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Special travelers: families with children, pets, and other considerations

Every trip is different, and every tourist is unique. However, there’s no doubt that some groups of travelers have different needs than others, such as specific services, special attention to safety, different time management, diet, and accommodation requirements, among others. That’s why on this page, we provide useful information about some cases that require extra attention:

  • Families with children
  • Travelers with pets
  • Travelers with disabilities
  • Women’s groups
  • LGBT+ travelers

If your trip falls into any of these categories, take note of the information we provide. And if you need to organize a customized trip because you find yourself in one of these special situations, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Table of Contents

Families with Children

Undoubtedly, children are the main focus of a family. This is also true when it comes to trips that include these little explorers. Of course, the program should include activities or suggestions that appeal to them, but you should not only pay attention to their entertainment but also to other issues related to their well-being during the trip. Here is a list of aspects to consider:

  • Just as you would do at home, you should follow the same hygiene and safety precautions for children as for adults, but with extra care. We recommend visiting our page on Useful Tips for recommendations of this kind.
  • If the children are small, their favorite moments might be their playtime. In this regard, you should be aware that, in general, playgrounds with recreational areas are not as numerous or as comprehensive as those found in most Western cities. This shortage will be particularly noticeable in rural areas and small towns.
  • If you will be traveling by road, the best service is private transportation with a driver, such as the one offered by Chic Morocco. Not only for comfort but, above all, for safety: very few taxis (petit or grand) have child seats, forcing travelers to carry small children on their laps, which is not the safest option.
  • Be patient at restaurants: local food may be too exotic for a child’s palate, as it involves an explosion of unknown flavors that are not always well received. However, you will have no trouble finding places to eat pizzas, hamburgers, French fries, and other international foods that are always popular.
  • High-end restaurants are the only places where you will find high chairs for young children. In those that do not have them, the staff will compensate for this lack with friendly service and special understanding of any needs of the young diner.
  • As we mentioned on the page where we discuss the Moroccan demographic, the country is very young, and it is common for families to be large or very large. This means that child-rearing products are widely available in supermarkets.
  • Practically all museums and leisure spaces offer special prices or free admission for children.


Plans and Ideas for Family Travel

Every Moroccan city is unique, and its proposals for children’s entertainment vary from one to another. In any case, if you want to get an idea of the plans you can propose to your children to make the trip more enjoyable for them, take note of the following suggestions.

  • Animals always fascinate children. Therefore, any plan that involves them will be a sure hit. In the country, there are different zoos of great interest, with the National Zoo in Rabat standing out.
  • Another way to enjoy animals is by walking with them. In this regard, the star proposal is the camel. These animals are very popular on desert dune treks, but if you consider that this destination is too demanding for your children, you can take a camel ride on the beaches of Essaouira, which is a more child-friendly environment. The same goes for horse-drawn carriage rides, which are very popular in Marrakech and will provide a comfortable way to explore some areas outside the medina.
  • If you are traveling to Morocco in warm weather, temperatures can become sweltering. In that case, the best way to cool off is with water. It is recommended that your hotel has a pool or is close to the beach if you choose a seaside destination. However, there are also many water parks throughout the country, especially in the vicinity of major cities like Casablanca, Rabat, or Marrakech.
  • Theme and amusement parks may not be as abundant as in other countries, but there are still attractively themed venues for young eyes. In this regard, the Atlas Studios in Ouarzazate, focused on film and major productions filmed here, or Palooza Park in Marrakech, centered around dinosaurs, can be mentioned.
  • Cable cars are plans that also do not disappoint, and in Morocco, there is one option: the one in Agadir, within the Danialand complex, which also has a water park. In addition, there are plans to build other cable cars in the country, which would not only serve as an entertainment space but also as a means of transportation within the city.
  • Moreover, in many destinations, there are companies and tourism professionals that aim to be particularly attractive to young travelers, offering plans and workshops of their interest, from cooking classes to guided tours, craft activities, and more. Check with the tourist office at your destination upon arrival.
Travelers with Pets

Travelers with Pets

More and more tourists are choosing to travel with their pets instead of leaving them at home under someone else’s care. They are considered part of the family and, as such, have the right to enjoy trips in the company of their loved ones.

If this is your case, you will need to be patient when it comes to your pet because Morocco is not the most “pet-friendly” country for tourism. Additionally, you will need to navigate the situations you may encounter in the country, as Morocco does not particularly excel in terms of animal welfare.

It’s worth mentioning that it’s not very common for Moroccan families to have pets. And within the exception, it’s more common to have a cat than a dog. Even ferrets tend to enjoy more popularity and visibility than dogs. While the Quran does not “condemn” these animals, popular custom tends to consider dogs as impure animals that can soil a person’s hands and feet with their licks.

As a result, dogs are often relegated to their roles as hunters or guardians of private spaces outside the city, or they may end up living abandoned within the city.

It should also be noted that, like in other aspects, Morocco is taking steps to improve the welfare of animals, and more families are choosing to adopt pets, although progress in this regard is still slow.

Given this reality, here are some aspects you should be aware of if you are determined to travel with your pet:

  • When entering Morocco by road with your pet, customs procedures are not especially strict. It will be sufficient to have your pet’s veterinary records up to date and for your pet to appear healthy.
  • On the other hand, when leaving the country, controls will be much stricter, mainly due to the authorities in your home country, whether it’s a territory in the European Union, the United States, the United Kingdom, or elsewhere. In this case, we recommend checking the requirements on the website of your country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which may include a deworming certificate. Otherwise, you risk your pet being placed in quarantine at the border under certain circumstances.
  • The presence of pets is not usually allowed in public enclosed spaces, such as transportation or stores.
  • The concept of a “dog beach” is not well-developed, as it is in many Western destinations. Therefore, your only option for your pet to take a dip is to go to a remote and secluded bathing area where it won’t disturb anyone.
  • Veterinary clinics are not particularly abundant, especially in small cities and rural areas.
  • In city supermarkets, you will find pet food, although with limited variety. Specific products can also be found in specialized stores, often in larger cities. In rural areas, however, it may be more difficult to find such stores, and the list of available products in small supermarkets may be limited. Therefore, if you plan to travel outside of major cities, we recommend stocking up on pet food and basic supplies for your pet.

All of this means that travelers with pets who are heading to Morocco often choose to leave them at home under the care of someone they trust while they are away. The only viable options for traveling comfortably with animals in the country are either by motorhome or through meticulously designed private trips that ensure your pet can be accommodated in pet-friendly lodgings and transported in equally accommodating private vehicles.

Travelers with Disabilities

If any of the travelers in your group have a disability, whether physical or mental, you will want them to receive the special consideration they deserve. Therefore, here are some relevant aspects regarding people with disabilities in Morocco:

  • There is a lot of disparity when it comes to the adaptation of spaces for people with physical disabilities. While new buildings and new projects (trains, trams, museums, etc.) are designed with this aspect in mind, older constructions are often not adapted. Sometimes, this lack of adaptation is not due to lack of intention but because it is genuinely complex to include elevators or other assistance elements. The medina, at times, can be a challenging place even for those with full mobility!
  • In the tourism sector, companies that can guarantee full adaptability for people with disabilities are those in the highest segment. Rarely do budget hotels and restaurants have elevators, ramps, or other aids.
  • The lack of adaptability in Morocco is often compensated for by solidarity and camaraderie. For example, there will be helping hands available to lift a person in a wheelchair when they need to climb stairs.
  • If you want to organize a trip where services adapted to people with disabilities are of particular importance, we advise you to turn to an agency like Chic Morocco. With an extensive network of providers and contacts, we can select those that can genuinely guarantee suitable services for these special travelers.
Women Travelers

Women Travelers

The role of women in your society may differ from that in Morocco. While great strides have been made in recent years towards gender equality and freedom in both sexes, there may still be certain attitudes and customs that female travelers visiting the country find surprising. So, here is a list of useful tips that will come in handy if you are a woman traveling to Morocco for the first time, especially if you are traveling alone or with female friends and without male companionship:

  • Your attire when out on the streets should be modest. It’s not necessary to wear a hijab (veil), but if you choose to do so, it won’t hurt. In any case, it will suffice if you opt for clothing that covers your shoulders and knees and does not have pronounced necklines.
  • Swimwear is another aspect to consider if you are going to the beach. In private beaches, you won’t have any problems wearing a bikini, but if you plan to take a dip in a public beach, it is advisable to wear a long swimsuit that covers your body. If your hotel has a pool, inquire with the staff beforehand. It usually is not a problem, but each resort has its own rules. In any case, going topless is entirely unacceptable.
  • If you are young or consider yourself attractive, be patient. It is very likely that during your walks, you will attract attention, sometimes with absolutely indiscreet stares. It can be exhausting, but the ideal approach is to ignore it and not engage or reproach this behavior unless it becomes genuinely offensive. A firm look from your side, a stern gesture, or a decisive “no, thank you” can often be enough to put an end to it, as veiled flattery rarely goes beyond that.
  • If you need to take it a step further, you can firmly request “respect,” a concept that is highly regarded in Morocco. In even more unpleasant situations, you can publicly invoke the feeling of “shame” against harassers.
  • Sunglasses can be helpful allies: they will help you avoid eye contact with other men. That eye contact, even if unintentional and without any ulterior motives, can be interpreted by some as an invitation to compliments or conversation. Therefore, wearing sunglasses can reduce the likelihood of such encounters.
  • Public bars, even the most elegant and premium ones, are not usually frequented by women, except for exceptional occasions such as the broadcast of an important football match. Having a drink in a crowded public bar full of men can be misinterpreted, as women who do so are often assumed to be prostitutes. Therefore, female travelers who want to relax in a local establishment should choose a private one with good references.
  • Hitchhiking is strongly discouraged for women. It could be interpreted as a solicitation for sexual favors in exchange for a free ride.
  • Singleness is a concept that is not always understood if applied to a woman. Therefore, if there are men in your group, it is advisable for members to present themselves as couples, which will save you from having to explain things.
  • Moving around at night with a Moroccan man who is not your husband can arouse suspicion among others and may lead to questioning by the police, as prostitution is closely monitored in the country.
  • In fact, for a woman, it is better not to lead too nocturnal a life. If your return to the hotel happens to be at night, it’s better to take a taxi or private vehicle.
  • You will likely feel more comfortable and relaxed if you sit next to another woman on the train or bus, in case you cannot do so with another person from your group.
  • In Grand Taxis, where you often have to share rides with unknown travelers, you can pay for two seats to be able to sit alone in the front, or you can pay for all the seats to avoid sharing the vehicle with anyone else. This option is more expensive but may be worth it for peace of mind.
  • If you find yourself at a large gathering, such as a concert or celebration, be extra vigilant, as it can be an ideal opportunity for some men to seek physical contact.
  • Although smoking is a common practice among men, it is not at all common among women. In fact, it is considered a gesture of very bad taste in them, and although it is not strictly prohibited, it is advisable not to do it in public.

In any case, not all advice is about caution and being on the defensive. Being a woman has an advantage: you will have more opportunities to connect with Moroccan women, so if the opportunity arises, do not miss it.

LGBT Travelers

Due to being an Arab country with a Muslim religion, homosexuality and transgender identity are not particularly accepted among the people in Morocco. Therefore, if you are traveling to the country, you should act with the utmost caution, not only to avoid unpleasant situations with others but also to prevent legal problems, as some circumstances are prohibited and punishable by law. Here are some pieces of advice that we can provide:

  • The attitude of suspicion and rejection is greater towards homosexual men and transgender individuals than towards lesbians, although the latter should also follow all these safety recommendations.
  • Caution. That is the recommendation you should always keep in mind, especially in public settings. Therefore, if you plan to travel with your same-sex partner, it is ideal to plan a tour that is as private as possible, with exclusive services.
  • Displays of same-sex affection, such as kissing, are prohibited in public places, and the penalty can range from fines to disciplinary actions, including detention and imprisonment.
  • Two Moroccan men holding hands should not be interpreted as a homosexual act, as it is a relatively common behavior in the Arab world. However, if this occurs between two foreign individuals, it may raise suspicions.
  • There are no gay cities or neighborhoods, although some destinations are more tolerant than others. Marrakech is perhaps the most open city, being the most touristy and accustomed to foreign travelers. Tangier is also relatively open, possibly due to its cosmopolitan and international history in the 20th century.
  • Social media and apps for private contact are often an outlet for many gay individuals in the country, but they can also hide traps for robberies and attacks. Therefore, it is essential to exercise extra caution when using them.

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