Preparing for your trip
|Package:||Best of Morocco, 2023|
Print this page and refer to it as you prepare for your trip!
Printed Nov 29, 2023. Please visit https://www.friendlyplanet.com/before-you-go/?tourId=1489 for the latest updates.
|☐||Ensure you have a current passport valid for at least six months after your return date.||ASAP|
|☐||Passport Pages. Ensure you have enough empty pages in your passport as per the entry requirements at your destination||ASAP|
|☐||Complete your registration. You'll receive a link to the registration form after you complete your booking.||Within 5 days of booking|
|☐||Make your final payment, if any balance is due.||See your invoice|
|☐||Request any additions or changes you may still want to make to your trip.||by final payment due date|
|☐||Obtain any necessary travel visas and review any requirements for entry.||See below|
|☐||Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email by 14 days prior to travel.||Prior to travel|
|☐||Print your policy documents, if you purchased travel insurance, and carry them with you.||Prior to travel|
|☐||Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP), if you're a U.S. citizen or national, so the State Dept. can locate and assist you in case of an emergency.||Prior to travel|
In addition, if you booked flights with your package:
|☐||Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!)||After receiving your e‑tickets|
|☐||Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference.||After receiving your e‑tickets|
|☐||Confirm your flight times and any special meal requests with the airline, and print and carry a copy of your e-ticket.||72 hours prior to travel|
|☐||Check in for your flights online and download/print your boarding passes (if available).||24 hours prior to travel|
|☐||Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime!||3½ hours prior to departure|
Documents & Entry Requirements
Entry requirements are provided for your convenience. However, unless otherwise stated, it is your responsibility to determine the requirements that apply to you and your trip and to comply with them, including obtaining any necessary visas or other travel documents by the required deadlines and carrying them with you. Especially with COVID-19, requirements are subject to change, so check back for the latest before you depart.
Morocco Entry Requirements
Advice from our partner Sherpa
General Requirements & Guidelines
- In general, you must have a passport to travel abroad, which should be valid for at least six months after your return date. Passports expiring before then should be renewed as soon as possible. Passports contain at least 2 blank pages for each country visited. If your passport does not have this many pages, obtain a new passport as soon as possible.
- if your passport and visa are not in order, airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding, countries may deny entry, and your trip may be disrupted. Travel insurance may not cover such losses.
- Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately. Airlines and cruise ships may deny boarding if the name on your passport does not match your tickets.
- Minors (age 17 or younger) departing and/or returning to the U.S. without parents or with only one parent may be required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present a notarized parental consent letter and/or unabridged birth certificate (more information). Many other countries have similar entry requirements, especially for minors traveling with a parent/guardian with a different surname; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.
Your final travel documents will be sent to you via email by 14 days prior to departure. These will include your daily itinerary, hotel and emergency contact information, and other relevant information. Please print your documents and take them with you. If you're departing in less than a week and haven't received your documents, let us know immediately!
Travel Insurance Documents
If you purchased travel insurance, please print and carry your policy documents, including contact information for emergency travel assistance and instructions on how to make a claim. If you purchased the travel protection plan we offer, we recommend you print the full policy.
Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)
We encourage all U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows you to receive important updates about safety and security issues in your destination, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy, as well as family & friends, to contact you in case of an emergency. To enroll or get more information, please visit the STEP website or any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Flights, Transfers & Arrival
Questions about your flights before you depart? Read the information below first. If you still have questions, contact our air specialists at
Tour Only Option
If you purchased this package without flights, you are responsible for booking your own flights into Casablanca and out of Marrakesh. The touring program will begin at the hotel in Casablanca on Day 2 and end at check-out from the hotel in Marrakesh on Day 12. After you book your flights, please send us a copy of your flight itinerary for our records. Generally, hotel check-in time is at 3 PM and check-out is at 11 AM.
Find out what to do in case of arrival complications.
Flights & Tickets
If you selected flights with your package, we generally book your flights and issue tickets after your final payment due date.
If you requested flights from another city, our air specialists will research the best options and send you a tentative flight schedule and quote for your approval within 5 business days of your booking (or approximately 330 days prior to travel, if you booked further out than that).
Once we have issued your tickets, we'll send you an "e-ticket receipt" which contains all of your flight information, including times, carriers, an airline booking reference number, and an e-ticket number. If you have not received this, or have questions about the flights we booked for you, please contact our air department. You will not receive paper tickets. We recommend you print and carry a copy of your flight details, including the airline booking reference number and e-ticket number, as some airports require this to enter the terminal. You do not need to reconfirm your flights with the airline prior to your departure, as we will handle this for you.
That depends on the airline. You can usually request a window or aisle seat, and sometimes specific seat numbers (but not exit row and bulkhead seats) ahead of time. Many airlines now charge a fee for this, and such fees are not included in your package price. If you have a seat preference, let us know when you book, in the special requests section, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org after you book. Then:
If your airline does not charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll happily pass along your seat request to the airline and confirm they received it (though we cannot guarantee it will be honored).
If your airline does charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll let you know. You'll need to contact the airline directly to request your seats after we have issued your flight tickets, and fees are payable directly to the airline.
If you do not request specific seats: The airline typically assigns them within 24 hours of departure. If you do not like your assigned seats, you may be able to change them, subject to availability, when you check in online or at the counter. Learn more about Advance Seat Reservations.
You can enter special meal requests when you book with an agent or complete your online registration, shortly after booking. We will relay your requests to the airlines and our representatives abroad, but we cannot guarantee they will be honored. Please double check meal requests with your airline 72 hours before departure, and with our representatives upon arrival.
You may be able to earn frequent flyer points for your flights. Contact the airline directly once you receive your tickets to enter your frequent flyer number in your flight record, or enter it when you check in. As you travel, check your tickets or ask the check-in or gate agent prior to boarding each flight to ensure the number has been entered properly. And just to be safe, keep your boarding passes and passenger receipt as proof that you have actually flown the miles you want credited to your account.
Cabin upgrades may be available on your flights. Ask us about price and availability when you book online, in the special requests section, or contact our air department after you book. Please note that our special contracted airfare rates generally do not permit upgrading with frequent flyer points, and that upgrade requests may incur change fees if tickets have already been issued.
If you selected flights with your package, you will receive your flight schedule by email once we issue your tickets.
If you requested flights from another city, our air specialists will research the best options and send you a tentative flight schedule for your approval, and a confirmed schedule once we issue your tickets.
Airlines may change schedules at any time, even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes. Please check for updates to your flight schedule prior to booking any connecting flights and again 72 hours prior to departure.
If you need to fly from (and/or return to) a different U.S. or Canadian city, we suggest you request those flights from us. If feasible, we will try to book all your flights together with a single carrier or a partner network on a single ticket. This ensures that your luggage will be transferred between flights for you, and more importantly, that if there are any schedule changes, flight cancellations, or delays that affect your trip, the airline(s) will adjust your flights to ensure you have sufficient time to make your connections and/or make alternate arrangements to get you to your destination. Besides offering the most peace of mind, this often yields lower fares than purchasing separate connecting flights.
If you plan to purchase connecting flights to your departure city, we strongly suggest waiting until after your final payment due date and after you receive the e-tickets for your international flights, to reduce the chances that that your departure might be cancelled or rescheduled or that your international flight times might change. Before purchasing connecting flights, verify the times for your international flights. Leave at least 3½ hours connecting time between flights, and if you're traveling within a few weeks of Daylight Savings Time changes (in March and November, when flight schedules may change even more dramatically), allow 5–5½ hours between flights. Nobody likes waiting around the airport, but missing your flight is far worse!
Scheduled group airport arrival and departure transfers are included with this package. When you exit customs, please look for our representative holding a Friendly Planet sign, who will cheerfully escort you to your transfer vehicle and assist with your luggage.
If you purchased the tour without flights, transfers are not included. In most cases, private transfers are available for an additional fee. Please contact us for pricing and availability. Or you may instead arrange your own ground transportation to the start and end points of the touring program, usually the first and last hotels listed in the itinerary.
We make every effort to ensure our tours run smoothly and trouble-free. We don't expect any problems, and nor should you. But when things don't go as planned, here's what to do:
- You miss your flights, or your flights are cancelled: Please call us immediately. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox, with a phone number at which to reach you, and we'll get right back to you.
- Your flights are delayed and you're worried about missing your included transfers: Please contact us to let us know about the delay, and we will notify our partners in destination. If you are arriving on one of our group flights, or booked your own flights and supplied us with the details, our partners will be tracking your arrival and will plan accordingly.
- Your package includes transfers, but you can't find our representative at your destination: Don't panic—they may have been unexpectedly delayed. Wait up to 30 minutes. Then contact our local partners in destination, listed on the emergency contact page of your final documents. If you can't reach them, call us. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox. If all else fails, make your own way to the starting hotel (or cruise port), and we'll refund you the cost of your transfer.
Packing & Luggage
Baggage allowance: Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage and one carry-on piece. Your checked-in luggage should weigh no more than 44 pounds, and each piece may not exceed 62 inches as a sum of all three dimensions (length, height and width). Most airlines do not consider roll-aboards as hand luggage. Your carry-on luggage should fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment.
Islam is the major religion in Morocco, and people tend to dress modestly. Although tourists are not required to conform to the norm, we recommend for women to stay away from strappy tanks, halter tops and cropped tops. Men may wear shorts during the hot summer days. However, be sure to pack long pants and button up shirts or shirts with collar for dinner. We recommend bringing hat, sunscreen and sunglasses. Small packs of tissues or wipes will also come in handy at rest stops, as toilet paper is not always available. Remember to pack medications in your carry-on bag.
What to wear: Despite the heat, we recommended to dress modestly. Dress for comfort and wear loose clothing that cover your knees and shoulders. Pants, capris, long-sleeve shirts, and tunics are appropriate. Wear closed-toe shoes instead of sandals, especially for the desert visit.
Appropriate Attire for Visits to Mosques & Other Religious Sites: Please dress respectfully and modestly. We recommend wearing long sleeves and long, loose fitting clothing that cover the ankles. Transparent or see through clothing should not be worn. A pair of socks will come in handy if you are required to remove your shoes to enter a mosque. It isn’t necessary to wear a head covering, but we recommend bringing a scarf/shawl to ensure that shoulders are covered.
Learn more about Baggage Allowances on your international flights. Note that our baggage allowances may be less than those for your international flights. If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges levied by the airlines and/or by Friendly Planet.
Regardless of the limits—we recommend a smaller size and weight for both your checked and carry-on bags. It's so much easier and faster for you to get around when you have fewer, lighter bags! For your carry-on, consider a soft-sided bag such as a duffel rather than a hard clamshell-type case, which may not fit as easily into overhead compartments or under your seat, especially on buses. For your protection, we suggest your checked luggage have a TSA-approved lock.
Luggage tags: For your safety, we are no longer mailing Friendly Planet luggage tags to you. We encourage you to use your own. Fill in the luggage tags with your name and contact information and attach to each bag, including carry-ons and camera cases, so that your luggage can be identified should it get misplaced during your trip.
What to pack: Check out our list of top 10 must-haves for international travel, as well as what not to pack. Pack smart: put your travel documents, medications, one change of clothing, and other essentials in your carry-on, in case your checked baggage is misplaced. And pack light, for your own comfort and convenience. For clothing, we suggest packing a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.
What not to pack: U.S. law forbids you to carry hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your checked or carry-on baggage or on your person, including explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids & solids, loaded firearms, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Common examples include paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, mace/tear gas and oxygen bottles. Restricted materials may vary by airline and destination. Some items, in quantities of no more than 70 ounces total, may be carried within baggage, including medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines that are necessary during your journey. Please check with the airline and/or visit the FAA website prior to travel if you have any questions.
While on Tour
What to Expect
This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking and requires an average level of physical fitness. This tour also includes long scenic drives between destinations and may have limited rest stops.
Customs & Culture: In Morocco, it is customary to only use your right hand to eat or hand things to others. The left hand is considered unclean, as it is used for hygiene. Locals are very appreciative of tourists who show respect for their customs and culture.
Your Schedule: In order to experience everything Morocco has to offer, some days will have an early start time. There will be long drives between destinations, sometimes on bumpy unpaved roads with limited rest stops.
You will travel through the Sahara Desert in a 4x4 jeep. If you experience motion sickness, we recommend bringing Dramamine or other medication to avoid feeling ill.
Bargaining: Bargaining is a way of life in Morocco, especially at markets or souks. A good bargaining policy is to start negotiating by offering half of the asking price. Don’t be afraid to walk away if you think the price that you’re being quoted is too high. Generally, vendors will come after you and offer a lower price. Negotiations should be done respectfully.
Remember that you're a guest in someone else's homeland, and that you're traveling to experience their country and culture. Be sensitive to local customs and manners, as many things may be done differently than what you're used to. And while we have made every effort to secure modern and comfortable accommodations and transportation, please note that the standards in other countries may be different from those you are accustomed to at home. Overall, you will find a polite, positive, patient, and open-minded approach generally yields the best travel experience!
Please keep in mind that you'll be traveling with a group. Sharing your explorations with like-minded folks can often be a source of joy, and some of our travelers become lifelong friends. But traveling with strangers can also sometimes be challenging, especially in a foreign country. We ask that you be patient and respectful with your fellow travelers, including their needs and preferences. Also remember that you have responsibilities to the group—please be prompt for group activities so you don't keep everyone else waiting. Lastly, please defer to your tour leader, guide or manager. They are there for your safety and wellbeing, and to ensure the journey goes smoothly for everyone. If you have a problem with one of our tour guides or managers, please let us know, either while you're on tour or after you return, and we'll make sure your concerns are addressed.
Our hotels are all Western-style, and your room includes a private bathroom. The hotels in desert towns and valleys provide an oasis and a place to relax after a long day of exploration. The rooms are tastefully decorated with traditional and regional materials and offer modern amenities.
Eating & Drinking
The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary.
The water from the hotel tap is not potable. Only drink water from sealed bottles.
Your tour includes breakfast and dinner daily and some lunches. The welcome and farewell dinners are at local restaurants featuring local cuisine and include a glass of local wine, mineral water and coffee or tea. Dinners on all other evenings are at your hotel, and drinks are charged separately. The hotels accept major credit cards as payment for non-included drinks.
Non-included meals: On days when lunch is not included, the group will stop at select restaurants close to a site or en-route to the next town. Average cost for lunch excluding drinks is about $15-$20 per person, per meal.
Please see above for special meal requests.
You will be traveling in the company of professionals who are very committed to making your tour the dream vacation you are counting on. These people feel great pride in having a chance to show foreign visitors their country. If your guide, driver and others with whom you are traveling are doing a good job, please take our suggestions for tipping seriously. Naturally, tipping is personal and voluntary, and if you have not received good service, your tip should reflect this fact.
- Tour Manager: $6-8 per person per day
- Airport Representative: $3-5 per person
- Local Tour guide: $4-6 per person per day (if applicable)
- Transfer/Tour drivers: $3-5 per person per day
- Restaurant staff: $2-3 per person per meal
- Hotel porters: $1-2 per bag upon arrival and departure
- Housekeeping: $2-3 per person per day
- Bathroom attendants: $1 per person
There are no vouchers needed for the prepaid optional excursion. The guide will have a list of passengers who prepaid for the optional excursion. If you did not prepay and prefer to purchase it locally, space will be subject to availability and the local selling price may be higher. Payments may be made directly to the guide in cash (US Dollars or Moroccan dirham) or by major credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Credit card transaction fees may apply.
You have some free time in Marrakesh to explore. You may visit the medina, the old historic part of town with high stone walls or the souk, the traditional marketplace. Souks are a maze of alleys and it’s easy to get lost. Look out for landmarks that can be easily recognized to guide your way back. It’s not uncommon to walk the narrow streets alongside mule carts and wagons. Watch out for mopeds that hurtle around at high speed. If you want to photograph the scene, especially if you’re photographing people, be sure to ask first to avoid offending the locals (or having your camera damaged).
You can also leave the group and explore on your own at any time. However, should the group have planned activities for that day, please make sure to inform your guide in advance. There is NO refund for unused group arrangements. Also, take the name of the hotel and phone number with you so that you can communicate with taxi drivers. Your hotel staff will gladly assist you.
Special Needs & Requests
Please see above for special meal requests and seat requests. If you have any other special requests, including wheelchair or electric cart assistance, please mention your request when you book with an agent, or in the special requests section when you book online. We will do our best to accommodate them!
Morocco Fast Facts
|Health Precautions & Vaccinations||
Immunizations are NOT currently required for travel to Morocco. However, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions on other health concerns or requirements.
Morocco generally has a sub-tropical and diverse climate depending on the region and season. October-December and March-May are Morocco’s best seasons, when temperatures average in the low 70s F/24 C. January and February can be cool and rainy. Because of the generally moderate or warm climate, most of the hotels do not have central heating. During summer, the average temperature in Marrakesh and Fez is around the 100’s; while the coastal cities of Casablanca, Rabat and Tangier have an average temperature in the low 80s. South of the Atlas Mountains, temperatures increase greatly.
|What to wear||
Since Morocco is primarily a Muslim country, customs will be different from what you are accustomed to in the USA. When visiting mosques and for touring, you should plan to dress modestly with shoulders and knees covered. Despite the heat, it is still preferred that women do not wear shorts or halter-style tops. Jeans and slacks, skirts or culottes are recommended. Loose-fitting shirts or tunics are also appropriate. At mosques and other sacred sites, please dress appropriately - long sleeves or a shawl to cover arms and shoulders, long, loose-fitting, ankle-length trousers (or skirts). Avoid transparent or see-through clothing.
Since weather can be unpredictable anywhere in the world, we suggest a folding umbrella or poncho and sweater/ jacket or clothing that can be worn in layers, so that you are prepared for all weather conditions. Bring a sun hat, sunblock, sunglasses, and some tissues or wipes. Remember that comfort and convenience should dictate your wardrobe, and casual clothes are fine most every occasion as you travel.
|Money & Credit Cards||
The official currency in Morocco is the Moroccan dirham. Hotels and some stores accept credit cards (Visa and Master Card only). Please note, credit card transactions are subject to 3% surcharge. For “street shopping” you will need local currency for most transactions (USD is only sometimes accepted). Hotels, banks and foreign exchange bureaus will be able to exchange cash to local currency. We highly recommend that you bring along crisp, new bills. Old, torn, crumpled bills may not be accepted.
Be sure to call your credit card providers to let them know you will be traveling abroad, the places you’ll be visiting, and the dates of your trip. This is important for your own protection. For small purchases, we recommend that you use the ATM machines to get cash in local currency so that you can avoid using your credit card in unknown shops where there is a higher risk of having your credit card numbers “borrowed” for unauthorized purchases. Traveler’s checks are no longer accepted in Morocco. Expect to use cash or credit cards for your purchases.
Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.
You will have ample opportunity during your visit to Morocco to shop for souvenirs, including artwork, handicrafts and even jewelry. If you purchase such items, do so with the understanding that these items may not have the same high value you were led to believe. And you may be unable to return these items later for a refund. A good rule of thumb when shopping abroad is to choose items that you love and that will remind you of the destination. If you want to shop for high value items, better do so from a trusted merchant at home unless the pleasure of the happy memory of your trip will keep you from regretting your purchase.
While we take great care in arranging the components of your tour, we have no relationship with the shopping venues you’ll encounter, and we cannot be liable for any purchases you make. Your guides will no doubt have some favorite shopping places, where the vendors are known, provide good quality merchandise and probably pay some sort of commission from sales to the guide. This should not surprise or offend you, as this is how business is done throughout Morocco and other regions around the world. Please keep in mind that many, if not most stores outside the U.S. will not allow exchanges or refunds for your purchased items. You, as the buyer, assume the full risk in the purchases you make.
Tips for Bargaining: Bargaining is a way of life in Morocco. If you want to purchase something, whether in a shop or a souk (or bazaar) and you think the price you’ve been quoted is too high, thank the vendor and walk away. Generally, he/she will come after you with a lower price. It is usually considered good bargaining policy to offer half the asking price, and negotiate from there. The negotiations should be done in a respectful way.
|Electricity & Power Adapters|| |
220 volts. Plugs C & E. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.
Learn more about electrical standards around the world.
|Cell Phones & Internet|
Expect to pay a small fee to bring your camera inside the monuments, temples, tombs and museums. Once inside, flash photography is generally forbidden. Be sure to ask permission before taking pictures of people or animals. It is not unusual for a camel’s owner to ask for a small fee if he sees you taking a picture of his camel. Cameras and video recorders are permitted, and photography is generally permitted everywhere except at airports and military installations. Memory cards for digital cameras will be available in major cities, but you might end up paying a premium. It’s better to bring a spare memory card, saving both time and money.
|Did you know?||
Terms & Conditions: Please review our terms & conditions for this package.
Cancellations: If something comes up and you need to cancel your trip, please let us know as soon as possible. All cancellations must be made in writing. Cancellation fees vary by package; please see the cancellation fees for this package.