When I first booked my trip to Morocco, I had no idea what to expect. I certainly did not anticipate the crazy and unpredictable twists that my trip ended up taking! If you are planning on flying to Morocco once coronavirus travel restrictions are lifted, then this guide will help you to have the flexibility that Morocco demands while also being prepared for any and every eventuality!
Pack modest but stylish outfits
As you may have guessed, as a primarily Islamic country, Morocco tends to err on the conservative side when it comes to clothing. That doesn’t mean, however, that style is out of the question! Avoid dresses and outfits that end above the knee, as well as any blouses and tops that show cleavage. Let your Saharan goddess soar with bright colors and flowing materials – I guarantee these will not be out of place! Temperatures also vary drastically between day and night, so be sure to pack a light scarf that you can draw around your shoulders as the sun begins to set. See below for a few examples of outfits that I packed for Morocco, both for their functionality and their style (and yes, those pink pants ended up being my best friend)!
skip the slingbacks and heels
Or I should say, rather, that you should primarily bring shoes that you are a.) comfortable walking in for a full day, or b.) can easily change out of. Yes, heels look better in photos, but what those pictures fail to capture are the bleeding sores that will inevitably appear on your feet. My personal choices included Adidas, knockoff Docs, and a pair of stylish chacos. Regrets: zero.
bring several sweaters & long sleeved shirts
When you think of Morocco/Africa, then if you’re anything like me (or how I used to be, rather), then you think heat, sun, HOT.
Especially in the late winter and early spring, the difference in temperature between day and night is drastic and unforgiving. There is nothing worse than being cold and not being able to do anything about it. One of the reasons that I wore those pink pants so much is because they were one of only two pairs of actual pants that I had brought with me to Morocco. I also only brought one (1) thin sweater, one (1) uni sweatshirt, and one (1) very thin faux leather jacket that is better for style than actual heat retention. Don’t be like me. Research the weather before you go, and pack accordingly.
Use Skyscanner to book your flights
Skyscanner was hands-down the #1 site I visited to book all of my flights. The best thing about Skyscanner is that you don’t even need to know where you want to travel to, or even when you’re planning to travel (see screenshots below); their date selection bar allows you to simply search either for flights across an entire month, or even just the “cheapest month” to travel. Additionally, for the destination, you can search for flights to “everywhere” from your local airport!
Once you’ve completed your search and decided on your location and dates, you can then compare flight prices by “best”, “cheapest”, or “fastest”, giving you complete control over what results you are shown. Through Skyscanner, I was able to book a flight from France to Morocco for only €55!
On a related note, travel in the off-season
Flights to Morocco skyrocket in the summer and fall. By booking my flight for late winter/early spring, I was able to have the same amazing experience for a fraction of the cost. The nice thing, however, is that Skyscanner can do the legwork for you! Now that you know where you want to go, you can just plug in your destination, select “cheapest month”, and the website will find the cheapest flights for you. As my photos can attest, Morocco is no less beautiful in the early spring, but your wallet will be much happier, and you can feel better about treating yourself to those gorgeous Arabian slippers that caught your eye in the bazaar.
Bring several scarves, or buy some in the bazaar
First of all, scarves are just stylish accessories which are so multi-functional that I’m an avid believer that no girl should go anywhere without one. Need a blanket? Scarf. Shoulders getting cold? Scarf. Need some privacy in your bunkbed at the hostel? Drape your scarf to form a curtain. Need to change into a bathing suit in public? Wrap your scarf around your waist and shimmy into that bikini underneath it. Traveling in the Sahara and getting overheated? Believe it or not, scarf.
There’s a reason that the native Berber tribes in Morocco all sport intricate headscarves – they are absolutely necessary to protect your head in arid landscapes!
For Morocco, I would recommend packing lighter scarves that aren’t too thick. If you’re staying at Marrakesh (or any Moroccan city) before heading out to the desert, you can also get a handmade scarf from most of the vendors in the souks (bazaars), which doubles both as protection from the sun and a cool keepsake!
I didn’t buy one because I brought one from Bangladesh, but I wish I had! They weren’t that expensive, they were handmade, and they were dyed using traditional dying methods made from spices and ground stones – don’t make the same mistake, and buy a scarf!
be spontaneous and book cheap hostels
I know this is kind of a weird one. Let me explain.
When I booked the trip for Morocco, I allotted myself ~five days to be in Marrakech before I flew to my next destination in Spain. I booked a hostel in Marrakech for dirt cheap – only €5/night. I loved this hostel and highly recommend – you can find the link to book Kammy Hostel here.
The reason why I recommend only booking cheap accommodations is so that you can leave early without feeling guilty about losing money.
On my second day in Marrakech, I met two delightful Japanese girls who were also staying at Kammy Hostel. They told me about a deal they had found from an agency in the souks for a three-day trip to the Sahara and back, included breakfast and dinner every day, and accommodation. The best part? It only cost €60 for the entire trip.
If I had paid more for my hostel, I may have been more reluctant to take up this offer. But the affordability of the hostel gave me the flexibility to leave it behind and take a once-in-a-lifetime cross-country trip. If that doesn’t convince you, here’s a picture of the camel I rode once we got to the Sahara. I didn’t know his name so I called him Mercredi, because Mercredi is Wednesday in French, and Wednesday is Hump Day.
On the note of spontaneity, also don’t be afraid to book amazing experiences in advance too!
I had no idea about the amazing types of adventures you can take advantage of in Morocco – I had been fully content to let the trip sweep me away, but a lot of times, if you don’t plan anything, then sometimes nothing will happen, or you’ll miss amazing landmarks! Research the city you’re traveling to, see if there are any must-see attractions, monuments, or markets, or even take a day trip from the city!
At the tourism stall where I booked my Sahara trek, they also offered so many other incredible experiences, like full-day hikes to Ouzoud Waterfall, a trek to the Atlas Mountains and local Berber villages, or even quad bike tours in the desert! A healthy mix of serendipity and planning can result in a lifechanging trip to arguably one of my favorite countries in the world.
I’ve since discovered an awesome guide website called Get Your Guide, which offers incredible tours and experiences in every country, and I wish I had known about it before I went to Morocco – but my discovery is your gain! What’s even better is that, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, they have altered their tours to smaller sizes, with more availability in times, and free cancellation. It’s basically the Airbnb of experiences!
Did I miss anything? Is there anything you wish you had packed for your trip to Morocco? Let me know in the comments below!