Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for considering traveling to Jordan! On the page you will find the most frequently asked questions, with the answers to make preparing for your trip easier. It may be that your question and answer is not listed. Feel free to contact us, after all, good preparation is half the battle.
The visa (40 Jd) in Jordan can be obtained at the airport in Amman. If you fly to Aqaba, you will receive the visa for free. If you order the Jordanpass with entrance to Petra and many other sites in Jordan, the costs of the visa (with a discount) are included.
A valuable document for anyone visiting Jordan and Petra. You order the pass online and carry it with you on your phone or as a print everywhere. First of all, it includes the costs (with a discount) of your required visa, plus admission to Petra and many other sites in Jordan. You can choose from 1-2 or 3 days Petra.
JORDAN MONEY, ATM AND MONEY EXCHANGE OFFICE
In Jordan you pay with the Jordanian dinar, in some places with your credit card. There are ATMs and money exchange offices in the big cities. With the remark that not every bank accepts your bank card. Fortunately, there is always a bank where you can withdraw money, our drivers often know which ones. Don’t forget to put your pass on “world”. You can also always bring some cash in Euros, US Dollars or British Pounds which you can exchange for Jordanian dinars.
TIPS AND GRATUITIES
It is customary to give a tip to the people who help you (carry suitcases) during the trip. Just like in the hotels / desert camps, you can leave a tip for housekeeping. In restaurants it is a matter of feeling to give a round amount of which the rest can be kept. Drivers are used to being tipped, just like those who are your tour guides. The amount is difficult to indicate, also depends on the service and your satisfaction with the service.
Someone who carries your bags at the airport expects 1 dinar. Depending on the size of the group and the number of days, you can give a driver who safely takes you to all sights and overnight addresses for several days, 20-50 Jd, charge 5 Jd per day per person. A tip for housekeeping can go from a few dinars to 10 Jd if you are staying somewhere for several nights. You can give a guide to show you around for a few hours or do an excursion with you around 5 Jd. You can give a guide who leads you through the desert for several days 20-50 Jd. These are only target prices! It also depends on your sense of satisfaction what you want to give.
FOOD IN JORDAN
Jordanian cuisine is a healthy and delicious cuisine. Almost every meal is served with different mezzes (tasty snacks / dips that you usually have with bread). Not to be missed are the hummus, foul (dried broad bean dip), baba ganoush (roasted aubergine dip), falafel, various salads such as the parsley-based tabouleh. What you can definitely taste are the mansaf, the maklouba, kabsa. And for dessert the knafa, a sweet dish with soft cheese).
In the desert, breakfast and lunch consists of different mezzes that you eat as a dip with the flat bread (resembles pitta bread).
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN
For the vegetarians there is a wide choice of beans, lentils, salad and vegetable dishes. The Bedouin who provide the meals in the desert now know how to prepare tasty vegetarian meals, they now often prepare two versions of the meals. Vegan meals are not so well known yet, but are on the rise. The ingredients are available, so there is also a many of choice for you, although you will need a lot of questions and explanations in the restaurants with buffet along the way.
At many hotels and overnight places you can leave your luggage before check in or after check out. Sometimes in the lobby, sometimes in a closed room. It is a safe option but at your own risk. The hotel staff will keep an eye on it, but they often do not know which suitcase belongs to whom. Always carry all your valuable papers and belongings with you so that no misunderstandings can arise.
In the driver’s car / minivan / bus, you can leave everything to visit a site where he is waiting. No strangers enter his car. He shuts down the car / minivan / bus when he goes somewhere for coffee / tea or something to eat.
In the desert, your luggage is taken on the 4×4 wheel. There are no paved roads in the desert, so make sure everything (camera / tablet / laptop) is packed shock-proof. Your luggage is safe during the horseback riding, camel ride, hiking or climbing adventure. You are with your own group, the Bedouin fix everything well on the jeep and take good care of your belongings.
SLEEPING UNDER THE STARS IN THE DESERT
Everything needed to sleep comfortably is available for the overnight stay (s). There are thin mattresses (you sit on them during the day, you sleep on them at night), pillows, enough blankets to keep warm and there are rugs. We only ask you to bring your own sleeping bag with large groups. Of course you can bring your own sheet bag. You sleep in your clothes, so bring something that is comfortable to move around in. For everyone there is a washed fleece or sheet to sleep “clean”.
There are no sanitary facilities in the desert. For larger groups, a portable toilet will be brought along and a simple shower for multi-day desert trips. All the bottled drinking water for the trip and the cooking, washing and drinking water for the animals in a tank, is brought with the jeep. We are economical with the water, are you? Cleansing wipes and hygiene gel come in handy in the desert. Do you know that sand also cleans well and is clean?
There are simple, small tents for 2 people, you can indicate in advance whether you want to use them. In winter when there is a chance of rain, the large tent is brought along.
During your trip you sometimes also have questions, for example how do I get from A to B or where do I find the place where I have an excursion. You are connected via whatsapp with Jordan Desert Journeys where you can ask all your questions and where we can catch up every day about your day and what you can expect the next day. We will go through where, with whom and how. You are never alone!
TEMPERATURES AND WEATHER IN JORDAN
Spring / autumn
The best temperatures in Jordan are in the months of March, April, May, September, October and November. For travelers who like summer temperatures. The sun shines almost all year round, it can be cloudy on a single day. March, April, November there is a small chance of rain, but that is usually no more than 10 days a year, most of which will fall in winter. The daytime temperature will vary between 20 and 40 degrees Celsius, but usually the air is dry and it does not feel as hot as in a humid climate. In the nights the temperature can vary from 10 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Winter, December, January, February, is the best time of the year for many Bedouins. Although it is colder but often sunny, you can dress accordingly. Rain is so exceptional that everyone goes out to be in the rain, to keep an eye on the flashfloods and… to see the waterfalls in the desert. Occasionally snow falls. Usually high in the mountains. Dana, Shobak and Petra, while more snow will fall in northern Jordan as well. In the south, in 2020, deep in the Wadi Rum, a little bit of snow had fallen since a long time ago, a special event.
The daytime temperature will vary between 0 to 25 degrees Celsius. Night temperatures can be very rare with frost, a few degrees below zero to about 10-15 Celsius.
Summers are hot, day and night. In June, July, August, the daytime temperature in the Wadi Rum desert can reach around 50 degrees Celsius. With excursions we start early, we have a long lunch break when the sun and sand are too hot for us and the animals to move on. The days are long. In the mountains and in the north it is slightly cooler. During these months there is no rain, usually no clouds and the sun is burning in the sky from 11:30 am to 4:00 pm. The nights don’t really cool off. Count on 30 degrees Celsius.
Spring / autumn
Layering works best. Easy to take off when the temperature rises and to put on again when it cools down. Usually a t-shirt is sufficient. Be sure to bring clothing with long sleeves, a thin blouse / shirt is sufficient to protect you from the scorching sun. Just like long pants / dress / skirt. Most people, including tourists, wear a scarf / cloth around their neck / arms to protect them from the sun. These are available in all colors, sizes and materials in Jordan. Bring a warm jacket / sweater / cardigan for the cold evenings. Just like socks and even gloves when you go horseback riding / camel riding. For the last activities also closed protective shoes. Footwear: if you like walking, but also in the site of Petra, it is useful to bring walking shoes and a pair of airy slippers that you can easily put on and take off.
Winter in Jordan lasts 40 days of wintry temperatures. Starting December 21 to the end of January. Layered clothing is a must. There are winter days when the sun is so strong that a t-shirt is enough. There are days with a cold, screeching wind that blows through everything. So certainly a winter coat, possibly a raincoat, a warm sweater or cardigan that you always have with you. Hat, scarf, gloves and several warm socks for when the ground is really cold or when it rains. Warm winter shoes / boots where you can walk well and slightly lighter shoes if it is warm.
Summer is really hot, you perspire more even if the climate is dry. Drink more water than you are used to and provide enough salts to keep you feeling good. Bring thin clothing, especially with long sleeves and long pants / dress / skirt. The sun burns mercilessly, long clothes protect you. The cloths / scarves are a godsend, especially if you wet them with water, a kind of natural air conditioning on the road to keep a cool head. Heavy shoes are not practical in the summer, your feet often expand in the heat. Airy shoes or nice sandals that you can easily put on and take off. A hat or cap is also nice to protect your face from the sun.
DRESS ETIQUETTE IN JORDAN
Most people in Jordan wear covering clothing. Especially the women. Men do wear short sleeve t-shirts or Bermuda shorts, long shorts and pants. In the big cities and tourist places, tourists are used to dress differently. If you find it annoying to be constantly stared at and even approached, it is often nice that you are a bit more covered. Especially if you travel alone as a woman. A headscarf is not mandatory! If you are expected at home by Jordanians or if you visit a mosque or a place where hardly any tourists come, adapt as much as possible to the customs of the country. You will feel much more comfortable with it.
During Ramadan (29-30 days depending on the lunar calendar), most of Jordan’s residents fast from sunrise to sunset. Then there is no eating or drinking, not even water. Although you are exempt if you travel, you do have to catch up these days after Ramadan. The iftar is the most important meal during the day. This is when the call to prayer is at sunset. Then the family comes together, often with many guests, to break the fast in social gathering with each other with water, fruit juice, dates and a good meal. After this meal they are allowed to eat and drink until sunrise.
What do you notice about the fast?
Some people change their day-night rhythm and live at night while sleeping much of the day. Life is different during Ramadan as outside of it. It is quieter on the street, shops and official institutions have adjusted opening hours. You prefer not to eat and drink on the street while the people who are fasting can see you. There are a few restaurants open where you can enjoy your meal in peace. Of course, tourists also come during this month. Keep in mind that your driver or guide is often also fasting. Many people in tourism do not work then because the temperatures and the long day make the fast too hard.
Sugar festival, Eid al fitr
After Ramadan it is Eid al Fitr, Sugar Feast of 3 days. One of the two most important festivals for Muslims, similar to Christmas, because of the many family visits. Everyone is in new clothes, children receive money or candy. After the long fast, everyone is looking forward to these days to spend them with the family.
Ramadan will start in 2021 around April 12 to May 11, followed by 3 days Eid al Fitr, the Sugar Feast. After this, normal life will resume.
Although most people do not take vaccinations when they come to Jordan, you can ask your doctor or health center for advice. They currently recommend a DTP and hepatitis A vaccination, in addition to personal and travel related advice. It is your choice whether or not you want to apply this.
WHAT DO YOU TAKE WITH YOU DURING A LONGER STAY IN THE DESERT?
- As there are no charging points in the desert except via the car battery, bring your own charger (USB via the contact point when the car is moving).
- Extra battery pack to charge your phone.
- Charged batteries for your camera.
- Lip balm because the desert is dry.
- A moisturizing cream.
- Sun protection cream, cap, hat, scarf.
- If you are sensitive to mosquitoes a good product (DEET).
- If you are bitten, something for the itching. In some places there are no mosquitoes, in other places you can encounter them.
- Your own toiletries.
- Your own medicines and travel medicines.
- A flashlight.
- Cleansing wipes to clean hands and face.
- Disinfectant gel for the hands.
- A travel diary for Jordan to record all your adventures.
- Slippers that can easily be put on and taken off.
- When riding: your cap, sturdy (protective) shoes with chaps. Riding clothes.
- Your own sheet and pillowcase or sleeping bag if you prefer (not mandatory).
Is Jordan safe? Although the question is at the end, it may be the most frequently asked question and the most common warning at home when people travel to Jordan. Your Ministry of Foreign Affairs possible does not issue a negative travel advice for Jordan, just alertness, do not get close to demonstrations that, if they happen, usually be around noon on Fridays. And to follow the local news. The few kilometers inland with the border of Syria is not recommended, but normally no travelers / tourists come there.
Remember, if something happens in the west, the information is for that country / city. If something is going on in the Middle East, the entire Middle East region is named, magnified and picked up by all the media, even if it is in another country far away from Jordan. Petra welcomed the millionth visitor for the first time in history in 2019. You are not the only one who would like to come to Jordan. Jordan is often portrayed as the safe haven in the middle of a troubled region. It is a good place to be in this special country with friendly, helpful people, almost unbridled hospitality that you no longer encounter in the west. With many guests who feel so at home and safe in the country, to return more often later.
Can you (as a woman) travel alone in Jordan? A very clear yes, but be steadfast and don’t get tempted into all kinds of adventures with “strangers” that you wouldn’t trust in your own country. Every driver will try to bind you for your onward journey. Many local guides will persuade you to do more excursions with them or even suggest traveling further with you. You often pay the first price. If you book in advance, your travel schedule is fixed and you can assume that your trip will go the way you want, at the agreed regular price. In addition, you can expect the driver and guide to adhere to the established itinerary.
When you travel with Jordan Desert Journeys you commit yourself to purchase travel and cancellation insurance with worldwide coverage. If you are going horseback riding, camel riding, diving, climbing or taking a hot air balloon ride, then also inquire whether you need insurance for risk sports. We assume and do everything we can so that you do not have to use your insurance. But as you know, an accident can happen in a small corner and something can also happen in a safe place, or be caused by third parties over whom you have no influence. After all, most accidents happen indoors! And then you are so happy that your travel insurance will arrange the most for you.
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Wish you a lot of fun with all the preparations. Welcome to beautiful and hospitable Jordan. Lots of love from the desert.