I have been asked by several people how I arranged my trip to Jordan. So even though I am by no means an expert on traveling in Jordan, here are my best tips for having a good trip to Jordan.
You absolutely must buy a Jordan pass. A visa to enter Jordan costs 40 Jordanian dinars (at the time of writing about 57 USD), and a Jordan PAss costs between 70 and 80 depending on which one you choose, included in the price of the Jordan passport is amongst other things entrance to Petra which alone costs 50 dinars (70 USD). And besides that, there is also free entrance to Wadi Rum (5 dinars), The Baptism Site (12 dinars) and several other places are included in the price, so if you want to visit Petra, that alone is enough to buy a Jordan Pass instead of a visa.
There are a few little things I wish I had thought to bring. It’s hot in Jordan… Very hot, so if you’re going to swim in the Dead Sea, bring flip flops or some other type of beach shoe as the sand is unbearably hot to walk on with bare toes. And also remember swimwear.
If you are going to visit Petra and/or Wadi Rum, remember to go in good hiking boots or hiking shoes, there is a lot of climbing, so the photogenic shoes must be taken with you in your backpack 😀
Getting around Jordan on your own might seem a bit overwhelming, but it’s not really that difficult. Jett buses operate in many places around the country, so it is always a good idea to start by checking their website. Please note, however, that their website may have problems receiving credit card payments from abroad, so you may not be able to book your trip until you have landed in Jordan. However, Jett currently has no route between Petra and Wadi Rum and back, but there is a minibus that runs every morning which you simply ask your hotel to book for you. You can just email the hotel in advance to ask them to book it for you for your departure day, or just ask at reception when you arrive.
Smartphone data coverage
Most of us are not lucky enough to have free mobile coverage worldwide, and since Jordan is not part of the EU it will probably be very expensive to use your smartphone there. But fortunately, at the airport in Amman you can buy a tourist SIM card for between 20 and 45 dinars, depending on how much data you want to use, and it can definitely be recommended as it’s just nice not to have to wonder about data usage when you’re lost and need to use your GPS or if you just need to look something up. I bought a card from Zain as I had read that they have the best coverage in Jordan, but in general all three companies you can buy cards from should have good coverage in most places.
PS: Wadi Rum is far from everything, so no matter which provider you choose here, you will have peace of mind from your phone while you are there.
As a good traveller you should always try to learn a bit about local customs when going to a new country.
In Jordan it is concidered impolite to show your knees and shoulders, this goes for both men and women. So even though it is hot then you should wear some pants and a shirt that covers your shoulders, and if you are a woman it should also cover your arms. If you just wear loosefitting clothes this is really no hotter than wearing shorts. You will not get in trouble if you don’t do this, but if you do follow local customs the locals will appreciate your respect for their customs. If you go to visit a mosque you should absolutely cover up, and women have to cover their hair, but you will usually be given a robe if you do not live up to the dresscode, and of course you take off your shoes in a mosque.
If you get to visit a beduin camp, you will meet some of the most hospitable people in the world, they don’t have much, but they will litteraly give you the shirt on their back, so be appreciative, and respectful.
In the arab world it is generally concidered impolite to show your footsoles to people, so when sitting on the ground in the camp make sure to sit properly.
Also you are generally ok to take pictures, but be polite and ask first, and don’t take pictures of the women in the camp.