In the Overseas Adventure Travel catalog, their Morocco Sahara Odyssey has a special flag: “A Solo Traveler’s Favorite.” Our recent group had 15 travelers – 3 couples and the rest solo women (YEA women!). Youngest was 43, oldest was 78. Two teams of solos knew each other, the rest just came. Brave!
Once in Morocco, the adventure begins. The roads are good, hotels are great (HUGE beds, imagine that), food is delicious and every day, adventures are thrilling. And the LOCALS? Not scary, not even slightly. No gypsies picking pockets. Some beggars, sure. But for the most part, friendly and on the small side (as in, if someone messed with me, I could probably fend for myself).
True… traveling with a group is not for everyone. I have enough friends who stick up their nose at a “tour group,” preferring to do all that work on their own so as not to travel with others. OK by me, but not my style these days. I’ll happily climb a sand dune with new friends, ride a camel or sleep in a Saharan tent, if someone lays it all out for me.
A group trip to Morocco on the OAT tour delivered “learning and discovery” adventures that are appealing to a diverse group of seasoned – and not so seasoned travelers. Food for thought:
- OAT doesn’t charge single supplements. As part of a traveling couple, I can only sympathize with folks who get dinged a fee to travel alone. OAT is the only company I’ve bumped into that doesn’t penalize the solo traveler. And you don’t share a room.
- Someone else gets you from A to Z. We spent three weeks in Morocco, traveling by bus or van (or camel). We had read the catalog, saw what’s on the itinerary and happily let someone else do the driving, suitcase handling, tipping and guiding. I’m just not into stressing out daily about hotels, maps, sites to see, money. Well, Larry handles the money anyway, bless him.
- When you get sick (and you WILL get sick, it just happens), you aren’t alone. Besides a few touches of Delhi Belly, this trip, one couple arrived with a bad cold*. By the end of 3 weeks, every other person in the group got the cold, had the cold, and got over the cold. We all carry meds and we share them. (So… here is my * comment on arriving sick… If I had booked such a trip and I had a cold, I would choose to be the jerk who brought the cold. Someone always does. No use being pissed at them.)
- OAT takes you places you wouldn’t attempt to on your own, like into homes. And schools, and tiny villages. And fields of tree-climbing goats. And nomadic camps to meet locals – the little kids are always the most fun. Brush up on your Itsy Bitsy Spider singing, you will need it.
- You have the chance to take one or two cooking classes. And visit hammams (Moroccan spa.) And someone is there explaining what crazy lumps of brown things are on the side of the road (truffles!).
- Pony up for the extension trips, if you have the time. We traveled all that way, it made the most sense to book both the pre-and the post-tour trips which delivered even more fascinating additional destinations.
- You quite literally can shop til you drop, so do what I do… bring OLD CLOTHES and leave behind at the end of a trip, including shoes (my hiking boots bit the dust on this trip anyway). This results in suitcase room for treasures. Plan to carry in your arms the precious pottery… yes, all the way home.
- Use our name as referrers – Patti and Larry Londre – when you book on OAT. We get a little $ credit in our OAT travel bank, and you start earning those credits, too. Where else have we traveled with OAT?
- Tanzania and Rwanda – Gorilla trekking blows your mind
- South Africa, Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe – here is my list of what to pack for a safari
- Iceland and Greenland – I’d probably recommend this as your second adventure trip with OAT.
- India – colorful and crazy from A to Z
- Machu Piccu and the Galapagos – my pointers on traveling with a group
Bring lots of hats to mix up your photos. They are light and pack flat.