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How to travel safely in Morocco

By : Fernanda lustosa | Nov 8, 2020

Travelling to an exotic land is both a wonderful experience and a source of some concerns, as it is easy to misunderstand how things work and you might not know the culture, but you surely do not want to feel someone is taking advantage of your for being a tourist. In this post we will help you and give you tips to travel to Morocco, what you should and should not follow or do. Below we will give tips to travel to Morocco. Let’s go! 

Always have your documents and money in a safe place

This should go without saying but trust us, all you need is one moments of distraction and when you realize something is gone. Everything, from passport and money should be kept in a secret and safe place. Keep the daily spending money in a theft-resistance purse, as it is better than reaching your bag or money belt under your shirt constantly, especially if you are shopping in one of the medinas. 

Research your accommodation

If you are choosing where to stay, do not go necessarily for the cheapest option. Morocco in general is an affordable destination so you can choose something that you consider of average budget. Surely, choose what is more practical to you but check photos, the place’s reviews, TripAdvisor and what other travel bloggers have to say before making a decision.  Very importantly, check if it is in a safe area and specially one in which you can easy move. 

If you are a woman travelling alone…

First, trust your instincts. If you are in a situation in which something does not feel right, trust your guts even if it means to tell a lie to get rid of a situation. For example, when answering questions from strangers, you can always say you are with a boyfriend or meeting a friend, if it makes them go away. Finally, keep your boundaries with ‘friendly males’. Harassment is a major topic everywhere but especially in Arab countries and you might encounter men who take a solo female traveller as their opportunity for unsolicited flirtation. If you are not interested make it loud and clear, and if he insists you simply can make a scandal. And by scandal we mean do not hesitate shouting and cursing if necessary; other people will come to help you and this will scare the guy.

Choose what you wear

This is valid both for men and women. In case of women, there is an extra layer of the dress code; remember to cover your legs and arms, do not wear tight clothes or short dresses and skirts. Scarves are also very useful, as you can wear them to cover your head if visiting a mosque but also your arms and shoulders whenever necessary. 

You clothes are important not only for respect but also to make your life easy. Wearing the right clothes is a good tip to travel in Morocco because you do not want to call too much attention and would like to be a less obvious target. If you are wearing trousers with many pockets, for example, you can be an invitation to pickpockets and you would not even realize it.

Have a Plan B

Walking and wondering are going to be an essential part of your trip to Morocco, so surely you can always count on internet if you purchase a SIM card, but always, and we mean really always, have a map with you. You never know when internet connection may fail you. Another tip is simply taking screen shots of places so you can ask if necessary, even if you do not speak the language. 

Recognize scams

You almost certainly will encounter scams as they can take many forms, so know how to recognize them. Some of the most common are while you are in one of the medinas and a guy tells you that there is another direction from the one you are taking with better things to see. Do not go with him. At some point he will start demanding money or take you to a shop where you will be forced to buy one of the products. 

Others will not necessarily take you to a shop but are going to be disguised as false tour guides (disoriented tourists are easy preys). They can get aggressive if you don’t give them money, and do not be surprise if most of the times their directions turn out to be wrong. 

Finally, stay away from activities involving animals. Nor only most probably they are poorly treated as you might be scammed or robbed while the tamers put the animal on your shoulders (even if you did not want it in the first place). Same is valid if you take pictures; they will ask you for money. But even if you get safely rid of the tamer, pickpockets can take advantage of the situation while you are distracted with the animal and rob something from your pocket or bag. 

Stay away from street food

If you want to enjoy your trip to Morocco, then take this tip seriously. Street food may look delicious, and we are not saying that they are not. But in certain places even though they can be tempting you surely do not want to get food poisoning. Most of it, especially in the medina, is under poor hygiene or without any kind of conservation. The same is valid for salads in local cafes and restaurants, depending on where you are going. Chances are that in the best possibilities these are washed with tap water, which is not safe for ingestion in Morocco. 

Trust people but at the same time don’t trust them

It is wonderful to meet new people and make friends while travelling, and you should not stop doing it. However remember that you do not known them, and as nice someone may look you are always vulnerable when relaxed, therefore becoming an easy prey to scammers. Accept help if necessary but keep distance.

Research about main points prior

And by main points we mean transportation if you are travelling between cities, how to behave – this is particularly important while shopping, because you will need to master the art of bargaining, so do not spend your money on the first shop you enter –, how much you are expected to spend on taxis, etc. 

 

Most of these tips are practical but crucial for a safe trip. Morocco is a fantastic country and we hope you enjoy it the fullest.