Traveling with kids is wonderful and completely doable, but it’s a different experience than it would be traveling without them of course. When living in Morocco we found that our travel was actually a much richer experience because we were traveling with a small child. The biggest change we made to our travel was to slow down; this allowed us to enjoy the subtleties of the area and culture we were in which would have been missed at a fast pace, ‘don’t miss a thing’ itinerary.
I do have some notes if you are planning on traveling with children in Morocco that might help your planning. Many of these I have talked about in my Traveling Morocco post, but here are some extra notes just concerning children.
Transportation – If trains are available in the area you are planning on traveling they are great. I would recommend getting first class tickets though. With a first class ticket you have a reserved seat in an air conditioned car; this is strictly enforced by the conductors when they check tickets. We never used a car seat in a taxi, and I’m not sure if it would have been possible. We were very comfortable taking short taxi rides with our little one held tight by us, or even better in a carrier attached to my front. I would not have been comfortable taking a long taxi ride though. Also, if you are a family of four you will have to take two taxi, as there is a 3 passenger maximum capacity in all petit taxies.
You may find renting to be a better option, depending on your itinerary. You should be able to rent a car at any of the major airports. When making your reservation you may even be able to reserve a car seat – don’t count on this! Bring your own! Bring your own! One more time, bring your own!!! Car seats are not required in Morocco and not commonly used after infancy. You may find yourself having a cultural disconnect while trying to explain that you would like a car or booster seat for your 4 year old.
Lodging – Regardless of where you choose to stay I think you will be pleasantly surprised about how friendly and inviting they will be to families and children. I think you will also find no trouble getting a room with an extra bed or two to accommodate the size of your family; cribs might be a little trickier though. Almost all accommodations will be able to provide you with a crib, but what is delivered to your room can vary wildly. If you are comfortable having your little one join you in bed if the crib is not all you had hoped for then you’re fine. If your little one needs to be in a crib then I would recommend bringing your own. We always traveled with our own; we have a Phil & Ted Traveller. and love it. This traveled with us everywhere including when we traveled with only 2 backpacks by train for 3 months.
Food – Baby food is easy to find at any grocery store or pharmacy, but I would recommend bringing your own if possible. We found that much of the baby and toddler food sold had a lot of extra sugar added to it. We found that we were more comfortable making our own. Once she was able to eat real food though it was a piece of cake! The fresh fruits and vegetables available were all great; and ordering off a menu was never a problem. When eating at a Moroccan style restaurant our default was to order vegetable couscous. Although the dish can vary based on location and restaurant, it is normally a plate of couscous with steamed (so soft it nearly falls apart) vegetables on top usually including carrots, zucchini, potatoes, and an orange squash. Other easy food options at cafes were crepes with banana or crepes with egg and cheese. And when all else fails, there are pizza places everywhere!
We did drink only bottled water when outside Rabat and I would recommend doing the same to anyone visiting. Bottled water is cheap, readably available, and many Moroccans do the same. Milk was easy to find and safe. It’s sold in aseptic packages (which means its shelf stable and does not require refrigeration until opening) so it’s very easy to use when traveling.
Stroller – We never traveled with a stroller in Morocco, but we certainly know people who did. If you are going to use a stroller there are two options: one, use a cheap, light weight umbrella stroller, so when you hit a non stroller-friendly area you can fold and carry it easily. The second option would to be use a heavy duty stroller that can tackle everything. What we used and what I would recommend is using a carrier. We used a Moby Wrap when she was a new born and since then an Ergo Carrier or Deuter Backpack Carrier depending on what we are doing. The Ergo is easy to travel and of course the Deuter is incredibly inconvenient to pack and fly with. However, we have done it once and found it totally worthwhile. It’s really about what is going to make you the most comfortable.
Questions – What have a missed? I’m sure you are all going to start planning your next trip to Morocco now, so please let me know if I didn’t hit on something you are wondering about.
Touring – Rug stop breaks