Award-winning Canadian novelist, Colin McAdam, once said, “The best advice I heard before going to Jordan was ‘don’t read anything about it’.” It is indeed true because however much you do your research nothing will prepare you for the overwhelming beauty of this country. Jordan is proud of its rich culture and heritage, warm and welcoming to its tourists, offering them an experience of a lifetime. It is so magnificent that you will need multiple Jordan vacations to get a feel of this land, its culture, lip smacking food, and everything else that it has to offer. Here are some tips for first-time travelers to Jordan which can make their trip a little smoother.
Jordan is a Middle Eastern country and contrary to popular notion, it is not a hot desert all year round and to be honest, weather can be quite fickle. Even light snow is not uncommon in the colder northern parts of the country. Therefore, watch out for the weather predictions around your time of visit and pack your clothes accordingly. Certain religious places might require you to dress conservatively, and it is a good thing to be respectful of the culture. Therefore, irrespective of gender, try to carry a few conservatives, clothes covering your legs, chest and arms, to wear when you visit religious spots. Always carry a scarf on you to drape around yourself in case you are required to cover up. Although it is a popular tourist spot and thus, there are no dress codes or restrictions at large, it is a smart idea to be respectful and ditch your skimpy outfits.
Vegetarian options are limited
Food here in Jordan is simply mind blowing and you will fall totally in love with the rich delectable, lip smacking cuisine here. It is a paradise for food lovers, and you are bound to go back home with a few extra kilos. But if you are a vegetarian or vegan you might find your options slightly limited as the entire country is absolutely in love with its various forms, kinds and preparations of meat. Most popular dishes in Jordan are made with some form of animal product or other which is why you have to do a little bit of research to find items which do not contain any form of animal product else you might end up with a seemingly vegetarian dish and it comes out to contain meat.
Try to avoid rush hours
Rush hours in Jordan are mostly during the office hours but traffic jams reach their peak around 2-5pm. Although the yellow cabs of Jordan are super affordable, you might like to avoid taking a cab during these hours in order to avoid higher fares and being stuck. Sometimes taxi drivers are also hesitant or they even tell you honestly that it is better to avoid a certain area due to the jams. If possible, plan your travel accordingly and try to avoid longer distance travel during this time and instead opt for walking around.
Be careful about the water you drink
The weather here, especially around summer can present you with sweltering heat and intense perspiration which demands you to stay hydrated, more so during your sightseeing around Petra, Wadi Rum and other hotter places. You cannot drink water straight out of a tap as tap water here is not potable water and has to be filtered to be drinkable. Avoid drinking water from a source you are unsure of. It is advisable to rely only on packaged drinking water to save yourself from stomach upsets. When you go for sightseeing make sure you carry your own bottle of water to keep yourself hydrated. If you feel dehydrated, opt for ORS for quick re-hydration.
Jordan is a beautiful country steeped in a beautifully ancient culture, where the modern life is growing rapidly, coexisting with the ancient, so that the past in not wiped out by the future. The people are friendly, helpful and kind enough to help you around with directions or guidance so feel free to ask around. It is also quite safe, making it perfect for solo and family vacation alike.