These Morocco travel tips may help to make your next trip just a little bit better! If you want my full trip report from my Week In Morocco it’s available here.
-Reserve dinner your first night at your Riad. They normally have wonderful cooks and it’s great not having to navigate the busy streets your first night. This generally needs to be reserved ahead of time, so send them an email before departure or ask your travel agent if this can be arranged. Most Riads do not have restaurants, the staff will be making your meal personally so this is why it must be reserved ahead of time.
-Dress like Moroccans. Women do not have to cover your hair, but in rural areas you should cover your knees and shoulders. Tunic-like tops are great over jeans. A colorful scarf can make your outfit both stylish and modest. In the hotter months, longer dresses instead of short skirts will still keep you cool but allow you to respect the culture and integrate a bit better. Men in Moroccan typically do dress a bit sharper than Americans – long pants with a nice shirt is common.
-Consider getting the VIP/Priority service for the passport control at the Marrakesh airport if you don’t like lines. This needs to be reserved ahead of time before you depart the USA. If your plane lands in Marrakesh at the same time as other international flights, you may spend over 2 hours in line on a slow day. Paying ahead of time for expedited service is a great way to start your vacation on the right foot.
-Learn at least “Hello” and “Thank You” in Arabic. It really goes a long way
–Google Maps is AMAZING in the Medina in Marrakesh and for finding walking directions almost everywhere. It can help make you more confident in the narrow alleys and backstreets that were previously very intimidating.
-Don’t be afraid to use a guide or use your hotel’s services – it’s very culturally appropriate to have a guide and it’s a great way to experience the town and culture more in depth.
-Take a cooking class or other hands-on activity to experience the culture. (Some tours are here.)
-Look up travel distances. Many tours might have you go to towns that are 3 or 4 hours away as a day trip. Be sure to find out how many hours you actually spend in the town to make sure the car ride is worth it.
-If your hotel has photos of staff hanging near reception – take a look or even snap a photo. Even though they don’t always specifically tell you that this is why they are displaying it, it’s because a very common scam is for someone to pretend to be from your hotel and approach you. This happened to us and even though I’d read about this ahead of time, in the moment I was still “oh I’m sorry I don’t recognize you… no thanks we don’t need help” and afterwards my hotel said that no, no one from the hotel had approached us. So in the moment we didn’t even realize it was a scam (although nothing came of it since we didn’t accompany the guy anyway). BUT, it’s very important to be aware of this, and you can also call the hotel at any time (some riads even give you a temporary phone).
Have you been to Morocco? What did you think of these Morocco travel tips? What other tips would you add? Contact me to let me know.