• Is Jordan a safe country?
Jordan is one of the safest countries in the world. The policing is very efficient and the crime rate very low. Despite being located in the middle of a conflict zone in the Middle East, Jordan is like an oasis in the midst of all this. You can come with no fear.
• What about the electric system?
The electric current in Jordan is 220V and the plugs are the same as in Continental Europe is two sized plugs with two prongs and little round holes.
• Is it easy to find ATMs?
ATMs are just about everywhere, except again in Wadi Rum. Be careful during an official holiday. The ATMs have caught on in a big way and everybody uses them. This means that they are very likely to run dry during weekends, and almost certainly during a longer period of banks being closed.
• What are the problems involved in travelling during Ramadan?
First of all, most of the smaller restaurants and coffee shops will be closed during the day. Avoid eating and drinking too publicly in any case, it is neither polite nor kind.
Most office operate on reduced opening hours, this is not officially the case for banks and post offices, but try to avoid needing them in the afternoons.
Transport: the same applies. At the best of times, buses are rarer during the afternoons in Jordan, if you need to travel later in the day, it is a good idea to check up ahead of time on the availability of that particular bus.
Bars and liquor shops are closed during the day, and you cannot always count on their opening in the evenings either.
However, there are a number of sweets/dishes that are traditional during Ramadan, and since this is the period when a tourist is most likely to be invited to after, you are very likely to meet them! Take full advantage, they are very good!
Don’t be discouraged from travelling during this period – there are some inconveniences, but there are also good reasons to take full advantage of it.
• How about beer and alcohol in Jordan?
Beer and alcohol are to be found on sale fairly regularly, mostly in specialized shops, but beer also in ordinary food shops – but only very seldom in a shop owned by a Muslim.
You can buy it and drink it as you like, but it isn’t really very good manners to walk down the street swigging beer. Your hotel room is fine, as is also the hotel lobby in the evening.
All hotels with three stars and over have a bar, a number of smaller hotels also serve/sell beer, but spirits and wines are more difficult to find.
Apart from the duty free stores when you arrive in Jordan, the best place to stock up is in Aqaba where beer and alcohol are sold at duty free prices.
Clothes and Weather
• What do I wear?
Keep the jeans for the winter, in the summer light chinos are better. You can use shorts at touristic (and hot) sites like Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum and Red Sea. At holy places, like the Baptism Site and churches, we advise to wear long pants and cover your shoulders.
• What should I bring with me to Jordan?
Well, this does depend on the time of year.
The summer is hot, of course, but you are still likely to need a sweater somewhere along the way. The desert might go down to 15°C even in August, and this is a bit on the chilly side for sitting and talking around the campfire.
The winter is often cold with snow, but if you get good weather, you might find it warm! In the winter, I advise you to dress in layers, a jacket over a pullover, over a sweatshirt, over a tee shirt: like this you can peel off as much as you want to. A difference of 20 or even 25°C between daytime and nighttime temperature is quite normal in Jordan.
You might well find a tracksuit useful, the jacket can be used separately, and could replace the sweatshirt/light sweater.
Beach clothes: I assume you will be using the private beaches, in which case you can bring ordinary bathing suits, or bikinis as you like.
Footwear: I always suggest trekking sandals except in the dead of winter.
• Can I pay with Credit Card?
Yes. We accept Visa, Master Card and American Express. All transactions will appear as Discover Jordan Tours on your statement. 3% surcharge will be added to your transaction for all credit card payments.
• Is a deposit required?
Yes, to confirm your tour we ask for a prior deposit of 25% of the total amount. The remaining amount can be paid anytime prior or upon your arrival.
• Do I need a visa?
Tourist visas are easily available at any entry point into Jordan except the King Hussein Bridge. These are single entry visas and cost 20JD or approx 30USD. You don’t need photos, or any document except your passport. Port of Entry visas from Aqaba are free of charge.
But some nationalities need prior visa clearance. Click here to check the list of countries that require or do not prior visa clearance. http://www.discoverjordan.co/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/visa-countries.pdf
Single entry visas are officially valid for three months from the date you entered the country, but you must “register” them
at a main police station within one month of your arrival.
Food and beverages
• What will I eat in Wadi Rum (desert)?
The standard food cooked for tourists in Wadi Rum is “saniya” which is basically chicken, potatoes, onions and tomatoes, chopped and cooked together; in the desert this is usually done in by wrapping them all together in foil and putting it in the embers of the fire.
In fact this is also something that the Bedouin might cook for themselves when they are alone, they will cut them up, add yoghurt and salt and scoop up the mixture with bread.
• Can I find vegetarian food easily?
It is usual for a number of salad dishes to be offered as appetizers in restaurants; and in fact restaurants are more or less accustomed to vegetarians. It is always possible to get cheese, olives, yoghurt with or instead of meals.
If you are fending for yourself, apart from the ever present falafel (very nourishing!) it is easy enough to buy the above in most food shops – after all they are the staple diet of many Arabs even today! You might like to bring along some salt for yourself, if you are going to be eating tomatoes and cucumbers a lot, if you like “hot” foods, then they are available also pickled as salads.
In Wadi Rum, and provided you warn your guide in advance (be sure to specify if eggs are acceptable), you should have no great problem either.
• Is there any problem in Jordan about travelling with a girlfriend (boyfriend)?
To put it shortly, “No”.
There is no difficulty whatsoever about sharing a room with a member of the opposite sex PROVIDED that they are not nationals of the country where you are. This is heavily frowned on and may be drawn to police attention. But somebody coming from outside ? No problem whatsoever (even a Jordanian in Syria or a Syrian in Jordan would not be a problem!).
There is no need to wear a fake wedding ring, no need to talk about “my wife”, no need for the slightest pretense.