Hajj, which cleanses man from all sins, is a very sacred journey whose spiritual aspect can be overshadowed when confronted with logistical problems. Therefore, choosing the "perfect" hajj package is crucial to allowing you to focus on the spiritual aspect of the wholehearted journey.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a hajj package:
1. Choosing a Hajj Ministry-registered agency over a subagent increases your chances of a smooth journey. 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 pilgrims lodge a complaint and have more resources within the organization. By air, hotel and transportation. They are also cheaper because travel arrangements in Saudi Arabia can only be done by authorized agencies. Subagents need to buy services from these agencies and therefore sell the package at an increasing price.
Despite all the advantages of the above mentioned licensed agents, you can choose a subagent if you have heard good things about them. All authorized agents may not provide a good service while some subagents are very professional. Therefore, you must choose a referral-based hajj package provider.
3. The company of an experienced and experienced guide in your group is required. No matter how much information you have accumulated in books and lectures, you may face questions you had never anticipated before. It is also important to know if the travel agency seeks guidance with the guide. To facilitate logistics, some agents may plan to depart for Arafat and Muzdalifah ahead of time recommended by Islamic law. Choosing an agency that plans travel under a reputable magnet can reduce the risk of taking shortcuts or going against Sunnah.
4. Be sure to check that the magnet will hajj with the pilgrims from the package you have selected. It is difficult to contact Imam if he is staying at a different hotel, traveling on a different bus or living in a different tent in Mina. This problem is especially common in agencies that offer a wide range of packages under the guidance of one or two magnets.
5. Having a female guide would be an added benefit to the pilgrim sisters.
6. It is helpful to check if the travel agency has a full time employee in the US and Saudi Arabia. The more an agency relies on external resources, the more likely it is to be mismanaged. In addition, the longer an agency provides Hajj services, the better equipped it is to provide organized service.
7. Most Hajj packages advertise fare prices from New York to Jedda. If you live elsewhere, be sure to include the cost of domestic airfare to New York when choosing a package. Also add the cost of Hajj and Zabiha taxes to get an estimate of the exact amount you will spend per person.
8. Accommodation on a convenient site is very helpful. Hotel near Haram and Masjid – e- Nabwi is more important than the star rating of a hotel as it would reduce travel time, save energy for worship and save time by not having to stand in long lines to do wudu or use toilets. You may want to share your room with 4 people in a hotel near Haram and not share the room with someone else, but at a greater distance from Haram. In addition, hotel ratings are in accordance with Saudi government standards, which differ from US hotel rating standards.
9. Don't worry too much if a hajj package doesn't offer meals in Mecca and Medina. There are many options around Haram for eating and drinking between prayer times, but it can take a long time waiting in line. Hotel buffets can save time or distract as people often spend a lot of time socializing too much. However, it is good to receive food in Mina and Arafat, as options will be limited. If you are practicing Hajj with your family, you may want to choose a package that offers meals throughout the trip.
10. Choosing hajj packages arriving first in Medina can save time spent on immigration lines. Pilgrims arriving at Jedda can spend 14 to 18 hours immigration before leaving for Mecca. However, choosing a package where pilgrims land in Jedda opens up much more flight options and may be cheaper. The same goes for leaving Saudi Arabia. Medina as the port of entry or exit can save a lot of time.
11. Ask the agent about the location of the tent in Mina. VIP tents are mostly (if not all) within walking distance of Jamarat. However, regular tents at the American camp are a 50-minute walk from Jamarat. In fact, some tents are not even set up in Mina. They are located beyond huge signboards that say "Mine ends here"!
12. Hajj packages that promise access to private apartments during your stay in Mina are a plus. The tents in Mina are small with enough space for people to sleep. So pilgrims can leave their luggage in the rooms during their stay in Mina. It also opens the option to use the room's toilets and showers rather than those created in the Mina camp.
13. Hajj packages that offer free shuttle service from Mina to Haram can help you save money. Taxi fares increase exponentially during Mine days. Attracted by profits, many people come from other cities to work as taxi drivers and may even get lost while trying to drive pilgrims to Haram. But the cheapest buses take a long time to arrive. Therefore, a shuttle service provided by your agent would be faster and free.
14. Most hajj packages deal with SIM cards. This can also save time. Otherwise, you may have to wait in line to get a SIM card.
Given these logistical issues when choosing the perfect hajj package, we hope to reduce your mundane worries of performing hajj and allow you to focus on your worship of your heart's content.