PDAs on the Road: What Not to Do Where


PDAs (public displays of affection) between amorous couples are looked at differently around the world.

In some countries you’ll see hot young things dry humping each other on the beach with no one batting an eyelash at it, and in other countries such behavior could get you thrown in jail.

First of all: if you’re planning a trip away with your partner (or are just hoping to get lucky once you’ve arrived somewhere – hey hey!) then do your research beforehand. Ignorance won’t do you much good after the fact, and no one wants to end up like this couple.

Check out the official foreign travel advice for your country, read up on the cultural do’s and don’ts, and be especially carefully when it comes to making yourself aware of any relevant laws. This is especially true if you’re in a same-sex relationship (see our post on resources for LGBT travelers for more information).

Even when you’ve clued up beforehand, be aware once you’re there – watch what local couples are doing, and also how people are reacting to them. Even within the same country or culture, what is acceptable in a bar in a bustling metropolis may be frowned upon by older people in the surrounding countryside.

To massively generalize:

  • In western countries and much of Latin America, PDAs are generally alright to varying degrees (although don’t let this guy’s hilarious misconceptions fool you – sex in public places is illegal, even in the more notoriously romantic nations).
  • In the Middle East, India and Islamic countries, PDAs can lead to harassment and even imprisonment, so take plenty of cold showers instead.
  • In much of East Asia, Africa and Russia, although PDAs are becoming more common in some places (especially amongst the younger generation) this is not always necessarily the case, and may well be frowned upon. Be aware.

It can be confusing even if you have done your research. For example, kissing in public in Austria is fine, but doing the same on Vienna’s city subway could get you fined.

In conclusion: if in doubt, play it safe. When you’re a guest in a country with a culture and rules different from your own, it never costs to be a little cautious. After all, you want to remember your loved-up trip for all the right reasons – not for being shouted at by an elderly Italian nonna or arrested in India!

What do you think about PDA? 


About Author

Leah Eades is a compulsive traveller and freelance writer, whose adventures so far include working in an Italian nightclub, contracting a mystery illness in the Amazon, studying at a Chinese university, and cycling 700km along the Danube River. She blames cheap Ryanair flights for her addiction. Having recently graduated with an English degree, she is currently based in Florence, Italy.

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