Ladies – this post is just for you. Alhamdulillah (Praise be to God) we are lucky to not have as many restrictions as men in what we can wear during the days of Hajj and have much more flexibility in what we wear.
I did A LOT of research/searching/asking people what to pack for Hajj. Everyone had many things to suggest. Obviously, you can’t take everything so I collected the gems from each person I asked and packed my bags accordingly.
Were there things we took that we did not need? Yup.
Were there things we didn’t have that we needed? Yup.
Overall – pack light, Pack Light, PACK LIGHT!!
You can find almost everything you need to survive in both Makkah and Medina – I promise.
I took a large check-in Bag, a carry on roller bag and a big backpack. In hindsight, if I could fit everything in a carry on I would do that. We were gone for three weeks so my over packer-ness kicked in. During the days before Hajj and after you didn’t have to be as particular in the clothing you wore, or the scents you had on so I packed for “normal” days and for the actual Hajj days (below).
Shoes – One pair of slip-on sandals, one pair of walking shoes. Do NOT spend an arm and a leg on these two pairs of shoes. Expect to leave them behind when you are getting ready to come home because they will be filthy beyond cleaning. I found these to be a wonderful combo for the trip before, during and after Hajj.
Pants – These Yoga Harem Pants were suggested to me by a good friend (Thanks Sophia!) They were perfect under my abaya and cool enough to wear in the tents (women only) once the abaya came off. I bought 4 of them in different colors – who says you can’t wear purple?
Tops – Tanks or T-shirts? BOTH! I found it easiest to wear tank tops under my abaya because it is so hot wearing more than that just adds to the heat but I wasn’t so comfortable just sitting around in a tank top in the tents even with just women so I also bought these Hanes Cool DRI Tee and felt that those were perfect for the days of Hajj when you come back to the tent and have to de-abaya to cool off. *Sidenote: I did take a couple of white Kurta/shalwar outfits – I wore it once or twice and was generally pretty comfortable but I liked being able to shed a layer when we got back to the tent.
Underwear – Yes. I am for real. Pack AT A MINIMUM one for every day that you will be traveling to the middle east. It is hot. You will sweat. Enough said. Even if you plan to do laundry there you can never have too many of these. OH – yes get the cotton granny panties – it isn’t a fashion show. Function over fashion here people. The best ones are those cotton Hanes or fruit of the loom mom used to buy at Walmart. You know what I am talking about 6 pairs plus one free!
Socks – I am a sock person on the bare floor and even in the mosques. These Socks with Grips were a lifesaver on days of tawaf. Otherwise, socks just get in the way when you have to do wudu so I made sure to keep a pair in my bag so I could slip them on when needed.
Hijjabs – well…I think this is obvious. The lighter the material the better (make sure they are not see thru otherwise what is the point?) I wore hijab caps under my hijab because I did not want to mess with it moving at all. Don’t forget safety pins and straight pins as well. While we are talking about headgear – you will have to trim your hair after you complete each Umrah so make sure you so your hair in a way that makes it easier for you to pull the end of your hair free for a quick trim (it’s only an inch or so). Braids are the best if you can manage. I had my hair in a bun and it was not a good idea. You can’t undo a bun and keep your hijab straight and then put it back in a bun without messing up your hijab. Make it easy on yourself. Braid your hair. or wear it in a ponytail
Unscented Deodorant – I used it as religiously as I did water on this trip and it was AWESOME!
Alcohol- Free Hand Sanitizer – do not skimp on this. Order plenty and put one in every bag. Use it. Often.
Wet Ones Hand Wipes – do not skimp on this. These are unscented so safe for your Hajj days.
Drawstring bag – this is your carry all that goes with you everywhere. I would use it for snacks, water, soap, my Quran/books, socks, money anything and everything that had to be on me at the time. I wore this during Tawaf because well you can’t just leave it anywhere…It reeked of worldwide sweat so just be prepared for that global stench.
Cooling Towel – My husband and I differ on the value of this item. I say its a must have (he used it too!). You just soak it in water – even warm water and it will start cooling instantly. This was especially helpful during the hour-long walk to the stoning (Rammi) under the hot, sizzling Arabian sun. I wore it around my neck and sometimes under my t-shirt to keep my chest/body cool (TMI? nope it really helps keep you cool- just try it). Technically, men can’t wear it while in Ihram but they can wipe their foreheads and faces with it.
Over the Door Metal Hook – a must for hanging bags, hijabs, abayas in the tents or your bathroom back in the very small, no-hook bathroom
Kleenex – for when you see the Kaaba for the first time, for when you make the most heartfelt dua, for the heat…and your sweat. You are welcome.
Small Hand Towel – This came in handy after wudu for a quick wipe down. I kept it in my bag so it was with me all the time. *see my note about big bath towels below*
Gatorade Powder Packet – keeping yourself hydrated is a must. This was perfect to pour straight into a water bottle.
Finger Ring Tasbeeh/Counter – wraps around your finger and is with you all the time. You can also buy these from there (Bin Dawood or any marketplace) if you want.
Hajj and Umrah Guide – We were lucky enough to go to Hajj with the author of this book. I loved reading his account of his first Hajj trip. It does a fantastic job explaining each step of Hajj and the history behind why we do it.
A Quran – This should be at the top of the list but I actually did not take one. All the masjids have them plus I used my phone most of the time for this purpose also. *
Snacks – I packed things that were prepackaged as snacks like granola bars, goldfish, candy, and my favorite chips (because sometimes you need comfort food on this trip).
*A note about chargers – Make sure you have chargers for everything and converters. I had a backup battery for my phone and it definitely came in handy!!
A few things we took that I didn’t use or may not be necessary and some alternatives:
Ear plugs/eye mask – I was always so extremely exhausted that falling asleep was not an issue. I had the eye mask from the flight but more often than not I just pulled a hijab over my face.
Extra White Bedsheet – Our tents had the fold out foam beds with a pillow, sheet and a throw to use as a blanket. Not everyone may have this. I did end up using my sheet because the one they provided got mixed up with others but not a must-have.
Unscented Bar of soap – You will quickly learn how difficult it is to carry this around. You risk it slipping from your hands. You can cut it into shards and take bits and pieces or share it with your tent mates but just do the liquid soap it’s worth carrying around and so much easier to use.
Big Bath Towel – some suggested to have this during the actual days of Hajj so that you can shower once you get back to the Mina tents….once you are there you will understand why this is a moot point. Just wait until you are back at your hotel or apartment buildings after the days of Hajj. Showering, toileting, washing your hands, etc. are a challenge – don’t make it harder on yourself unless you are eager to straddle the hole in the ground down potties to take a steamy hot shower in the Arabian desert. Think it’s gross not to take one for 3 days? Trust me you will be right back where you started the moment you step out of there – IF you don’t step on something gross first.
As I said before everyone has different gems on what items helped them get through this journey. I would love to hear what you took along with you or plan to take! Share in the comments below!