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ASK ME

After reading my blog, are you still left with questions? As a fellow-traveler, I am happy to answer any questions you have to make your travels easier.

Leave a question below and  I will respond within 24hrs!!!

19 comments:

  1. What is the electrical system in Morocco?

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    1. Morocco voltage is 220V, 50 Hz (their plugs use two pin round plugs like they use in France).
      Check your laptop or electronic chargers and plugs to see if they can handle 100-240 volts. It is usually written on the back of the adapter.

      You will need to buy an adapter or converter so that your prongs can fit in their plugs.
      Like this:
      http://img.diytrade.com/cdimg/1720910/27027365/0/1342702799/EU_Travel_Adapter_AC_Power_Plug_Convert_AU_US_UK_to_EU_Plug.jpg

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  2. I'm stressing over finding a hair dryer that will work. I keep hearing that most dual voltage dryers will only work on the low setting, making them worthless on my thick hair. Is it possible to just buy a cheap hairdryer once I get there? Where should I look for one? OR, can you recommend a decent hair dryer to take with me?

    Many Thanks!
    Barbara

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    1. I have never heard of it only working on a low setting.
      But I can tell you that there are shopping malls that you can get hair dryers there. that is probably your best bet. The last thing you want to do is take your hair dryer and then it shorts out or it blows your adapter/coverter. (However I do recommend getting a converter/adapter to charge your cameras, phones and other electronics. Hotels often dont have them)
      Also depending on where you're staying, some hotel rooms have hairdryers in them. Check with your hotel.

      So your choices are:
      1. Risk taking your hair dryer and a coverter/adapter (and hope that nothing blows).
      2. Buy one there at the mall in Morocco.
      3. Email and ask your hotel if they provide one in the room.

      Hope that helps!

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  3. It does help! Thank you so much! I think I'll just plan to buy one when I get there.
    Cheers,
    Barbara

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  4. So now I'm stressing about my phone. My carrier (Verizon) tells me if I use my cell phone there I'll be hit with a huge bill - like a thousand dollars.

    I'd really like to take my smartphone, and be able to use the GPS, read books, do email, and take pictures. Not to mention keep in touch by phone. But so far the conversation with my carrier is not going well.

    Should I just buy a disposable phone in country and give up the idea of using GPS and internet while I'm there?

    Thanks!
    Barbara

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    1. Hello Barbara

      *sorry I posted this quite a while ago and was awaiting your reply. I just checked and realized that I didn't hit reply on your post, so you may not have gotten a notification that I replied. I hope this helps*

      Yes if you use your regular service you will get a huge bill for Africa, I bet. Sometimes you can buy packages with them that can lower your rate abroad but it will still be expensive. Instead, there is a way to turn off your Verizon service, and use the local Moroccan provider with a Moroccan pre-paid card or wi-fi.

      With phones that use SIM cards (a little gold chip card that can be slid in and out the back of your phone where the battery is), you can have your phone 'unlocked' at a local independent mobile store. Unlocking it means that it can be used on providers other than your own. The independent stores have a special process that they go through to enable this. It usually costs less than $40.00 and it will be well worth it.

      Once your phone is unlocked, you can purchase a pre-paid SIM card in Morocco. A pre-paid SIM card will give you a phone number and set number of minutes for local Moroccan calls (useful if you can't find your hotel). I am unsure of the data you can get with such cards for GPS. These SIM cards can be purchased at the airport. Just ask around. When I bought one in Rabat, I purchased it at the currency exchange desk. If you can't find someone at the airport selling them, you can ask your hotel where the closest mobile shop is to get pre-paid cards. That will be your opportunity to find out how much data you can get and then you can decide whether using GPS is feasible.

      In terms of emailing and books and such, hotels and riads often have Wi-Fi. Check your hotel/riad website or email them and ask them if they have 'wi-fi'. By using Wi-Fi, you won't have to pay a cent. It means you are not using anyone's cell phone network for the data, you are using someone's internet signal.

      As for taking photos, you don't need cellphone coverage for that and it won't cost you anything on your bill. Just make sure you have enough memory on your phone to save the pictures. The only time pictures will cost you money is if you try to send the pictures to someone.

      As for keeping in touch with people outside of Morocco, your best bet is using the hotel internet or using the Wi-Fi on your phone to email them. Check your manual or ask a friend how to connect with Wi-Fi.

      Above all if you decide to use your cell phone abroad, call your wireless phone company and find out how to turn off the automatic connection so your phone doesn't automatically connect over there and download emails or texts.

      Using your phone to take pictures and to use Wi-Fi to stay in touch and search information from the comfort of your hotel/riad room is a delight. When you get back home, you can put your regular sim card back in your phone and continue with your service as you normally do. I hope this information was helpful.

      Delete
  5. Hello Barbara

    Yes if you use your regular service you will get a huge bill for Africa, I bet. Sometimes you can buy packages with them that can lower your rate abroad but it will still be expensive. Instead, there is a way to turn off your Verizon service, and use the local Moroccan provider with a Moroccan pre-paid card or wi-fi.

    With phones that use SIM cards (a little gold chip card that can be slid in and out the back of your phone where the battery is), you can have your phone 'unlocked' at a local independent mobile store. Unlocking it means that it can be used on providers other than your own. The independent stores have a special process that they go through to enable this. It usually costs less than $40.00 and it will be well worth it.

    Once your phone is unlocked, you can purchase a pre-paid SIM card in Morocco. A pre-paid SIM card will give you a phone number and set number of minutes for local Moroccan calls (useful if you can't find your hotel). I am unsure of the data you can get with such cards for GPS. These SIM cards can be purchased at the airport. Just ask around. When I bought one in Rabat, I purchased it at the currency exchange desk. If you can't find someone at the airport selling them, you can ask your hotel where the closest mobile shop is to get pre-paid cards. That will be your opportunity to find out how much data you can get and then you can decide whether using GPS is feasible.

    In terms of emailing and books and such, hotels and riads often have Wi-Fi. Check your hotel/riad website or email them and ask them if they have 'wi-fi'. By using Wi-Fi, you won't have to pay a cent. It means you are not using anyone's cell phone network for the data, you are using someone's internet signal.

    As for taking photos, you don't need cellphone coverage for that and it won't cost you anything on your bill. Just make sure you have enough memory on your phone to save the pictures. The only time pictures will cost you money is if you try to send the pictures to someone.

    As for keeping in touch with people outside of Morocco, your best bet is using the hotel internet or using the Wi-Fi on your phone to email them. Check your manual or ask a friend how to connect with Wi-Fi.

    Above all if you decide to use your cell phone abroad, call your wireless phone company and find out how to turn off the automatic connection so your phone doesn't automatically connect over there and download emails or texts.

    Using your phone to take pictures and to use Wi-Fi to stay in touch and search information from the comfort of your hotel/riad room is a delight. I hope this information was helpful.

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  6. hi helper

    can you please tell me where to find map for marrakech and fez medina and roughly what is the fare fo fez to morroco by bus.
    thanks

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    1. Hi there,
      Sorry I didn't get the notification for this post. I have googled various Marrakech and Fes medina maps but I wasn't sure how detailed you wanted your map.
      Here is one of Fes: http://www.fez-riads.com/map/
      Here is one of Marrakech: http://www.darzouar.com/IMG/la-carte.jpg
      It is difficult to find maps that list every alley in Fes and Marrakech because they're sometimes just a few meters long and with no names.

      My understanding is that the bus trip from Fez to Marrakech is 9-10hrs (with a few stops) and costs under 200dh. The train, though, is much more comfortable and faster. I recommend first class. Please see my page about using the train.

      Hope this helps

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  7. hi! i'll be traveling to Morocco soon and am looking into the train for travel within through country. do you know if you're able to purchase The tickets online? I've gotten as far as seeing the prices on the website but i don't see an option to buy. also i noticed you bought a lot of cool things like the pouf, how did you get them home? lastly, Im traveling on a pretty tight budget, do you have any recommendations of where to stay in marrakesh, Casablanca, and tangier?

    thanks in advance!

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    1. Hi there

      I don't know if you can purchase the tickets online, but you don't have to. The reason is because it is super easy to buy tickets when you arrive at the station using the machine or ticket counters. Just arrive 20 mins early in case there is a line. Tickets in 2nd class don't really run out because I think that they oversell.

      The first 3/4 of the souvenir page are things you can buy, but the last 1/4 of the page are things I bought. The pouf is sold without the stuffing, so you can fold it up and put it in your luggage. It looks like this when you buy it (No.1): http://www.spirit-boutique.com/files/imagecache/2000x2000_Scale/stuffing-guide_grande_7.jpg

      I stayed in a riad (traditional architecture and usually includes breakfast and more personal friendlier service) in Marrakech with family members, so the cost was not on a budget necessarily. Be aware that prices in Morocco for hotels/riads is surprisingly 'not cheap'. But the best thing to do is check out websites like www.booking.com or www.hotels.com or tripadvisor where you can select your price range and they will show you hotels with reviews.
      e.g. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g293737-c2-Tangier_Tangier_Tetouan_Region-Hotels.html

      In each of these places though, I would recommend staying in the medina, close to traditional culture.

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  8. i am going to Morocco end Feb for 10 days with an organised tour operator and will be part of a group. My son has suggested I organised a card which can be loaded with a sum of money and then exchange when Im there. However having read various stuff on the trip adviser it seems taking euros and local currency or on arrival purchase local currency (have noted bit bout not taking their money out of country)/ Please could you be so kind as to give me your personal advice. Thank you Mary

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    1. Hi there

      Yes, it is completely fine to just exchange your local currency to their Moroccan Dirhams there.
      I found this to be easiest. In my country, they always want to hit you with service fees and such, so you get less money. I found it convenient to take a bulk of my money and then exchanging a few hundred at a time as needed. I didn't encounter any problems doing it this way.
      You are right. They have a limit to how much Moroccan currency you can take out of the country, so that's why it was convenient to just exchange money as needed. By the end, I only had a few dollars left of Moroccan money, so I had no worries about exceeding the limit.

      All the best, and enjoy your trip. Lots of fun things to buy and bring home!

      Delete
  9. Hi!
    I am a single female traveling alone to Andalusia for 3 weeks in May. It's my thought to cross the Strait to Ceuta and then head to Tangier for a few days. I don't want to do a one day, 'get on the bus, get off the bus, take a picture' tour, but I am concerned that I may be a bit out of my depth. I don't speak any Arabic or French. I'm fairly scrappy, but still a bit concerned. Would it be better to hire a personal guide? Also, would it be more prudent to wear the hijab, particularly since I'm very blond? Any advice would be much appreciated.
    Thanks!

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    1. Hi there.

      Exciting travel plans. You're gonna see a lot of beautiful Islamic architecture in Spain. You don't need to wear hijab no matter your ethnicity. The only place is if you go inside current mosques, even in Spain.

      I haven't been to Tangier, but from my readings and travel experiences about border-towns, I think that Tangier is basically a connection between the Islamic world and the Western world since its the closest Moroccan town to Southern Europe, so they're used to non-Muslim tourists. I imagine its very tourist oriented and will have a lot of tourists, so I don't imagine you'll stand out at all Also because it is the closest place to Europe, they'll have a lot of English speaking workers there to be able to interact with tourists.

      Bus or group tours are actually quite convenient I found. You get to go to a lot of places in a short period of time for a great price. Personal guides are good if you wanna personalize your experience to 'off-the-beaten-path' (specific uncommon experiences). For personal guides, you are likely to pay over $100.00 for like 6hrs. Those are some things to take into consideration when making your decision. If it's you alone, I'd suggest a group tour for sure. The people are friendly, funny, you learn a lot and its cheap. If you have specific unique interests, then a personal guide might be worth the investment.

      Let me know if you have other questions.

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  10. OMGOODNESS! Your website is FABULOUS!!!! Traveling 12/17-12/23 2016 - Where should 4 women stay? One needs ground level accommodations-A Air BB? A Riad? 1st time travelers to Morocco-Marrakech - And should we use the National Tour Guides?

    THANK YOU THANK YOU!

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    1. I would say Riad. Riads are a small family business that provide service with a lot of care and attention.
      I went with tour companies listed on tripadvisor. I would say check out there :)

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  11. Hi,
    I came across your profile and found it nice because i am doing tours.
    Could you provide me your email to send you a private message.
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete