Morocco: One Weekend, One Backpack


For a weekend in the beach town of Asilah, packing extra light was my goal. I wanted to make use of a little backpack from Fez instead of my standard one, but I’m an over-packer and over-preparer so it was a challenge. Here are five tips for smarter, lighter packing:

me with backpack
Me + my tiny packpack, featuring a mural

Pack with Friends

My roommate and I saved space by sharing items we both wanted to bring. Instead of sunscreen and body wash, I was able to squeeze in another shirt I was glad to have, and only one of us had to deal with a clunky converter/charger. Every item counts when you’re only bringing a backpack!

narrow blue street
a little blue street with a mural from the 2017 art festival on the left

Think About Weight

Saving space is important, but carrying a lighter load is equally helpful for making a weekend trip with a backpack. Can you bring travel-sized shampoo? Do you really want to bring that book? After walking around all day, my back thanked me for not packing heavy items like Chacos.

carpet building.JPG
a carpet shop in the heart of the old medina

Don’t Forget the Essentials

Passport! Meds! The chance of getting in big trouble isn’t worth saving a few inches of space. If you aren’t traveling within country with your passport itself, you have to have a photocopy that includes the entry stamp. (Our hostel in Asilah accepted copies, but some cities require hostels to see the real thing, so look ahead.) Don’t forget medicine, but bring the original bottle and the prescription.

street with cats
a residential street with cats and houseplants, both of which are everywhere here


Learn From Past Trips

I found it helpful to think about the items I actually used last weekend in Fez and leave the rest behind. Dry shampoo was the most practical choice for just one night in a hostel, and a beach trip sounded like a makeup-free occasion to me.


sunset road
a peaceful sunset in Asilah


Pack for Your Destination

I foolishly skipped some common sense items like flip flops and clothes to wear to the beach, so I had to wear wet, sandy clothes everywhere. The Asilah trip taught me to pack the things I really need instead of things I want. I’m glad I brought a small bag, but next time I’ll choose my items more carefully.

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