Packing for a trip to the Middle East can be tricky. With specific cultures and traditions, travelers may have a hard time figuring out what are the essentials for a trip to the region. It’s crucial to know what to bring, as well as what not to bring, as this can make or break a trip. Here’s our handy guide.
Lots of sunscreen
This is a must. As much sunscreen as possible, the higher the protection the better. The Middle East has very intense weather and strong sun, after all the region is known for its high temperatures, therefore sunscreen is a vital part of the trip. No one wants to be sunburnt and not enjoy their visit.
The Arabic language is certainly beautiful and it never hurt anyone to learn the language before visiting Middle Eastern countries. It’s a good idea to bring an Arabic dictionary for a trip to the region, specially for those visiting more traditional countries where speaking English isn’t staple. No one wants to be stuck trying to ask where the nearest bathroom is.
A common misconception about the Middle East is that everyone will be wearing Abayas and Burkas. A lot of Middle Eastern countries such as the UAE and Lebanon are actually quite relaxed when it comes to clothing and it’s totally okay to wear shorts out. However, it’s important to research the country one will be visiting and make sure to pack accordingly. In Saudi Arabia, for instance, women wear Abayas by law and that’s also crucial for those who wish to visit the region’s many mosques.
This seems obvious when traveling to any country, however the laws are much more strict in the Middle East than the rest of the world. Even certain medicines can be seen as controlled substances – so bringing prescriptions for pills is vital, even if they’re sold over the counter at the traveler’s country of origin. Additionally, do not bring any alcohol, as it’s not legal in certain Middle Eastern destinations.
Many travelers often forget that the Middle East has some epic beaches. Swimsuits are a must and so are flip flops. You don’t want to miss out on going to the beaches of Dubai and Oman or taking a dip in the Dead Sea in Jordan. Beach wear must be included in your luggage.