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Halal-Friendly Travel Tips

posted on: Nov 17, 2021

When you’re a Muslim planning a solo or family vacation, you have unique considerations perhaps from other travelers. Whether you’re looking for an entertaining, family-friendly destination, or you want something more cosmopolitan where you can enjoy culture, the following are general halal-friendly travel tips to keep in mind. 

Choosing a Destination

One of the fun parts of planning any vacation is choosing a destination. 

Some considerations and the availability of halal options include things like how Muslim-friendly it might be overall. 

If you want to stay in the United States, some of the best destinations around the country for travelers include big cities like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, as well as places with natural beauty, like the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. 

If you want remote isolation, Utah is a popular destination with plenty of hiking and biking options. Another great destination is the iconic San Francisco. 

Hotel Booking Tips

When you’re a Muslim traveler, the unfortunate reality is that you can face some challenges on your travels. That doesn’t mean you can’t make your way around the U.S. or the world, but it does mean that you should prepare for some of these potential obstacles proactively. 

This can begin with your hotel. You may want to determine if the hotels you’re considering have any facilities for Muslim travelers. If you’re going to a Muslim country, this won’t be an issue typically, but if you’re traveling within the United States or much of Europe, the accommodations may be limited. 

 If you’re interested in global travel, some new opportunities are halal-friendly however. 

For example, in Turkey, there is a rise in the development of luxury halal travel accommodations. 

Some of the resorts in Turkey not only feature only halal meals and no alcohol on the property, but they also have on-site prayer and mosque facilities. 

Again, if you’re staying in the U.S. or going to a lot of places around the world, the hotel you choose to stay in might not have a lot of amenities geared toward Muslim guests, so you may have to bring your own. 

For example, you might bring your own prayer mat, and you can also use a Qibla direction app. Wi-Fi can end up being spotty when you’re traveling, so it’s a good idea to download the app before you actually leave for your trip. Most apps that provide you with the Qibla direction will also help you keep track of your prayer times. 

Check with the hotel and see if they provide an iron or if it’s not already offered, whether you can have one delivered to your room. Your clothes probably require some serious ironing after they’ve been in your suitcase. 

Depending on where you’re going, who you’re traveling with, and your general goals, you might want to work with a Muslim travel agency. 

If you’re just going for a short weekend trip, this might not be necessary. 

Longer, international or group trips might require the help of a travel agent who will provide you with all the information and details you need to know, as well as take care of the planning of your trip. 

Packing

When you’re packing for your trip, you should bring an extra set of prayer clothes. Yes, it’s going to mean your luggage is heavier, but then you don’t have to worry about needing them and not having them. 

If you don’t already have a pocket prayer mat, it might be the right time to get one. 

Your carry-on is going to be an essential part of your packing strategy. You want to make sure you have your toiletries, a set of clothes and a comfortable pair of shoes. If you’re taking valuables or medication, they should always go in your carry-on. 

If you have a long flight, you can change into a fresh set of clothes before you even leave the airport and hit the ground running. 

Packing cubes are going to be a lifesaver here. Then, you can organize your luggage as you’re packing, and you can save time and space. 

Add to your carry-on bag or your personal item some halal snacks. Depending on where you’re going, your food options might be fairly limited, especially when you’re on the plane and at the airport. 

Check Flights for Halal Meal Options

Many airlines will let you book halal meals in advance if you’re on a longer flight. If your flight doesn’t have this option or you’re not getting meal service which is common on shorter flights especially during COVID-19, again, you should bring your own snacks. 

As far as restaurants, it’s good to do research in advance to find and perhaps create a list of halal-friendly restaurants that are going to be around your hotel. 

Best Halal Travel Apps

There are fantastic travel apps geared toward all types of travelers, including Muslims. 

  • Skyscanner is one of the best general apps for travelers. It’s great for finding cheap flights and comparing your options 
  • Using the Have Halal, Will Travel app lets you find the nearest halal restaurants near you. The app enables you to download travel and food guides as well to ensure you have the best experience. You can access locations of nearby mosques and find Muslim-owned restaurants too. 
  • Muslim Pro is a travel app that lets you set alarms for the right prayer times wherever you are, it shows the Qibla, and it has audio Quran recordings, as well as Ramadan fasting times. 
  • PackPoint is a creative travel app that lets you add your destination and then the length of your stay to get a customized packing list that’ll fit in your baggage. PackPoint even uses weather forecast data to customize what you’ll need. 

While you might have a few extra considerations as a Muslim traveler, there are great resources that can make your trip go smoothly and easily, so you can focus on the scenery and your surroundings rather than the logistics.

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