Useful Tips for Travelling During Ramadan

travel ramadanImage credit: David Gill
The holy month of Ramadan is best spent at home, among family and friends. It is the perfect time for Muslims to reflect on their actions and gain understanding on the experiences of those who are less privileged than them. It is also a time when Muslims attempt to reconnect with their spiritual self and grow closer to God.

Fasting is one of the five tenets of Islam, although not unique to the religion, it is one of the most prominent practices in the Islamic calendar. While it is mandatory for all physically healthy and mentally- sound persons upon reaching puberty, there are allowed exclusions based on circumstances and conditions. One of it being a person who is travelling. Hence, we would like to share some exclusive travel tips with our Muslim readers to make your journey during Ramadan an easy and fulfilling one.

Also read: 10 Muslim-Friendly European Cities With Easy to Find Halal Food

1. Plan Your Travel Schedule Wisely

Image credit: Anne Worner
There are several factors to bear in mind for Muslims travelling during Ramadhan, the crucial ones being the time for Iftar (breaking of the fast at sunset) and Sahoor (the pre-dawn meal that forms the basis of sustenance for one’s fast during daylight hours.

While we are at liberty to pick an airline that operates a schedule that best fits our plans, it is prudent to consider some variables that may affect these two daily markers of fasting. For example, carry along a small packet of dates (to break the fast) in the event a delay in arrival occurs! Trust us, you’ll thank us later.

2. Keep in Mind Your Prayer Options

Image credit: Neil Falzon
Save yourself the trouble of trying to find prayer rooms, and do the research beforehand. Lucky for you, many major international airports, such as Singapore or Frankfurt, have prayer rooms for the convenience of travellers!

3. Be Prepared for the Unexpected

Image credit: Allen Skyy
While you are travelling, anything can happen. You may get stuck in a horrendous traffic jam that would probably take a few hours to clear up. You might be delayed due to weather conditions and be stuck in a place that has no ready access to halal food. What makes this worse that it is almost close to iftar and you have nothing to break the fast with!

Of course, there are many similar scenarios that would hinder your fasting schedule. This is especially so in a foreign country, where you are unfamiliar with the inner workings of the area that makes such unfortunate events ten times likely to happen!

So take the initiative, keep possible emergencies in mind and prepare some snacks beforehand. It’ll be good if you could keep a few dates and a bottle of water with you as a safety measure, so if you find yourself caught in such a situation, you can sate your hunger and thirst without jeopardising your schedule or your well-being.

4. Stock Up for suhoor and iftar

Image credit: Anna & Michal
Your hotel will most likely be ill-prepared for your fasting needs during suhoor and iftar. Room service will usually be unavailable pre-dawn, and there is a chance that the room you are staying in might lack a microwave or a fridge.

So it is probably a good idea to stock up on food and drinks at a nearby local supermarket on the first day to ensure that you have enough to last you during your stay. Bottles of mineral water, protein bars, and dates are good choices to keep your energy levels up while committing to the fasting schedule!

5. Know What is On Your Plate

Image credit: Lufthansa
As many Muslim travellers can relate, it is often difficult to find proper halal food while eating outside, especially overseas. Be sure to thoroughly research the availability of food on your trip, from the airline meals to the eateries near your hotel.
There are airlines, such as Lufthansa that offers passengers with special meals for their dietary, nutritional or religious needs.

Also read: 15 Muslim-Friendly Tea Rooms in London To Have an Amazing Afternoon Tea

6. Make Your Needs Known At Your Hotel

Image Credit: Wikipedia
You may have wanted to know if there are any nearby mosques for you and forgot to research about it. Maybe you might even need some food during your stay at the hotel. Whatever it is, it usually never hurts to ask them about it! When booking your stays, make sure to let your accommodations know in advance about anything that you might require. Most hotels are very accommodating and are willing to make special arrangements to cater to your needs once they find out about them!

7. Keep a Lookout for Your Fellow Brothers and Sisters

Image Credit: Arian Zwegers
It’s always comforting to know that you’re not alone in toiling through the hardships of Ramadan, especially when you’re in a foreign country. That’s why it’s probably a good idea for you to do some research beforehand by looking around for local Muslims and Muslimahs. By reaching out, they might be able to give you some advice about the best places to eat and pray. If not, they might, at the very least, be able to point you in the right direction.

Do some digging online before your trip for any online Muslim communities or interest groups based on the country that you’re going to. You’re more likely to find such groups on either Facebook or Reddit, although a simple Google search may bring them to you. If you forget to do so, you can always approach an information counter or passers-by that you think would know a thing or two about what you might need.

Also read: 5 Amazing Muslim-Focused Destinations You Probably Don’t Know About

I sincerely hope that these pointers would be useful for my fellow brothers and sisters in helping you plan your trips better. If you are one of those travelling during this time, Insya’allah here’s to a smooth-sailing trip!

Brought to you by Lufthansa

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