules around the Globe
1. In Victoria, Australia it is still against the law not to cover up in a Victorian style swimsuit - meaning neck to knee coverage. (We think you'll be safe if you don't wear this though - it's not policed, just wacky! - Although with some of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world it's probably not a bad idea).
2. In Majorca, Spain you cannot wander topless or in a bikini or speedos around the streets as a man or a woman.
3. In Melbourne, Florida, wearing a thong on the beach is illegal and attracts a $500 fine.
4. Italian public swimming pools require you to wear footwear at all times, which explains why you'll see local ladies wearing high heels around the pool.
5. In Dubai all beaches are public - there is no law prohibiting a particular bathing suit - keep in mind local families and international vacationers have access to the same areas. On women-only days once a week, males (excluding toddlers) are not allowed on the beaches. Nudity is, of course, strictly prohibited, as is wearing swimming costumes in the streets.
6. In Australia, it is legal to sunbake nude on Commonwealth coastal land in every state and territory. Usually you will find these stretches of beach have soldiers running around in full camouflage gear, as the national army trains on Commonwealth lands.
7. In Tenerife and the Canary Islands, dedicated nudist beach-goers will enforce the 'no swimming costume' rule. While you won't be arrested, the matter will be discussed with you by the 'neighbourhood nudist watch'. Adventure and waterslide parks outlaw thongs and underwear. They also ban metal fittings such as decorative buckles and press studs, so check your board shorts and if in doubt, wear 'speedos' or you won't be able to go on any rides.
Have you come across any weird and wonderful swimming related rules whilst on holiday? Please tell us by commenting below!