Hajj Checklist and Packing Guide

If you're going to Hajj this year, congratulations on receiving a special call from Allah! I went on Hajj last year and hope my suggested checklist and advice on packing will help you prepare for your journey.

I went for Hajj last year and I had started packing three months before we left! I know it’s crazy, but I was really confused and took my time researching products and asking family and friends for suggestions on what I might need to make my journey easier. Here is a checklist (summary version, and then a set of explanations for some of the items below) as well as packing suggestions based off of my prep last year and the trip and Hajj itself.I hope these suggestions will help you feel adequately prepared, without going overboard or going empty-handed, insha’Allah.

When you’re packing and preparing for your trip, have two intentions. The first is that you are preparing and planning to allow yourself the ability to relax and focus on the important things on your trip (like Hajj and all of the worship, resting, not exposing yourself to sickness in the markets, etc.).  The second is that because you’re preparing for Hajj now, make the intention that this is an act of worship which will allow you to do your part for preparing the worldly means necessary to have a successful Hajj, while leaving the rest up to Allah.

Last note–expect the unexpected and know that you will be unprepared for something or the other. But–do try to get yourself and your bags ready! Also, all of the products linked are products that I bought. I do not have any official or unofficial endorsements to the products in this list.

Hajj Checklist Summary

Food

Clothing & Shoes

  • Pair flip flops for bathrooms
  • Shoe covers for tawaf, 1 reusable or a few disposable
  • Comfortable walking sandals, 2 pairs
  • Tennis ball
  • Sweatshirt and sweatpants, 1 each
  • Pure cotton clothing, thin but not sheer (I used old shawar kameez), suggested 1 pair of clothing/every 2 days of your trip to minimize laundry problems

Heat Management Supplies

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  • Mini squirt bottle
  • Mini electric fan necklace, or a manual fan
  • Cooling towel (you can find one that runners use)
  • Large-brimmed hat to provide shade

General Supplies

  • Door hook hanger for the bathroom, 2
  • Plastic bags, a few
  • Drawstring shoe bag (with pockets)
  • Neck pouch/necklace pouch for keeping money
  • Small towel
  • Sleeping “bag” liner (I made my own, here’s a DIY tutorial))
  • Small blanket (I cut a small throw in half so that it fit inside of my sleeping bag liner)
  • Yoga mat + carrying strap (not all of them at Bin Dawood had carrying straps, so I brought my own with me)
  • Zipper seal bags in different sizes, a handful of each size
  • Umbrella
  • Eye cover/sleeping mask (ask your Hajj leader if these will break ihram)
  • Ear plugs, 1 set/day of your trip
  • Sunglasses, 1 plus a backup
  • Clothesline and clothespins to keep up with laundry by handwashing, 8 ft. clothesline (I just used a rope) and 10 pins
  • Sewing kit
  • Inflatable airplane pillow/mini pillow
  • Extra collapsible large duffle bag (if you plan on shopping), 1 or 2 depending on your shopping list
  • D-clips for hanging stuff to your bag easily (like water bottle), 3
  • Suitcase (however many you need), suggestion: fit all of your things in 1 carry on or small check-in bag
  • Backpack or small duffle bag for the days of Hajj

Electronics

  • Portable phone charger
  • Old phone
  • Extension cord with multiple outlets
  • International power adapter)

Personal Hygiene

  • Unscented soap (small pieces in a Tupperware)
  • Unscented deodorant
  • Unscented lotion or oil
  • Unscented Vaseline
  • Gloves, a few pairs
  • Unscented hand sanitizer, 2 small bottles
  • Unscented wipes, 1 pack split up into convenient zipper seal mini packs
  • Disinfecting spray
  • Unscented laundry detergent
  • Unscented sunscreen
  • Portable lota (Wudu Pal) to help with travel
  • Toilet paper roll (mini roll will do, if you’re used to using toilet paper)

Spiritual Supplies

  • Notebook
  • Pens, 2
  • Dua book or app
  • Personal traveling prayer mat
  • Quran that you’re comfortable with, preferably small
  • Budgetized, itemized shopping list
  • Tawaf counter

Medication

  • Basic mini drugs kit (allergy, pain relief, anti-diarrheal/digestive problems)
  • Antibiotics, get them from a pharmacy there (no prescription needed, just consult with a doctor in your Hajj group) if you end up needing them
  • Ginger essential oil (to help with nausea/motion sickness, simply put a few drops in a tissue and breathe deeply)
  • Paper bags/diaper bags for throwing up and other unexpected problem
  • Sore throat and cough supplies (numbing lozenges and cough drops)
  • Cold medicines of choice (you can get them in Saudi, but you might not find exactly what you’re used to)
  • Topical pain reliever for sore muscles/aches and pains (try to get unscented)
  • *If you don’t get the daily vitamin electrolyte tablets as I suggested earlier in the “Food” section, then make sure you take Vitamin C pills/immunity boosting supplements with you

Documents

  • Extra copies of passport and visas, 2
  • Will/power of attorney forms, 2
  • Permanent marker/Masking, packing, or duct tape

*Buy in Saudi Arabia

  • yoga mat
  • umbrella
  • dates
  • nuts
  • antibiotics, if needed
  • ihram

Hajj Checklist Suggestions Explained

Food

  • Collapsible reusable water bottle
    • These came in handy for filling ZamZam. If you’re already a reusable water bottle user, then you will probably be able to easily deal with a non-collapsible one. The collapsible ones are super portable and convenient, however.)
  • Electrolyte tablets
    • I used Nuun tablets and loved them.  They break into half and therefore fit easily into a water bottle (people are always handing you water bottles.) They also don’t have a huge hit of sugar like sports drinks powders so your energy levels aren’t dictated by sugar surges in your blood stream. I suggest getting both types, the ones with the daily vitamins (get enough for one for each morning) and the regular hydration tablets without the added vitamins (get three tablets for each day).
  • Energy/marathon chews
    • These are convenient for the days of Hajj when you need something to run on but don’t want to use the bathroom as often as you normally do.
    • I got Cliff ones with and without caffeine, because my husband and I are pretty used to drinking caffeine daily. I would suggest making sure whatever caffeinated food items you get have caffeine from natural sources (like tea or coffee).
  • Granola bars (energy and/or protein)
    • Just bring enough for one a day for each day of your planned trip. Don’t get the ones with chocolate in them, they’ll melt all over.
  • Dates
    • These work like energy bars but quite honestly are way better because of their slow releasing and stabilizing sugars and the huge amounts of potassium which helps with hydration. They’re ancient energy bars + hydration tablets in one.
    • I bought dates in Madinah.
  • Nuts
    • I also bought nuts from Bin Dawud (a store you’ll find everywhere in Saudi) for a protein-rich snack on the go. They were perfect for when I didn’t want to eat something sweet, like a date, or when I was really hungry but doing okay on energy.

Clothing & Shoes

  • Random flip flops
    • These will be great for using in public restrooms or even in the shower in your hotel/building, or for coming in and out of the tent easily in Mina.
  • Shoe covers for tawaf
    • I ordered these shoe covers online, but you can also get disposable ones.  A good pair of shoes will be helpful for anyone, regardless of foot and other health issues, for walking activities within the Haram (tawaf and sa’i). I needed to wear shoes per my physical therapist’s recommendation in the recovery of a foot injury I had sustained in March. I wear a size 6.5 in (US) Women’s and I think XS would have fit ideal for me.
    • I also had a pair of Haram/indoor walking sandals, just so that I could be more certain I didn’t have any ritual impurities on my shoes. I would change my shoes outside of the Haram/Masjid al Nabawi (in front of the guards) and then put on my shoe covers over them.
    • Shoe covers or socks? I say shoe covers. I would not want to keep socks on my feet in that heat.
  • Comfortable walking sandals
    • Make sure you have two solid pairs in case one gets lost or broken.
      • I didn’t bring sneakers, but some people in my group did.  I actually have no idea how they would wear sneakers in such heat. If you get really good walking sandals, they’ll have the same soles as sneakers and you won’t need sneakers.
    • According to Shaykh Omar Suleiman, for men, make sure there isn’t a strap at the back of the ankle. For women, I believe there were little to no limitations on clothing.
  • Tennis ball
    • This is something that I did multiple times a day based off of my physical therapist’s recommendation because of my fallen arches. After a long walk, you just roll the tennis ball under your foot and it’s like a foot massage. I also did this in Europe (and so did my sister) after long days of walking.
  • Sweatshirt and sweat pants
    • This is unexpected. But bring your sweat-shirt to Mina, especially if you have air conditioned tents. The AC is out of control and runs without a thermostat to stop it. I was freezing in my tent and I thought I was getting sick because I felt so cold and was going from 60 degrees inside to 110 degrees outside if I had to step out of the tent.
  • Pure cotton clothing, thin but not sheer
    • My family is from Pakistan, and this is where traditional clothing came to save the day. Because of my skin’s allergy to the heat, I can only wear pure cotton clothing above 50 degree temperatures as it is, so the prospect of surviving in Saudi Arabia with 100 degree nights was very scary for me.  I took shalwars (traditional pants) and long kamizes/calf-length maxis (longer shirts without slits that were six inches above the ankle.)
    • My mother-in-law is a bit taller than me and had some old shalwar kamiz outfits that she wanted to get rid of because they were getting worn out.  What she did is sew the slits on the side shut, so they were basically really thin, pure cotton abayas that were far enough above the ground to not get dusty or compromised in the bathroom, but below my knee enough to make me feel comfortable wearing them in the holiest places on earth.
    • My husband pretty much wore kurta shalwars the whole time, too, because of the looseness of the clothing and the quality of the cloth which made the heat bearable. He buys most of his clothes from Junaid Jamshed.

Supplies

  • Mini squirt bottle
    • Sometimes you are walking or in really cramped spaces and the mist will help revive you.
  • Mini electric fan necklace, or a manual fan
    • I liked having this electric fan necklace on. It was a little heavy, but I loved using it especially in Masjid Nabawi because everyone would sit so cramped in there and it was too stuffy to breathe.
  • Cooling towel (you can find one that runners use)
  • Door hook hanger for the bathroom
    • I got mine from the Dollar Tree. They’re really handy because you go into the stalls in Mina or Arafat and there aren’t any door hooks. You can easily hang up your bag or your towel/change of clothes without being worried about them getting wet or dirty
  • Plastic bags
    • Bring a couple grocery-sized bags, they’ll come in handy for anything and everything. Designate one specifically for bathroom trips during the days of Hajj to protect your clothes from getting wet in the bathroom.
  • Drawstring shoe bag
    • Although your Hajj package might give you one to match your group, I’m a little torn on their efficiency. The size of the drawstring bags are perfect, but the quality can be dubious (mine broke twice) and there aren’t smaller pockets for additional organization. I can’t tell you how many times I was digging in my bag to find a tiny object and how inconvenient it was.  My suggestion is to buy a small backpack or drawstring bag with additional internal/external pockets.  If your Hajj group provides a bag, simply cut out the logo from the bag and just safety-pin (or sew like I did, or hot glue even) it onto your bag. The reason why I mention this is because the same bags really do help in easily spotting your group and can be very useful to help you not get lost.
  • Sleeping “bag” liner
    • I made mine out of an old sheet that I bought from the thrift store (you can easily make your own, too, here’s how!) I saw one or two options available at the camping store, but the fabric was a synthetic blend that was not breathable. I decided to buy a pure cotton sheet from the thrift store (because I am relatively newly married, I don’t own any random old sheets) and then proceeded to hand-sew mine and my husband’s. Hand-sewing took forever and was a miserably long process, but I loved the end product and it really was truly so convenient and perfect for sleeping outside in Muzdalifah and even for sleeping in our building in Makkah and the tents in Mina (I wasn’t sure how clean the sheets and blankets were that they were giving us.) My husband said that in the tents in Mina, it is very easy for men to accidentally expose themselves due to their ihram clothing. He hung out in the tent inside his sleeping bag the whole time to avoid that problem. My suggestion is to find a masjid aunty who knows how to sew and ask her to help you, she’ll want the good deeds :)
  • Yoga mat
    • The yoga mat serves as the padding, which I suggest buying from Bin Dawood (a big store that you’ll find everywhere) when you get to Saudi so that you don’t have to lug a yoga mat around with you from the US. *Not all of the yoga mats at Bin Dawud had carrying straps. I thought they wouldn’t so I bought some from home and took them with me.
    • I looked into sleeping bag pads from the camping store as well, but they were much heftier and more expensive, so it seemed like a waste to me because I only planned on using the yoga mat for one night and we were told that if we left them in a pile in the morning someone would pick them up and reuse them. Also, the woman at the camping store told me that she uses a yoga mat every time she goes camping and that camping pads and yoga mats are essentially the same.
  • Zipper seal bags in different sizes
    • These will come in handy for creating small medicine packs for traveling on the actual days of Hajj, storing dates and nuts in, and so much more. If you have smaller to larger sizes then it will be easy for you store various items in.
    • Garment-sized zipper seal bags can also be very useful for keeping your clothes together in “packs” (per outfit or two). My suggestion is be organized and it will help you not waste time, get stressed out for no reason, and have everything you need.
  • Portable phone charger
    • You never know what the deal is with the outlets and power supply when you’re in the days of Hajj, so it’s a great idea to charge up a portable charger and have that as back-up. This is also easy because if you’re in Mina and you only have one power outlet with 10 slots for the whole tent, you’ll be able to hook up your charger whenever there’s a free outlet and you can charge as you need to. I got a Gorilla charger as a gift, and although I didn’t take it with me to Hajj, I should have! One thing to keep in mind is that you probably won’t zip through your phone’s battery as often as you do because you won’t really be on your phone during Hajj.
  • Old phone
    • If you want to risk losing your expensive smart phone, go ahead and take it. I brought an old phone (unlocked because I wanted to buy a SIM in Saudi) and my everyday smart phone to use coming in and out of the US. I left my smartphone in my building over the days of Hajj.
    • Another thing, it helps to use an old phone to unplug from the connectivity our smartphones allow us. Don’t link up your email and other social media accounts/apps. If you do, make sure you delete them before the days of Hajj start. You will be surprised at how little you will care about knowing how the rest of the world is getting on.
  • Extension cord with multiple outlets
    • Useful for everyone due to lack of outlets.
  • Umbrella
    • Useful to shield from the sun, which is intense. Also ihram-safe for men.
  • Eye covers/sleeping mask
    • If you’re a light sleeper, these will particularly come in handy. I don’t think I slept more than 5 hours at one time the whole duration of my trip and I would take naps at every time of the day and night so the eye covers helped me sleep.
  • Ear plugs
    • You will have no control over the people around you, especially in your tent in Mina. Do yourself a favor and bring ear plugs.
  • Clothesline and clothespins
    • You never know when you will need to wash something, and this will help you quickly tackle any laundry whenever you have it.
  • Extra collapsible large duffle bag (if you plan on shopping)
    • Just keep this folded up inside of one of your suitcases and you’ll be so happy you did!

Personal Hygiene

  • Unscented soap (small pieces in a Tupperware)
    • Just use the soap as shampoo, and even for washing clothes if necessary.
  • Unscented deodorant
  • Unscented lotion or oil
    • You may get sunburned or have severe reactions to the dry heat.
  • Unscented Vaseline
    • Especially helpful for men to prevent chafing due to ihram.
  • Gloves
  • Unscented hand sanitizer
  • Unscented wipes
    • I packed these in smaller zipper seal bags and rolled the wipes to fit easily inside.
  • Disinfecting spray
    • I made my own with tea tree essential oil, rubbing alcohol, and water in a spray bottle. I brought the tea tree essential oil in a small dropper bottle and put the rubbing alcohol in the spray bottle to easily pass through airport restrictions. Once I got to my hotel, I finished making the solution there. In a 4 oz. Bottle, I put 1 ounce of rubbing alcohol, 20 drops of essential oil, and filled the rest with water.
    • Spray bottles I bought are here (safe to use with essential oils).
  • Unscented laundry detergent
    • I made my own unscented laundry concentrate, which was convenient because a tiny amount went a long way. I might make some available to buy in my Etsy shop in the next two weeks, but am not sure if I have the itme.
  • Other personal care products that you enjoy using and would normally use if traveling for any other trip (these might be especially nice once you are finished with Hajj and take your first shower using the products you’re used to)
    • I got to take a shower on Eid back in our building in Makkah and it was the shower of a lifetime.

Spiritual Supplies

  • Pens
    • Impossible to find in Madinah, for some odd reason.
  • Dua book or app
    • like Accepted Whispers for example
    • Hard copy or electronic copy? My suggestion is to stay off of digital devices as much as possible. Hard copies are generally more reliable and less likely to “run out of battery” or “break” etc.
  • Personal traveling prayer mat
    • I bought mine in Madinah (I went to Madinah first) as a sort of souvenir. I would suggest always taking your prayer mat with you so that you can avoid getting sick—people are sneezing and coughing all over the ground during prayer.
  • Quran that you’re comfortable with, preferably small
  • Budgetized, itemized shopping list
    • You’ll be surprised to find this under spiritual supplies, but it is very easy to get distracted with shopping during your Hajj trip. Make a list of what you want to buy from there and what gifts you will be buying and for who. The more prepared you are, the less time you will waste in the marketplace.
  • Tawaf counter
    • (I didn’t need one because I planned a dua list for each round in Tawaf/pass in Sa’i. For example, dua for myself in the first, for my parents in the second, for my spouse in the third, etc.)
    • On that note, I would really suggest planning your dua for tawaf and sa’i in a similar manner. For example: first lap is dua for myself, second lap is dua for my kids, third lap is dua for my spouse, fourth lap is dua for my parents, fifth lap is dua for my siblings, sixth lap is dua for my community, seventh lap is dua for the Ummah. I had slightly different lists for tawaf and sa’i, so don’t feel locked in by your decision. I find it helpful to plan for your dua so that you don’t feel lost or confused or like you’re wasting precious seconds while you’re actually making tawaf or sa’i.

Medication

  • Mini drugs kit (allergy, Tylenol, anti-diarrheal)
    • Small enough to slip in your Hajj bag
  • Ginger essential oil (to help with nausea/motion sickness, simply put a few drops in a tissue and breathe deeply)
    • With the heat, you never know if you will feel sick to your stomach or not!
  • Sore throat and cough supplies
    • You will have a problem with your throat at some point.
  • Cold medicines of choice (you can get them in Saudi, but you might not find exactly what you’re used to, like Robitussin or something)

Hajj Packing Suggestions

  1. Order and gather all of your supplies NOW. Make sure everything is ready to go at least one week before your departure. Just a word of caution–your Hajj trip is precious. Do not waste your time by leaving toothpaste at home and needing to buy it in Saudi Arabia. Don’t have time? Send someone to the store with a list for you or just sit down on your computer and knock out your list in an hour or two, leaving enough time for delivery/shipping.
  2. Print out the Hajj Checklist, add whatever else you need to, and use it to make sure you have bought everything. Print out another clean copy and check off the items as you pack them. If you want to be very organized, make a note of where your items are packed.
  3. How much clothing should you take? You really don’t want to run out of clothes. I always pack light in terms of clothing but you really don’t want to, not for Hajj. Women, make sure you at least have 5 outfits (one for each day of Hajj) and men, make sure you have your ihram and a backup ihram (our Hajj leader suggested to buy the thicker ihrams that look like towels). Other than the days of Hajj, make sure you have at least 1 set of clothes for every 2 days of your trip. (If you’re a woman on a 12-day trip, for example, I would suggest taking 8 outfits.)  Men should also check if/when they can change out of their ihram with the Hajj leader. You will have to keep up with your laundry by hand washing it yourself. My suggestion is to hand wash your laundry every other day until the day of Hajj so that you don’t have any problems. (2 days before we started Hajj our Hajj group was in a frenzy to wash everything and it was overwhelming. We were lucky enough to have a building with clotheslines on the roof, but even then the clotheslines ran out of space.) If you find yourself thinking “yeah right this is way too much clothing”–think again, I challenge you! When my mom went for Hajj over 10 years ago this was her number one suggestion to me–bring a pair of clothes for every day.  In my Hajj group, there were people literally on the brink of tears because they ran out of clothes and couldn’t send them to get laundered in time before we left for Hajj (laundry there is basically paying for dry-cleaning, so get ready to shell out $3 for one clean pair of your old underwear.) Don’t do this to yourself–make sure you’ve got your clothing situation under control!
  4. Packing clothing in sets inside large zipper seal bags is very easy. Make sure you have your Hajj sets laundered, packed, and ready to go 2 days before the days of Hajj begin. Make sure each set is self-contained, you don’t want to be rummaging around for a missing something or the other in the tent in Mina and realize you forgot it at your hotel.
  5. Make sure you have a backpack or separate bag for the days of Hajj. Keep it light and easy to carry and walk with, you never know what is going to happen.
  6. Subpackage all of your things in groups. Make a medication baggie, make a shoe baggie, make a documents baggie, etc. I used cloth drawstring bags to put different groups of items together.
  7. Don’t freak out–you will be going with a group and it is likely you can borrow or take something from someone in your group if you don’t have it. You can always go to stores like Bin Dawood and get the things you need if you forgot something or something is broken.

Hajj Mabroor to you! Wishing you a life-changing journey!

7 / View Comments

7 responses to “Hajj Checklist and Packing Guide”

  1. Amatullah says:

    Assalamu alaikum wr wb there!
    That was a really HUGE list. My luggage was just 1/4th of this and there was nothing I fell short of, Alhamdulillah. I suggest that people take a call on their own about how much and what they’re going to need. You certainly have loads of things to carry back from the places you visit!

    • Amatullah says:

      BUT I must say this list pretty much covers everything of what’s needed!
      Ma shaa Allah, good job ukhti

  2. Ayesha says:

    Jazakallahu khairan for this list.I will be going for Haj Insha Allah and need to start preparing.Received this in my inbox just in right time.May Allah bless us all with Haj mabroor.

  3. Amina salihu says:

    MashaAllah! May Allah reward your effort. It’s a very intelligent list for each to determine what they may need. I have forwarded to friends I know who are lucky to have been called for hajj this year. May Allah accept our acts of worship.

  4. Hujja says:

    IHere is my HajjPacking list : https://goo.gl/7cbsBr

  5. Tahir Malik says:

    Thanks a lot for taking time and writing all this down. This is very helpful.

    JazakAllah

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