Morocco Advice

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Nov 19th, 2014, 08:07 AM
  #1
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Morocco Advice

I will be traveling solo in February, so right away my decision is to join this tour: https://www.topdeck.travel/tours/moroccan-explorer

However, I have 0 experience traveling to any countries in Africa or in the Arab world and it's difficult for me to decide if it's worth the money. It works perfectly with my schedule and the itinerary does look like everything I would dream of in a Moroccan trip, the only thing that is missing is Tangier. I would love to have any recommendations, suggestions, etc. How much should I budget for food? What medication should I carry?
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Nov 19th, 2014, 08:48 AM
  #2
 
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Morocco can be a cheap place to travel independently, depending on your tastes in accommodation, transport, etc. But the price isn't bad at all. I've been back a number of times on my own, after realizing on my first visit on a tour, how simple it really is to do it oneself in Morocco. It's be an easy introduction to the country and you'll know afterward if you'd like to return to see more interesting places, most of which can't be included on such a short trip.

Knowing your budget for meals not included in the package requires knowing where you'll be eating. Lunch and dinner could run similar to very modest choices in the west, maybe $5 to $20. Not a lot unless posh places are where you're taken, probably not, but it's something you can ask the tour company to get a better idea.

Regarding medications, Hep. A vaccination is always a good idea. Otherwise, none in particular. In general, I keep my typhoid up to date but not for Morocco particularly and not unless you plan travel to less developed countries. Morocco is really quite civilized and tourism their biggest industry so tourists dropping from 3rd world diseases wouldn't be good for PR.
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Nov 19th, 2014, 04:11 PM
  #3
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I don't think you are missing much by not going to Tangier. I enjoyed seeing all of Morocco especially Marrakesh and Fez. I think this will be a fun trip.
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Nov 19th, 2014, 04:16 PM
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Sounds great! I'm not a solo traveler - did it before and hated it, so I'd prefer group travel and I'm glad then the price isn't too ridiculous or anything because I've seen some costs of trips to S. America and SE. Asia that I felt were far too expensive than what I had done traveling there before.

It's good to hear that regarding health. I will get health insurance on this trip, but I haven't done so for many trips abroad in the past.

I was just wondering how you would exchange money for Morocco? Typically I withdraw money from my debit card when traveling and try to put most payments towards my credit card. I will only have to pay for food and optional activities, and I think cash payments are most likely what will only be accepted for them. Should I use my debit card to withdraw dirham from there?

I am also having incredible difficulty finding a decent flight there. All of them have some caveats like long flight times, change of airports, very short and risky layover times or low quality airlines. I'm thinking of taking one that will give me an overnight layover on my return in Amsterdam, but it's the cheapest one that isn't Royal Air Maroc. What airline did you use if you flew into Morocco?
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Nov 19th, 2014, 04:54 PM
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I combine time in Europe with the Morocco trips, so have never had problems with flights directly there. You might find low fare flights from Europe (whichbudget.com) and plan to fly from home to where one of those works best. Royal Air Maroc, in my searches, has been the most expensive option so I've never used them. Where are you coming from?

Regarding cash, yes, ATM's. At the airport and in towns of any size. Exchanging your home currency will be the most expensive and least convenient option, like anywhere.

And, by the way, I like Tangier very much. Check it out yourself sometime before you write it off.
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Nov 21st, 2014, 09:31 AM
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I flew TAP from Lisbon to Casablanca, but then I wanted to spend time in Lisbon. And EasyJet from Marrakech to Paris when I left. I am surprised to read that you do not always carry health insurance. Do you think that accidents can't happen to you? And what about evacuation/repatriation insurance?
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Nov 21st, 2014, 09:53 AM
  #7
 
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What to buy, if anything, in the way of insurance is a very personal decision, many factors involved and I don't recommend one way or the other. It isn't the same, to me, as suggesting a city or accommodation. I'll just say that some of us don't buy extra policies for every trip. So you are not alone in this regard, DJVMM.
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Nov 21st, 2014, 09:56 AM
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I'll ask again, as maybe we can be of use, where are you coming from? Any possible stops before or after your tour?
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Nov 21st, 2014, 02:58 PM
  #9
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I'm flying from Toronto, Canada. Unfortunately because of my schedule, I can only fly out in the evening before the tour starts but I am more flexible on when I return. I don't have any stops planned before or after the tour. I was trying to see if I could fly to Paris first and then take an Easy Jet flight to Marrakesh. I'll have to spend an extra night in Paris on my return and it's a bit of a risk if my first flight gets cancelled? I've never done this before, but it's saving me over $600.

I usually don't travel with insurance because most of my trips are quite short and ATM I have no pre-existing health conditions and I'm below 25. It's a risk, but nothing has happened so far, though I am planning to buy it in the future.
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Nov 21st, 2014, 03:16 PM
  #10
 
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If your flights are ticketed separately you are not protected if something goes wrong with the first one. And if you fly EasyJet it will definitely be ticketed separately. Looks like the saving would almost certainly cover the cost of rebooking, though.

I would have thought that medical insurance for a short trip for an under-25 would be very cheap. Of course, if you're in Europe you might get treated for free if it's a minor injury. But when I broke my wrist in Switzerland it cost around $4,000 US.
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Nov 23rd, 2014, 09:24 AM
  #11
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Hopefully nothing will go wrong without the flights. I have about 4 hours to make the connection at CDG airport, would that be enough to collect my bags and check in for the EasyJet flight?

It is cheaper concerning the trip length and my age, but I've never really thought of it in terms of needing it at all. I know some people getting insurance when they're heading off to the States, but I've never even thought of it for the short trips. I was worried once because I didn't have travel insurance and would have to pay for a hotel stay, but the airline covered the cost but that's what is making me consider buying insurance for my trip, both travel and health now.
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Nov 23rd, 2014, 09:40 AM
  #12
 
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I generally self-insure for the trip costs, unless I book a tour. If I booked a cruise I would probably do trip insurance, too. But I don't travel without medical and evacuation/repatriation insurance. I don't care how fit you are, accidents can happen to anyone, it only takes seconds. I was using tenweb.com for the trip when I broke my wrist, I'm currently using a different policy bought through Seven Corners, as this is a longer trip.

I haven't connected through CDG, but I seem to remember posts saying four hours was reasonable - you'd do better to ask that on the Europe board. Can you manage with carry on only? It's a short trip, right?
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Nov 24th, 2014, 09:39 AM
  #13
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I thought about the carry on only since I've flown with EasyJet before and it would be much easier, but I barely manage to stuff my things into one for a 5 day trip, I don't know if I'll be able to do it + have available room for this trip where I want to also bring back a few gift and souvenirs.
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Nov 24th, 2014, 12:21 PM
  #14
 
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One word: laundry. (I do mine in the bathroom sink, clothes don't get to go if they don't drip dry.)

I travel for months at a time with a carry on size bag (although I check it) and a day bag.

Check the Travel Tips Forum, there are a number of threads on packing light.
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Nov 24th, 2014, 01:56 PM
  #15
 
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I, too, am in the months-at-a-time out of a checked carry-on club. There's something about reducing the amount of stuff that makes the whole trip lighter and more enjoyable. As said above, it's what, not how much, one carries that makes it possible. And if you'll be traveling in future, investing in a good quality travel wardrobe is a worthwhile idea. Simple sink-washable items that all go together and can be used for many years, not having to think about it every time you pack.
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Nov 25th, 2014, 08:19 AM
  #16
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Thanks! I will look at that forum for tips. I have to admit that it will be a bit difficult for me to pack light because I prefer being fashionable on most trips to do the locations justice. Though I do have to invest in a new travel wardrobe because a lot of my clothes requiring ironing, and I had that problem on the last trip but don't think there will be much time on a tour.

I've done some travel to Europe, South America, and Asia before and it seems like so far everything is quite similar in terms of how to prepare for the trip so I think my regular packing list would be fine. For shoes I've usually just taken a pair of canvas shoes, sandals, flip flops and heels, but for this trip I think a pair of canvas shoes and boots is what I'm looking at and flip flops for indoors, but this is what I keep getting as search results for Morocco desert boots: http://a2.zassets.com/images/z/9/3/9...-MULTIVIEW.jpg and other sites suggest that sneakers would be fine, but wouldn't you get a lot of sand in them???
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Nov 25th, 2014, 08:39 AM
  #17
 
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"..I prefer being fashionable on most trips to do the locations justice."

You've lost me now, altogether different priorities. I don't even know what that means. Carry on.
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Nov 25th, 2014, 09:37 AM
  #18
 
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Ditto. But you might look for janisj's posts on packing, I think she may be more into fashion than I am. Clean and tidy, suitable for the climate and mix and match are my priorities. Can't imagine taking heels, they take too much room. I travel with hiking boots (I need the ankle support), Ecco sandals and black flats for evening if it's mostly a city trip, flip flops otherwise.
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Dec 1st, 2014, 07:47 PM
  #19
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Hi, thank you for all the advice! I am unfortunately now just having to wait to see if TopDeck will "guarantee" this trip for the week I am available. If they don't, I won't be able to attend any of the scheduled 2015 dates, which is a huge disappointment. I am looking into other trips I could take with TopDeck during my school break, but the only other one that I could find that I'm interested in taking a tour to but there aren't many as other locations I'd feel better traveling with friends or my boyfriend to explore in better detail.

I did find a trip to Jordan: https://www.topdeck.travel/tours/jordan-adventure
and a trip to Turkey: https://www.topdeck.travel/tours/turkey-explored

I was wondering if anyone could tell me if the cost of the trip is worth it or if the itineraries would mostly consist of driving? I don't want to create separate threads for them because I am not sure if I will take those trips since I am set on Morocco + I will be traveling with my boyfriend to Northern Italy for a week next year and can't afford anything more than 2 trips. I don't know much about Jordan and the locations they have for Turkey, I'm interested in almost all of them.
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Dec 1st, 2014, 11:41 PM
  #20
 
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So why are you restricting yourself to one company? Take a look at Intrepid Travel and Gecko.
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