Mistakes to Avoid when Planning a Trip To Jordan
If you are planning a trip to Jordan, there is a lot to consider. Depending on how long you plan to spend in Jordan, it will affect the time you have to explore each place you want to visit. Instead of telling you all about how to plan your trip to Jordan, this guide is designed to tell you what NOT to do when it comes to planning and executing your plans, and what to do instead.
Traveling overseas to a new country and a new culture can be daunting for some, and this guide to planning a trip to Jordan is designed to help make the process easier and ensure you know the cultural norms of the place you are visiting.
In order to fit in with cultural norms when visiting other countries, it is important to take a bit of time to understand the best practices for behavior and fashion. But this guide to Jordan goes farther than that, it will help you execute the perfect plan, avoid common planning errors and maybe give you a few ideas of things you did not even know you wanted to do!
Mistake #1 When Planning a Trip to Jordan is Not Budgeting Properly
One of the uncommon facts about Jordan is that it is a very expensive country compared to its neighbours. It is similar in price to Israel, less expensive than Western Europe, but more expensive than Eastern Europe or Egypt. Jordan’s official currency is the Jordanian Dinar (JOD) and is often spoke as “JD” or “Dinar” But that is not to say that everything in Jordan is expensive, it is just more expensive than other parts of the world.
Mistake #2 Is Packing Short Shorts
Jordan is a culturally conservative Muslim country. You will see most locals wearing long sleeves shirts and long pants all year round. Some women will wear short sleeve shirts in the hot summer, but overall, most Jordanians are very modest when it comes to dress.
When planning a trip to Jordan, there are two reasons why you should leave your short shorts at home.
First of all, it is to respect the culturally conservative nature of the country. Just because other tourists might ignore what is considered appropriate in the country does not mean you should too. The exception to this is in any of the Beach Resorts or Beach clubs at popular Jordan beaches on the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. Shorts are fine in any place that you would also wear a bathing suit.
The second reason why you should leave your short shorts at home has to do with climate. If you are visiting between November and March, it is going to be cold. You are going to want pants. Even at the Dead Sea and Aqaba, where the climate is much warmer, you will still feel a cool breeze in the winter months.
Mistake #3 Not Packing Comfortable Shoes
Another packing mistake for Jordan is not bringing comfortable shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and perhaps some hiking , whether it is in Petra, Jerash or in Amman. If you have shoes that you cannot stand to wear all day, leave them at home. You do not really need hiking boots unless you are planning multi-days hikes, but if you are more comfortable in them, they might be a good idea if you plan to explore Petra for a few days.
Mistake #4 Bringing a Drone
If you are planning on packing a drone when you visit Jordan, take it out now. While you will see commercial photo shoots with drones, there are strict permits that are required and generally, they need to be applied for in advance. If you are a hobbyist hoping for some cool footage you are likely to have it confiscated on arrival, as luggage is scanned before you leave the airport, or when you arrive by land from Israel or by sea from Egypt.
Mistake #5 When Planning a Trip to Jordan is Forgetting to Check the Muslim Calendar
Ramadan is the month of fasting for most Muslims around the world, including those in Jordan. While there is nothing wrong with visiting during Ramadan, there will be some restaurants that are closed during the day and most tourist sites have their schedules adjusted. This is because most people are up late after the sun sets, so a lot of places will open later than usual.
If you are a night owl, this can be great, as there is lively nightlife and the malls are open very late during Ramadan.
During Ramadan, you will not see people eating, smoking or drinking even water on the street. Whether they are fasting or not, everyone respects those who are fasting. As a tourist, no one will say anything to you if you have a drink of water on the street, but be mindful of others when you do do it.
Mistake #6 Is not Checking Visa Rules in Advance
Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival to Jordan. The cost at most entry points is JD40 for a one month, single entry visa. In Aqaba, if you arrive from Israel or Egypt, these visas are issued at no charge, as Aqaba is a special economic zone.
However, certain nationalities, such as Philippinos and Egyptians, need to obtain a visa in advance. This has been problematic when groups are arriving from Israel on biblical tours and they have no pre-arranged their visa at the Jordan Embassy in Israel or their home country before arrival.
Mistake #7 When Planning a Trip to Jordan is Planning on JUST seeing Petra!
So many visitors to Jordan just come for a few days, visit Petra (the most famous site) and leave. And if that is all you have time for, well then you saw Petra, but I cannot say you saw Jordan. There is so much to explore in Jordan and hundreds of things to do. Of course, Petra gets all the fame as one of the best places in the world to visit (with good reason) but ensure you give yourself at LEAST 5 days to see more of the country. Seven to ten days is perfect to soak up everything Jordan and give you time to find all of the best things to do.
Mistake #9 Is Planning on Paying with Plastic
Jordan is very much a cash-based country. Most restaurants will not accept credit cards and having cash to pay for food, souvenirs, and taxis is essential. Things like hotels and rental cars can be charged to credit cards. ATM’s are widely available in Jordan. You do not need to bring a lot of cash with you. If you do bring cash in your home currency, there are plenty of exchange shops in Amman. Hotels will also exchange major currencies for you, but the rate is not always favorable.
Before you do travel to Jordan, let your debit card and credit card companies know that you will be abroad so your card is not blocked while you are trying to use it.
Try and ensure you have small bills for vendors. It can sometimes be tough to break large bills.