It can be difficult to know beforehand what you’ll need on your horse riding holiday, or any kind of travel to a new country. It completely depends on the temperatures, environment and your travel plans while visiting a country such as Morocco. Having travelled to Morocco and gone horse riding on the beautiful beaches of Essaouira, I now have an idea of what the essentials are while traveling through this beautiful country. I will tell you all about it in this blog post. Also make sure to have a look here to read all about horse riding in Essaouira. If you would like an example itinerary for 10 days of travel in Morocco, check out this post.
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Your personal packing list for your horse riding vacation in Morocco depends on a few different things. Will you be doing a few day rides but not traveling long distances with horses? Or are you planning on doing an overnight horse riding tour? Which area will you be staying in or traveling through on horseback? Will you only be taking a small bag or suitcase, or a big backpack on your trip? All of these factors will change a few things on your packing list. For example if you’re going to go out in Marrakech and visit fancy restaurants and bars, you need to bring lots of extra clothes, unless you want to make an appearance in your riding clothes… Also, if you have access to a washing machine while traveling, it will drastically decrease the amount of clothes you’ll need to bring on your horse riding holiday. Definitely do not forget to check a weather app before heading to Morocco without a big jacket or a bikini. The weather differs massively throughout the country depending on whether you’re visiting the coast and/or the desert and cities.
During your ride, whether just a day ride or overnight riding trail, you’ll want to bring a small bag for your phone, water and some other essentials like sunblock. You can either bring a small hand bag or a fanny pack, but a fanny pack will be much more comfortable during riding.
Helmets are not usually provided in most parts of Morocco and for overnight horse riding tours it’s best to bring your own as it’s the most comfortable.
I definitely don’t recommend bringing your nice leather riding boots on a horse riding holiday in Morocco as the wind, sand, water and salt will be devastating for your boots. It’s best to bring some old (but comfortable!) jodhpurs and half chaps as they are more comfortable in hot weather. It’s of course also possible to ride in your sneakers if you are only planning on doing a few short rides. A definite must on the packing list is lots of socks, as after a long day of riding you’ll be dying to finally get your feet dry!
When traveling long distances by horse, it’s a good idea to bring a solar charger such as this one by Anker. However, if you are doing short rides you might not need to bring a solar charger as you’ll definitely have steady access to electricity in your accommodation (as long as you’re not staying in a tent in the middle of nowhere). Even during my stay in the desert in the middle of nowhere we had access to electricity.
Be sure to always bring a small first aid kit with you, especially if you are going on an overnight horse riding trip. It can always come in handy if you do get blisters or other small wounds from riding every day. The sun in Morocco is incredibly strong so be sure to bring a strong sunblock besides your regular toiletries. Concerning vaccines, there are a few recommended vaccinations for Morocco, besides the Covid-19 vaccine. These are Hepatitis A and B, rabies and typhoid. Besides these recommended vaccines, it’s important to keep up to date with your routine vaccinations such as polio and measles.
Personally, for my 10 days of travel in Morocco, I only brought a small backpack as hand luggage as I had access to a washing machine at every destination. However, if you do not have access to a washing machine, you might want to bring much more and will obviously need a bigger bag. I personally use and love this backpack by Osprey. If you do decide to bring a big backpack or suitcase, it can be very useful to invest in some packing cubes to organize your backpack. These cubes are amazing for dividing up your belongings per topic; horse riding, toiletries, fancy clothes, etc.
The most important question for this is what will you be doing besides horse riding in Morocco. Will you be looking for all the new and trendy places to go out in Marrakech, do you want to lounge on the beach or do you want to do long hikes every day? Or are you planning on doing all of these activities? The extra clothes you bring can vary massively and don’t forget that if your plans change while traveling or you just don’t know them yet, Morocco is full of amazing shops where you can buy all the clothes you need! That is usually my approach when I don’t know my travel plans yet and want to pack light.
There are tonnes of places in Essaouira, Marrakech and Casablanca with extremely fast and free wifi for you to use. Therefore, I chose not to get a sim card during my stay in Morocco. However, if you will be doing an overnight horse riding trail, you might want to get a sim card to keep in touch with friends or family as you’re likely heading into the middle of nowhere. You can buy a sim card in lots of shops and in every city in Morocco. To give you an idea, a sim card with 5GB for 30 days costs approximately 50USD. Last but not least, whatever you do, please don’t switch on data roaming as it will cost more than your entire trip to Morocco.
It’s definitely a good idea to bring cash if you will be visiting places besides the big cities. Most payments in bars and restaurants outside the tourist hotspots are done in cash. I decided to get cash from the airport in Amsterdam before flying to Morocco but that wasn’t really necessary as there are lots of ATMs in the big cities where you can get cash. It’s a lot cheaper to get cash from an ATM in Morocco than at a bank in the airport while still abroad. Cards like Maestro, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted. American Express is not as widely accepted but there are definitely ATMs where you can get cash with your Amex card. I usually try to use Amex because you can save up Flying Blue miles that you can spend on flights. If you are interested in getting an Amex card, make sure to contact me, this way you will receive 20,000 flying blue miles as a bonus. For online payments, Wise is the cheapest and fastest way to send money internationally. Even though the transfer fees are already very low, if you make an account (which is free) through this link you’ll get an additional discount on the transfer fee for your first transaction.
If you are looking for a more general packing list for your horse riding holiday, make sure to check out this blog post.
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