Hajj and Umrah Travel Tips
Are you up for Hajj and Umrah this year of any time soon? Then there are a few key points you need to take care of during your Hajj and Umrah travel. The Hajj and Umrah are the most sacred events one could perform in their life-time to earn higher rewards. Well, these sacred events have also got you some difficulties and challenges to face amidst the journey.
Below are few travel tips for your journey before and after reaching the sacred land, Mecca and Medina. Let’s hope you find them useful and make your journey fruitful and as easy as it can get.
Before you reach the Sacred Land
- Learn basic Arabic phrases
Learn some basic Arabic survival phrases, as no eve4ryone in the security or guide there will have a good grasp of English and even the signboards are in Arabic, and understanding them would get difficult. So having the knowledge a few basic words and direction will help.
- Rehearse Walking and hydrating yourself
Make sure you don’t subject your body to extreme walking or hydration during Umrah or Hajj for the first time, this may lead to many bathrooms turns, the luxury of which you may not have 24/7. Bathrooms are very far away from the Kaaba and are super crowded. So, start walking daily prior a month of your travel and hydrate yourself regularly.
- Label your luggage clearly
Every bag you are carrying must be labeled with your name, city, or something that represents you. While returning make sure you label the Zamzam package as well. You are allowed to bring 5 liters per person in a unique box. So, if you
don’t label them correctly there might be chances that you may lose it. It is also suggested to keep your ihram in your carry-on if in case you lose the luggage, you will still have the important items with you.
- Do not pack cameras
Both in Mecca and Medina, all the bags of the pilgrims are checked at the entrance of the mosque, so make sure not to carry any inappropriate stuff. Don’t pack your cameras (especially the big ones) or the knife. They may confiscate them.
- Take enough provision for your trip
Pack enough pairs of clothes and undergarments. Don’t ever pack light in this regard, that you would have to shop there or wash them constantly. You could rather spend that time worshipping or resting. Also keep some exchanged cash in hand for fidyah, for sadaqah, or for other means. After you Reach the Sacred Land
- Get a Saudi Sim card
For your safety and security in the huge crowd, it is must to have a constant connection. For around 100 riyals you can get a phone line in Saudi Arabia. The outgoing calls for which are charged and the incoming are free. The phone lines can be the savior when you lose your way or get lost in the crowd and couldn’t spot your family. Since men and women are segregated in mosques and Mina tents. Buying a sim card for all will have you on the safe and secure side.
- Get your money exchanged at the exchange center
Instead of exchanging the money at the hotel’s lobby try exchanging the money at the exchange center. You can find the money exchangers everywhere, they are called Sarf. But, it is always good to carry some exchanged cash beforehand than having to stand in long lines when in an emergency.
- Avoid carrying expensive things with you
Even in such sacred places, the thefts happen. So, make sure not to carry the expensive stuff with you that would keep your attention more towards them and less towards our purpose and rituals.
- Don’t throw garbage
Don’t litter around on roads, paths, corridors, or anywhere even if everyone else has done. Think before you buy food, don’t by too much food that you may have to dispose of it to alter. This mostly happens in Mina. If you see someone littering then stop them too because the littering increases the possibility of tripping.
- Be patient
Your patient gets tested to an extreme level. Don’t push or hurt someone else just to get ahead in some rewarding deed. Allah is forgiving, but the people aren’t all the times. So, make sure you don’t hurt someone for your comfort. Rather be kind and give way to the people instead of fighting. The strong is ho controls his anger and there comes many moments where you get frustrated in a massive crowd. But staying calm and dealing with the situation with the utmost patience will be rewarding. Make the most of your journey in getting rewarded for your good deeds. If walking becomes too difficult especially for the elder individuals) then get a wheelchair. People on wheels get to do the Tawaf in the upper area where there are fewer crowds but the circumambulation gets longer.
- If you have chosen the group package for the pilgrimage, then make sure you stay with the group or in pairs during the whole journey, because your passport maybe with the group coordinator and you will need some sort of identification in case you fall unconscious or cannot find your way back. Make sure stay together with the group and choose the places with the fewer crowds to keep from the stampede.
- Never try to retrieve anything from the ground if you lose it, not even a golden ring, it may cost your life. Because when you are in those crushing crowds, it is easy to get trampled on and get suffocated to death. So, nothing is more important than life and everything else is replaceable.
- If you are traveling with kids who didn’t hit puberty yet then the packing list may vary and you get additional responsibilities of taking extra care for them amidst the crowd. It is suggested to leave the kids below 10-12 years back at home with the loved ones.
You may encounter many situations where you are put to the edge of anger but learn to be patient and it is the best luggage you could carry to this important journey of life. Take one bag of provisions and 10 bags of Taqwa to make this journey fruitful for you.