Hajj and Umrah FAQS
Q – Will I be informed on what is happening and how to perform things?
Yes. Newcastle Travel and Tours will guide you from start to finish regarding both Hajj and Umrah, and also give you notification of the travel process and what is to be expected. If there are any further issues not dealt with you can contact us at any time.
Q – How long before departure do we receive our travel documents?
Whether travel is for Hajj or Umrah, usually it takes a week before departure to receive documents for travel. This is not guaranteed and can sometimes be on the day of departure. We will always endeavour to get your passports and other travel documents to you as early as possible.
Q – What do I need to pack?
Ihram pack is mandatory for the journey specifically for brothers as stitched garments are not allowed within the Ihram restrictions. Sisters can wear anything that is not transparent and tight-fitting and must cover everything except the hands and face.
Newcastle Travel and Tours holds an annual Hajj seminar before the upcoming Hajj and everything is covered in relation to what is needed and what to do. Group Umrah seminars also covers the basics of what is required to wear and do.
Q – Can a woman travel without her mahram?
If a woman does not have a mahram or her mahram cannot accompany her on the pilgrimage, it is allowed to travel in a group where there are other females present. The woman should be over the age of 45 and have a letter of approval from her mahram, if possible. Any woman under the age of 45 years cannot travel to perform Hajj and/or Umrah without a mahram present.
Q – How much money should I take?
Hajj is an all-inclusive package which includes the accommodation, travel and food costs. Qurbani is not included in the Hajj package so should be taken into consideration when budgeting for other expenses.
Umrah excursions do not include food in the cost of the package and should therefore be taken into consideration when calculating shopping expenses.
Q – Will there be somebody available in case I need help or reassurance?
Yes. Newcastle Travel and Tours will help and assist you from start to finish during your Hajj trip. We have ground staff available at all times who will ensure that you are comfortable and informed during your stay.
During Umrah, our ground staff will assist you in Makkah and Madinah until you fly back to your destination.
Q – Which duaas do I need to learn for Hajj/Umrah?
This will be covered in the seminars that are scheduled for your booking and/or guidebooks and pamphlets are given to help assist you in these matters. We also recommend you obtain a copy of Hisnul Muslim which has many invocations that can assist you in your pilgrimage.
Q – What if I get lost?
All our pilgrims have personal identification cards which must be worn during the Hajj season. These ID cards will include all the necessary details of your whereabouts in case you do get lost. We strongly advise that you only carry your own ID card and do not look after other people’s cards as this can cause a lot of distress to the person who is misplaced and takes up more time than necessary to get in touch/found.
During Umrah, we strongly advise you to carry the hotel business card with each of your family members in case somebody is misplaced or lost. This will ensure that you can at least use the information from the card to call or get somebody to help you come back safely.
If, after all efforts are exhausted, one is lost or misplaced, we advise that you go to the nearest Pilgrim Services Office or Police station.
Q – What happens if my baggage is lost, stolen and/or damaged?
Each individual baggage and other personal belongings such as money, jewellery and mobile phones are the sole responsibility of each individual. Newcastle Travel and Tours does not take any responsibility or liability for this. You must ensure that you keep count of your baggage and make sure that it is travelling with you at all times, when possible. Emergency items such as medicines should be split between other family members in case of loss or damage.
Q – Can I use my bank card in KSA?
Yes. There are many ATM machines in Makkah and Madinah which can be accessed by foreign cards. Please check with your own bank for any international transaction charges which may incur other costs.
Q – Will we be able to choose what to eat?
During Umrah there is no food included in the package so you have the flexibility to go and eat wherever you want. There are many food outlets and restaurants in Makkah and Madinah with various cuisines to choose from. However, the food may not be to one’s taste or choice all the time so we advise that you take some snacks that can be easily carried in luggage such as, cereal bars, dried fruit etc.
Food is included in the Hajj package and although we strive to meet all tastes, we cannot guarantee that this will be according to each individual choice at all times. You have the choice to go and eat elsewhere but this will not reduce costs in your Hajj package.
Q – What if I don’t like my room and/or hotel that is allocated to me?
Newcastle Travel and Tours strongly advises our customers to have knowledge of where they will stay. We have a variety of hotels ranging across all stars, and we will be happy to show you pictures of where you will stay. However, you may do your own research before you embark on your journey.
Q – Can I extend or shorten my stay during Hajj/Umrah?
In case of emergencies, you MUST inform us of your intentions to either extend or shorten your stay. Airline charges will apply and hotel bookings will also be non-refundable for shortened stay, during Hajj/Umrah.
The maximum stay during Umrah is 14 days and it is discouraged to over stay one’s schedule. We may assist you if this is the case but we cannot guarantee that you will stay at the same hotel. Airline charges, hotel and other surcharges will apply.
Q – After coming out of Ihram, what should I wear?
Once you are out of Ihram there is no restriction in what to wear so you may wear your usual clothing.
Q – Would I be able to go sight-seeing after the main group visit or privately?
You are responsible for your own sightseeing that is not part of our scheduled group visit around Makkah and/or Madinah. We are not responsible for any accidents, loss or damage during privately booked sightseeing.
Q – Are mountain treks covered in our historical sightseeing?
No. We do not advise or encourage anybody to go mountain trekking, due to health and safety reasons.
Q – What medical aid can I get in case of illness or accident?
Our guides will assist you in getting to the hospital or clinic. The Hajj Ministry provide free medical care to pilgrims during Hajj and Umrah. Private healthcare can also be arranged but this will incur further costs to the pilgrim. Newcastle Travel and Tours advises that you equip yourself with the basic necessities such as paracetamol, rehydration tablets etc.
Q – Am I covered on travel insurance?
Newcastle Travel and Tours does not provide travel insurance.
Q – Where can I get answers for religious questions?
During Hajj and Umrah we have guides on hand to help you with any questions and queries. There are many dawah booths around Makkah and Madinah where you may go for help also.
The above FAQs are not exhaustive. Please contact us if there are any other issues or queries.
Please read the Terms and Conditions for further information regarding your booking.