11 Super Important Travel Tips for Morocco

Hi chums!

I recently (and by recently I mean almost a couple of months ago) returned from a trip to Morocco. I was quite nervous about travelling here so I made sure to do my research before I went and even so I encountered new things which I wanted to share here on my blog.


1. Separate your money

If you happen to get money taken, you want to make sure it's not the whole lot if you can help it. I split my money up and put it in three places so that if any of it got stolen it would not be the end of the world.

2. Beware of people offering help

On a trip to Ait-Ben-Haddou we had to cross a small river/stream on stepping stones (the water was no more than ankle deep). When we arrived at the stepping stones there were around 10 children who tried to offer you help to cross - well, actually they kind of forced their help onto you. They kept trying to grab my hand even when I kept saying no. This was kind of a stressful experience and a lot of my friends fell into the trap of accepting their help and getting accosted for money on the other side of the river. This is another reason for splitting your money - make sure it doesn't look as though you are carrying much. My friends only gave them 10-20 dirham (10 dirham is roughly 1 euro), so it wasn't much but beware of this.


3. Ask for small currency

When exchanging your money I would really recommend asking for small notes and, if you can, some coins. In Morocco culture no-one seems to like to give change unless it's a restaurant/proper shop. So this tip is especially important if you are going to markets, haggling, and buying souvenirs.

4. DO NOT DRINK THE WATER

In Morocco, you can't drink the water. Actually, you can't even brush your teeth in it. The answer? Bottled water, baby!


5. Wear respectful clothing

As a white, blonde girl, I already got a tonne of unwanted attention which made me feel super uncomfortable. However, I did cover up my shoulders and legs which wasn't the case for all the tourists I saw. I would recommend covering up not only to be respectful to their culture, but to not stand out because it can feel very uncomfortable when people shout at you in the street because of your hair/skin colour.

6. Ramadan

When I went to Morocco, it was Ramadan. Before I went I read that no food places would be open and me and my friends were wondering whether this was really going to be the case. But luckily, no, it wasn't! In Marrakech we were absolutely fine and also while we travelled round with our tour we went to restaurants for lunch and dinner. The only thing was that it was a lot quieter than normal because the only people eating in the day were tourists.


7. Bring all the home comforts you'll need over the course of your stay

We didn't come across any department stores or drug stores (Boots, where you at?) while we were in Marrakech. I found this super refreshing but at the same time I was glad I didn't leave any essential stuff (aka mascara) at home. So make sure you really think through what you want to bring with you before you come because it's not as easy as other countries to nip into somewhere and get something similar.

8. Be careful with backpacks

If you are in Marrakech or another busy city, make sure to keep your bag/backpack in front of you. I know the front-backpack isn't necessarily the most attractive thing in the world, but it's best to be wary of your possessions. Like any city in the world, pick-pocketers are everywhere!

9. Nothing is free

No surprise with this one, but I'm specifically talking about when you are in a marketplace. In Marrakech, men with baboons chained to them would come and try and put them on your shoulder so that you take a picture and have to pay them. One of my friends with no change ended up paying 100 dirham for a picture (roughly 10 euros) which she was not happy about.

We also came across a woman who was arguing with a lady who had just done henna on her hand - the lady was claiming that she did not say 20 dirham, but 20 euros for the henna. Needless to say, the woman was not a happy customer!


10. Bring a portable phone charger

The tour I did with my friends included a LOT of driving and we also spent one night in the Sahara Desert where (surprise, surprise) there were no power sockets. So, if you want to keep your phone charged and ready to take tonnes of photos then I would seriously advise bringing a portable phone charger.

11. Toilets, toilet paper and hand sanitiser

Make sure you pack some sort of toilet paper/tissues because toilets in Morocco does not always have this readily available! Also, be sure to throw your toilet paper in the bin instead of in the loo because the sewage systems are not the same as the UK and you do not want to be responsable for blocking the toilets!

Everywhere we went had normal sit down toilets apart from one place where there was just a hole in the ground in a cubicle.

Finally, please please please bring some hand sanitiser. This will be the best move you will ever make. Although there are working taps in most toilets, there is no soap the majority of the time, so you will definitely need that hand sanitiser!


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So those are my 10 travel tips! Like I mentioned before I read a tonne of blog posts and advice before I went and I had an amazing time.

These tips aren't meant to put you off going to Morocco, but it's best to be prepared. As long as you are cautious and aware, you will be fine and will have the most insane time.

Happy travels!

Love as always,

Emma
xxx

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