Travelling to places is one of the best things to do in life – everyone, including you, deserves a good break once in a while! However, as a Muslim, planning for a holiday may be a little more tedious considering that there are restrictions to observe and be aware of.
Rather than going head-on for your vacation without much clue, good preparation and adequate research are the keys to a relaxing, worry-free holiday. Well, not to worry though – this is just the reason why we have prepared this list of 10 useful travel tips for Muslim travellers!
If you are a Muslim, read on so that you can save time, trouble and effort in your travel. Even if you are not, do read on – you will never know when these tips for Muslim travellers might come in handy for you to share with your Muslim friends and/or relatives!
1. Optimise Your Packing
Who doesn’t love being able to wear different sets of clothes ready for selfies and group photos when going on a holiday? Unfortunately, it is not practical to do so.
A Muslim traveller has more things to pack in his or her luggage compared to a non-Muslim holiday goer, like a prayer mat, shawls or scarves for the ladies, bigger and longer clothing aside from the basic travelling kit and other necessities. Making sure your luggage packing is optimised becomes crucial especially since you wouldn’t want to be carrying so many heavy baggages throughout your trip.
Try packing a few basic wears in which you can mix and match the tops and bottoms so that you can play variations to your travel fashion while keeping the luggage space optimised for other items.
2. Check Your Flight for Halal Meal Option
One of the most important things to take note of for Muslims would be none other than making sure the meals are Halal. While it is easier for you to get your Halal food at home, the situation is different when travelling abroad.
Do check your flight for Halal meal options – you wouldn’t want to go on a holiday only to realise you have to go hungry on the plane for hours before reaching your travel destination. Also, prior to travelling, another preparation for Muslim travellers will be to do some research on Halal food around your booked place of stay to ease the stress of hunting for acceptable locations to eat during your trip.
3. Look Around for Halal-friendly Accommodation
Accommodation is an important aspect when going on holiday. And it is even more so when you are a Muslim traveller ready to go on a halal trip.
When choosing a place of stay for your travel, remember to check the facilities offered by the hotel – whether they are Muslim-friendly by providing a prayer mat and a prayer place. It is also good if the hotel rooms have the Qiblah direction placed on the ceiling and that you can get a copy of the Qur’an from the reception.
Muslim-friendly accommodation may not be so much of an issue in Muslim countries like Malaysia, Brunei, Dubai, Indonesia and Morocco, to name a few, but extra care has to be taken when visiting Europe or the USA. In case you are doubtful about the level of Muslim-friendliness of your intended hotel, try checking and comparing online on well-known hotel review websites such as TripAdvisor.
4. Travel with Muslim Travellers Agency
This tip may not be something you have in mind because travelling with a tour group is not everyone’s taste. However, travelling with a Muslim travel agency is worth considering if you are looking for convenience and don’t mind travelling together with a group of unknown strangers.
The good thing about signing up tour packages with a Muslim travel agency is that all your Muslim needs will be well taken care of, from flight to accommodation and also food and places of interests that are all Muslim-friendly (they are a Muslim travel agency for a reason).
5. Carry Travel Prayer Mat and Qibla Direction App
Most people usually count on the fact that hotels provide most of the facilities but this is not the case for Muslims – prayers are essential, and facilities like prayer mat and Qiblah direction are very, very important.
However, rather than counting on your chosen hotel to provide you with such Muslim-friendly amenities, it doesn’t hurt to do own preparation for Muslim travellers. Afraid that you won’t get your much-needed prayer items? Bring along your travel prayer mat with you then!
You should also install Muslim-friendly apps on your phone so that you can keep track of prayer times as well as knowing the Qiblah direction for praying, regardless of whether you are holidaying locally or overseas.
6. Get Accommodation that Provides An Iron
Ironing facilities can be a huge lifesaver for Muslims compared to non-Muslim travellers. Many of the clothes for Muslims require some ironing power to look presentable, especially for ladies.
To avoid the awkwardness of wearing crinkly clothes out in your travel, make sure your chosen place of stay has an ironing station or facility prior to booking. Well, in case your luggage packing hack of rolling clothes instead of folding them goes wrong – you still have the iron.
Don’t say we didn’t tell you this Muslim travel tip!
7. Take Extra Set of Prayer Clothes
One of the lesser-known and overlooked Muslim travel tips – bringing an extra set of prayer clothes. While this means adding extra weight to your already packed luggage, having an additional set serves to be a backup if you are ever facing with prayer clothes dilemma.
What if your prayer clothes suffer from accidental tears, get lost or somehow stolen? By then, no worries – you have got it all covered already.
8. Visit Local Mosques
Local mosques are one of the highly recommended places to visit during your travel – not only do you get to witness the beautiful architecture unique to each mosque but also, a mosque can serve as a good place to network with fellow Muslims in the area. You might be able to get some information about the best places to go to at your travel destination and even a tip or two about things to be aware of locally.
Keep in mind to have the locations of local mosques ready prior to your holiday. You will never know when you will meet a new Muslim friend who is willing to be your Muslim travel guide for your entire trip – that would be awesome!
The general saying goes, “Sharing is caring” but in this case, sharing your itinerary is for safety purpose, especially since you might be travelling to a foreign place away from home.
It is good to tell your family and friends about your holiday plans so that they will be at ease knowing your whereabouts. Not only that, in any event of emergencies, they will be able to locate and contact you based on the information you give to them.
10. Plan Carefully for Trips During Ramadan Period
Not every time is a good time to travel to some places, and some examples would be during the fasting month or otherwise known as the Ramadan month for Muslims. This is not a big deal if you are just doing local trips, but if you are going overseas to countries like China, India, USA and so on, you will have to consider more things in your holiday plan.
Make sure to plan and do adequate research if your travel plans coincide with such timings! Look for areas or Muslim-friendly accommodation whereby Halal food is conveniently accessible and there is a place for you to perform your prayers. It will be a bonus for you if your place of stay happens to be close to a Ramadan bazaar – that spells feasting time!
That’s the end of our list of 10 useful travel tips for Muslim travellers! These Muslim travel tips may not seem much but they can actually save a lot of time, effort and trouble that comes from the lack of trip preparation.
Did you know that we at Yes Travel & Holidays can cater to Muslim holidays and tours? We offer Muslim-friendly packages customisable to your needs, and we are ready to provide you with tips and advice to ensure your Halal trip is a holiday well spent. Check here for more interesting info about traveling and team building!
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