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New State Laws: Here’s What Travelers Need to Know About in 2024

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What should you know about travel regulations in 2024?

The last thing a traveler wants is to go on their next adventure only to run into a roadblock, especially when visiting countries with very strict laws that tourists should abide by, lest they risk serious punishment.

But even in a less intimidating country like the USA, laws are constantly evolving and changing, especially when it comes to those that relate to the travel industry, so it’s crucial to stay on top of them as you start organizing your vacation.

As far as travel regulations in 2024 go, some laws in the US are being enacted at the moment, so it’s best to be aware of them so they don’t disrupt vacations. Here are some new US regulations and laws that impact tourists as well as residents, and they are essential to a seamless trip when visiting the US, whether as a domestic or an international visitor.

Let’s get started!

travel regulations in 2024
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1. Stricter Florida campground reservations

Travel regulations in 2024 will slightly change some things about campground reservations in Florida. Before this year, non-residents and residents of the Sunshine State alike were able to make a reservation for a campsite 11 months in advance. However, in 2024, this won’t be the same, and the change is meant to benefit in-state residents.

Those who live in Florida will still be able to reserve campsites 11 months in advance, while out-of-state people will only have the ability to do so ten months in advance. Basically, this change allows more Floridians to better take in their parks that usually see a lot of tourists, such as the popular state parks in the Sunshine State with spectacular hikes, along with those with charming beaches.

2. No more California “junk fees”

Not all travel regulations in 2024 are bad. Here’s an example.

One of the new laws in the US that affect both tourists and residents is Senate Bill 478 in California, which will do away with the surcharges that appear on the bills incurred within the state.

The significant amount of extra fees on services is frustrating to many and can put a strain on financial resources. Today, everything from food delivery to bank accounts comes with extra costs tacked on in the form of service fees.

Not in California anymore. Companies that don’t abide by the new state law, which goes into effect in July 2024, could face a financial penalty for each occurrence.

3. Refunds for California hotel and rental cancellations

Next on the list of new travel regulations in 2024 is something those who cancel California hotel or rental bookings need to know.

Many people find an amazing deal for lodging on the internet and book it impulsively. There are situations in which the traveler ultimately realizes the vacation isn’t possible or that they can’t really afford to take advantage of the deal. For these kinds of occurrences, California Senate Bill 644 makes some adjustments in order to benefit travelers.

So as far as vacations to California go, travel regulations in 2024 will change a bit. With this new law, all Golden State hotels and rental accommodations, from inclusive resorts to hostels and all in between, must allow for a full refund within 24 hours since the reservation was made. There’s one condition, though: the booking must be made 72 hours before the stay is to start.

Owners or hosts who don’t follow the new state law can be penalized with a fine of up to $10,000. The law went into effect on January 1, 2024.

As mentioned before, not all travel regulations in 2024 are bad.

4. Lifts on California entertainment zone restrictions

To foster the success of small businesses, a new law in California is aimed at enabling already established bars and restaurants to sell alcoholic drinks outdoors and within a pre-designated “entertainment zone.”

This is good news for the state’s restaurants, bars, and other businesses operating in the service and hospitality industries, as well as the tourists, as it should make enjoying a nice drink outside far easier.

Previously, this could only happen if temporary sellers set up shops to sell such beverages. This practice was detrimental to the establishments already in the area. Still, while this law will increase sales, operating outside the entertainment boundaries can result in harsh penalties for businesses, including the loss of a liquor license.

Read on to discover other new travel regulations in 2024!

travel in 2024
Photo by R.Narong from Shutterstock

5. Relaxed Illinois windshield regulations

The state of Illinois also has new travel regulations in 2024 that tourists should know about, especially road-trippers and those planning to rent a car during their visit.

The state previously ruled that things such as placards or air fresheners could not be hung from the automobile’s rear-view mirror due to possible obstruction of a driver’s view. However, the new law will reverse the decision and allow for those objects to be hung up once again.

To eliminate any pretextual reasons for pulling drivers over, the governor of Illinois has signed a law prohibiting drivers from being pulled over for having such items hanging. While we still don’t know the exact penalty, the repercussions of officials and law enforcement going against this law will probably have legal ramifications and professional discipline.

6. New Illinois video chat restrictions while driving

Next on the list of new travel regulations in 2024 is also related to driving in Illinois. The Prairie State has long been hands-free, meaning that drivers are only allowed to take phone calls via Bluetooth or if the caller is on speaker. However, in 2024, the laws will be tightened even further by prohibiting video calls.

Those driving in the state will be unable to participate in FaceTime, Zoom calls, or any other kind of video communication, including recording and streaming video, while in a vehicle. This move is being made to slash the occurrence of distracted driving in the state.

This being said, if you’re planning to rent a car during your vacation in Illinois or enjoy a road trip in the state, you should heed this new law.

7. The Kansas grocery tax

Those planning a retreat or enjoying picturesque road trips in Kansas should know that some new travel regulations in 2024 are about to change some things. But it’s not a bad thing. On the contrary.

As tourists travel through and explore the many charming landmarks in the Sunflower State, they should be prepared to save more money on groceries.

In an effort to reduce the tax on food altogether, Kansas is cutting the rate to 2% in 2024. So if you’re traveling there, you’ll be keeping more money in your pocket when you stop for a snack or some groceries compared to what you’d have saved last year.

But the good news doesn’t end here. Starting with the 2025 year, the plan is to eliminate the tax, taking the amount down to 0%.

8. California campground penalties

California will get several new travel regulations in 2024, and this time it’s related to campground reservations. We all know that plans can change at a moment’s notice. However, for those planning to camp at one of California’s many state campgrounds with desert sites, beachfront sites, and woodland sites (the Golden State’s terrain is indeed diverse), it’s best to ensure your plans are set in stone or allow enough time for an applicable cancellation.

If you cancel within a week of your pre-arranged reservation, you’ll receive a credit for the amount paid, which is valid for five years. If you don’t show up on the first day of your reservation, the entire amount paid will be lost.

The new law went into effect on January 1, 2024.

travel in 2024
Photo by Halytskyi Olexandr from Shutterstock

9. The new Florida traffic passing law

Driving in Florida is also subject to the new travel regulations in 2024. Whether taking any of the Sunshine State’s stunning road trip routes or simply passing through the state, there is a new law that affects drivers.

Part of Florida’s “Move Over” law states that every motorized vehicle must pull over into another lane to account for emergency vehicles, sanitation drivers, and tow trucks. However, travel regulations in 2024 will expand this law to account for disabled automobiles on the side of the road, and those planning to visit the Sunshine State will have to be aware of the new travel regulations in 2024.

This being said, starting at the top of this year, if a vehicle is pulled to the side of a road and has either its flashers on or is not in working order, drivers are required to move to another lane to provide a barrier. If this isn’t possible, they must reduce their speed to 20 mph under the speed limit or five mph if the posted speed is 20 mph or less.

10. The new California police stop questioning the law

Travel regulations in 2024 will also change some things about the way the law is enforced in California. If someone is traveling through the Golden State and they are stopped by a police officer, the law enforcement agent is no longer allowed to ask the famous question, “Do you know why you’ve been pulled over?”

Instead of that, the new law now requires police officers in California to voice the reason for pulling a driver over before anything else. Of course, this applies whether it’s about residents or tourists.

There are exceptions to the rule, though, including situations that are emergent or potentially dangerous. While the exact penalty is unknown, the repercussions of ignoring this new law in California will likely result in legal ramifications and professional discipline.

Do you need a new carry-on for your short trips? Here’s the best option from Amazon!

If you liked our article on travel regulations in 2024, you may also want to read These Are the 9 Worst US Airports, According to Online Reviews.

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