Traveling abroad can be an amazing experience. You have the opportunity to discover new places, meet new people and taste new food. There are many people who feel it is important to expand your horizons by traveling abroad. If you are looking for a travel destination, why not plan a trip to the beautiful city of Marrakech, Morocco?
There is a lot of work that comes with planning your Marrakech vacation, from obtaining your passport to booking a luxury rental. Your mind may be preoccupied with paperwork, packing and reservations, but you do not want to skip over the health portion of your to-do list.
The possibility of becoming ill on your trip may be nerve-wracking or discouraging, but you do not have to let it put a damper on your experience. All you have to do is take the proper precautions, just as you would when traveling anywhere else. Here are several tips for staying healthy during your trip to Marrakech.
Schedule An Appointment
It never hurts to schedule an appointment with your physician before your trip. You want to make sure you are healthy enough to travel abroad. Your physician can also give you tips for staying healthy while on vacation. You can think of your appointment as an extra layer of protection for your trip.
Ask About Vaccines
There is a small chance you are not going to need any vaccinations before traveling to Marrakech. However, it is important to discuss the possibility of vaccinations with your physician. You may need a hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, tetanus or rabies vaccine before your trip. The risk of Malaria is limited to the north coast, but you may need the vaccine if you are traveling to that region.
Prepare Before Leaving
You never know when a medical emergency is going to come up in any location, but you especially want to be prepared when traveling abroad. Do your research on medical facilities in Marrakech, and check with your insurance company to see if you are covered when visiting another country. It is also best to pack a medical kit and Moroccan phone card. Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry when traveling far away from home.
Practice Basic Hygiene
It is not uncommon for certain food in Marrakech to cause an upset stomach, but you can avoid stomach issues by practicing basic hygiene. You should always wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom, especially if you are exploring areas that are full of dust or grime. Touching contaminated areas and putting your unclean hands near your mouth may cause an illness. Remember to carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times, just in case you cannot find a place to wash your hands.
Drink Filtered Water
You do not want to drink tap water in Marrakech, nor do you want to drink the water in desert areas. However, you do need to drink water to stay hydrated while exploring the city. It is best to drink the free filtered water at your rental, buy bottled water or bring your own filtered water bottle. Filtered water is considered safe to drink by Moroccan authorities.
Know Your Establishments
There are several ways to avoid getting sick when eating at the food vendors in Marrakech. Start by choosing a place that is close to the markets and has many customers, as these are usually signs of a good reputation. However, you want to avoid places that look unclean, low-quality or suspicious, regardless of the crowd. It always helps to read the reviews of different establishments before your trip.
Watch What You Eat
If you are served food that is undercooked or does not taste right, do not eat it. You should also remember that certain ingredients may upset your stomach. It is also best to avoid spicy food unless you know your stomach can handle it. However, you should always be respectful even when you are having second thoughts about your meal.
Right Hand, Left Hand
It is very important to learn the “right hand, left hand” tradition before you travel to Marrakech. This means the right hand is used for eating and greeting, and the left hand is used for everything else. There are many people who still practice this tradition, which was around before toilet paper circulated throughout the country. Using only your right hand to eat and greet people not only shows respect for their tradition, but it also lowers your risk of infection or illness.
Packing Your Shoes
You are going to be doing a lot of walking during your vacation, and your soles may become filthy or dusty from the cobblestone. When you remove your shoes in your rental, or pack them in your luggage, be sure to place them in a separate plastic bag. It keeps your shoes from contaminating your rental or luggage, and this keeps you from tracking or carrying around bacteria that could make you sick.
There are many precautions to take before traveling to Marrakech, Morocco. It all starts before you even leave for the airport, with a physician appointment, possible vaccinations and healthcare research. Using your common sense about the food, vendors and traditions will save you from a lot of discomfort during your trip. Listen to your instincts when choosing an eating establishment, and do not eat or drink anything that tastes off to you.
Remember, when you take the steps to stay healthy during your trip to Marrakech, you can spend more time enjoying the sights, sounds and food of this exciting city.