The Complete Guide to Performing Umrah on Your Own

Here's a step-by-step approach to performing an Umrah on your own. Do-it-Yourself Umrah is growing increasingly popular, and there are several methods to prepare and save money while doing so on your own.

Myths of doing Umrah on your own

Let's start with one of the most pressing concerns when it comes to organizing your own Umrah. For many years, people believed that you couldn't book an Umrah on your own and had to go via an agency to get an Umrah package. This is not the case! Many agents will give you an Umrah visa solely, after which you may arrange your Umrah as you would any other vacation. After that, you may book your own accommodation, flights, and transportation for Umrah. In reality, the Saudi Arabian government unveiled its 2030 vision in 2018, which included a target of 30 million pilgrims entering the nation. To do this, they have established and formed deals with internet travel companies in order to produce more DIY Umrah packages for Muslims and lower the cost of Umrah. They will also start offering tourist visas in 2019, which may be used in conjunction with Umrah visas to allow you to travel across Saudi Arabia. This tourist visa for Saudi Arabia is not yet available, but keep an eye on this space because we will update the page whenever they begin granting them. While on an Umrah visa, you can only visit Jeddah, Makkah, and Medina. You cannot, for example, spend a day exploring Riyadh before doing Umrah. Treat the planning process as though it were any other vacation. This Ultimate Umrah guide is designed to assist you and prepare you for all that the Umrah procedure entails. In summary, you may plan and book your own Umrah visa, Umrah accommodations, and design your own Umrah package.

Getting Ready for Your DIY Umrah Journey

Now that we've addressed the elephant in the room and established that we can organize our own Umrah, let's move on to the fundamental measures you should take to prepare for it. When organizing an Umrah on your own, here are the most crucial things to ask yourself.

Make the decision to perform Umrah

Choosing to perform Umrah and planning the entire Umrah procedure ahead of time can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. Many individuals wait until the last minute and then question if a DIY Umrah package or just booking through an Umrah agent will be cheaper because they don’t have the time to arrange it.

If you want to go to Umrah, start saving at least six months ahead of time. Keep an eye out for the greatest travel and accommodation deals. Every 3-4 months, hotels and airlines offer savings of up to 40%.

What is your budget

Many individuals don’t begin with a budget in mind; they have an idea of how much something may cost, but that’s all. Alternatively, they may think that they can get five-star luxury with a two-star budget. Miracles may happen, but they take time, so start planning your finances as soon as you decide to travel for Umrah.

When compared to booking with an Umrah agent, a DIY Umrah package can save you between 25% and 40%.

How many individuals are with you and what are their ages

who you’ll be traveling with and what they’ll need. How many children do you have, for example? Their ages, as well as their ability to move about. The same is true for elderly parents who may be unable to travel a long distance to Haram. As a result, you may need to consider increasing your hotel budget to accommodate them.

Many hotels now provide rooms that can host up to 4 or 5 people, which is ideal for families. There will be a fee in most situations, but it will be less expensive than regular Umrah packages, especially if the expense is divided.

Are you planning a trip to Medina

When performing Umrah, it’s vital to know whether you’ll be visiting Medina as well as Makkah? It is often preferable to fly into Medina rather than being dropped off at the Hajj port or having to wait two hours for immigration, especially during busy seasons.

Medina airport is smaller and closer to Masjid Al Nabawi; it takes less than 30 minutes to get from the airport to the Masjid, making it a more convenient place to visit initially. It is now simpler to travel with children and the elderly thanks to the new railway connecting Mecca and Medina, which takes around three hours in total.

When will you perform Umrah

It is critical to have a rough notion of when you will go for Umrah? Umrah is significantly more costly during the school vacations. Umrah during Ramadan, particularly the last 10 nights, can cost up to 20 times more than during the off-peak season.

If possible, travel between major Western holidays such as school breaks, Christmas, and Easter break to save money. Also, when the Umrah season begins, it is typically a nice time to travel, but it is also a highly unpredictable period because many of the regulations change up to a month into the season. There have been cases when people have lost money as a result of the new restrictions.

If you’re on a budget, we recommend going towards the end of February or early March, right before Ramadan

Visa Requirements for Umrah

First and foremost, it is important to note that you cannot apply for an Umrah visa without the assistance of an authorized agency. You will require an agent to issue your visa; you will not be able to seek an Umrah visa at the embassy. You may now apply for an Umrah E-visa online through an authorized agency by just providing a scanned copy of your passport. Within 24 hours, your Umrah E-visa will be granted.

Here's everything you need to know about your Umrah Visa:

  1. Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six months.
  2. You’ll need to fill out an Umrah application, such as the one on our website.
  3. Your Umrah visa is valid for 15 days from the date of issue, and you are allowed to stay in Saudi Arabia for that time. The visa specifies 30 days, although agents propose 14 to 20 days. Otherwise, you may be barred from returning.
  4. You would have to wait for the new Umrah season to start about 2 months after Hajj if you want to do Umrah after Ramadan.
  5. Within 10 days, your visa will be granted online, and you will obtain a copy. Your passport will not be stamped with a visa.
  6. Umrah visas are now issued and activated electronically by the Saudi Embassy in your country and take around 10 days to process.
  7. You cannot remain after Ramadan, according to the Umrah visa requirement. Getting millions of people out of the nation the night before would be impossible. Staying longer is discouraged, and if you remain longer than a day or two, you may be penalized.
  8. A marriage certificate is not required; a Nikah document would suffice.
  9. A conversion certificate is required if you are a convert.
  10. You must have a meningitis vaccination, but you do not have to submit it with your Umrah visa application; it is only required by immigration authorities if they inquire. The certificate has a two-year validity period. The vaccine must be completed 10 days prior to departure.
  11. As of 2019, you will be required to pay your agent 2000SAR in addition to your Umrah visa cost if you are a return pilgrim.
  12. Single women without a mahram are unable to travel alone or with other female companions. You must be over 45 and find a group with a mahram Imam to accompany you.
  13. If you overstay your visa, your agent will be penalized, and you will be barred from receiving another visa. It’s even easier to keep track of this with an electronic Umrah visa.
  14. An essential aspect is that the agent’s application is now highly comprehensive. You do not, however, need to submit information about your blood type or other personal details.

Finding the best Umrah flights

In the last several years, finding flights and hotels for Umrah has been considerably easier. We have a slew of new hotels on the way, with more on the way shortly. Every major multinational chain has one or more brands in Makkah and Medina. Jeddah is served by every major international airline, and several also travel to Medina..

Here are some of our favorite ways to find inexpensive flights:

Booking flights during sales

 Airlines hold three to four sales each year, during which you may save up to 40% on tickets from anywhere in the globe. One common blunder is booking flights when they believe they must rather than considering the time period.

People who want to travel to Umrah in April, for example, will begin buying flights in February or March; if they had planned to go in April, they might have booked during the Christmas sale and saved money.

These sales are most common in December, April, June, and September. They may be used for up to a year of travel, making it simple to arrange your travels around the cheapest times.

Know when to book your tickets

 Airlines hold three to four sales each year, during which you may save up to 40% on tickets from anywhere in the globe. One common blunder is booking flights when they believe they must rather than considering the time period.

People who want to travel to Umrah in April, for example, will begin buying flights in February or March; if they had planned to go in April, they might have booked during the Christmas sale and saved money.

These sales are most common in December, April, June, and September. They may be used for up to a year of travel, making it simple to arrange your travels around the cheapest times.

Use low-cost carriers and split tickets

Flights from London to Jeddah, for example, may be costly at busy times. Look at booking an open-jaw flight to Medina and back from Jeddah. This will often save you money and time.

Other times, you may take advantage of low-cost flights, which have become quite convenient and with which you can simply combine a vacation.

For example, a ticket from London to Jeddah with Pegasus Airlines can be cheaper if booked in two halves (London-Istanbul, Istanbul-Jeddah). This is due to supply and demand

Loyalty Programs

If you accumulate miles, you can use them to fly to Makkah and Madinah from anywhere on the planet.

Flying to a nearby nation and then redeeming for a business class flight to Jeddah is our greatest recommendation for the lowest choice of redemption, especially if you have a large family. Arrive first at immigration after boarding the plane and finish ahead of the crowd!

Makkah and Medina's Best Hotel Options

With newcomers such as Hilton Convention, Marriott, and Conrad, five-star hotels closer to the Haram are becoming more affordable. Hotel competition is actually driving costs down, allowing more visitors to stay in luxury near the Haram.

The Intercontinental Dar Al Tawhid and the new Millennium Hotel and Towers are the finest hotels for families with children and the elderly (old Hilton Hotel and Towers). The Haram is about 5 minutes away from both homes.

The new Jabal Omar hotels, such as the Conrad Makkah, Hyatt Makkah, and Hilton Convention Makkah, are also fantastic options. You must cross the road for them, but it is not a major inconvenience, and you will still get to Haram in around 5-7 minutes.

These hotels are newer; therefore, they meet the European and American four-star criteria. If you're going to spend money on convenience, you might as well spend it on a new hotel.

There are also a number of new hotels that are further away yet provide excellent value for money. Holiday Inn Azziziya is a new facility, Ibis Makkah is quite affordable during Ramadan, and there are many more options that you may find on our website.

For as low as £40 per night, you can stay at one of these hotels! Yes, you must use their shuttle or call an Uber, but if you are on a tight budget and don't mind the distance, you can't go wrong.

We recommend international chains since they make you feel safer and provide you greater consumer rights. If your stay does not meet your expectations (do not create fake complaints), you can contact their International office and file a formal complaint. Pilgrims sometimes complain that their Makkah and Madinah accommodations were bad or that they lost money and that nothing could be done about it.

Hotel Sales: Hotel sales occur every few months, just as airline sales. Make sure you know the hotel you want to stay at ahead of time.

When one hotel begins its sale, you may anticipate the rest to follow in a week or two. The travel industry is once again a cutthroat business. Most of these sales are either non-refundable or semi-flexible, so double-check your dates before booking because you may not be able to cancel them. Hotels in Makkah and Medina may be found for as cheap as £70 per night at Hilton and approximately £90 at Hyatt during a promotion. The majority of their rooms can accommodate up to 4-5 adults or youngsters in families with children. The best advice is to phone the hotel and confirm whether or not they charge for children, as the internet system can be restrictive at times.

When Should You Book Your Umrah Hotels?
Overall, you should book your accommodation for Umrah in the same manner you would for any other vacation, double-checking the rates and cancellation policies before submitting your Umrah visa application.

Transportation from Jeddah to Makkah and Madinah

Jeddah to Makkah: Taking a cab from the airport is the best way to arrive in Makkah. Once you've exited the airport, you may either haggle with a driver or book an Uber or Careem (the Middle Eastern version of Uber).

Makkah to Medina: The new train is the greatest alternative since it is easy, convenient, and pleasant, as well as taking the least amount of time. The train costs £30 per passenger and may be booked online. The SAPTCO bus, a government-run service that operates between the cities, is another alternative. Make sure you reserve them as soon as you get in Makkah to ensure that you receive the time and day you desire. You can make a reservation online, although it is not always trustworthy. The VIP service, which costs approximately £35 per person includes a table, larger seating, is more comfortable and has more space. Another alternative is to take a cab, which is readily available outside the Conrad and Hyatt hotels. The cost of the excursion is around £50. You can directly bargain with them. You may even negotiate an hourly cost with them if you want them to take you on Ziarat tours around Makkah. Start low and work your way up to a price you're happy with. You may also use Uber to go about. The tourist bus in Madinah can take you around to Ziarat, and it's a hop-on, hop-off bus, so you can get off and see the sites before catching the next one. The business that runs them in other places across the world is the same.

Madinah to Jeddah: If your flight departs from Jeddah, instead of taking a cab, you can take the train to Jeddah and then take a taxi from Jeddah to the airport. Because the train does not stop at the airport, you will need to transfer. This is faster than driving for 5 hours. Arriving in Madinah and then departing from Jeddah is more preferable. Madinah's airport is smaller, making it easier to exit, and the train now makes it simple to go to Jeddah. Now, Jeddah is closer and more convenient for departure.

Locations for Trains and Buses in Makkah and Madinah:
• SAPTCO bus station: Jarwal, Mecca 24231, Saudi Arabia
• Haramain Train location in Makkah: Al Rasaifah, Ar Rasaifah, Makkah 24232, Saudi Arabia
• SAPTCO bus stop in Madinah: King Faisal Rd, Bani Khidrah, Crowne Plaza Hotel، Medina 42311, Saudi Arabia
• Haramain Train location in Madinah: Al Hadra, Medina 42368 8183, Saudi Arabia

Practical Umrah Tips

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Zamzam water

One of the most common inquiries is regarding ZamZam water and how to consume it. Usually, ZamZam is not part of your allowance but extra. However, you must purchase it from the airport in order for it to be sealed and packed for shipment. It's available for purchase at the Jeddah airport's outdoor kiosk near departures. If you have a split ticket, you must put the water in your suitcase, which will be deducted from your luggage allotment. You are allowed to bring a few bottles of ZamZam in your baggage, but make sure they do not leak since they will be removed. So, make sure they're properly sealed. This will be deducted from your luggage allotment.

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Mobile Phone

If your phone does not have international data, you may get a local sim card for £20 / $30, which includes a local number and data. It is really practical. They have pilgrim SIM cards that are only good for a few weeks. To obtain them, you will need your passport, and the office in the Jabal Omar development provides excellent customer service. It is compatible with all networks. In Makkah, there is also an office located outside the Intercontinental hotel.

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Inside the Haram

cameras are prohibited, and your belongings will be checked. You can, however, use your phone to snap pictures.

Wheelchair

There are free wheelchairs available for youngsters and the elderly to use to get about if they are unable to walk. You might even employ one of the lads to assist you

CONCLUSION

You'll like creating and organizing your own Umrah package since it's simple and inexpensive, and it allows you the freedom to do what we cherish most: worship in the Haram without feeling rushed.

We hope that this comprehensive guide on doing a DIY Umrah will give you the courage to attempt it for yourself if you haven't previously. May Allah invite us all to his house soon, since no matter how well we plan, we won't be able to go until He invites us. Don't forget to check out our other blogs, which cover virtually everything and will further assist you.