Now the cost of Hajj will always vary and every year there is generally a slight price increase but this post should give you an overall idea of what to expect. When we went in 2018, the cost per person for Hajj was approx. CAD $10,500 for a 19-day package.
Outside of this base cost, there are other costs you need to consider. These are:
- The Hajj Draft (approx. CAD $150 each) A Hajj draft is a fee by the Ministry of Hajj on each person that goes for Hajj. A portion of this fee is used to maintain the sites where you will stay and perform the Hajj – Mina, Arafat, and Muzdalifa while the other portion is used to cover a portion of the Transportation in Saudi Arabia. This Draft is required in order to obtain a Hajj visa from Canada. Your group will pay this for you ahead of time when they process your passports to get a visa. Once the visa has been confirmed, you make that payment to your group. This may vary from group-to-group.
- Sacrifice/Qurbani fee (Approx. $450 each)At the end of your Hajj, you must ensure you complete the rites with the sacrifice or Qurbani. Being from a Canadian group, you don’t have to do this yourself (yes, some pilgrims from other places may have to do this on our own). The group leader arranges to have this done and he will let you know once it has been done. Only then can you remove your ihram, cut your hair/shave your head and complete your Hajj. Keep this in mind – you need to ensure this is done in order to come out of Ihram.
- Costs of purchasing items for the trip (approx. $150) Before you leave for Hajj, you will go through many articles, videos and hopefully this blog series that recommend that you take things with you for your trip. All of this adds up and though this cost can vary, I spoke to a few people who agreed that for them it also came in and around this price. Now I won’t give you details on what exactly these items are since I will have a post dedicated on what to pack for hajj next week! The gist of it is mainly medication, food, and other handy items to make your trip a little easier or comfortable!
- Spending money while you are there. This can vary but it would include:
Lunch many groups include both breakfast and dinner buffets at the hotels you stay at but tend not to include lunch. During the days of Hajj, you will get lunch and snacks too – you will have more food than you can eat during these days!
- Bottles to fill extra water to take homeYou can fill and take home as much Zam Zam water as you’d like from the Haram. Before you leave for home, you will also be able to purchase one 5L bottle per person from the airport. Some people were able to buy more but this might be risky if the attendant at the time does not allow for it. Many stores sell bottles that are made to transport water so you will generally buy a few of these. They don’t cost much but just to give you an idea on something you may end up spending money on!
- Gifts – We did not buy much as we did not want to spend the few days we had in markets and malls but many others in our group that were there for longer bought a lot of things. Obviously, this includes prayer mats, clothing and smaller things to give to family back home and keep for yourself as well. This bucket can range but you can imagine that if you do choose to bring something back – your list may be quite long!
This brings the total close to approx. $22,500 per couple without spending money. We spent about $400 or so but this will vary for everyone and therefore I have not included it in the total listed above. Now, this is a big amount of money – you can’t deny that BUT the earlier you decide to go, the easier it becomes to start putting money aside. You also don’t pay it all in one chunk. Generally, there is a 50% deposit earlier in the year – around 7 to 8 months ahead. You then pay the remaining balance closer to the date – may be about 4-5 months ahead.
This is the one thing that will help you determine which group to go to Hajj with. Everyone has different budgets but the biggest thing to keep in mind is that you are doing a significant thing and in every difficulty there is a reward.
Other things to consider that will increase your costs:
- Your length of stay. If you choose to go for a longer period of time, the cost will increase slightly – not only for the accommodations but also for the cost of food. We also noticed that those who were there longer ended up shopping more and buying more as they had more time to do so! Some groups offer packages as short as 14 days in order to accommodate those who cannot get more time off than that while others range from 19 days to a 24-day or 30-day package etc. Again, this is up to the group.
- Another thing will also be the makeup of your room. If you choose to do a private room which means it is only you and your spouse, this will increase the cost as most rooms tend to be quads separated by gender. This means that you may be in a room with 4 women you haven’t met before but you end up becoming really close and you certainly need friends there as there will be quite a few things you will have to do separately from your spouse.
If you are going with a group that is not in a hotel for the entirety of the trip, it may be cheaper to have a private room during the days you are in the hotel. If you are going for a longer period as well, I would recommend the same. In all honesty, it gets really hard not being able to have some space from the group or alone time with your spouse and/or family members you are going with.
Without expanding too much on other content, this is the general overview of the cost of Hajj. There are certainly things here that I cannot account for as everyone’s habits are different. I don’t shop much when I travel anywhere so my shopping cost would be significantly lower than someone else who may want to purchase things for their family or kids.