Hajj, which cleanses man of all sins, is a very sacred journey, the spiritual aspect of which can be overshadowed when faced with logistical troubles. Therefore, choosing the perfect Hajj package is extremely important for you to be able to focus on the spiritual aspect of the journey.
Here are some aspects to consider when choosing a Hajj package:
1. Choosing an agency registered with the Hajj Ministry through a sub-agent increases your chances of a peaceful journey. Registered agencies, more familiar with the latest visa rules and regulations, can contact the Hajj Ministry to resolve the issue, reporting to the ministry if pilgrims file a complaint and are more adept at airline, hotel and transportation arrangements. They are also cheaper, since only authorized agencies can travel to Saudi Arabia. Sub Agents must purchase services from these Agencies and therefore sell the package at an Targeted Price.
2. Despite all the benefits of licensed agents mentioned above, you can choose a sub agent if you've heard of good things about them. All authorized agents may not provide proper services, although some sub agents are very professional. Therefore, you should choose a Hajj package provider based on referrals.
3. You need a company of knowledgeable and experienced leadership in your group. No matter how much information you have gathered from books and lectures, you may have questions that you have not previously anticipated. It is also important to know if the travel agency is seeking advice from their guide. For the convenience of logistics, some agents may plan to travel to Arafat and Muzdalifah before the time recommended by Islamic law. Choosing an agency planning a trip under a venerable imam can reduce the risks of taking a shortcut or against Sunnah.
4. Be sure to check if they will perform the Hajj with the pilgrims of your chosen package. It is difficult to contact an imam if he is in another hotel, traveling in another bus or living in another tent in Minnie from yours. This problem is especially common with agencies that offer a wide variety of packages under the guidance of one or two imams.
5. Having a women's guide will be helpful for pilgrim sisters.
6. It is useful to check that the travel agency has a full-time employee in the US and Saudi Arabia. The more the agency relies on external resources, the more likely it is to suffer from homelessness. In addition, the longer the agency provides Hajj services, the better equipped it is to provide organized services.
7. Most Hajj packages advertise fares from New York to Jeddah. If you live elsewhere, be sure to include the cost of your domestic New York ticket when choosing a package. Also add the cost of Hajj and Zabiha to get an estimate of the exact amount you will spend per person.
8. Staying at a comfortable site is very helpful. A hotel close to Haram and Masjid – e-Nabvi is more important than the number of stars of the hotel because it will shorten travel time, save energy for worship and save time without enduring long queues to make voodoo or use toilets. It may be better if you share your room with four people at a hotel near Haram and do not share the room with another person, but at a greater distance from Haram. Moreover, hotel ratings meet Saudi Arabian government standards that differ from US hotel rating standards.
9. Do not worry too much if the Hajj package does not offer meals in Mecca and Medina. There are many options around Haram for eating and drinking between prayers, but it can take a long time to wait in line. Hotel buffets can be a time saver or a great distraction, as often people can spend too much time communicating too much. However, it is good to get food in Minnie and Arafat, as options will be limited. If you are having a Hajj with your family, it may be better to choose a package that offers food throughout the trip.
10. Choosing Hajj landings, which initially land in Medina, can save time spent on immigration lines. Pilgrims who land in Jeddah can survive immigration for 14-18 hours before leaving for Mecca. However, choosing a package where pilgrims land in Jeddie opens up many more flight options and may be cheaper. The same is true of exiting Saudi Arabia. Medina as a port for entry or departure can save a lot of time.
11. Ask the agent about the location of the tent in the Mini. VIP tents are mostly (if not all) within walking distance of Jamarat. However, the usual tents in a North American camp are a 50-minute walk to Jamarat one way. In fact, some tents are not even in the Mini. They are located outside the huge signs that read "Mine ends here!"
12. Hajj packages that promise access to private apartments while staying in Mina are a plus. The tents in the Mini are small, just enough space to relax. This way, pilgrims can leave their luggage in their rooms while staying in Minnie. It also opens up the possibility of using bathrooms and showers rather than those installed in Mina camp.
13. Hajj packages, which offer free transfers from Mina to Haram, can help you save money. The cost of shuttles is increasing exponentially during the days of Mina. Profitable, many people come from other cities to work as taxi drivers, and may even get lost trying to drive pilgrims to Haram. Buses, although cheaper, take a long time. Therefore, the transfer service provided by your agent will be faster and free of charge.
14. Most Hajj packages provide SIM cards. It can also be a time saver. Otherwise, you might have to wait in lines to get a SIM card.
Given these logistical issues when choosing the perfect Hajj package, we hope to reduce your daily hassle of performing Hajj and allow you to focus on your worship of your heart's content.