One of the worst parts of planning a trip is figuring out what to pack. After years of lost luggage, schlepping heavy bags through European streets (which incidentally were not designed for American suitcases), I’ve become a die-hard “carry on only” traveler. With this in mind, packing for a 10-day long Moroccan excursion was a challenge. Considering for the various climates and culturally appropriate dress (i.e. no mini dresses), even I was shocked that I managed to fit everything I wanted to bring with some saved space for souvenirs in my Ryanair approved carry on.
When I first started researching Morocco, the first thing I searched for was what to pack. Here’s what I learned: There is a lot of conflicting content out there for Morocco. A scroll through Instagram makes it appear that the official Moroccan ensemble is bright mini dresses, short skirts and two-piece sets purchased from Revolve. Although those types of clothes photograph well the attention they will draw from local men (catcalls, profane language, and you may even get followed) is so not worth it. If you must get a photo opp in this type of outfit, wear it around your accommodation.
I opted to pack maxi & midi dresses, wide-legged pants, light jackets and scarves that were easy to layer. If I ever felt exceptionally uncomfortable (once at night), I was able to cover my hair with my scarf. The best part about packing layers was that it made it easy to adapt to the different climates we ran into (we traveled through Tangier, Chefchaouen, Marrakech, El Jadida, and Essaouira). Based off of my experiences here is what I recommend packing:
What Shoes to Wear in Morocco
Before you pack your most fabulous sandals consider the type of environment you’ll be walking through in Morocco. Many Moroccan streets are made of dirt so it should come as no surprise that the streets of Moroccan cities can get dirty especially in the medinas. You will be sharing the narrow medina streets with motorbikes, donkey carts, stray cats & dogs, meat and produce vendors, and of course many other people. With all that said, I would recommend leaving your expensive & delicate shoes at home.
The shoes that I got the most use out of in Morocco were a pair of silver fashion sneakers I purchased at Target. Contrary to popular belief it does rain in Morocco, and metallic sneakers hold up well and repeal water even on the rainiest days. These Superga shoes from Amazon are very similar to the ones I wore.
My other go-to shoes in Morocco were my platform Soludos. They are incredibly comfortable even after a full day of exploring. I pack these for every trip I take (they work great on cobblestone).
Pro tip: Espadrilles do not do well in the rain since they soak up all of the water so wear these on a dry day.
For a nice night out or to make your boho-chic outfit try Castañar espadrilles. I can honestly not think of a more fitting shoe for Morocco. Yves Saint Laurent, famed Parisian designer, and Marrakech resident commissioned Castañar’s iconic wedge espadrille in the 70s, and the espadrille wedge has been a cult classic ever since. I love the Carina wedges because they are comfortable and easy to walk in on virtually any surface.
What to Wear When you Ride a Camel
As my sister, Emily mentioned in her ‘Girlfriends’ Guide to Morocco’ post, riding a camel is not as fun as it may look, and it is considerably more painful than you might guess. If riding a camel was our first mistake, what we wore was our second. We decided to do our camel ride on Essaouira's scenic and infamously windy beach. We were smart to wear loose printed pants (that we did not plan to re-wear), but we made the major mistake of not dressing warm enough for the wind. I wore a jean jacket and was freezing. Somehow my sister Emily endured in just a tee-shirt.
What to Wear in Moroccan Medinas
Morocco is known for its bustling markets and old towns - otherwise known as medinas. Medinas can be overwhelming places: the streets windy & narrow with poorly marked dead ends and every kind of vehicle vying for space on the road (small cars, donkey carts, and motorbikes). My go-to outfit for exploring the medinas was a maxi dress, espadrille sneakers, and a denim jacket. Since the medinas get very crowded during mid-day, I carried a simple crossbody purse that was secure and only brought enough money to pay for some souvenirs and a meal. I’ve linked similar dresses, bags, and jackets below.
What to Wear in Transit
Morocco is a huge country. We learned this the hard way when we were trying to figure out how to get from Chefchauen to Essouaria. As it happens, there is no easy way. We considered trains, buses, and drivers. The bus and the train both turned out to not be feasible options to get from Chefchauen to Essouaria in one day so we hired a wonderful couple from Chefchauen to drive us ~10 hours across part of the country. My go-to-brand for clothes to wear in transit and for exploring is Aday. The fabrics are breathable, cuts are flattering, and I can wear the outfits over and over without them showing wear which is perfect when you only have a carry-on. I also learned that if you get chocolate on your Aday outfit (rookie road trip mistake) the fabric easily cleans up with a face wipe. Thank God for easy to clean technical fabrics.
Disclosure: some of these links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
This post is not sponsored by any of the brands or products mentioned.