Family travel, particularly with young kids, is an experience in itself, no matter what destination you're going to. Especially when you're coming from a background of travelling as adults or as a couple: adding kids to the mix presents a whole new complexion.
Family Travel in Morocco - Ep. 30
For sure, there's more stuff to carry, things like diapers, sleeping pads and medicine, and more sunscreen, toothpaste and laundry soap to go around for everyone. The days of travel by carry-on only, skipping past queues and crashing in hostel dorms are well in the past!
Although, in practical terms kids can open doors that don't exist for other travellers. You get to board the airplane early, often skoot past the customs lineup to the family section, and most of all bypass disgruntled travellers to get VIP treatment when going through security.
It's not better or worse, of course, it's just different. And it takes some serious planning, mental preparation and clear mindset to travel with your kids in foreign countries, where things are new and exotic for everyone.
Priorities for sure are health and safety, and the thought of navigating a bustling souk or labyrinthine medina while clinging to little hands and avoiding motorbikes can be pretty intimidating. Of course, we drink from bottled water and wash our hands as much as possible, but as we know, kids have a habit of sticking their fingers in their mouth, which means extra vigilance from their parents while wandering the marketplace.
Families are frequent guests on Destination Morocco tours, and the Destination Morocco podcast has been keen to shine a light on that experience, talking about all the particular advantages and challenges therein.
And what better opportunity to do so than the one that was had in February of this year! If you remember back to the episode of January 1st, 2023, Azdean and Ted, the producer of Destination Morocco, mentioned that there was a possiblity of Ted and his family actually going to Morocco in the near future.
Travelling in Portugal between January and March, it would be a pretty straightforward jump over to north Africa. In the end, they flew from Lisbon to Casablanca on Feb. 16, with a return flight on Feb. 26. Tour Director Driss Maaza, whom you met recently in Episode 28, and driver Abderrahim, "Abdul," who has been mentioned frequently by our guests, were the hosts for the 10 day tour, expertly managing the stops and the pace.
The key was to factor in the needs and interests of the kids. At 5 and 7 years old, Ted and his wife Emilie's kids are certainly in the younger range of guests. Everything from safety, health and cleanliness, crowds and motorbikes, long-distance driving, meals, activities, restrooms, walking tours and more had to be seen through their eyes. This is what makes family travel different from your standard tour for adults.
Once back in Portugal, Ted joined Azdean on the March 15 episode of Destination Morocco podcast to tell the story and provide an overview of the experience. They discussed logistics, timing, accommodation, planning and the mentality you need to approach family travel to Morocco. It's a stunning and unique country, but it can be intense too:
- How did the kids handle the crowds, the noise, the traffic, the food?
- What kind of schedule and itinerary did the plan, to see as much as possible yet pace themselves and manage energy levels and fatigue?
- Would the family have been able to go by themselves, even as experienced travellers?
- And how was the tour able to adapt and be spontaneous as energy levels, hunger and bathroom needs evolved?
Family Travel in Morocco - Ep. 30
If you are considering heading to Morocco with your young kids, or have already booked your tickets, tune in to this episode for a great overview of information and inspiration!