There is so much wonder in Morocco. Watching the shadows and light play across the Sahara sand dunes. Looking for shooting stars in the brilliant night sky. Getting a glimpse of life with a native Moroccan nomadic family. Haggling with shopkeepers in the market. But seeing it all requires covering a lot of ground. You’ll want to pack light, but bring all of the essentials on this Morocco packing list.
Morocco’s climate is temperate. When I visited in mid-February 2020, the country was experiencing an unseasonably warm winter — highs in the 70s rather than the 50s. When the sun was high at mid-day, shirt sleeves were fine. But when the sun went down, the air grew chilly.
I always carried a fleece jacket or a wrap to ward off the chill. I bought this Columbia fleece for the trip. Plus, I carried this wrap. I tend to always be cold, so I never leave home without it. It serves as a blanket on the plane and a dressy wrap for chilly evenings and overly air conditioned restaurants. One especially chilly night at the top of the High Atlas Mountains, I wrapped the wrap around the fleece!
Pack modest, loose fitting clothes
If you’re covering a lot of ground like I did with my Nat Geo/ G Adventures tour, you’ll want to pack light. That means bringing clothes that can do double duty. I also wanted clothes that could be easily rinsed out in the sink and would dry overnight. I bought these Columbia hiking pants and this shirt. Bonus points that they have sun protection properties and don’t wrinkle, despite the fact that they sat in the suitcase for most of the trip. (We changed hotels almost every night, so I never really unpacked.)
Choose muted colors. The women of Morocco wear primarily black, brown and grey. I mistakenly brought some brightly colored dresses. I wore one to dinner one night and felt completely conspicuous and out of place.
Bring sturdy shoes
You don’t need hiking boots, but you do need thick-soled shoes and sandals. I brought my sturdy Merrell sneakers, which worked fine, and a pair of Oofos flip flops. I wish I had chosen to bring my Keen sandals instead of the Oofos. Keens are heavy to pack, but the thick soles are necessary for the rocky ground and uneven surfaces. I would have had to wear them with socks on the chilly Moroccan mornings.
Read More: 7 Desert Hiking Tips for Families
Don’t forget sun protection
The sun shines 300 days a year here and the desert air means that it is very intense. You’ll want sun hats that shade everyone’s neck and ears – something more than a baseball hat. Patagonia has super cute ones for kids. Also bring good sunscreen. The Equate 50 SPF sunscreen I brought with me spreads on thick and definitely helped. A good pair of sunglasses is critical for protecting your eyes. Then, remember to refresh the sunscreen and grab the hat and sunglasses before stepping foot outside. Every time.
Are bathing suits okay?
The hotels where we stayed all had swimming pools. The pool water was very cold, but the kids happily jumped in while we adults sat on the pool deck and watched. Because the hotels in this Muslim country serve tourists from the West, a traditional bathing suit is acceptable for women. I brought my Miracle Suit, but it never left my suitcase. I suspect it would have been different if I had visited Morocco when it’s hot enough for the sun to warm that chilly pool water.
Keep it clean: sanitation supplies
Don’t assume you’ll find soap, a towel or even toilet paper in every public toilet. You may not even find them in hotels. Always carry with you a pack of tissues and hand sanitizer. If you’re carrying a big enough day pack, you might also want to add a small travel towel to your Morocco packing list.
Read More: Tips for Flying with a Head Cold
Extra power for devices
The bus on our tour had USB ports, but I never got mine to work. I was very glad to have my Anker power pack. It charged up my phone as well as a fellow traveler’s. Without it, I certainly would have missed the shot of the sun setting over the Sahara sand dunes.
Travel mug for the dunes
We learned this the hard way: Morocco doesn’t do “to-go” drinks. You get a teeny tiny cup and have to drink your tea or coffee before you leave the restaurant or cafe. If you need a big hit of morning caffeine, bring a travel mug with you.
Meds and such
Yes, you can buy medicine in Morocco, but when a problem hits at 2 am, you will want to have what you need. Bring everything you always need – from inhalers to ibuprofen. Then pack everything you might need, starting with an anti-diarrheal like Imodium.
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What to pack for the kids
Just about every place we visited was Instagram-worthy. The kids wanted to take photos as much as the adults. A good item to add to your Morocco packing list is an old cell phone with a camera. Or buy an inexpensive digital camera for the kids to use. It will keep them from always borrowing yours. An iPad or Kindle Fire for downloading and watching movies was important on our Morocco travels because it kept the kids entertained during the long bus rides.