When traveling to Morocco as a solo female you no doubt have questions in mind to make your adventures as safe and inspiring as possible. There’s no one way to make this trip a reality. Some women love to set out alone while others head out with a friend or tour group. No matter how you plan to visit Morocco, we’ve gathered together our top ten tips below. While this advice is great for solo women travelers to Morocco it really can apply to anyone.
Have an overall travel goal. Understanding your motivation to travel in Morocco and what you’d love to experience when there will help you stay focused on planning the itinerary that will match and make decisions when there to keep you on track to have that experience.
Come with a vision but also an open-mind. Your visual vision of what the country and culture is like, could be based on photos or posts you’ve seen in the media, travel blogs or Instagrammers you follow. The subjective views of a hundred others don’t give you the full truth of what this wild and wonderful country and culture is really like. Come with less expectations of the place or people. Make your own mind up when here but don’t base that on one trip or one place.
Embrace diversity and difference. Morocco has a lot of diversity in it’s landscapes, cities and villages and also it’s accommodation standards or options. What you experience in one place does not mean you can say ‘this is Morocco’. That’s true of the people too. There is a wide economic diversity in the local and expat people living here, with a blend of Arabic, French, international, Muslim and Jewish culture. Make no assumptions of what a Moroccan is or isn’t, based on the few you meet. Get to know people from a range of society and places to get a more objective view. Whichever social circles you’d normally stay in, try to connect with a range of people on your travels, to offer the most interesting blend of cultural experience in the safest way.
Know your values and respect other cultures. Understanding what is important to you and from your culture, will help you travel in Morocco with greater insight. You’ll know when you’re willing to compromise or not, and accept when to be flexible too. Being sure of your own cultural values will also help you keep in mind, that what you might find normal, may not be normal in Morocco, and vice versa but that doesn’t mean that it is wrong. That also includes understanding that your definition of what you value may be different to the Moroccan version of the same value. In all challenges that you might face in the country as a solo female traveller, the definition of equality, independence, respect, honesty and empathy for example may stir you up, but you will also see those values met at other times.
Be prepared and also spontaneous. Knowing where you are going and what you want to do is fantastic, as it can help give you a level of security. On the other hand, one of the best things to experience in Morocco, is the chance to explore, to discover the medinas, the souks, the mountain trails or Sahara sands. To help you feel more open to spontaneous travel, keep in mind number 10 about your personal safety.
Get in or out of your comfort zone. If you want to travel and stay like a Goddess or rough-it backpacking, the option is up to you. You can choose to stay in a luxury Riad or hotel with all the high-end spa facilities and 5* dining, rent a villa with pool, pay for an AirBnB or vacation apartment with the basics, stay in a beach bungalow with your own veranda over the sea, or glamp-it in a nomad tent, if you want. Experiencing a range of accommodation styles and designs from beldi rustic style to opulent palaces, you really are spoilt for choice. If you want to add to the level of comfort, when you’ve experienced things outside of your comfort zone in your day or night, you can book yourself in for a pampering spa or hammam treatment. You’ll find a range of options in most hotels and your local area.
Practice your language skills. Don’t expect that all Moroccans will speak your language, or even French or English to a basic or fluent level. Not all service providers or taxi drivers for example, will speak even French, the second national language. Although many people you’ll meet will astound you with their knowledge of at least 4 or 5 languages, come prepared with some basic phrases in Arabic and French. The locals will appreciate your effort to say “salam alaikum, labas?” (hello, how are you?) or “bslama” (goodbye), “afak” (please) and “shukrun” (thank you). You’ll often find they will give you a better service or price, as a result.
Get help with these two posts that share some of the common phrases and expressions you should know!
Stay calm and confident. The country has challenges for sure that you will come across: crazy driving and cars whizzing past and on the street, Some unintelligent and uneducated men who will attempt to harass or seduce you with their unwelcome charms or assume you are rich, or a level of poverty and animal cruelty in places that will bring tears to your eyes, archaic systems in certain villages that seem infuriating if you’re from a cosmopolitan town. Whatever the circumstance, even if the Moroccans around you are losing their cool, stay calm and be seen to be confident, even if you don’t feel it.
Take attempting to jay-walk or walk across the road. You may have your heart in your mouth as cars whizz past, even on the occasional traffic lights, but if you walk ahead calmly and confidently, the cars will 9 out of 10 times, stop. They don’t want to hit you, too! If you find unwanted attention coming your way, for whatever reaction they’re trying to get out of you, stay very calm. Be as respectful and confident as you can muster and keep walking.
You may also encounter disadvantaged, homeless people, and beggars or mistreated animals, Morocco is a developing country and unfortunately this is a common sight. Trust your intuition but also keep the open mind of what you can and can’t do to help, each time.
Be the best version of yourself. You’ll read a lot of advice about what you can and can’t do in Morocco, but it really is subjective. If you come with an open-mind and are respectful to mutual cultural values, like we mention above, you will have a more enjoyable journey. This includes what clothes you will wear, what faith you have, and what you do or don’t like to eat or drink and when. We say be the best version of yourself, because we hope that person will come with that level of respect and understanding that makes decisions on what to do when here, that makes everyone feel comfortable, including you. We hope this version of you will also choose to celebrate all that is possible in this vast and stunning country, to seek out the best experience for yourself and those you engage with and hopefully, choose to meet. Your Moroccan Tour can be the best adventure of your lifetime, if you choose that perspective and be determined to make that happen.
Protect yourself as you normally would. Personal safety and safety in a new culture goes without saying must be top of your list when traveling alone. Although the reported crime rates are low here compared with other countries, crime does happen. Petty theft and sexual harassment are the two crimes to consider protecting yourself from in the way you normally do. There is a very high chance you WILL experience some type of catcalling or other verbal harassment. However, Morocco is no different to any other country where that might happen, so do what you would normally do to keep safe.
Avoid places alone at night.
Go where you know you can access others and phone coverage if you need to.
Avoid situations or offers that feel unsafe.
The best way to feel more safe and secure, is ask yourself, ‘would I do this alone in my home city?” Have the local emergency numbers to hand and what procedure to follow if needed. Contact your local Embassy for details, if in doubt.