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Useful tips

Tips for your trip to Morocco

On our website, we deal with many topics about Morocco: its climate, its history, its currency and so on. On each page, we offer you valuable information, interspersed with travel recommendations. But we have decided to group here a series of tips that every traveler will appreciate, as they affect everyone who visits the country, regardless of their destination and type of travel. These are tips on weather, health, communications and money.

Table of Contents

Weather-related travel tips

As we told you in the page about

Geography, climate and times to travel

the climate of Morocco is a factor to take into account when organizing your trip. Therefore, some of the most important tips we can give you before leaving are related to this:

  • Protect yourself from the heat: in summer and even in the warmer times of spring, you should be prepared for high temperatures. Having a fan on hand or a device that produces air will help to calm the sensation of heat. In addition, clothing should be long (as we will see below) but thin and breathable to dissipate the heat generated by the body itself. In this sense, cotton fabrics are ideal, or synthetic fabrics that behave in a similar way.
  • Protect yourself from solar radiation: this goes hand in hand with the heat, as solar radiation is usually higher in summer and in warmer areas, but not always: this danger should always be present at high altitudes in the Atlas mountains, on the coasts (because of the temptation to stay bare skinned) and on clear days in the desert, which are almost all of them. In addition, protection against solar radiation involves a series of specific measures:
    • Use sunscreen with SPF 50, and renew it every two or three hours (according to the manufacturer’s recommendations).
    • Wear sunglasses, even if you have dark eyes, preferably with polarized lenses that also protect against bounced radiation. The latter is especially important if you are in a snowy environment in the Atlas Mountains or if the sea stretches out in front of you.
    • Cover the skin with long but light and breathable clothing. Thin scarves over the shoulders can also be useful. Some technical garments are certified for their sun protection capacity, so they will also be a good choice.
    • Wear clothing that protects the head: caps or hats are valid. But if you want to feel like a nomad in the desert, you can wear a Moroccan turban.
  • Hydrate well: if you travel to Morocco in the hot season, you are likely to sweat more than usual. Not only in coastal areas, where humidity is very high, but also in the desert, where humidity is very low but the heat can be suffocating. It is therefore advisable to always carry water with you, even if it may remain hot and unappetizing: warm or room temperature water will always be better than no water at all. And water is always more advisable than sugary soft drinks with bubbles as they are more effective in quenching thirst, although isotonic sports drinks can also be a good idea to replenish energy and mineral salts, which are lost through sweat. One recommendation made by experts is to drink regularly, even before feeling thirsty, since the latter, in extreme cases, can be the prelude to an episode of dehydration.
  • Cool down from time to time: if the heat is stifling and you anticipate some exposure to the sun, it is advisable to cool your face, head and neck with water, either in a fountain, a basin or with a spray-type water diffuser. If you resort to untreated spring water, be sure to wash your hands afterwards with a hydroalcoholic solution and disinfectant.
  • Protect yourself from the cold: this seems like one of the most contradictory travel tips, but nothing could be further from the truth. As important as it is to protect yourself from the heat, it is just as important to protect yourself from the cold. Of course, if you travel to a high mountain area in winter season (High Atlas, Middle Atlas, Rif), but also if you travel to the desert, where nights can get really cold. Therefore, you should not forget to take warm clothes, and more specifically thermal clothing: thin garments that keep the body heat and do not take up too much space, since during the day you may not need them so much. It is also a good choice to equip yourself with local warm clothing, often made of pure and thick wool, used by the Berber population living in the coldest areas, such as the Rif.
  • Protect yourself from the wind: this is a useful tip if you go to the Atlantic coast. It is not intended to preserve health, beyond the protection of the eyes from dust and sand that may be suspended in the environment. However, it is a recommendation that will make you enjoy your stay at the beach even more. For this purpose, wide sunglasses are of great help (also against solar radiation), as well as elements such as windbreaks and special umbrellas, which are very popular among the local population and tourists on this coast.
  • Protect yourself against sandstorms: if you are unlucky enough to be caught in a sandstorm in the desert, it is very important that you are protected against it. In this sense:
    • Cover your eyes and nose: scarves and turbans are also very useful for this purpose, since they can be worn in different ways. Masks can also be very useful, as they have become so widespread and commonplace since Covid-19.
    • Wear sunglasses: for this, the best are wide and tight-fitting, sport or adventure sunglasses. For this purpose, glasses with clear lenses can also be used, because in such a situation, solar radiation is no longer a problem.
    • Take shelter inside a building and wait for everything to pass: to do this, it is important that the place chosen as a shelter can remain well sealed, closing doors and windows properly.

Health-related travel tips

Whatever the type of trip you take (relaxation, adventure, cultural tourism…), health must be at the heart of everything. Therefore, some of the most important tips we can give you are related to it:

  • Always drink bottled water, as it offers the best guarantees in terms of food safety. Although in hotels and riads of the highest category hygiene is always at its highest level, the same cannot be said of restaurants and establishments of lower category or in rural areas, so that running water can upset the stomach.
  • Avoid eating or drinking food or beverages from street stalls, such as soft drinks or raw vegetables. Even if they are offered in glass or metal cups, the risk may be in the water with which the vegetables or cups were washed, as it could come from unsterilized sources. Therefore. In this case, it is safer to drink or eat from disposable cups and plates, if you are certain that they have not been used previously.
  • Always carry water purification tablets or sachets with you. They offer added safety if you have no choice but to drink tap water or if you have doubts about its origin.
  • Antibacterial hand soap will also be a great ally to prevent food poisoning, especially if the food you are going to put in your mouth is going to be held with your fingers (something common in some local dishes).
  • Don’t forget to carry insect repellent, as they can be very annoying in certain areas. Those that are applied directly to clothing can also be of great help.
  • If you are taking any medication prescribed by your doctor, take the prescription or a document proving it with you: it may be useful at the pharmacy or at the health center if you are going to receive treatment.
  • If you are a woman, don’t forget to pack tampons. The availability of these hygiene products in Morocco is relatively scarce compared to other countries, and their supply is usually limited to large supermarket chains.
  • In pharmacies, make sure that the medication delivered is indeed the one requested. Communication between the pharmacist and the customer can be a barrier to understanding the name of the drug or active ingredient, which is often different from your country. Therefore, a quick check should be made at the time and/or before ingestion, as it can cause a potentially dangerous effect if the drug is not the right one.
  • Stay away from wild or unowned animals, as they can carry some diseases, such as rabies. This precaution should not only prevent bites, but also contact with their saliva, urine and feces, through which viruses and bacteria can also be spread.
  • Taking out travel insurance is not only highly recommended, but also mandatory for those travelers who need to obtain an entry visa to the country.

    entry visa to the country.

    . This will cover major health problems, such as interventions for accidents or other treatments, which are usually expensive in private hospitals. In any case, it is advisable to carefully check the coverages to avoid surprises. In addition, these travel insurances usually also cover theft and other more general mishaps.
Money-Related Travel Tips

Money-related travel tips

To manage correctly with the local dirhams, without unforeseen events and without wasting money, it will be useful to know these tips related to money in Morocco:

  • Exchange money before traveling. It is likely that in your local bank office, the exchange rate will be the most appropriate one.
  • ATM withdrawals may be the most expensive option to obtain dirhams, as other fees may be added to the exchange rate.
  • If you are traveling to the desert or rural areas, be sure to carry enough cash. ATMs are more scarce and may have some incidence such as low availability of banknotes. In such cases, the bank card would be the logical alternative, but in small establishments it is not always accepted.

Good practices in the art of bargaining

Bargaining is a very common practice in Morocco, but bargaining correctly is not always easy. Here are some useful tips to avoid offending the seller and, by the way, to get better prices for yourself:

  • Don’t bargain for the sake of bargaining: that is, only start this negotiation if you are really interested in buying the product, but not for the experience itself. Otherwise, the seller will understand that you are pulling his leg and will be offended.
  • Start by cutting the price in half: asking for an amount much lower than that at the outset may be a joke or disrespectful to the seller.
  • Stipulate within yourself a maximum amount you wish to pay: that way, you will be able to understand if the purchase is within your budget, since the final price is usually in the range of 70% to 80% of the initial price, if the negotiation is successful.
  • While negotiating, be firm but polite: look them in the eye and pay attention, don’t be dismissive. You have the last word, but do not show pride for it, but humility and appreciation for the work of your ‘opponent’.
  • Accept tea only if you are going to buy the product: this is a gesture of respect and appreciation, which the seller offers to potential buyers. If you are really sure that you are going to buy something, having tea with your salesperson will become a fulfilling experience.
  • Argue: you can explain why you believe that what you offer is the right thing to do. It can be comparative reasons with other products or brands, small flaws you see, etc.
  • Bargain late in the day: at this time of day, before the stores close, sellers may be a little more receptive to sales in order to balance the day’s accounts. Especially if it is something that has an expiration date and must be consumed soon.

Travel tips related to communications

If you think of your trip as an opportunity to disconnect from the world, Morocco may be a perfect destination, especially if you decide to go deep into the desert or the Atlas Mountains. But if not, you should take a look at these communications considerations, which will allow you to stay in touch with the other people on your expedition, our staff or your loved ones back home:

  • Evaluate which is better: use your phone company’s roaming or buy a temporary SIM to use exclusively in Morocco. Each option has its pros and cons, namely:
    • Pros of roaming: it is the most convenient, as you will not have to do anything on your phone.
    • Cons of roaming: roaming can be an option for everyone, so it is recommended to be well informed of the rates that will be applied in Morocco.
    • Pros of the local SIM card: it is a relatively inexpensive option that you can contract before traveling or that you can buy in many establishments in the country, such as kiosks.
    • Cons of the local SIM card: you will need to have an unlocked cell phone. In addition, the SIM card gives you a number that is not yours, but a Moroccan one, so you will no longer be accessible to your usual contacts, unless you can carry two mobiles with you.
  • Note that the Internet café is an establishment that still enjoys great popularity in Morocco. You can use it not only to make occasional phone calls, but also to connect to the Internet from their computers.
  • The hotels also offer the client the service of telephone calls, although you will have to consult the tariffs to call abroad.
  • Telephone booths are in clear decline. You may still find some operations in the country, but we recommend you not to trust all your communications to this system because in most destinations it is conspicuous by its absence.

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