Whether you are traveling to Jordan with children, with a disability, as an LGBT couple, independently or as part of a voluntary project, we have gathered all the advice for travelers in Jordan and put it into one place.
Travelling with Children
Families are a central part of Jordanian culture and children are highly valued in the community. Foreign visitors with children are equally valued so families should expect to be greeted with a big smile on a regular basis. Jordan is a safe destination for children and local kids often walk to school and play on the streets unaccompanied.
Most hotels in Jordan cater for young children but always check before booking. Of course, the weather can be intense particularly in summer so families should keep well hydrated and protected from the sun, or, visit during a cooler season. There is plenty to do for adults and children of all ages including camel rides across the desert, wild camping experiences, snorkeling in the Red Sea and lots of castles and museums to explore.
Jordan is one of the only Middle Eastern countries where homosexuality is legal. That said, gay relationships are still quite taboo and discrimination does occur. All couples should avoid public affection in Jordan as this is extremely frowned upon regardless of their sexuality. Despite the negative attitude towards gay couples, the capital city of Amman has friendly gay venues such as the Blue Fig Café and Books@cafe. LGBT travelers should not be put off of traveling to Jordan and can expect to have a fun-filled vacation.
Females who are traveling to Jordan alone should do so with both confidence and cautiousness. Female travelers visit Jordan each year and whilst many have trouble-free vacations, some still experience grievances. Be prepared to hear anything from catcalls to marriage proposals as you walk around Jordanian cities and town.
Though this sounds discouraging it is important to acknowledge that men in Jordan are not familiar with the concept of women traveling alone and often have misconceived ideas of Western women. Of course, this is unacceptable behavior but solo female travelers should try not to stay calm in these situations and state a loud ‘imshi’ to tell them to go away.
Travellers should also respect the dress codes in Jordan which involve covering as much flesh as possible and keeping long hair tied back. Larger cities such as Amman and Aqaba are far more open to solo female travelers compared to smaller towns.
Travellers with Disabilities
With ancient sites, old uneven pavements and bustling city centers, unfortunately, Jordan is not a very accessible country for disabled visitors. Travellers with disabilities should note that many of the famous archaeological sites, including those in Petra, involve lots of stairs and bumpy grounds.
Although traveling with a disability is challenging, the local people are always willing to lend a helping hand and there are also a few initiatives designed to help. Recently, it has become law that all newly built public buildings in Jordan must have wheelchair access. This is good news for visitors but this rule does not apply old sites and monuments which are very difficult to access. In order to make sightseeing easier for travelers with disabilities, Petra provides horse and carriage rides to the most popular sites.
For those who wish to see beneath the Red Sea, the Royal Diving Club offers those with disabilities the chance to go down into the ocean.
For those who wish to give something back to the community whilst traveling, volunteering is a good way to help others, gain experience, develop skills and learn the language and culture of the country. In Jordan, there are a number of projects that accept international volunteers in schools, ecological programmes, and the Royal Botanic Garden.
In most cases, volunteers are provided with accommodation and Arabic lessons in return for their service. Volunteers are usually required to work on a project for a minimum amount of time which can vary from as little as two weeks to a number of months. People can also get paid work in Jordan either as part of their work organization or a teaching program.
Whether working or volunteering, visitors will need to get a working visa which they can apply for in their country of residence. Though volunteering and working in another country is an exciting experience, visitors should always respect the rules of the towns and villages they work in and aim to learn about local life.
Our Advice for Travellers in Jordan
Whether traveling alone, with children, or a loved one, visitors to Jordan should always follow the advice listed above. All couples should refrain from public displays of affection and everyone should adhere to the dress codes. Apart from these rules, a trip to Jordan is a thrilling experience and foreign visitors are almost always sincerely welcomed by the locals.