- Always be prepared
Muslims are always perceived an unfortunate target for Random Searches, so always be prepared by making sure 1) you don’t carry any suspicious looking devices on you 2) your passport is updated 3) make sure you use a TSA approved lock or you will get a damaged bag at the end of the flight if they decide to open your bag.
- Do your research
If you’re traveling to a new destination for the first time, make sure you know at least what to expect and where you want to go. We get hungry, we need a good place to sleep, and we need to get places safely, so find out where the halal restaurants are and make an offline list in your phone (in case you have no data signal), pick a well lit, good rated (both by users and stars) airbnb, hostel or hotel, and find out which is the best mode of transportation – not all Uber drivers are created equal.
If you know it’s totally impossible to find halal food, think about packing some food. However, also find out if your destination allows food to be imported as such.
- Go cashless but always bring a bit of multi currency cash
Not every vendor in every country accepts credit or debit cards (or for that matter, Apple, Samsung or Android pay). So advisable that you bring a bit of the destination country currency, and bring a few other monies that are easily recognized as well such as Euros or US Dollars.
- Go small; go travel-sized!
To make your lives easier, (and to save space in your luggage or backpack), pack a small travel-sized prayer mat with you all at times so that you don’t have to worry about space- both luggage and actual place! Some places don’t provide prayer mats, so, if you carry one with you, you can pray anywhere and you won’t miss a prayer! Also, don’t forget to download an app for your qibla direction on your phone so you can figure out yourself instead of asking around. Not to forget, use travel-sized bottles for your toiletries instead of packing the actual, bulky sized bottles!
- Strategize your outfit
This is especially crucial for the hijabis- plan your outfit! For instance, pick one shawl that you could wear with three different kinds of outfits, or better yet, a black shawl because it goes with anything. As for your actual outfit, pack clothes that are versatile, so you can be creative with your look and make combos! Versatility is key because it also allows you to wear a certain outfit for any occasion- day or night, and you can wear the same top again with a different skirt or pair of pants, so pack your clothes wisely!