We saw quite a lot of families travelling with kids and we can understand why. Its easy to travel, your kids will be treated like celebrities, hygiene and safety are not a problem, the desert is like a huge sandbox, the food is delicious and there are many nice beaches to choose from. So if you are searching for your next destination, Morocco might just be the one!
Obviously, it´s not a good idea to take the kids wandering around the desert areas except in the early morning and before it gets dark. The evenings in some areas are very cold. At the coast it can get extremely windy and the ocean was still pretty cold in April. In Marrakech we had over 30º C with high humidity, so take care that everyone drinks enough water. Unless you are only headed for the beach, take a little bit of everything. Short pants, long pants, swimsuit, warm pullover, windstopper, and lots of T-shirts. I always take a travel size of laundry detergent for washing our clothes. One pair of open shoes for the beach and ´city walks and one pair of closed ones for the colder evenings and walking over uneven, or rocky surfaces.
We are pretty lucky, because we have a child that eats almost everything. His favourite were the cucumber/ tomato/ cilantro Moroccan salad, tajine omelettes, fish and olives. You can get snacks everywhere, so there is no danger of being hungry. We usually bought some bread or fruits for the road, there is a good choice of fruits and vegetables on the markets and in stores. Western style food is available in bigger supermarkets like Marjane or Carrefour and of course in bigger hotels. Finding European orientated restaurants in cities should not be a problem, but we always tend to stick to local foods. Bringing children to restaurants (even late in the evening) is never a problem. Sometimes the waiters will even play with them, if they are not to busy with other costumers. We also got some free extra portions of bread, olives and other snacks a few times – only because we had a child on board.
Baby food in jars and formula milk is available at the supermarkets, but we have no experiences with how it tastes. Diapers are easy to find, they sell mostly Pampers (or “Bambers”, as they call it). As for higiene – you know, the usual, wash hands and carry some extra wipes.
Normally you do not have to pay extra for a child staying in the room with you, ask at the reception if it is possible to get a baby bed. Breakfasts are included. Some riads have steep stairs so keep an eye on your small ones when they start climbing those. It´s not a bad idea to book a hotel with a pool, even if you use it only for a quick swim before its dinner time. Your children will surely appreciate it.
INTERACTING WITH LOCALS
Your child will be the focus of attention where ever you come, which is on one side a good thing because it will get you into conversations easily, but on the other hand it can be disturbing for your little one. Coming very near to children, a kiss and pinching cheeks from complete strangers is perfectly normal here, but not necessarily acceptable for your kids. So do not get scared, just be prepared that something like this can happen. Don´t ask me why but many of the Japanese tourist we met, wanted to take pictures with Lu. Could be his blond hair, or just the fact that they were Japanese 😉
Lu is used to long car drives since he was born, so at the time of travelling he was already either watching through the window with interest or sleeping. We did have some books with, which we occasionally read in the car, to keep him busy. We also counted all the sheep, camels, dogs and big trucks we saw on the way – usually there is much to see if you look outside. If we had a long day of driving ahead of us, we stopped along the way a few times – for lunch or for a walk. I can imagine the winding roads can make some children feel sick, luckily this was never our case. Take a cotton cloth for hanging it at the car window, the sun can be annoying when they want to fall asleep.
CAR SEATS & STROLLERS
Nobody in Morocco uses them, which is not actually a surprise to me. Therefore we took ours with, but we went a bit unlucky – it never reached its destination. Lost forever. Since the car rental company did not have any to rent out we were left with having to buy one new one. Easier said than done! We asked at the reception of our hotel in Casablanca where we could get one, and it took us 5 minutes to first make clear to them that we do not want to buy a stroller, but a car seat. They found it very odd why someone would want to put the poor child into a seat and even strap him into it 🙂 I was never in a car seat when I was young, but hey, times have changed and this has just become normal for us. I can imagine if we let Lu drive in the car without a seat for 14 days, he (or better said WE) would have big problems with getting him sit in one, once we got back to Germany. Besides, our car was parked in Frankfurt and we needed the seat for our drive back home anyway. So, after some search we found one in Marjane supermarket. They had exactly 6 different ones (not 6 models, but 6 pieces). We took the most expensive one, but still it was a cheap buy. No need to mention it is impossible to get a taxi with a child seat, sometimes there are also no seat belts, but hey, its only for short distances anyway.
We had the umbrella stroller with us and it was sometimes very useful (Casablanca, Essaouira, Ouarzazate) and sometimes completely useless (Fes, the desert, the beach, the gorges). I have to point our that Lu is not the biggest fan of sitting in strollers anyway, so some parents might have a different experience. Since we had the car for the whole time of the trip it did not make a big difference, because we could always just leave it in the trunk. If you are going around by trains, buses and taxis, I would consider leaving the stroller at home.
We brought a few books, one small car, a memory game, a small ball, coloured pens and Lu´s favourite stuffed animal. We really did not need more!