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Travelling with a driver

Sydney, Australia
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Travelling with a driver

We are travelling with a driver from Casablanca to Fez to Marrakesh to Casablanca. We will have guides in the cities we visit.The tour and connecting flights are booked and we are happy with our planned itinerary.

But we have never used a driver or guide before and have some questions.

1. What happens at meal times? We would love to be guided in restaurant and food choices but the costs of these are not included in the tour. So if we ask the guide to come with us that implies to me that we would pay. How is this normally managed?

2. What is a reasonable tip for the driver and for the guides? The driver will accompany us for 5 days, the guides will be city specific. We are not a tipping culture, but we do tip in good restaurants here and are happy to tip for good service. I have read other posts and about 5% seems to be reasonable. But 5% of what? Guidelines would be appreciated.

3. We are not interested in buying carpets etc but we do love seeing souks and markets and to understand what is being sold. How is the best way to say "We want to see but we aren't buying". Maybe just that ?

4. I hear I must keep the "henna ladies" at bay, but I think it would be cute to have a henna pattern on my hand (plus it would then stop others asking) What is a good price for a henna pattern and what should I be concerned about, seeing these seem to be regarded as a scam.

5. I am a tubby, old lady. Are hammans for me and are my undies suitable wear.?

Thanks for any information

Lynn

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Casablanca
Casablanca
Grand Casablanca Region, Morocco
marrakech
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for Morocco
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1. Re: Travelling with a driver

Hi Lynn,

1; If you ask the guide to choose the restaurant he or she will be given a free meal in the kitchen. If you choose the place to eat and ask them to join you then you pay for their meal (bear in mind they will then be given the price of their meal in cash back by the owner when you leave).

2; tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293730-i9195-k548… is an ongoing thread about tipping so should help.

3; All you can do is explain to the various guides what interests you and indeed say you don't want to shop then hope for the best. Remember though no-one can force you to buy something you don't want!

4; Ask your hotel or Riad to organise a henna woman to come to the accommodation to do the design. They will use quality henna and charge a reasonable price. 50 to 100 Dirhams should do the trick.

5; Your undies will be fine in the hammam (though you may not have them on for long! My Ma was certainly surprised, she was 80 at the time). Read the what to expect in a hammam in the Top Questions box on the right of the page for lots of tales from the hammams. There will be women and girls of all ages and sizes so go for it!

Hope this helps a bit.

Edited: 10 July 2012, 21:21
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Le Riad Restaurant
Le Riad Restaurant
121 Reviews
Casablanca, Morocco
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Travelling with a driver

Great advice, many thanks.

Lynn

marrakech
Destination Expert
for Morocco
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3. Re: Travelling with a driver

No problem! I particularly hope you read about my mum and the hammam experience, her story has persuaded many a reluctant woman to take the plunge as it were, knickers or not ;-)

Edited: 11 July 2012, 00:27
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Travelling with a driver

Where do I find your mum's story?

NZ
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5. Re: Travelling with a driver

Lynn - just in case you are not aware of it there is a distinct difference in Morocco between the licencing of a tour driver and a tour guide. The driver will take you to the place you need to be at (and give you lots of information while in the car)and probably give you advice on restaurants, but will not be able to accompany you to places. They will then locate a guide for you (usually someone they have worked with before) who can be your escort/guide/restaurant companion.

While it may sound ludicrous to those of us who are not aware of it (or from other places) - it is actually illegal for locals to guide tourists without a licence and they can finish up in jail.There has been a problem with faux guides in Morocco for years and licencing has been one way of eliminating the problems that tourists were encountering.

It is very unusual to find a driver with both qualifications - but some do both.

Edited: 11 July 2012, 05:43
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Morocco
Morocco
Africa
6. Re: Travelling with a driver

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Edited: 11 July 2012, 10:06
Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Travelling with a driver

kay, thanks, but we have arranged all that. Driver between cities, guides in cities. It is just the interaction that we are not sure of. Don't want to offend or step over boundaries.

marrakech
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8. Re: Travelling with a driver

Hi Lynn,

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293734-i9196-k325…

Tells the basics. She was promised by my Moroccan (male) friends before she agreed to go that she could keep her costume on but within a minute it was whipped off and she has kind of blanked out the rest of the experience and I don't think she's ever forgiven me ;-) After the hammam she sat in the dressing room with a bunch of snaggle toothed old Moroccan women being fed dried apricots.

The reason my pals don't believe this happened is they can't believe their mums and sisters would ever go naked in a hammam. Moroccan men are strangely naive in many ways when it comes to women!

She did try a Riad hammam another time where she was allowed to keep her knickers on but obviously had to come home commando style as she hadn't taken a spare pair, forgot to bring them with her and I was called to go and collect them later that day! Ma now enjoys a massage at the Riad I work in when she is over on one of her frequent visits but swears she'll never have another hammam.

By the way if you want invite your drivers to a restaurant you may certainly do so.

Edited: 11 July 2012, 15:42
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Le Riad Restaurant
Le Riad Restaurant
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Casablanca, Morocco
Sydney, Australia
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9. Re: Travelling with a driver

Thanks for that. I wonder if I can cope especially as i will be by myself. We shall see.

marrakech
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10. Re: Travelling with a driver

Of course you will cope!

Have a great time. And have a hammam ;-)