I’d heard that Morocco was one of the top places to travel with kids, and because we’ve been traveling as a family for quite a while, I was confident I could handle taking the kids solo. Most places we’d traveled to as a family were already familiar to me, but I’d never been to Morocco, and this would be the first trip to Africa for all of us. As a single mom, I’m always nervous about traveling solo with my kids, but the nerves don’t stop me from traveling. Of course, it’s great when friends and family join us, but it’s also important that we’re comfortable traveling on our own. At times, managing everything can be nuts, but with each trip, we grow more and more comfortable exploring as a family, and that makes it all worth it. If you’re considering traveling to Morocco solo with kids, I highly recommend it. Here’s how I planned our trip to Morocco from top to bottom without a travel agent.

Pre-trip Research 

Instagram and TikTok were clutch in planning our entire itinerary. The main hashtags I used to plan our trip were #moroccowithkids, #marrakechwithkids, and #moroccanriad. I also found family travel influencers who matched the activity level and interests of my family. The internet is undefeated because there’s a wealth of free trip planning advice on social media that I took full advantage of to avoid travel agent fees. Everything from learning about Moroccan people and culture to navigating the souks, considering safety, finding the best ways to get around, and watching live haggling across social media laid a pretty strong foundation for our trip. When researching, bookmark or save everything so it’s all there when you’re ready to book.

I’ll be honest, I booked our entire itinerary a month and a half before we traveled, which I highly don’t recommend. I preferred to stay in a riad inside the Medina rather than a hotel. Because I booked so late, many riads were sold out as they have a limited number of rooms. Luckily, it worked out for us in the end, but it added a layer of stress I didn’t need. I recommend booking accommodations at least six months in advance.

Health and Safety

The main things here are that I purchased travel insurance, which I do for most international trips with my kids, and we opted to take the Typhoid vaccine as recommended by our doctor prior to travel. The vaccine protects against stomach bugs and illnesses. It’s recommended not to drink the water in Morocco, which we didn't do, not even to brush our teeth. I didn’t want to take any chances of someone getting sick while traveling alone, which was one of my biggest fears.

I opted to use the ATM to withdraw cash once I got there and didn’t feel unsafe doing so. I pulled from the ATM a few times without any issues. Cards were accepted most places we went, but I opted for cash for most of our shopping and, of course, for tips. My money went a long way there, and generally, once you get there, costs are very reasonable, but you have to haggle because shops will overcharge tourists if you don’t.

I chose April travel dates because I was advised that summer temperatures can get extremely uncomfortable for kids. We traveled during their spring break, which also coincided with Ramadan in Morocco. Everything was open and seemingly business as usual, although it was Ramadan.

Flights, Activities, & Accommodations 

Flights: I booked our roundtrip flights out of Casablanca, totaling three flights, in September for travel dates from April 1st to 9th on Booking.com for $2,500. We flew with Morocco's airline, Royal Air Maroc. Despite mixed reviews online, a friend of mine had just flown with them, so I opted for the airline over much more expensive Delta tickets. Initially, I planned to route our itinerary out of Casablanca, but due to booking our itinerary late, I had to reroute from Marrakech. I had to get separate flights from Casablanca to Marrakech, which was a nightmare due to the tight window between flights and my unfamiliarity with the airport. We had to get our bags from baggage claim and go back through security for our Marrakech flight. The kids and I were literally running around the airport confused and were misdirected a few times. I highly recommend against last-minute itinerary planning.

During the chaos, one of our bags didn’t make it to Marrakech, thankfully it was the empty one. I left it at the airport and picked it up at the end of our trip.

Another mistake I made was not purchasing our initial flights with my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, which, in my opinion, is the best credit card for travel reward points. I highly recommend it if you travel often. I used my Chase reward points to pay for our flights from Casablanca to Marrakech, which saved me from an added expense. After our marathon through the airport, we made it to our Marrakech flight, which was in business class because I was using points. We experienced both economy and business class on Royal Air Maroc and had a really great experience all around. The kids, of course, loved business class, and the meals were good, we’re not super picky eaters. I highly recommend Royal Air Maroc for flying to Morocco.

Accommodations: I booked two riads and a luxury tent during our time in the Sahara, and I couldn't have had a more pleasurable experience at each place. The staff was warm and excellent with my kids. Here’s where we stayed:

Sakkan: I specifically picked this place for its ambiance, and it didn’t disappoint. The owner Valarie is lovely and they have a driver who picks you up from the airport if you send your travel information in advance. I wish we could have stayed more days here, but we had a packed itinerary for our 9-day trip. The spaghetti here was some of the best I’ve ever had!!

Desert Luxury Camp: We booked this package. This experience was top-notch! We had a 10-hour drive through the Atlas mountains to the Sahara from Marrakech, including an overnight stay at a hotel with one of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen. I was worried my kids might get fatigued, but the stops and overnight stay made the drive a seamless experience. We spent 2 nights in the tents before heading back to Marrakech.

Riyad el Cadi: After a jam-packed few days, this was the perfect place for us to get some R&R as our trip wound down. Their staff and service were impeccable. I wasn’t super comfortable exploring the medina at night alone with kids, so the hotel staff went above and beyond by going out to get us takeout each night (love them for that). One night, I wanted to go out to dinner, so they made reservations and walked us to the nearby restaurant.

Activities: I opted to keep activities light because our Sahara trip was the focal point of this itinerary. With limited time for activities my approach was planning at least one activity catered to each of us as individuals. Here’s what we did:

Photo walking tour of the Medina: Traveling solo, it’s challenging to capture all the moments and be fully present. So, I pre-booked 2 photo walking tours at the start and end of our trip with Your Marrakech Photographer. Omar was amazing and super patient with me and the kids. We strolled through the Medina, and Omar captured us organically as we navigated the souks.

Dining at El Fenn: This was for me, I’m a sucker for good eats. I really wanted to stay at El Fenn, although it was pricey compared to where we stayed. Even at that price point, I would have booked a stay here if they had availability for the nights we needed. We dined here twice for lunch, trying both traditional Moroccan and more "American" menu options. Both meals were really good and the staff was excellent. I recommend booking this restaurant well in advance as it's popular to both eat and stay. 

Sahara ATV ride : My son Chase, the teen who loves anything with wheels, added this to our itinerary. We rode ATV twice in the Sahara, Chase rode on his own 4x4, and my 6-year-old daughter rode with me. Both experiences were fun and the guides were safe and cautions that we were taken care of. One of the instructors let Chase catch some speed and get a little rugged which I appreciated. 

Sahara camel ride: I believe mornings and nights are typically cold in the Sahara in April. It was super windy the morning we rode, we absolutely needed face coverings for the ride. My kids are troopers, they wanted to ride even in the windy conditions. It was quite peaceful and serene minus the gusts of wind. The ride usually comes with tea time out in the desert but we weren’t able to sit for tea due to the wind conditions.

My biggest fear traveling solo happened ...

Like most single moms traveling alone with kids, my biggest fear was getting sick. And it happened while we were in the Sahara. I got sick from dinner our last night there. Looking back, it was probably the best time for it to happen. Not to be too graphic, but things were coming out of both ends for a few hours throughout the night, and I prayed that once it was out of my system, I’d be ok. I promised Chase we’d go ATV-ing one more time at 6 a.m., I crawled back in the bed around 3 a.m. after my stomach had calmed down so I could make good on my promise. By the grace of God, I managed to get our things together around 5:30 a.m., and we made our way to the ATVs, although only one of us was happy about it. Harper and I weren't thrilled about the experience, but we stuck to our travel rule that everyone gets their time. The ride back was long, and we made frequent stops because I felt like absolute trash. Our driver was the real MVP because he was unbelievably kind and accommodating despite me being sick, he took excellent care of us. Upon arrival at Riyad El Cadi, I spent the entire day in bed recovering. I felt guilty that we lost a day but grateful I caught what seemed to be a 24 hour bug and not something worse. This is why travel insurance is a must, and I highly recommend single women and moms buy it for international travel.Although I never want to relive a similar experience, it lessened my fear of getting sick and validated why I always bring a pharmacy in my travel bag with everything non-prescription you can think of for times like this.

Overall, everything I’d heard about Morocco being a family-friendly destination was true, we had an amazing time there. To single moms who may be fearful of traveling alone with kids, my advice is this: things wont go as planned, use those experiences as teachable moments and just keep traveling. That’s the key to overcoming fears around anything, if you ask me. Hopefully this encourages you to travel more with your kids. We’re planning another trip to Morocco soon because there’s a lot we didn’t get to experience during this trip!  

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