I’ve been dreaming of going to Morocco for years. The narrow streets of old medinas, high mountains, camel trek on the desert – all of these have been on the very top of my bucket list. So when I saw a really cheap ticket from Berlin to Marrakech with one of the low cost airlines I didn’t have to think too long before booking it. The whole trick to keep the price that low (and 75€ is really cheap for return flight to/from Morocco!) was to travel only with the carry on luggage.
I spent a week in Morocco, from Monday to Monday at the end of January, visiting great cities of Marrakech and Fes, the coast, the desert and the High Atlas mountains. I was really lucky with weather, it was warm (20-25 C degrees) and sunny each day yet mornings were rather chilly. But when I left home it was -15 C degrees and I still had to get from Warsaw to Berlin in that weather. So packing for such a various weather was quite a challenge but I’m happy to report I succeeded, big time.
Airline & Luggage Considerations
Fortunately the airline I flew with had pretty wide carry-on restrictions: 56 x 45 x 25 cms and no weight limit. That made the whole packing really easy. The backpack I always travel with, Quechua Forclaz 40, meets this dimensions perfectly. With 40 liters and the weights of 1,2kgs according to the producent info it’s 55 x 40 x x28 cms but these 3 extra cms have never been a problem. This backpack was my carry on couple of times before (for example when I flew to Iceland for a week and packed not only winter clothes but also my sleeping bag there) but Berlin Schoenfeld was the first airport where I had to put it into the special box to check if it’s not big enough to take it to the plane with me.
It went into the box really easily and I got a special sticker to put on it that it’s all fine (in Marrakech on the way back they only looked at it and already gave me the sticker). Another policy of the low cost airline is that only one piece of carry on is allowed on board which means I couldn’t have anything else with me. But the backpack has 3 extra pockets, two on both sides and one on top, so all my smaller items and books could go there.
Back in times when I was still fairly new to backpacking I tended to carry too many things with me. Now I’m just too lazy and I know how annoying the heavy backpack can be so I only take what’s necessary with me and I don’t pack that many clothes – I can always do the small laundry somewhere on the way.
For my week in Morocco (9 days away with trip to/from Berlin) I packed:
4 short sleeves t-shirts (+ I had one more on me)
long pants that has zips above knees so can be short pants in a second (+ I had jeans on me)
long sleeves shirt
4 pairs of socks and undies (+ one pair on myself)
Towel (a touristic one that is extremely small and light when bundled and that dries really fast)
T-shirt and pants to sleep in
Fleece and a hoodie (I had it on myself when I traveled from home)
Flip flops, sneakers (+walking sport shoes on me)
Jacket, scarf, hat, gloves – all on myself
Camera (Panasonic Lumix FZ50 so not a very small one)
Netbook Acer 11 inches
4 chargers (all electronic devices mentioned above plus one to my mobile phone)
LP guidebook, some printed documents, passport
2 pens and a notebook
Cosmetics (I always take smaller ones that are allowed in carry on, why bother with big bottles)
Medicines – just in case I always carry painkillers, travel sickness pills, adhesive tape (these 3 I actually had to use), stomach bug pills, vitamins, something against the cold, calcium
A pack of sanitary napkins
Sunglasses, another small wallet for Moroccan money (so I wouldn’t carry three currencies in one wallet)
Cotton bag – it’s so small when folded but I could carry everything I needed around when I was in Morocco – my camera, guidebook, water, notebook etc
A useful kit that’s always in my backpack: a light, cup, spoon, inflatable pillow – and I had to use all of these.
Seems like a lot of things but when I packed them all I still had extra room left so I could take some food for the journey there and I could buy some souvenirs in Morocco.
Clothes themselves took only 1/3 of the backpack – as always the trick was to roll every single piece so it took less space. I used every single item I carried with me besides the cup and the spoon as I was eating out all the time (Moroccan food is just too good and too cheap to miss it!) but since these two are always in my backpack I didn’t mind carrying them around. I also wore sneakers only once and not only because I had to but well, just in case it’s better to have two pair of shoes.
A day before I went I had written a packing list – I always do that in advance in case I forget about something, I have the time to study the list again to make sure everything I’d need is there. The packing itself is done an hour or so before the departure. And I took everything that was necessary with me as there wasn’t a moment when I thought I wish I had packed this and that.
I can recommend travelling with carry on to everyone.
- There’s really no need to take too many things with you and dealing with a heavy backpack can be a pain in the…
- You don’t need to wait for the luggage after arriving and be nervous when it takes a while for your bag to appear.
- You don’t need to worry that your belongings will be stolen or destroyed after you checked in the luggage.
- Moving around cities or travelling between them is so much easier with just one bag.
The list can go on like that for a while. Just remember to check your airline requirements for carry on as you may accidentally end up paying a lot for oversized or overweight bags and you wouldn’t like to have your holidays ruined like that at the very beginning, would you?
About the Author: Kami is a Polish solo traveler who tries to balance full-time work with a love of being on the road. She spends every free moment exploring new places or returning to old ones. She’s already visited 44 countries (mostly in Europe but not only), but new adventures are still ahead; she always has new plans where to go next! Follow on her blog, Facebook or Twitter @mywanderlustpl.