OAT Morocco tour - baggage policy?

Mar 30th, 2011, 09:09 AM
  #1  
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OAT Morocco tour - baggage policy?

My partner and I will be on the OAT Morocco Odyssey tour in two weeks. We have been obsessing on the luggage policy – we know OAT will porter one suitcase, but we normally also travel with a small tote each. From an OAT email I gather this is not OK with them – we get one suitcase and one day pack that (I understand) we are expected to carry with us at all times when off the bus.

The question – is this really the way it is on OAT Morocco, or can we leave the tote on the bus (under a seat? in the overhead?) when we are off day-tripping?

If anyone else has thoughts about what people do regarding tote/secondary bags on this tour, we'd love to hear them. Many thanks.
Geonev is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 11:37 AM
  #2  
 
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You probably don't need more than a suitcase worth of stuff to be honest. The amount of stuff that can be put into a 25" roller is a lot bigger than people often think. I don't know OAT's policy, but it's generally one suitcase per person, not one per couple so you should each be able to take a suitcase.

For the flights there, take a small fold up tote or duffle as carry on and check your bags. Once you get to Morocco, fold up the totes and put them inside the suitcases. That way if your bags are lost/delayed, you'll still have your meds, toothbrushes and clean underwear. You can expand your suitcases during the tour, and then put purchases and fragile items into the totes to take as carryon on the flights home. That way you can have your totes on the flights, but don't need to worry about them on the trip and fit into OAT's requirements.

As for the question of can you leave a tote in the bus, I wouldn't count on it. I've been on some bus tours where there is no overhead area or it is so small that you could only fit a bottle of water up there and not much more. Your daybag (backpack, messenger bag, whatever) goes at your feet and there's no more room. Also, if OAT is for smaller groups, will you be on a bus or something like a mini-bus with even less space inside?

On most of my trips (I've not traveled with OAT) we were often told at each stop if we could leave things on the bus or not. Sometimes we could, but often we would end up going to an attraction and then dinner, and the bus would either go to the hotel to drop our bags off or would just go park for the night and we would walk to the hotel from dinner so we had to have everything off the bus.

If they say one suitcase and one daybag each, I would stick to that. You'll be fine! You might be amazed at how much you can each fit into a single suitcase if you look at it as a challenge.
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 01:21 PM
  #3  
 
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As Iowa_Redhead, instead of a "tote-bag" per se, make it a backpack for your incidentals - documents, meds, change of clothing - to take with you daily. It'll fit/feel more comfy on back than over the shoulder.

And though I haven't traveled with OAT, there are lots of other tour operators that have similar limits. Besides, it's amazing what you can pack into a wheelie up to 26" (preferably duffle-type, rather than suitcase shaped... as former has more flexibility).
sandi is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 04:41 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the advice. Still hoping to hear from someone with OAT experience specifically.

The problem is that after my 2+ weeks in Morocco with OAT, I am going to Spain and France for a total of four more weeks ... AND I am escorting two tour groups and need to have with me some handouts for my 14 clients, AND picnic equipment and guidebooks for Spain and France ... AND two of my intra-Europe flights have luggage limits of not 50 pounds but 44 pounds (20 kilos), so this is a special case indeed.

Having said that, I may have to take a larger suitcase than my usual modest one ... though I still have the weight limits to deal with.

So, any OAT-spcific advice out there? As always, many thanks.
Geonev is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 05:59 PM
  #5  
 
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2 weeks vs 6 weeks isn't such a problem. Pack clothes for 7 days and you're good to go. Do small laundry in the sink at night when you'll be in one place for more than a single night and hit a laundromat every week or two.

Rinse shirts in the sink and hang dry overnight. You don't need to actually wash them, just rinse. They'll be good for 2-3 wearings that way depending on sweat, stains, dirt, etc. If you have time, add some shampoo and actually wash them or wait until you have time to go to a laundromat. For pants (which tend to be heavier and take longer to dry) just rinse out the waistband. That's the part that gets sweaty on hot days as it's up against your body. Socks and undies can be washed and dried quickly in the sink. Or pack a ton of undies and just wash those at a laundromat every week or two.

Can you ship any of the handouts, picnic equipment and guidebooks to your first hotel in Spain? If you called or emailed to set it up, they might allow you to have that stuff shipped to them and simply hold it for you. What is "picnic equipment" btw? I'm imagining a large straw basket, a red checker cloth and a couple packets of lemonade powder.

In Morocco, might you be spending the first night and last night in the same hotel? If so, email them and ask if they can hold a bag for you for the duration of your trip. Check the website for the airport in Morocco (assuming you're flying in and out of the same one). Is there a left luggage desk or long term storage lockers? If there is, how much would it cost to store a bag for two weeks while you're with OAT?
Iowa_Redhead is offline  
Mar 31st, 2011, 09:16 AM
  #6  
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Iowa – Thank you for the ideas. They are most helpful.
Geonev is offline  
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