This document is meant to be an introductory guide for a typical trip to Morocco during peak season from April to October, including cities like Marrakech and Fez and natural features such as the Sahara and the Atlas Mountains. Other sources for more detailed information include the US State Department (travel.state.gov), World Health Organization (https://www.who.int/ith/precautions/en/), and Lonely Planet or similar country guides. In terms of packing, be mindful of what you usually need while traveling to evaluate whether you need everything on this list or if you may need to bring items not on this list.
- Arrange for taxis with reputable location such as your hotel or a taxi stand.
- Bring only the cash (and credit card) you expect to need when going out for the day, keep it hidden. Keep smaller bills and coins separate to allow you to pay for small purchases such as public transit without pulling out your wallet/money belt.
- Wear minimal jewelry.
- Use hotel safe for storing valuables, including passports.
- Ask your hotel about safety of walking neighborhood at night, as well as any areas that should be avoided in general.
- Pay attention to your surroundings. If you think you are being watched and/or followed, consider looking at them to make it clear you see them and/or heading into a hotel or restaurant.
- Keep a firm grip on your backpack if you are carrying one. If you are seated somewhere with a pack, put it on the floor with your leg through a strap.
- Be mindful as a pedestrian crossing streets. Don’t trust that drivers will follow streetlights. If crossing is chaotic, try to follow what a local does.
- If someone offers unsolicited assistance, be comfortable saying, “No thank you” and moving on.
- To avoid unwanted attention, dress conservatively. Although there is freedom of religion in Morocco, over 90% of Moroccans are Muslim. There are no laws regarding dress, but wearing pants or long skirts and shirts with shoulders covered will help you keep a more low key presence. Women may feel more comfortable wearing loose clothing and also having a scarf handy.
- Schedule an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic at least 4 weeks before departure. Take your list of destinations with you so that they can determine which vaccinations you will need.
- For minor health issues, pharmacies can be a great resource and are found throughout cities and larger towns. Your hotel or local guide can assist you in finding a pharmacy. Visitors can describe symptoms and the pharmacist is able to provide recommended medication. If you know what you want to purchase, it can be helpful to do a quick search online for the Moroccan equivalent before you go in.
- Do not drink tap water in Morocco. Drink bottled water from reliable sources.
- If you need to see a doctor, your hotel will be able to suggest a clinic with English-speaking staff.
- The currency in Morocco is the dirham. As of October 2019, the value of 1 US dollar is 9.7 dirham.
- You do not need to exchange money ahead of time. Bring US dollars (in case of emergency) and an ATM card.
- Contact your bank(s) prior to travel to notify them of your travel plans. Many banks offer this service through their app or online.
- Find out if your bank has partner banks in Morocco that allow you to take out money without charging a fee. Reliable banks for withdrawal include BCME, BCMI and Attijariwafa among others.
- Bring your bank contact information (non-1800 numbers) in case you need assistance while traveling. Consider leaving a document with these numbers and your credit card numbers with someone at home in case you lose this information during travel and need it.
- Bargaining in markets and small shops is the norm. A general rule of thumb is to offer half of what they ask for and then negotiate from there.
- When starting a taxi ride (even one arranged by the hotel), ensure that your taxi driver is using the meter OR that you have agreed on a price ahead of time before leaving. You can ask hotel staff what the price should be, and may have to negotiate with the driver.
- Guidelines for tipping:
- Porters in hotel – about 10-20 dirham
- Luggage cart porter (within medinas where cars can’t go) – 20-50 dirham
- Bus/train baggage handler – about 5 dirham
- Taxi – round up to next 5 or 10 dirham
- Restaurant – up to 10% of bill (but look at bill to see if service charge has already been added)
- Public toilet attendant – 1-2 dirham
- Tour guide – 5-10% of value of tour (for good service)
- Private tour driver – 100-200 dirham for full day
- Group tour driver – 20-50 dirham for full day
- Passport (with photocopies, I also suggest leaving a photocopy with someone at home)
- Flight confirmation email/e-tickets
- Itinerary* (printed) including flight info, lodging, activities, transport
- Travel Insurance info* (printed)
- If you are traveling solo with your child(ren), you may be asked to provide a notarized letter from their other parent that it is OK to take them out of the country
- Driver’s license
*Available in Pocket Travel Consultant App
If you are traveling for more than a week, I recommend packing for approximately 5-7 days. Laundry services in hotels and in major tourist areas are common.
- Fleece top/sweater
- Footwear – sturdy sneakers or walking shoes, sandals/flip flops, casual footwear
- Water-/windproof shell
- Sun hat
- Bottoms: 4-6 pants, skirts, etc.
- Tops: 4-6 short-sleeve or elbow-sleeve shirts
- 1-2 casual nice outfits (simple dress, polo/button down shirt, etc.) for exploring cities/towns and dining out, if you like
- 5-7 pair underwear, 5 pair socks
- 1 swimsuit
- Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen
- Wet wipes/antibacterial gel
- First-aid kit (travel size portable kits are available at Target or on Amazon and include bandaids, tape, antiseptic cream among other useful items)
- Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, or other fever reducer/pain reliever (adult and child/infant)
- Anti-diarrheal medication
- Rehydration powder (for example, Pedialyte Electrolyte Powder)
- Cortisone cream
- Feminine products
- Shaving supplies
- Nail clipper
- Hairbrush, hair supplies
- Contact lens supplies
- Prescription drugs as needed
- Cell phone, cell phone charger (and plan for use in Morocco: roaming data plan or purchase SIM card upon arrival for about 10 USD)
- Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
- Battery power pack/portable charger (for recharging phones on long travel days)
- Watch or travel clock if you don’t carry a cell phone.
- Moneybelt (I personally don’t use a moneybelt for most travel, but know many travelers do)
- Day pack (for hikes/walks/excursions)
- Plug adapter and/or voltage converter – One that fits European style plugs (two round prongs). Voltage is 220. It’s best to confirm the voltage capabilities of any item you plan to bring.
- Ear plugs
- Personal entertainment for each family member (Reading and writing materials, cards, small toys, sticker books, headphones, etc..)
- Reusable water bottle
- Handwashing laundry detergent (Woolite or Tide), sink drain cover and portable drying line
- Gallon-sized ziploc bags or similar, 2 per person (for all sorts of uses while traveling – from storing your electronics to separating clothes.
- Carseat (or a plan to rent if using rental cars or private transportation )
- Portable high-chair seat (Amazon has My Little Seat Travel High Chair)
- Diapering supplies for first few days (and plan to stock up when in larger cities)
- Lightweight travel stroller and/or baby carrier
- Formula & 2 bottles, washing liquid
- Sippy cup
- Travel crib (or plan for using hotel cribs/beds)
- Goggles, packable pool/beach toys (if you are staying at hotels with pool)
- Food pouches, granola bars, other individually packaged snacks