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Monday, June 3, 2013

Packing for Morocco

Today I'm posting something a little different from what I usually post.  When preparing for our trip to Morocco, I had such a hard time trying to decide what to bring with me.  What should I wear?  How much should I pack?  What is appropriate desert wear?  Boyfriend and I were going to be travelling around the country a bit and didn't want to deal with large wheelie bags.  We each packed a single small duffle bag and messenger bag and were totally prepared for our ten days in Morocco, which included rock climbing, two days in the desert, three days at the beach and touring through the city.  Here's my Moroccan packing list!

Clothes - There are two things to keep in mind about Morocco.  1.  It's very close to the equator and can get pretty hot.  2. Morocco is a Muslim country and it's best not to pack your short shorts and tube tops.  I packed for comfort and moderate modesty.  Though we did see women in all states of covered-up.  From completely robed from head to toe, to short skirts and tanks tops (mostly tourists or Casablanca girls).

2 white Gap ribbed tank tops
4 short-sleeved Old Navy tees in different colors
1 long sleeved white Gap favorite tee
1 long-sleeved workout t-shirt
1 hooded, zip-up wind breaker in a bright color
Black maxi skirt
Linen pants
Dark green cargo capri pants
Black yoga pants (for rock climbing and our night in the desert)
1 big t-shirt for sleeping
Underthings for 4 days
Scarf (I got a bright one from Target to dress up any boring outfits for venturing into the Hassan II Mosque)
Hat (I went with a straw fedora similar to this one)
TOMs shoes in burlap (comfy, so hipster, goes with everything)
Merrell shoes (lightweight and colorful!)
Teva Sandals (I really only wore these twice, at the beach)

Toiletries - Morocco is near the equator and we were spending some time in the desert, SPF was a key item in all of my toiletries!  Don't worry about soap & shampoo most hotels & riads will supply you!

Spray sunscreen (for those quick applications and your part)
Body Sunscreen - SPF 30
Face Sunscreen - SPF 30
BB Cream (for light color and more sunscreen)
Eyeliner & mascara (minimal makeup for this vacation!)
The usual stuff - deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, contact solution, etc
First Aid kit - bandages, antibiotic ointment, aspirin, antihistamine, immodium, ibuprofin, Purell

Extras - Things you might want if you head into the desert or up a mountain or to the beach.  Morocco is a land of diverse locations, where are you going to go?

Metal water bottle w/ carabiner
Tissue packs
Bathing suit
Mini flashlight
iPad (for books and games and movies!)
iPhone (excellent multitasker - alarm clock, camera, map)
Cameras (I bought my Canon T3 & Sony Cybershot)
Memory cards for cameras (4GB, 8GB & 32GB)
Charging cables for your devices
Power converter (220V --> 110V)
Dropps (portable laundry detergent!  The reason why I could bring half the clothes as usual)
Snacks (we brought Clif bars, trail mix, gummy bears & peanut butter crackers)

Vicki's Travelling tips!

Here are some things that I wish we knew before we headed to Morocco!

- You will get sand in everything you bring to the desert.  Try to shake out before you go back to your Riad or hotel! 

- Load up the map on your phone once you locate some Wifi.  My iPhone was able to locate me through the GPS, even without cellular data turned on.  This was so useful in the Marrakech Medina, there are so many small streets and alleys but they all show up on Google maps!

- Stay in a Riad, but find one where you have your own bathroom.  The Riad gives you the perfect Moroccan experience, but there is nothing like enjoying a hot shower after a long day in the Medina - without walking through the building in your bathrobe.

- Packing light makes travelling through the country much easier too.  My small duffel bag fit below my seat on the bus and was easy to throw overhead on the plane & train.

- Bring clothes that you don't mind getting a little dirty, or even leaving behind.  I abandoned a few t-shirts so I could bring home some souvenirs!

- Don't worry if you forget something.  Boyfriend and I found grocery stores in Marrakech, Agadir and Casablanca.  Came in handy when I didn't like the shampoo at the Riad, I bought myself some Dove. 

- The water in Morocco won't make you sick, but a two liter bottle of water will cost you only 4 dirhams.  Less than $1 for flat or sparkling is a deal.  Personally, I supplemented my water intake with plenty of Schweppes Citron.

Have fun in Morocco!  Learn a little French and Arabic along the way!  Check out some pictures from our trip and be adventurous too!
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