Stunning natural landscapes, important religious sites, incredible historical monuments, and some of the most fascinating geographic points on earth – the small but mighty nation of Jordan in the Middle East is an absolute essential stop for intrepid family travellers.
Guiding you through step by step, here’s exactly how you can plan an amazing family getaway into the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
Visas and Entry into Jordan
Even working out who is allowed to enter a country these days can be as big a challenge as actually trying to plan a trip!
Read up on currently entry rules for Jordan and any changes to COVID entry requirements before booking those flights, then check your Visa requirements. Most nationalities are entitled to visit Jordan with a paid Visa on Arrival (including children).
One thing we would thoroughly recommend though, is getting your hands on the Jordan Pass. This pass covers not only your Visa, but entry to Petra & dozens of other attractions in Jordan for up to 2 weeks, you can understand more about it here.
Safety in Jordan
Jordan precariously sits sandwiched between Israel and the West Bank, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq. Throughout Jordan’s history, they have always been seen as a moderate in the region and one of the safest and most politically stable.
We’d always read up on any Government warnings before travel (UK Foreign Office Travel Advice | US State Department Advice) but generally speaking, Jordan is considered a safe country for international tourists.
Travel Insurance in Jordan
Despite being a relatively safe country to visit, do check that any world travel insurance policies will cover a stop in Jordan. They can often exclude many Middle Eastern countries. We recommend using renowned world travel specialists World Nomads, who understand the region and its nuances.
When to Visit Jordan
Jordan’s geographic location means that there are quite different microclimates around the country, ranging from arid desert in the south to a milder Mediterranean climate in the north. There is no “bad time” to visit Jordan, though do be aware of these regional differences in weather.
The country’s capital Amman in the north, where most visitors arrive at by air, can be very cold in winter – even experiencing snow. Conversely, Aqaba and the Red Sea stay mild in winter (though you’d be brave to take a dip!) and heats up over summer to highs of 40°C/104°F.
For this reason, we always recommend Spring and Fall. The best months for visiting Jordan are April and October, which can conveniently overlap with school holidays.
How to travel around Jordan
The next big step in planning your trip to Jordan is determining what you want to see and do! The main attractions that most visitors come to Jordan to see and experience are:
- Wandering through the Lost City of Petra
- Camp or glamp in the protected Wadi Rum Desert
- Swimming and diving in the Red Sea
- Floating in the Dead Sea
- Driving the famous Kings Highways
- Uncover the ancient city of Gerasa (Jerash)
It’s important to note that none of these places are next to each other! The country is not huge, but highways are not fast, so Amman in the north to Aqaba in the south is about 4 hours. Taking the windy King’s Highway, you are looking at a lot longer – however you tackle it, you’ll need your own transportation.
Confident drivers can look to rent a car from the airport and head immediately south (we don’t recommend driving in Amman unless you’ve seriously got your wits about you!) or investigate a private driver who can take you to all the destinations you need.
We have top driving tips for Jordan here to help you decide if it’s a road trip you’re feeling brave enough to tackle on your own or if you’d rather take a few day tours from Amman, or join a guided tour around the country, such as heading north to Jerash and Umm Qais.
You may find these point-to-point travel guides helpful for navigating the country:
- Amman to Petra
- Petra to Wadi Wadi Rum
- Amman to Aqaba
- Aqaba to Petra
- Amman to Jerash
- Amman to the Dead Sea
- Dead Sea to Petra
- Crossing the Israeli border from Eilat to Aqaba
How many days will I need in Jordan?
Depending on how many of these attractions you want to see in one visit and how thoroughly, we recommend between 5 to 10 days. Of course, longer is always encouraged, but we know many families try to fit a visit to Jordan during a school break and flight schedules.
If you visit for anything less than nine days, you will undoubtedly need to miss some things off your Jordan Itinerary:
- A 9-day family itinerary for Jordan – ideal for those mid-term school breaks
- A 5-day family highlights tour of Jordan – a great one for Eid and long weekends
- Petra Tours from Amman – ideal for weekenders
What to pack for Jordan
This will very much depend on the season. Remembering you are in a Muslim country; it’s always sensible to err on the side of more conservative clothing. You’ll find for dealing with the heat and the types of experiences you’ll want to undertake, long cargos and a shirt to protect your shoulders from the sun will be sensible attire.
We recommend kids wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty! There’s plenty to explore, so through in the usual adventure gear like hats, and sunscreen, and maybe bring along some binoculars and sturdy footwear as there will be a lot of walking.
We have a complete guide on what to wear in Jordan here, including a family packing list to help you on your way!
Ready to tackle Jordan with your family?
Undeniably one of the most fascinating and rewarding family experiences you will undertake, we strongly recommend everyone gets Jordan on their family bucket list!
Jordan Guide Book
For a first-timer looking to visit Jordan, we can highly recommend you download the Step Into Jordan Guide & Itineraries.
This handy digital guide is just $19.99USD and includes:
- An interactive downloadable map
- 36 detailed pages of planning guidance
- Multiple suggested itineraries (10, 7 and 3 days)
- Tips from an expert
- Accommodation recommendations