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Consider Various Aspects Before Booking Umrah Packages

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By Author: Safeena Rahman
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Every year, numerous Muslims from different corners of the world visit the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from their home countries to perform Umrah, which is also known as the 'lesser pilgrimage' or the 'minor pilgrimage'. The major pilgrimage in Islam is Hajj, which is mandatory for all Muslims who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey from their homes to the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia. The lesser pilgrimage is not obligatory for Muslims but since it is the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), it is held in high regard by Muslims across the world.

About two decades ago, Muslims who wanted to perform their minor pilgrimage had to rely on a travel agent to get their journey to Makkah arranged. The amount charged by such travel agents made the journey unaffordable for many and they had no option but to postpone their plans of performing the pilgrimage. Today, the Umrah packages made available by several tour operators give the prospective pilgrims some excellent options. Upon comparing the cost of different packages, they can select the one which would suit their budget. However, before booking their desired package, they need to keep certain aspects in mind.

The very first thing they must consider is planning a departure date several months in advance. If they decide a date well in advance when they would be making their journey to the holy city of Makkah for performing their Umrah, they can go ahead and book their desired package much earlier and get a considerable amount of discount. The amount that they get to save while booking their chosen package would go a long way in reducing the overall cost of their journey to Makkah. Savings made on their booking can also be utilised while exploring Makkah during their stay in the holy city.

Muslims who wish to perform their lesser pilgrimage must compare the packages offered by many of the tour operators or travel companies that specialise in the Islamic religious tours of Hajj and Umrah. Upon making a detailed comparison, they would be able to identify a particular package that is being offered at a relatively lower cost. The moment such a package is identified, they must go ahead and make their booking in advance to get the maximum amount of discount. They can also go to the website of a tour operator and compare the packages for different months or seasons and book the most cost-effective one.

Before going ahead with the booking of a chosen package, it must be verified whether the tour operator offering the package has been authorised by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah. Only the travel agents or tour operators authorised by the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah of Saudi Arabia are allowed to sell the packages for performing the lesser pilgrimage. The prospective pilgrims can also go through the reviews about their chosen tour operator posted online by its past customers. It is always advisable to book with a tour operator that has been in operation for many years and has the maximum number of excellent reviews.

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