In today’s guest post, we’re sharing the story of Amanda, an American expat living in Marrakech, Morocco with her husband and two boys. We have not visited Morocco (yet!), so we’re happy to have Amanda share her firsthand tips and tricks for safe and fun travel to Morocco with kids.
Travel to Morocco with Kids
I know what you’re thinking, Morocco isn’t the first location that comes to mind when planning a family vacation. But today I’d like to share a few reasons why you should consider adding Morocco to your family travel list and some things you should know before you go.
It was my childhood dream to visit Morocco. I vividly remember watching a segment on NBC’s Today Show where Matt Lauer was standing in the infamous Jemma L’fna square with a monkey on his shoulder. I was captivated. But, like most children do, I forgot about it.
Given the opportunity many years later to choose somewhere in the world to visit I suggested Morocco to my dad and younger sister. They agreed and after Christmas of 2004 my dream became a reality.
It was during this trip that I happened to meet the man who is now my husband in fairy-tale fashion on the streets of Marrakech. After a long ordeal with the US immigration system he moved to the US and we started a family.
In 2013 we made the decision to move to Morocco so that our boys could learn Arabic and French. We had visited many times previously and while I was uncertain what life would hold for us here, I was open to the possibilities.
We’ve had the good fortune to travel through much of the country and I’m now able to confidently say Morocco is a great destination to visit with children.
If you’re considering coming our way, here are a few things that will help make your time here more enjoyable.
The Moroccan way of life is very laid back
Daily life does not operate on a set time table. Moroccans take time to enjoy life. Sitting down to sip tea is not only a way to socialize, it’s how business transactions happen. Don’t over schedule yourself because it won’t work. Times are always flexible, so trying to maintain a strict schedule will make you crazy!
Diapers are widely available as are a variety of baby foods. Moroccan food in general is cooked very well so even the youngest palates won’t have trouble chewing and digesting food. Wondering what kids would like to eat in Morocco? Read this post for some ideas.
Bring your car seat and an umbrella stroller.
If you’re traveling with very young children you will want to bring your car seat and an umbrella stroller. Bigger strollers may make getting through crowded streets difficult.
While you can rent car seats they are often not very good. Car seats for children aren’t mandatory and so they’re not much of a priority.
Another big question for parents is safety
Morocco has a very low crime rate and the instabilities that rocked the Arab world during the Arab Spring did not happen in Morocco. The crime that does occur is petty crime like pick-pocketing.
While drinking water is safe, it is advisable for visitors to stick to bottled water just in case. Check with your doctor for recommended vaccines and bring over the counter medicines such as ibuprofen, pepto bismol, and any other remedies you may want. There are pharmacies everywhere but having something familiar on hand will be welcome in the event of illness.
What to do in Morocco with kids
Morocco’s Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts are a favorite among travelers and Moroccans alike. From April through October the weather is very temperate and a visit to the beach isn’t out of the question.
If you visit southern cities like Agadir you’ll find people surfing and swimming in February!
Activities like cooking classes, art workshops, and visits to olive or argan farms are a great way to introduce kids to Moroccan culture while also having fun.
Just getting lost in the winding medina’s of Morocco’s cities, seeing the night markets come to life, or taking a camel trek through the Sahara Desert are unforgettable memories that can come true in Morocco.
If you prefer walking or trekking there are hundreds of trails that can be walked through the Rif, Mid, and High Atlas Mountain ranges. Many companies are outfitted so that family members of all ages and fitness levels can take part.
Travel around Morocco
Morocco is a big country and travel times can be much longer than they appear on a map. There are many options for getting around from inter-city flights, buses, and trains to renting your own car or hiring a driver and guide. Each has positives and negatives.
When you’re planning, be realistic about the amount of time you have and the distance you want to travel and arrange accordingly.
Moroccan people genuinely love children
They will open up to you if they see children with you and if, for example, you want to take pictures, they are much more likely to allow this if it’s with your child. While many people hesitate, don’t be surprised to find strangers pinching your child’s cheeks or giving them a kiss on the forehead or cheek. There’s no harm intended they just really love kids.
No matter what time of year you go, or how old your kids are, Morocco is waiting for you!
Author Bio: Amanda is an American expat living in Marrakech with her husband and two boys. She writes the blog MarocMama.com and owns Marrakech Food Tours with her husband, where they show people the authentic side of Marrakechs’ food culture. You can follow their daily life on Instagram or Facebook.