The Hajj, which purifies man of all sins, is a very sacred journey whose spiritual aspect can be eclipsed when faced with logistical problems. Therefore, choosing the “perfect” hajj package is crucial to allow you to focus on the spiritual aspect of the journey with all your heart.
The following are some aspects to consider when choosing a hajj package:
- Choosing a registered agency with the Ministry of Hajj on a sub agent increases your chances of a smooth trip. Registered agencies are more aware of the latest visa processing rules and regulations, can contact the Hajj Ministry to resolve a problem, are accountable to the Ministry if the pilgrims file a complaint and have more resources to make arrangements. Airlines, hotels and transportation. They are also cheaper because travel arrangements in Saudi Arabia can only be made by authorized agencies. Sub-agents have to buy services from these agencies and, therefore, sell the package at a surcharge price.
- Despite all the advantages of the licensed agents mentioned above, you can choose a secondary agent if you have heard good things about them. All authorized agents may not give a good service, while some sub agents are very professional. Therefore, one should choose a hajj package provider based on references.
- It is necessary that you have an expert and experienced guide in your group. No matter how much information you have accumulated from books and lectures, you may face questions, which you had not anticipated before. It is also important to know if the travel agency seeks advice from your guide. To facilitate logistics, some agents can plan the departure to Arafat and Muzdalifah before the time recommended by Islamic law. Choosing an agency that plans the trip under a reputable magnet can mitigate the risks of taking shortcuts or going against Sunnah.
- Be sure to verify that the Imam will do the hajj with the pilgrims of the package you have selected. It is difficult to contact the Imam if he stays at a different hotel, travels on a different bus or lives in a different store in Mina. This problem is especially common with agencies that offer a variety of packages under the guidance of one or two Imams only.
- Having a female guide would be an additional benefit for the sisters who make a pilgrimage.
- It is useful to verify if the travel agency has a full-time employee in the United States and Saudi Arabia. The more an agency depends on external resources, the more likely it is to suffer from mismanagement. In addition, the longer an agency has provided Hajj services, the better equipped it will be to provide an organized service.
- Most Hajj packages advertise price with New York fare to Jeddah. If you live elsewhere, be sure to include the cost of the national airfare to New York when choosing a package. Also add the cost of the Hajj and Zabiha rates to get an estimate of the exact amount you will spend per person.
- Accommodation in a convenient place is very useful. A hotel near Haram and Masjid: e-Nabwi is more important than the number of stars in a hotel, as it reduces travel time, conserves energy for worship and saves time by not having to make long lines to do wudu or use bathrooms. . It may be better in cases to share your room with 4 people in a hotel near Haram and not share a room with another person, but at a greater distance from Haram. In addition, hotel ratings are governed by Saudi government standards that are different from US hotel rating standards.
- Do not worry too much if a hajj package does not offer meals in Makkah and Medina. There are many options around Haram to eat and drink between prayer times, but they can take a long time waiting in a row. Hotel buffets can be a time saver or a big distraction, as people often spend a lot of time socializing too much. However, it is good to receive food at Mina and Arafat since the options will be limited. If you do Hajj with the family, it may be best to choose a package that offers meals throughout the trip.
- The choice of hajj packages that land in Medina first, can save time on the immigration lines. Pilgrims who land in Jeddah can experience from 14 to 18 hours in immigration before leaving for Makkah. However, the choice of the package where the pilgrims land in Jeddah opens many more flight options and may be cheaper. The same is true to leave Saudi Arabia. Medina as a port of entry or exit could save a lot of time.