Dear Travel Agent,
When people ask me, “When is a good time to travel?” I always answer, “When it is a good time for you travel!”
Well, I continue to think this way, but when traveling during Ramadan in Muslim countries, keep some important facts in mind:
- Your driver/ tour guide is Muslim and he/she will not eat or drink all day, until about 8pm (sundown). Driving makes people extremely tired and long-distance travel is not a good idea.
- AVOID eating lunch in restaurants open for tourists, they are pricey, and will probably serve leftovers and smaller portions.
- Businesses open after 10am and close earlier, before 4pm. By afternoon, salespeople are more tired and less accommodating when bargaining (for those who enjoy a good deal).
- Because hotels are less occupied, services slow down.
- Many tour guides are counting on taking a break during Ramadan, and spending time with their family.
- My advice for lunch and snacks is to buy food at a market and/or pack some extra from breakfast. Eat and drink discreetly, respecting those who are fasting during Ramadan.
Just slow down, take it easy, sleep a little later and come back to the hotel earlier. Have a big breakfast and sumptuous dinner. Avoid long distances by car, no matter who is driving. Be kind and try to put yourself in their shoes: fasting all day while trying to smile and keep a good mood.
Travel always, whenever it is easier or better for you, and be the best you can be!