Travel tips for women in Morocco

HAVE A THICK SKIN

This is the best advice I can give you if you are a girl traveling alone or traveling in a group of just girls: Have a thick skin, ignore the cat calls, laugh them off and don’t make a big deal about it. Go into the country with the mindset that yes, you will be targeted and be talked to all day long. But you have to realize that this is all in good fun and you are never in any real harm. 

Some of the younger men may be more aggressive but if you start to feel it is too much you can turn to any older man and ask him to tell the younger man to leave you alone. Honor is a big deal in their culture and the older man will berate them to the point where you feel bad you said anything. But if you don’t let anything bother you they leave you alone pretty quickly.

TIP: Wear dark sunglasses while shopping and walking around. Once you make eye contact with a store owner or restaurant hustler it's harder to shake the attention. If you wear sunglasses you can shop and walk around with a little more ease. 

DON’T BE GULLIBLE

This goes for everyone traveling to Morocco. Don’t be a gullible tourist. Everyone in the country is trying to make a buck and the sad fact is that you are just another form of money. No one is going to help you out of the kindness of their heart no matter how many times they say they aren’t going to ask you for a tip at the end. They will. Don’t look lost, it attracts attention, walk with confidence.

Be Aware

I think it goes without saying but don’t do anything you wouldn’t do in any other country. Don’t drink excessively if you are alone. Don’t walk a dark street alone at night. Don’t carry large sums of cash on you. Don’t befriend someone and hope for the best.

Upgrade

Spending a little extra money on your boarding makes all the difference in a country like Morocco. After a long day of cat calls and avoiding scams having something a little nicer to come back to and actually relax makes a world of difference.

Morocco is cheap which makes it a great destination to stay somewhere nice without paying a ton.  I stayed at a wonderful hostel that was only $8 a night, but it was basic even for hostel standards. I am not going to lie, there were bugs, no air conditioning and scratchy blankets. But I did feel incredibly safe considering there were tons of girls staying there who were also traveling alone. Plus it was right next to the main square so I felt like I could wander around at night without a long sketchy walk back. I also stayed at a Riad that was only $25 a night and it felt like I was staying in a 5 star hotel!  It was a 10 minute walk to the main square so a bit further away but totally worth the extra money for the private bathroom, amazing bedding and rooftop breakfast. 

Have patience

You aren’t heading to a France or Germany, remember that you are in Africa and things don’t always run smoothly. The tours are not run by multi-million dollar companies they are run by families and local people. Prepare to be patient, and to have your patience tested.

One of the tours I took we waited almost an hour for our van and then switched vans twice, I could see a couple next to me getting irritated that tour was taking so long to start but the minute we got in the car and left the driver apologized and said we were going to make the tour extra long for us as long as no one had dinner reservations. These people are working off of tips and want to make you happy because most of their money is reliant on tourism, and word of mouth since there are so many tour groups. They want you to have a good time so you also tell other people to come to Morocco. Instead of getting annoyed while we waited for an hour I chatted with one of the tour guides and asked him about the company and he told me all about how it started and how his whole family is involved. At the end of our hour chat he told me two specific places to eat that would take care of me if I told them that ___ (his full name) sent me. I went to them and they gave me an amazing seat overlooking the square and I chatted with the owner who told me that the man I was speaking with was his 1st nephew and he remembers when he was born. It is a great society if you let it happen. Have a positive outlook and talk to people without fear.

Wear the right Clothing

If you are a girl heading to Morocco it is wise to cover up. You are already going to be getting a lot of unwanted attention, don’t make it worse on yourself. Maxi skirts and dresses are your best friend. I wore one everyday since it was what I felt most comfortable in. Buy some cotton ones that you can easily tie up on the side if it gets too hot to leave them down. I also brought my lightest, thinnest cardigan and wore it the whole time over my tank tops.

The most important thing to remember is you aren’t the first women to visit Morocco. There are millions of tourists that visit every year and many of them are women. Act accordingly and you will be fine.