Frequently asked questions about Jordan

What is the best time to travel?

Our spring (April-June) is the best time to visit. Temperatures are mild and the rain has usually stopped by this time. Furthermore, the flowers are all in bloom and the springs are full of water. September to November (autumn) is also a good time to visit. During our winter months it can be cold and rainy in Jordan, especially in the mountainous regions where it also sometimes snows. However, this period tends to usher in very pleasant weather in Aqaba and around the Dead Sea. If you go during the summer (June until August), be sure to bring headscarves, caps and sunglasses and always carry a plentiful supply of water. You can expect extreme heat in this period.

What are the best festivals and when do they take place?

Jordanian national holidays include:
- 15th January: Tree Day
- 30th January: King Abdullah’s Birthday
- 22nd March: Arabian League Day
- 1st May: Labour Day
- 25th May: Independence Day
- 10th June: Anniversary of the Arabian Revolution
- 14th November: (the late) King Hussein’s Birthday

Because the Islamic calendar is based on the position of the moon, the festivals fall on different dates every year. In 2014 Ramadan starts on 28th of June and will continue until 27th of July.

Can I pre-book transfers and extra nights?

Yes you can pre book transfers (arrival only) and extra nights with Shoestring. You can add this on to your booking form.

What about my passport?

You need a passport that is valid for at least 6 months from the date of your departure. You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel.

Do I need a visa?

You are responsible for having a valid passport and visa when you travel. Travelling with the correct travel documentation is your own responsibility. Please ensure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the finish date of your trip.

Please check this information in good time before your trip commences as this information is always subject to change. You can check this information through a site such as this one.

Do I need vaccinations or malaria tablets?

Please click here for questions regarding vaccinations or malaria tablets for this country and then contact your GP or a specialised health centre to make an appointment to get your injections and pills. Please make sure that you arrange an appointment at least six weeks before you travel to give you time for a full program of injections. Two weeks should suffice for people who already have had a few injections. You are responsible for having the right protection when going on tour.

What is the recommended currency for Jordan?

The official currency is the Dinar (JOD), which is divided into 100 piastres or 1,000 fils. Foreign currency  can be changed at any bank or money changer, although the latter will usually give a better exchange rate. Banks are closed on Fridays. Better hotels will also exchange money. American Express, Visa, MasterCard and Diners Club are the most widely accepted credit cards and can be used at major hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. Cash can be withdrawn inside banks and ATMs are available, although acceptance of foreign cards is limited.

What kind of clothing and other stuff is practical to take?

Women are better off wearing dresses or trousers which cover the knee at least. Also make sure that your shoulders are covered. Locals are not used to 'naked’ tourists, especially on public beaches. The local female population walks around wearing a combination of western and eastern clothing. Women wearing a skirt or pair of jeans are commonplace. There are also women who wear black robes from head to foot, sometimes with their faces completely veiled. Bedouin women usually wear colourful dresses and headscarves. Men usually encounter no problems if they wear shorts, although this can be viewed as a bit eccentric. Dress conservatively to visit mosques, and if you wish to enter you must be barefoot.

During the summer months, a good travel wardrobe would contain light comfortable cotton clothes (but it is better not to bring shorts, miniskirts or vests), good, closed shoes (maybe even sandals), sunglasses, sunhat or headscarf and swimwear.

What kind of luggage should I take?

Do not bring too much luggage. Clothes, for example, can always be bought locally at little cost. As a rule, we do not think you will need more than 12 kg of luggage. This should preferably be packed in an overnight bag or frameless backpack. Solid suitcases are difficult to carry and hard to stow on buses.

What is the situation with electricity?

Please click here to check what voltage and plugs are in use in Jordan. You could consider taking a universal electric adaptor.

Which travel guides and maps?

If you want to take a travel guide or map, we suggest you click on Lonely Planet.

What is the accommodation like?

We will stay in hotels in twin rooms with private facilities,  In Wadi Rum: 1 night desert camp including meals and camping equipment.

How is accommodation arranged if I book alone?

If you book alone you will share your room with a fellow traveller ( from the same sex when possible ) unless you have booked a single room.

Do they cater for vegetarians in Jordan?

Jordanian dishes are often influenced by other Mediterranean countries and other traditional Arabian dishes. There is a range of vegetable dishes, the most notable of which are karnabit maqli (roast cauliflower with sesame sauce), badhinjan mahshi (stuffed aubergine in tomato sauce) and mnazalet banadora (stuffed tomatoes).

What kind of transportation is used?

You will be transported in air-conditioned minibuses.

Is Jordan dangerous?

In general, Jordan is safe for tourists. Most of the locals are hospitable and friendly. Although theft is not a big problem, it is always sensible to take precautions.

What local customs do I need to keep in mind?

Jordanians use many gestures during their conversations, which in many cases differ greatly from ours. If somebody does not understand something, he will shake his head (like our ‘no’). The consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden in the streets.
Men who ask for directions should not be surprised if they are grabbed by the arm and led to the destination in this manner. It is normal for men to walk hand in hand with each other here.
The left hand is used to clean the body after visiting the toilet and is therefore seen as unclean. For this reason, use your right hand if you wish to gesture or touch something.

Are there opportunities to snorkel or dive?

Yes, you can take a refreshing dip in the Red Sea where you will have the opportunity to go diving or snorkelling and take diving lessons. The Red Sea is famous for its resplendent coral reefs and enormous variety of tropical fish.

Are there opportunities to swim?

You will have the opportunity to swim in the beautiful Red Sea from Aqaba, which is perfect for swimming all year round. 

Should I take a sleeping bag?

You do not need to take a sleeping bag or sleeping mat for this trip because there are mattresses and blankets provided for your overnight in the desert camp. A blanket or sleeping bag liner is handy, because the blankets can be a little musty.

How are communications in Jordan?

The international dialling code for Jordan is +962. The outgoing code is 00 followed by the relevant country code. Jordan has international direct dialling with most countries. City/area codes are in use, e.g. (0)3 for both Aqaba and Petra. Mobile phone companies have roaming agreements with most international mobile phone operators. There are Internet cafes in Amman and most major towns.

What is the time difference?

Please check the World Clock in order to find out the exact time difference.

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