What to Pack for Jordan
If you are just beginning to organize a trip to Jordan or about to depart, you’ll always have a very important question in your mind: what to pack for Jordan?
It helps to understand several points before you even begin to pile up the items you think you will need:
- What to pack for Jordan always depends on the season in which you will travel
- The items you bring will have to be selected based on the activities you intend to do while on your vacation
- Gender plays a role in the final decisions about what to pack for Jordan
Let’s start with that first point.
What to Pack for Jordan Based on the Season
Small in size, Jordan has a surprisingly varied set of geographic and seasonal conditions. Many people think “desert” when thinking of Jordan, but you have to be more open-minded than that. After all, there are three very separate climatic zones in Jordan.
There is the desert (which is roughly 80% of the country and there are mountains to the west (where most of the cities are found), and then there is the Jordan River Valley, which is a world all its own. These three zones also have four seasons – though winter and spring are quite short and feel like a single period and summer and autumn the same.
Jordan has generally low humidity all year, and this can make even hotter days more comfortable. Days average no more than the low 90s at the peak of summer and the evenings can be quite cool. There is a rainy season from November through March, and anyone planning a visit to Petra at that time may even see snow! Amman also sees snow.
So, when starting to consider what to pack for Jordan, start with the season.
What to Pack for Jordan Based on Your Itinerary
Will you be doing hiking and heading into areas with rough terrain, like the region surrounding Petra? Maybe you are heading to the long coastal area along the briny Dead Sea or the intensely arid Wadi Rum? Perhaps you are dedicating a lot of your time in the cosmopolitan and trendy Amman?
Perhaps all of these things are on your list of things to see and do, and they should each have an effect on the answer to the question of what to pack for Jordan.
Let’s first skip to the third point on that list above – what to pack for Jordan based on gender. Jordan is a very liberal country, but it is a Middle Eastern country and many of those cultural norms exist. This means women will always want to keep their shoulders covered and opt for garments that are neither clingy or sheer.
Pants are fine, but don’t wear skinny jeans or tight and revealing garments. Instead, loose jeans and pants are fine. If leggings are worn, a knee-length tunic is appropriate, and most skirts should be full-length to avoid any problems.
Covering the head is important when in religious sites, but not required the rest of the time. However, a hat is an essential if out in the sun!
Men must also consider societal norms and avoid shorts, even longer “board” shorts as these are often seen similar to undergarments. Baggy pants and loose jeans will be acceptable as well as comfortable and stylish.
Once gender is factored into the equation of what to pack for Jordan, you will want to follow these guidelines:
- Shoes – Go for comfort and protection. Soft, flat sandals are great and can be worn easily in most urban areas. Sneakers or good walking shoes are essential. If you are going into the desert, wadis or into the mountains, hiking boots are a must.
- Outerwear – No matter what time of year you are visiting Jordan, think “layers”. A windbreaker is a good choice, and even better if waterproof. A thin jacket may be a good addition if a windbreaker is not available. Fleece layers can be helpful, too, and a sweatshirt-style top may work well with a windbreaker to offer warmth and protection.
- Pants – Breathable is really the key word here. You are going to be waling and moving about, and though it is dry, you may find yourself very uncomfortable if out in the desert or a warmer area in everyday, heavier and thicker jeans.
- Tops – Skip the tank tops and always opt for looser t-shirts. Not only are they culturally appropriate but far more comfortable. Cap sleeves for women’s t-shirts are as short as you will want to go, but generally, the longer the sleeve, the better.
Women may also want a long skirt or dress that can be worn with a light sweater or even a blouse that can do double duty as a jacket. A shawl is nice for nights out and as a head covering.
In addition to these basic garment suggestions, remember that any trip to Jordan should include that wide-brimmed hat already mentioned, a few pairs of good sunglasses, lots of sunscreen, a cover for when at the beach or pool (for modesty and for sun protection), and a swimsuit. While Jordan is progressive, keep in mind that you never want to upset the sensibilities of those around you, and so a relatively basic one-piece swimsuit for women and swim trunks for men are ideal.
Anything Else When Wondering What to Pack for Jordan?
It is also a very good idea to consider luggage. When heading out on a day trip in Jordan, you will want a day pack that lets you bring a spare canteen or travel bottle of water (or two – it is very dry), any layers of extra clothing, and so on. You also want to keep in mind that you may be doing walking in the cities, and so a light bag that keeps your money and passport safe and close by is a good idea.
Jordan is a wonderful travel destination and easily ranks as one of the most broadminded and tourist-friendly in the Middle East. It is packed with amazing destinations, and if you are ready to pack your bags for a visit, get in touch with the experts at Egypt Tours Plus to find a surprising range of group, private and custom tours in Jordan and stunning combination tours of Egypt and Jordan.
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