Important Facts to know visiting Jordan with kids

Kids in a cave in Wadi Rum Jordan

Planning a trip to Jordan with kids?  All the important facts you need to know before you go!

In this post, we will cover:

Want to know how to tackle getting around Jordan?  Pop over to our itinerary post for our 9-day highlights tour

Jordan Map - Itinerary for a 9 day road trip with kids

Is Jordan family-friendly?

Absolutely!!! Now let’s be clear, it’s not Disney World.  This is the opposite end of the spectrum for family travel but equally exciting and rewarding.

I’ve often heard the Middle East described as “a lot of rocks and sand” (In fact I’ve probably used that expression too) – but curious and adventurous children couldn’t love this combination more!!  

It is the perfect place for outdoor exploration and introducing many concepts around history, religion and nature –  a world schooling paradise!

Jordan Road Trip with kids - Wadi Rum

Is Jordan Safe?

Jordan has a rather auspicious geographic position in the world for sure; sandwiched between Israel and the West Bank, Syria and Iraq doesn’t conjure up the most family-friendly of images.  

Throughout Jordan’s history, they have been a moderate in an otherwise unstable region. Please, please never taint a whole region by the actions of few.  

Read up on current politics before planning a trip to Jordan, and check any Government warnings before making assumptions. Be broad-minded. The Jordanian Government undoubtedly faces refugee issues, particularly from Syria, since 2011.  

As tourists, you are very unlikely to be exposed to this and any related troubles unless you head to the northern border areas. Tourism is critical to the country’s future, and valued guests are treated as such. At the time of writing, Jordan is considered very politically stable.

Current Government Advisory from UK | Australia | US 

Like so many less developed countries, hygiene and road safety are likely to be the most important things to be mindful of when travelling with children.  And, of course, in any country that gets a lot of sunshine with outdoor activities, be mindful of sun protection. 

We also find mosquitos to be a bit of a nuisance, particularly at the Dead Sea. CDC also implies that it’s possible to catch typhoid fever. To stay safe, you should get vaccinated before your trip.

Note some travel insurance companies may not cover you for Jordan!  Please read your policy fine print. 

Wadi Rum view in Jordan

Religion in Jordan

Jordan is predominantly a Sunni Muslim country, but by our experience, more liberal than many of the neighbouring Gulf States. Christians make up around 6% of the population, mostly in the north near Amman and are very accepted.

When staying in Amman, you may at first be overwhelmed by the sound of the call to prayer, waking you quite early in the morning! The way Amman sprawls over the hillsides and valleys makes for an amazing echo.  It’s really enchanting, but for some, it might be a surprise!

Visiting during Ramadan? Although not as strict as some of the neighbouring Gulf countries, moderation in behaviour is expected around the holy month of Ramadan. Check out this first-timers guide to Jordan for more on visiting Jordan at this time and solo travel tips.

What should women wear in Jordan?

Women dress quite conservatively throughout Jordan. Not always fully covered, but you will get a mixture of the young fashionable types and the more traditionally dressed. Most will wear, at the very least, a headscarf and longer sleeves and legs.

Visiting women are not required to wear any head covering, but you may feel most comfortable with something covering knees and shoulders. Avoid too much cleavage and anything over-revealing out of respect to the predominantly Muslim culture.

Respectable dress and longer sleeves where possible in Jordan for women

Around beach resorts, you’ll be fine in skimpier attire but still be considerate of the more conservative local population.

What to pack for the family

If you are heading to Petra or Wadi Rum, expect warm days and cool nights. Some form of scarf or head wrap kept with you for either the wind, sun or modesty is probably a good idea.

For the children, bring clothes you don’t mind if they come home ruined! Our lot put their clothing through some serious wear and tear with all their climbing and exploring.  

Hats and sunscreen, of course, are a good idea wherever you go.  Ours loved having their hoodies to keep them warm and protected from the breeze – but 5 minutes later, it would be sunny and hot!

Sensible climbing footwear is a must, too; avoid Crocs or flip flops unless you’re only going to Jordan for the beach. For extra fun for the kids, why not pack torches for cave exploring, binoculars, magnifying glasses – anything small and lightweight really that will help them get more out of their exploration?

Things to pack for kids in Jordan
Our kids were fighting over the little binoculars and torch they were lent for our road trip – we’d definitely get them one each next time!

Jordan Visa Requirements

Citizens of most countries can purchase a visa on arrival.  For exceptions, please see the Visit Jordan visa information page.

  • Single entry month-long visas are 40JOD each ($56USD)
  • Double-entry visas valid for three months are 60JOD ($85USD)
  • Multiple entry visas valid for six months are 120JOD ($170USD)

This is a great guide on how to extend your tourist visa (the right way!) if you’re planning a longer trip.

Get yourself a Jordan Pass

Another option (we wish we’d researched better!) is to buy a Jordan Pass in advance.  A Jordan Pass not only gives you access to over 40 attractions across the country, it INCLUDES your single entry visa!  

So with a price tag of 70JOD ($99USD), even if you only visit Petra for a day you’ve immediately saved yourself  20JOD!

There are 3 different Jordan passes depending on how many days you’ll be visiting Petra, all other features are the same for visitors staying a minimum of 3 nights (4 days):

  • 70JOD Jordan Wanderer – 1 day at Petra
  • 75JOD Jordan Explorer – 2 days at Petra
  • 80JOD Jordan Expert – 3 days at Petra

Note: Children under 12 visit attractions in Jordan for free. They do, however, require an entry visa regardless of age – yes, including infants

Learn more about budgeting for a Jordan trip here.

Jordan's capital Amman at sunset | Our Globetrotters

Best Time to Visit Jordan

One of the great things about Jordan is almost year-round travel weather.

The summers are hot, especially in the south, but more bearable than further south and into the Gulf states.  

The winters in Amman are cold and probably too cold for a dip in the Dead Sea, but not unbearably cold for exploring around Petra and Wadi Rum, albeit winter is the quiet season and many places may be closed.

The shoulder seasons are therefore long and enjoyable.  April and October are the best times to visit but with the right clothing and preparation, you can really visit year-round.

Jordanian Food and Kids

Two of our three kids are absolute fussy buggers at the best of times so it was little surprise they turned up their nose at a lot of the local food on offer.

Jordanian food is most closely related to Lebanese, so you can expect a lot of Mezze-type dishes served with flatbread.  Some of the common dishes and ingredients are hummus, kibbeh, bulgur, falafel, fattoush, eggplant, tomato, olives and olive oil.

If you are staying in a Bedouin camp, you will most likely get to try a meat dish called Zarb which is cooked in a submerged oven! You can, of course, expect in touristy areas to get Western dishes like pizza, pasta, and nuggets.

Making any alterations to the menu though, may result in confusion – you have been warned!!!  All else fails parents of fussy ones, a large supply of dry crackers in your handbag. They won’t starve but for the sake of the moaning…..

Traditional Bedouin lunch being prepared by our guide in Wadi Rum
Watching our Bedouin guide prepare a traditional camp lunch in Wadi Rum desert

Further Resources to prepare for visiting Jordan

Guide Book: Where would we be without our trusty Lonely Planet, right?  The Jordan guide doesn’t cover much in the way of kids-specific activities, but it’s the type of country where you’ll easily find a way to work them into grown-up adventures.

Further Reading: For more on the culture and background of Jordan and the Bedouin culture, a highly recommended book is Married to a Bedouin by Marguerite van Geldermalsen. See here for more great books about Jordan (fiction and non-fiction) to read prior to your trip.

Money & Banking: You need Jordanian Riyal or a credit card to pay for everything.  ATMs start to become scarce the further away you are from Amman, or if you find one, it may not be working! I’d recommend taking some cash to go to an exchange if necessary as a backup.  

(That said, when we ran out of cash in Petra’s depths, they pulled out a card machine for us!!  Some places have definitely moved with the times).

Itinerary: Don’t forget to check out our Road Tripping Jordan with Kids post for our recommended itinerary and facts on how to hire a car and put together a self-drive tour, along with recommendations on where to stay.

Facts to know planning a trip to Jordan

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and get going to Jordan, one of the best-untapped family travel destinations in the world!!

Camels walking in the desert invitation to join Facebook Group Family Travel in the Middle East

© Our Globetrotters

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6 thoughts on “Important Facts to know visiting Jordan with kids

  1. Andrea Beck says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve been looking for days on the internet and couldn’t find out whether children would need to pay full price or not for a visa, or if they needed one at all… this is the only site I’ve found with this information… not even the official government sites outline that children of all ages need to pay for the visa..
    so thank you so much!
    I will be making your website one of my favourites as I also have 3 kids and find it very interesting. as you sy, Lonely Planet guides are great for adults but lacking in info for travel with children.
    Thanks again and my compliments for you wonderful website!

    • Globetrotters Admin says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, yes indeed there are some countries that the guide books just don’t cover well for families! We have just returned from Egypt and had similar issues with gaps in information, and understanding when children are and aren’t included as separate people! Indeed it was our experience in 2017 in Jordan that every person needs a visa and they’re not cheap. You can consider the Jordan pass too, but kids get free entry under 12 years to most of the big sites, so the Jordan pass is of best value to adults who would otherwise pay full price at all the major attractions.

  2. Shea says:

    Keri you have just made me realised how accustomed to the Middle East we have become. You have pointed out so many little things about travel here that I wouldn’t think to mention because they have become second nature. Really enjoyed reading this. X

    • Globetrotters Admin says:

      Thanks so much Shea! Certainly living in the Middle East I think helps prepare you for what to expect – but Jordan still had many surprises for us!

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