Excited for your exotic, beautiful and eye-opening experience to Morocco? Before you go there are some important things you should keep in mind when you pack. Here is Svadore’s essential guide to packing for a trip to Morocco.
Pat and I just came back from one of the most exotic and intriguing places in Africa – Morocco! It was our first time on the continent of Africa and in a Muslim country (although it is definitely more flexible than other Muslim countries). Before you begin packing, keep these tips top of mind:
- You should be respectful of their Muslim culture and try and abide by the countries societal and cultural norms. This means trying to avoid tight clothes, short shorts and strapless shirts.
- Morocco can go from 104°F during the day to 56°F at night (in the month of May)
1. Linen Pants: A light, wide and breezy pair of pants (preferably not black, since the color will attract more heat) or a pair of Bermuda’s that go past the knee. Be mindful and do not wear anything above the knee or you won’t be permitted to enter mosques and will receive some cat calls. If you don’t own more than one pair of wide, light pants, not to worry. You can purchase one of Morocco’s famous Harem pants at one of the souks for under $15 once you’re there!
2. Maxi Skirts and Dresses: Long, breezy maxi skirts and dresses are stylish while still being respectful.
3. Tank Tops and Shall/Scarf: Of course, it’s hard to be wary of tank tops and shorts when it’s 104°F. So if like me, you are afraid of having a heat stroke, feel free to wear a loose fitting tank top, but keep in mind that you should carry a shall or scarf with you at all times to cover your shoulders! If you don’t own one, purchase one from the many souks in the towns.
4. T-Shirts: I wore loose tank tops more than t-shirts and was just fine in both Fès, Casablanca and Marrakesh. If you bring any t-shirts, opt for linen t-shirts, these will pair well with a pair of long linen pants or tucked into maxi skirts.
5. Sweater and socks: As previously mentioned, during the day temperatures can be intolerant, but if you end up spending a night or two in the High Atlas mountains or desert, the temperature drops significantly by night time. Although this may seem slightly ridiculous, to pack a light cashmere sweater or warm jacket for those cold brisk nights! Pack a pair of socks as well, since the tiles can get pretty frigid at night,
6. Flip Flops and Sneakers: If you don’t mind getting your feet a little dirty and dusty, wearing flip flops will leave your feet nice and breezy in the hot African heat. However, do consider bringing a pair of ugly sneakers or espadrilles for when you decide to take a hike in the High Atlas mountains or visit the desert.
7. Shorts: Although you should be respectful of the Moroccan culture at all times, when you are in the comforts of your own Riad or Resort, feel free to wear a pair of shorts to give your legs a little breather from the heat! When staying in isolated resorts in the middle of the Atlas mountains, it is also considered ok to wear shorts if you are hanging around a pool deck.
8. Baseball hat: Definitely a must..If you are planning on spending more than a couple of days on the coast near the ocean, then I recommend a sunhat. But if you are spending most of your time in the inner cities, a baseball hat is a must. Shield your face from the rays of the African sun that hit you with a UV ray force of 10 during peak hours of the day..! Try and retreat for a long lunch between the hours of 11AM and 3PM or put on a hat and get lost in the shaded small alleyways of the Old Medina’s.
9. Sunscreen: This is the Moroccan sun we are talking about. Worst than the Miami and Caribbean sun, the UV ray index goes up to 10 almost every day and the heat can go up to 115°F in the summer. Even if you claim that you have that a blessed olive skin tone, just buy yourself a minimum SPF 50+ sunscreen..trust me, you won’t regret it. If you are thinking to yourself, well I’ll be spending most of my day in the car or under shade, still apply sunscreen. Studies have proven that UV rays can still penetrate your skin and cause sunburn even if you are in the shade and in a car.
10. Bag with a zipper: I recommend bringing a spacious cross bag with a zipper. Although not common, like every other country in the world, pickpocketers are a thing in Morocco. So to avoid that any of your valuables be stolen, bring a nice bag with a zipper to protect your belongings.
11. Bathing Suit: Yes, you should cover up at all times. However, when you are in your Riad or resort, there will almost always be a pool or mini pool to cool yourself down. Don’t forget to bring a snazzy one piece or two piece for when you decide to relax and unwind!
12. Lotion: Morocco hotels, airbnbs and souks are filled with Argan Oil lotion. But I still recommend you bring your own if you don’t like what your accommodation has to offer. Morocco has a very dry climate and is not humid at all so moisturizing is extremely important!
13. Medication: I bring medication along with me no matter where I go because you never know what can happen to you while abroad. My recommendations?
- **IMMODIUM PILLS: If you can’t find them at home, you should buy them in a Pharmacy in Morocco. Up to 85% of travelers experience “stomach problems” when in Morocco due to the different bacteria your body is consuming. These pills are a lifesaver! Take them as soon as your stomach seems to be a bit off..and within 1 hour, you will be back to normal and can enjoy the rest of your trip! You will see A LOT of travelers purchasing Immodium pills at the Pharmacy so you won’t be alone. Plus they are super cheap, only $3.50 for 20 pills!
- Hydrocortisone cream: Should you get any strange bug bites or allergic reactions
- Advil: In case you get a headache or a fever. Pills such as advil are hard to find in other countries since they use different methods to cure such common illnesses-for example, in Morocco they like to use Herbs, teas, oils etc.
- Benadryl: I am sure that by now you know what your body is allergic to and what it is not. But you never know if your body might react to a strange spice or fruit you have never consumed before. Bring some Benadryl with you should you have any strange allergic reactions.
- Eye Drops: As previously mentioned, Morocco is a dry climate. Bringing eye drops with you will soothe your eyes, especially if you go to the desert
14. Adapter: Remember to bring one of your ten adapters in the house. We all know that every time you go abroad, you forget to bring your adapter and are forced to unnecessarily purchase another one…
15. Purell/Hand Sanitizer: When your touching a lot of livestock, wood, leather..etc. once again, your body is not used to the bacteria in this environment and can react in a way that could ruin your trip. Bring a hand sanitizer with you and remember to cleanse your hands before you eat or put your hands anywhere near your face.
Of course, this is just a standard guide to the best way to be respectful towards Moroccan culture as well as be prepared for the societal differences. However, you will see some people walk around with shorts and tank tops. So if you feel comfortable doing so, by all means feel free to! But if you can avoid it, it is best to dress appropriately for their cultural norms and avoid the attention and unnecessary cat calls. Look forward to updating you all on my adventures in Morocco..!
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