Currency Exchange International: A Travel Experience in Marrakech, Morocco Guided by CXI Regional Directors


Getting There

I planned the trip to Marrakech on my own and did not use a travel agency. Traveling to Marrakech from Miami, Florida takes around 10-12 hours and often includes a layover. As this was my first solo trip, I had to find deals and was able to fund my flight overtime, which was a big help.

Travel tip: According to Kayak.com, the cheapest month to go to Marrakech is February.


Move

Getting around in Marrakech requires good old-fashioned leg power. To get from the airport to my riad (hotel), I booked transportation directly through the riad and was able to get someone to help me navigate to the riad. The streets of Marrakech are intimidating and getting lost will happen, and GPS? Forget that. Prepare to get lost more than once while walking, navigating your way.

Travel tip: Although Marrakech is a very walkable city, another option for getting around is to use their public bus service called ALSA Marrakech.


What to do

Solo travel is something I recommend people try at least once. I spent a day in a public bath, or Hamman as they are called, which was a relaxing treat. I spent another day getting lost and haggling with the merchants. But really the best experience was spending the night in a desert camp. All activities in Morocco are very affordable and if planned correctly, you can do and see a lot on a budget.

Travel tip: Want to know more about the best things to do in Marrakech? US News has a long list of activities, there are also free attractions listed.


Where to stay

I stayed in a Riad in a hostel style dorm. I chose this as I was traveling alone and needed to save some money on these accommodations. The price was very cheap at only 20 euros per night. Just be prepared to share a bedroom and bathroom and sleep in beds that aren’t exactly fit for a king.

Travel Tip: Check TripAdvisor for a wide range of accommodation to suit all styles, from budget to luxury.


Where to eat

Much of the food you see happens to be local street food. But beware, it is not uncommon for travelers to fall ill. There are plenty of local specialties, but my favorite would have to be a Tangia, which is an urn-shaped earthenware cooking vessel. It is also the name of the stew cooked in the pot. Food prices were mostly affordable, but beware they love to overcharge in many tourist areas.

Travel Tip: Eater.com has an amazing list of traditional Moroccan cuisine to explore.


travel tips

Be ready to barter with everyone. It’s just a way of life. I have been warned not to follow instructions from strangers as they often try to mislead you and scare you into giving them money. I experienced this once during my stay, and it was a bit of a scary experience, especially because I was alone.

US citizens and US nationals traveling abroad can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program offered by the US Department of State. You can receive important information from the nearest U.S. Embassy, ​​help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, and help your family and friends contact you in an emergency.


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About Change International
Currency Exchange International, CXI, is North America’s leading provider of comprehensive foreign exchange services, risk management solutions and integrated international payment processing technology. CXI’s relationship-driven approach ensures clients receive tailored solutions and world-class customer service. Through innovative and reliable FX software platforms, CXI provides versatile foreign exchange services to our clients, so they can efficiently manage and streamline their currency and global payments needs. CXI is a trusted partner among financial institutions, corporations and retail markets around the world. For more information visit: www.ceifx.com

About John McTaggart

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