Traveling during Ramadan requires planning and respecting the culture and customs of each location you visit.
Daytime hours at restaurants and tourist attractions tend to be limited; but come nightfall, the streets come alive as people gather for Iftar (dinner at sunset), making for an atmosphere that is both welcoming and festive.
1. Dress modestly
Traveling during Ramadan to a Muslim country? Dress modestly to show respect and avoid offending those fasting, which includes non-Muslims as well. While covering up during daylight hours isn’t necessary, showing some extra modesty never hurts; layering can help achieve modest looks while staying fashionable while bold colors and prints can add interest without drawing too much attention to your body.
Men and women should wear loose clothing made from breathable materials that covers legs and arms, including a scarf for head coverage when needed. Also bring one along when visiting mosques or holy sites so as to cover up during visits.
2. Avoid eating or drinking in public
While non-Muslim travellers aren’t legally or culturally bound to observe Ramadan, sensitivity and respect will go far toward making your experience more fulfilling. Seek local advice before traveling during Ramadan; business hours may change accordingly and restaurants might close early than normal.
At sunset, when fasting is broken, families and friends gather together for Iftar – an enjoyable meal shared among family members and friends. Different countries signal the end of fast in various ways but one common way involves sending a young boy around with drum banging to signal that food may now be eaten.
Ramadan celebrations and traditions are an amazing sight to behold and experience, providing us with an invaluable opportunity to learn more about a culture deeply rooted in religion and community.
3. Avoid smoking or chewing gum
Muslims worldwide celebrate Ramadan, an annual monthlong fast during which Muslims refrain from eating or drinking anything (including water) between dawn and sunset. Fasting is considered one of the Five Pillars of Islam along with faith, prayer, charity, and pilgrimage to Mecca.
During Ramadan, it is essential to avoid smoking or chewing gum as this can be extremely irritating to fasting individuals. If it must be done anyway, do it away from others so as not to cause offence or embarrassment.
As soon as the adhan calls people to evening prayer, families and friends gather around a light meal to break their fast together and catch up. After that comes Eid al-Fitr – three days of celebration to mark the end of Ramadan.
4. Avoid drinking alcohol
Not only can being caught drunk be embarrassing and humiliating, it can also be very risky. Drinking in public makes you an easy target for those seeking to spike your drink with something which will leave you unconscious or drugged.
Drinking alcohol when traveling in hot weather increases the likelihood of dehydration. Aim to consume two non-alcoholic drinks instead, such as water. For every alcoholic beverage you consume, try to also drink two non-alcoholic ones (ideally water).
Long periods of drinking while travelling can quickly turn into addiction, so it’s wise to make the decision early to abstain. Doing this will allow you to remain focused on reaching your goals without worrying about whether you will succumb to temptation. Also, if your hotel offers mini bars, request that they remove them completely for optimal performance.
5. Avoid taking photos in public
In most countries, taking photographs in public during Ramadan without receiving their consent is illegal to respect the privacy of Muslims who are fasting. Before taking public photos yourself, be sure to ask your tour guide or hotel about local regulations before taking photos publicly.
If travelling through a Muslim country during Ramadan, it’s also essential to pay attention to the Adhan, which is heard five times each day and serves as an interfaith call to prayer and an opportunity for community members to unite behind those fasting. Travelling during this month can be both rewarding and enjoyable; providing that you respect local customs and traditions and understand their ways of life. It can provide an exciting new learning opportunity as you discover another culture and way of life!
6. Avoid eating or drinking in restaurants
Ramadan marks one of the five pillars of Islam: witnessing, prayer, charitable giving and pilgrimage to Mecca. Muslims observe Ramadan by refraining from eating or drinking anything from dawn until dusk; this fast is considered part of this practice.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan with a festive feast known as Eid al-Fitr (or “festival of breaking the fast”) and many Muslims attend religious services and visit family and friends during this celebration.
Water is especially essential during Ramadan to prevent dehydration, which can lead to headaches, nausea and heat stroke. Men should consume approximately 3.7 liters of water daily while women should aim to drink 2.7 liters each.
7. Avoid asking for a meal
Ramadan dates can vary depending on your country, so it is essential that visitors understand and abide by its cultural practices and rules when planning to travel during this timeframe. Eating, drinking or smoking publically during daylight hours are generally prohibited; non-Muslims (even those not fasting) could face fines for doing so.
Every evening at sunset, families and friends come together for Iftar to break their fast with family and friends. In order to maintain social norms during Iftar celebrations, guests should make arrangements ahead of time with hotels offering food at this time, in order to avoid confusion and miscommunication between individuals fasting during this period.