It’s incredible how one minute you are drinking-no, chugging-water with a scarf wrapped around your head out of necessity (not fashion); and the next you’re in fuzzy socks and a sweater. It’s a volatile climate that changes swiftly from the Sahara Desert to the top of the Atlas Mountains to the frying-pan heat of Marrakech.

Admittedly, when packing for my Moroccan Topdeck trip I focused more on style and preoccupied with questions of what scarf would match what maxi dress. In reality, style be damned, I realised there are key items to bring when travelling to Morocco.

1. Imodium/Gastro Stop

Let’s be honest, traveller’s diarrhoea is a real concern in Morocco and when every single person on the trip falls ill, Imodium is passed around like Skittles. Lesson here? Bring Imodium to Morocco.

2. Water, plenty of water

It goes without saying that drinking plenty of water in Morocco is necessary. If there is ever a time to be worried about hydration, it is when you are in the Sahara Desert.

3. Electrolyte tablets

If you should unfortunately get a dodgy tummy while travelling, these handy tablets are crucial for keeping you hydrated and giving your body the necessary vitamins needed to avoid dehydration.

4. Sunscreen

You’re in Africa. Enough said.

5. Insect Repellant

Some rely on a local method of “amber stones,” which Moroccans seem to swear by. If that doesn’t work: the good old tried and tested repellant.

6. Hat

Protect your face and head from the blazing sun (and early aging) with a hat or scarf.

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7. Head wraps & scarves

Both out of respect to local customs and to protect from the heat, scarves are the best travel accessory in Morocco. Whether I wrapped them around me when cold, wrapped my head when hot or covered my hair in a mosque, scarves are necessary.

Marrakech Medina

8. Loose fitting pants

Likewise, loose fitting pants are the best way to go in Morocco. Forget the jeans, the hot weather will just make you feel like you’re walking around in a sausage casing.

9. Long skirts & maxi dresses for the ladies

Similar to the head scarves, it is out of respect for ladies to bring long dresses and skirts to Morocco to cover up.

10. Appropriate footwear

Sneakers in the High Atlas, sandals in Marrakech, flip flops at the Sahara camp – bring shoes for wherever you’re going.

11. Swimsuit

I didn’t think I would need a swimsuit in Morocco, but when we arrived in the Sahara and had time to kill by a hotel pool it was incredible to cool off and evade the heat.

12. A light sweater

The High Atlas Mountains can be cold, so having a light sweater proved surprisingly necessary (not to mention it was great to have on the always freezing international flights).

13. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are an obvious necessity in Marrakech to protect your eyes from the sun, but also for walking through the medina to browse without a vendor catching your gaze and hawking their products for the next 15 minutes.

14. Socks

Most hotels have cold, stone floors so socks come in handy to keep feet toasty.

*Cold, stone fashionable floors

15. Backpack

A day pack is necessary for the Sahara as you’ll ditch your suitcase for a night and just take what you absolutely need.

16. Travel size toilet paper or bathroom wipes

Just bring it. There are some questionable bathroom situations to be had in Morocco (particularly in the smaller villages) and when you’re confronted with either paying for toilet paper or doing without, you’ll be happy you brought your own.

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17. Hand sanitiser

The utmost importance of having a way to keep your hands clean (particularly as you’ll be eating with them often).

18. Brand products from home you can’t live without

Any face washes, contact solution, feminine products you use on a daily basis should be brought with you because in Morocco, you’ll be hard pressed to find brand names you like back home.

19. Eye mask

I don’t usually wear eye masks while sleeping but in the Sahara the sand blew on our faces all night. Although I woke up still covered head-to-toe in sand, my mask protected my eyes.

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20. Adaptor

You should always have this while travelling!

Feeling prepared of inspired? Book your next epic trip to Morocco with Topdeck HERE.

Nikki is a travel journalist with stories in VICE, Elite Daily, Thought Catalog, FOOD & WINE, The Daily Meal, Matador Network and more; and is the blogger behind The Pin the Map Project, which has been featured on the Zero to Travel podcast, Buzzfeed Life & other travel sites. The Pin the Map Project is part of the Mode Media Network, which reaches 406 million readers worldwide and is ranked #7 out of the top 100 web properties in the world; and speaks to solo traveling, destination guides and more.