If you have booked or are considering The Morocco Meetup Tour, this is where you will find the practical information you need from travel insurance and safety protocols to what’s for breakfast in most of our riads.
Is this trip right for you?
Morocco can be extremely hot in July and August with possible spikes in surrounding months, but it is dry heat and easier to manage than heat with humidity. At some sites, you can expect to be exposed to the elements, so be prepared with a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water. Comfortable shoes are a must when visiting sites with uneven and dusty terrain.
We will be in some remote corners of the country where public bathrooms are not always very clean, may not have Western toilets and may require a small fee to use. The facilities in our accommodation are clean and use western toilets, but it won’t always be the case on the road.
Morocco is a large country with few means of public transportation and airport access. In order to see the best parts, there are some long drives. There are always beautiful views and things to see on the way, but be ready for long drives.
The cities and medinas of Morocco can have a lot of traffic and some air pollution, so you may want to be prepared with a light scarf to cover your nose and mouth when walking in these areas.
For most countries, a visa is not required to enter Morocco for trips under 90 days. You will just need your passport with at least two blank pages and your negative COVID test. If you are from a country that requires a visa to enter Morocco, please contact your local Moroccan Embassy or consulate for more information on the visa application process. For more information, go to Morocco’s official website: https://www.visitmorocco.com/en/travel-info/covid-19-news
As rules and restrictions are constantly changing, please check your government’s foreign travel advisory and visit the Moroccan Ministry of Health website to stay up to date with requirements: https://www.visitmorocco.com/en/travel-info/covid-19-news
Requirements currently include a negative PCR test taken in the 48 hours prior to arrival, or a vaccination certificate.
Please also ensure you have a travel insurance policy that covers you for travel to and from Morocco as well as medical or COVID-19 related expenses within the country.
On the final day of the Meetup Tour, we can arrange for testing to be conducted on site at the hotel. Results will be available the same evening. The cost is . We will charge the card we have on file the day of your test. Our team will handle the logistics and be sure your results are in on time and printed before you depart Morocco.
After you have gone through immigration and collected your bags you will be able to meet your guide. Just look for the sign with the SoFe logo! The driver will take you directly to the hotel where you will meet your tour leader. We will have multiple airport pickups on day 1, and it may be necessary to wait for fellow travelers with the driver.
You need a valid passport to travel internationally. Most countries require that your passport does not expire for at least 6 months after the date you enter. We require your passport details 45 days before departure. When booking your Meetup Tour, please enter your name as it appears on your passport and contact us immediately if there are any errors.
We do not recommend drinking the tap water, even in the hotels. All accommodation will have drinkable water, sometimes for purchase and sometimes included with your room.
Your tour leader will do their best to accommodate any dietary restrictions, but sometimes gluten free and vegan can be a little trickier in every meal, especially breakfast. We suggest bringing supplemental snacks like protein powders and bars just in case. It is ultimately your responsibility not to consume anything to which you are allergic. You may wish to speak to your tour leader at the beginning of the tour to make your requirements clear and ask your options throughout the tour.
For vegan and gluten free travelers, breakfast is often the most challenging meal to accommodate while lunch and dinner is typically vegetable based. Breakfasts are carb and dairy heavy. Non-vegans can request eggs (when available) as an extra source of protein. Vegans should come prepared with their own protein sources.
As of April 1, 2021, we have updated our policies to require all travelers to show one of the following upon meeting the group on day 1:
– Proof of COVID-19 vaccination, or
– Proof of negative COVID-19 test conducted no more than 72 hours before day 1 of your trip
Morocco has some foodie options that many travelers choose to try. Dishes like camel and pigeon, as examples, can be common among locals and available in some restaurants. Please be careful when consuming this food, as some travelers have gotten sick in the past. We do not include these dishes on our tour, and our tour leader can direct you to the most reputable restaurants locally, but we do not take responsibility for any illnesses caused by food.
10 nights in hotels or riads, 1 night at a desert camp.
Please note: Riads used to be people’s homes, so rooms are not always equal in size or view. We do our best to keep it equitable throughout the trip, but some may get luckier than others. We guarantee twin beds, but sizes may vary between room mates. We encourage everyone to go with the flow and appreciate the special details that can be found in every room.
Rooms are twin share with an ensuite unless you upgrade to a private room, based on availability.
The accommodation indicated on the webpage is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.
In the base cost of the tour, a shared room is included. You may choose to upgrade to a private room for an extra charge and as long as there is availability. Private rooms also have an ensuite.
Upgrading to a private room once in Morocco is more difficult and may result in a higher cost than advertised on the webpage.
Our Morocco tour is considered premium accommodation including staying in riads/hotels and 1 night in a desert camp. When we stay in hotels and riads, the standard may be less than what you are used to in terms of design, facilities, and inclusions. If there is a problem with your accommodation, always alert your tour leader so it can be remedied, if possible. We will also stay in more rural areas where 5 star hotels are not available, and instead we will experience warm Moroccan hospitality, home cooked meals, and very photogenic lodging that is always clean and comfortable, if perhaps a little simple.
Sometimes it is not possible to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels, especially if you arrive before check in time. We can store your luggage and you can explore the surrounding area. Standard check in time is 4:00pm.
Check out is at 11:00am on the last day.
Extra nights at our hotel are available. You may have to switch rooms at the beginning or end of the tour.
All of our accommodation has air conditioning, with the exception of the desert camp. Should it not work, we will attempt to replace your room or the unit, upon availability. Some evenings are cold in Morocco in winter, and most accommodation in Morocco does not have heating. Bedding is always provided, however if you are extra sensitive to the cold, please be prepared with extra layers or thermals.
Private air-conditioned vehicle, camel ride to desert camp (if you are unable or do not want to ride a camel, we can arrange alternate transportation to the desert camp for you)
Money and finances
Spending money is a personal choice, and everyone will have different spending habits and needs. It is best to budget a reasonable amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping, and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Please have a thorough look at the itinerary and at what is included so you will be prepared for what isn’t included. Our Meetup Tour is very inclusive, but some meals, tips, and extras are not. This guide should make budgeting a little clearer.
Many meals are included in this tour, but some are purposefully left out so you can experience different restaurants and dishes to your liking.
Lunch at a local restaurant could cost between $10USD to $20USD. However, local street food is relatively safe to eat and is normally much cheaper.
Your leader and guide will help you find local options. Meals will cost between $15USD to $30USD, depending on the restaurant.
Food prices in Morocco range widely from cheap street food to fine dining. If you have a strict budget, be mindful of your choices and let your tour leader know the type of food you are looking for, so she can direct you to the best places.
ATMs are widely available in major cities and towns. We recommend always having a small amount of cash with you for small purchases at places that do not accept credit card. Credit cards are usually accepted in tourist shops and restaurants, but American Express, Diners, etc. are not usually accepted at all. Bring a Visa or Mastercard if you want to use credit cards. Smaller venues take cash only. Alert your bank that you will be traveling before departure to avoid being locked out of your account while abroad, as they may suspect fraud.
If you want to bring cash from your home country and exchange it, the best place to do this is at the airport. We can not guarantee that there will be time to visit a money exchange place on the tour. The best way to get local currency is by using an ATM with a debit card.
While tipping is not mandatory in Morocco, If you are satisfied with the services provided, a tip is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be a part of your customs at home, it is very valuable and helpful to the people who will be taking care of you on your trip.
While tipping can be frequent, the amounts are small. Please budget about $7USD per day on average for small tips. If you are worried you may not have small change or feel uncomfortable tipping yourself, your leader might suggest the idea of a group tipping kitty, where everyone contributes an equal amount and then your tour leader pays the tips as you go. The leader will keep a running record of all money spent (except restaurant tips). The record can be checked at any time and any money remaining at the end of the tour returned to group members. This kitty does not include tips for your local guide, but tips for your driver and porters at hotels are included in your tour price.
To help you understand tipping culture, we have provided some ideas for amounts. These are suggestions, as tipping is always a personal choice and at your discretion. Keep in mind that tipping with coins, very small denomination notes, or dirty and ripped notes can be considered an insult.
Restaurants: rounding up the the nearest dollar is fine in most restaurants. In upscale eateries look for a 10% service charge. If there is a service charge, there’s no requirement for tipping. Otherwise, 10-15% of the total bill amount is appropriate.
Drivers: Our drivers’ tips are included in your tour cost.
Your Tour Guide: You may also consider tipping your tour guide for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is completely at your discretion, however as a guideline $5USD per person, per day is standard practice. Of course, you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.
It is not necessary or expected to tip your Tour Leader, but small, sweet gifts, even hand written notes, are very appreciated if you feel they improved your experience.
The currency in Morocco is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD). Denominations come in Notes: 20, 50, 100 and 200 dirhams. Coins: 5, 10 and 20 centimes (1/100 dirham) and 0.5, 1, 2, 5 and 10 dirhams.
We recommend always having small denominations for tipping and small purchases.
Our tours are comfortable and very inclusive with premium accommodation, and in the case of Morocco, one night in a desert camp. This means you can pack a little lighter. In fact, you will be carrying your own bags to the lobby or at the airport, and you will need to be able to manage.
This is a general list to be used as a guideline. If you think you need more items, pack them.
- Copies of your travel documents- passport, flight itinerary, travel insurance policy and contact info.
- A hat for the sun
- A light wind or rain jacket for winter months
- Bug spray
- A pair of breathable, solid walking shoes like Keens or Teva, our favorites.
- Loose-fitting pants
- A casual dress or nice outfit you can dance in
- Short sleeve tops, tank tops, at least one shirt that totally covers your shoulders
- A lightweight scarf to cover your head
- A sports bra, especially if you are riding a camel
- A swimsuit and bathing suit cover-up
- Don’t forget underwear
- Earplugs and an eye mask
- Body soap
- Shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush
- Body wash
- Period essentials
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
Morocco is generally hot, and in the winter, there could be some rain and cold evenings. During the summer months, the heat can be extreme, especially in June to August. December to March can be cold, especially at night. If you are particularly sensitive to the cold, we suggest considering bringing thermals, scarf, gloves and a warm jacket, especially for our night in the desert camp.
Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables. We recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it much easier to obtain replacements if necessary.
For Morocco there are two associated plug types C and E. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type E is the plug which has two round pins with a hole for the sockets male earthing pin. Morocco operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz. We always suggest bringing a universal adaptor.
Phone and internet access
There is wifi available in most of our accommodation, but it is not always the most reliable, especially in more rural areas. We suggest purchasing pre-paid sim card at Casablanca Airport. This option only works on unlocked phones. When you are in the arrivals building after baggage claim, you will find the booths for mobile phone providers. The three main providers in Morocco are: Inwi, Maroc Telecom and Orange.
Plans and prices can change but expect to pay between 100-200 dirhams for a plan that will provide you 5GB of data. You will require your passport to purchase and register your new sim.
Alternatively, ask your home service provider for international plans.
Group leader and guide
All tours with The Solo Female Traveler Network are accompanied by a guide who is with the group for the whole trip. The guide’s role is to be the local expert of the destination and coordinate a lot of the on the ground logistics. They are not always a native of the country, but they are always experienced expert guides.
Most of our tours also include a leader, whose role is to enrich the experience socially. She will help bridge any cultural differences, manage group expectations, and capture the tour in photos and videos for marketing purposes. Some tours will not include a Tour Leader, and in this case, our local guide will act as both guide and leader.
Traveling as a woman
We believe that every woman should dress as she chooses and should feel free to experience the world without extra worry for her safety. Unfortunately, the rest of the world does not practice gender equality as we wish. It’s important to adapt to local customs to be safer and to respect not only the locals, but also your fellow travelers. The likelihood of anything happening on your trip is quite low, but we recommend being aware of the following safety tips:
Street harassment such as cat calls, stares, invitations to get in a car/bar/restaurant/home are common. These are our tips for responding to this unwanted attention:
- Ignore. Don’t even bother smiling. Just keep about your business.
- Wear sunglasses to avoid eye contact.
- Ignore. We mean it, so we said it twice! Ignore them but also ignore your internal commentary on it all. Let it roll off your back and walk on focusing on all the amazing things around you.
- Dress respectfully and you will find both men and women will respond to you in a more respectful manner.
- While it very unlikely to happen, do feel free to stand up for yourself if you feel threatened. Men you do not know should not be touching you at all and if you’re in public, people will come to your aid if you make a fuss.
For both modesty and to better manage the heat, we suggest loose fitting clothing that protects your skin from the sun. Long flowing skirts are comfortable and respectful to the the culture. In mosques, we will be required to cover our knees, shoulders, and our heads. Swim suits are, of course, appropriate when participating in water activities. Short skirts, plunging necklines, and tight clothing should be avoided.
When not with your guide, we recommend the following:
- Do not walk in isolated areas or at night by yourself
- If hotel staff need to enter your room, arrange to be either on tour or in the lobby, so you are not alone.
- Respect the local customs, which may mean dressing more conservatively than you do at home.
- Do not hire a driver or guide for tours from the street. Always go with a reputable company or ask us to help you arrange any pre or post experiences.
- Do not accept any invitations for anything from random people on the street.
- Always carry your tour guide’s contact information and hotel address with you during solo time.
- Alert your guide of any inappropriate behavior or perceived risk to your safety.
We recommend that you stay up to date on travel safety updates on your home country government website. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, but they are not required to accompany you on solo time, where you can relax, choose an optional activity, or explore on your own. During solo time, we do not vouch for the safety of the experiences you choose, even if our guide or leader recommends them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Our team on the ground is always monitoring the safety situation and reserves the authority to cancel or change experiences at their discretion if deemed unsafe.
Seat belts are always provided and must be worn in accordance with local law.
Cars may drive on the opposite side of the road than you are used to. Practice extreme caution when crossing the street. Also note that traffic may be much heavier and road rules may be very different from what you are used to. Be careful and aware that pedestrians do not have the right of way.
While most of the tour, especially in major cities, will be with your guide and the group, petty theft is common in any tourist area. Do not walk around alone at night if it can be avoided and hold your belongings close on public transportation. Your local guide will give you some safety tips throughout your tour, and we suggest heeding this advice.
Please do not enter the water without a life vest and a buddy if you are not an experienced swimmer. Alert the leader and guide to your ability level before participating in water activities. Lifeguards are not on duty and our staff are not trained in water rescue.
We suggest checking your government’s advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.
Travel insurance is mandatory on all our Meetup Tours. We require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. If you are travelling within your home country or region please confirm before travel that you are entitled to access the public medical system easily should an accident occur. We strongly recommend all travellers have a policy that also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage or personal effects. For international trips, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company’s 24-hour emergency contact number has been sighted by your leader.
If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number, and emergency contact number rather than the bank’s name and your credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
With almost all of our travelers coming on the Meetup Tour solo, we have women from different countries, backgrounds, perspectives, and opinions. This is part of what makes our tours so special and what often leaves our travelers with couches to crash on around the world and even long time friendships. Like any group, especially one consisting of people of different ages coming from all corners of the world, this can also cause clashes in culture and disagreements. We promote an environment of kindness, empowerment, and communication, so certain behaviors will not be tolerated for the benefit of everyone’s experience.
A great group dynamic takes effort, patience, and compassion from every member. Bullying, threatening, and violence towards staff, locals, and fellow participants will not be tolerated on our trips.
Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while traveling, we encourage responsible drinking and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.
The group guide and leader have final say on all matters that affect the safety or well-being of any traveler or staff member participating in the trip. If you fail to comply with a decision made by a group leader, or interfere with the well-being or mobility of the group, the group leader may direct you to leave the trip immediately, with no right of refund.