JORDAN PACKING GUIDE FOR WOMEN
So you've taken the plunge and decided to book that trip to Jordan. How exciting!
This may or may not be your first trip to the Middle East, and you're probably wondering what the hell should women pack for a trip to Jordan because of all the stereotypes about Middle Eastern countries out there.
But guys! Not only is Jordan super tourist-friendly, it's also really, really progressive. I mean, HELLO Queen Rania?! Not only is she one of the most powerful women in the world, her outspokenness is really encouraged by the king too. She never wears a hijab and is known for wearing super tight-fitting clothes. Just Google “Queen Rania Outfits” to get an idea.
Jordanian women, especially in Amman, are incredibly stylish and their wardrobes are quite Westernized. Form-fitting stuff is totally acceptable, but make sure you avoid wearing things like spaghetti tank tops and shorts outside of Petra, where they are used to tourists wearing whatever they like.
There is absolutely no pressure or need to stress about laws requiring you to wear a hijab or cover your incredibly naughty- looking elbows.
I do recommend to avoid showing too much skin, mostly to avoid unwanted attention and offending the locals. But still, knee-high skirts, and jeans are totally acceptable clothes to wear in Jordan for women.
Should women wear headscarves (hijabs) in Jordan?
Jordan has NO laws requiring to wear headscarves, and veils that cover faces are rarely seen. In fact, wearing a hijab has become more of a trend than a religious statement for Jordanian women in metropolitan cities like Amman.
Don't wear one unless you're actually a Muslim or when visiting holy sites.
You should dress modestly while in Jordan, but that doesn't mean you need to wear a hijab or cover yourself from head to toe.
JORDAN PACKING GUIDE FOR WOMEN
- Breathable pants/trousers. Jordan can be a hot country, but shorts are a no-no due to cultural reasons. A breathable pair of pants is a must!
- Maxi skirts will do the trick as well, but for days in Petra and desert nights, the less-fashionable pant option is worth the comfort.
- A one-piece swimsuit or tankini like this one for the Dead Sea or Aqaba. While it is a touristy area, I recommend wearing a one-piece swimsuit to show respect.
- A cover-up for your tankini. While wearing swimsuits while you're swimming is okay in Jordan, I don't recommend you walk around in them outside the water unless you stay at a high-end resort. For that reason, bring a cute cover-up to go with your tankini. Here are a few I love:
- Short-sleeve tops. Jordan is not a place where you need to cover yourself completely, but covering your shoulders is adviced to be respectful. Still, Jordan can get hot and so, short-sleeve tops are the next best thing to tank tops, so that'll have to do!
- A sweater or hoodie. While temperatures in Jordan tend to be hot, nights can get chilly even during the hottest months of the year, especially in the Wadi Rum desert.
- If you are coming between December and March, pack a jacket - it can get really cold. Consider bringing a fleece, too!
Comfortable hiking shoes. You are basically coming to Jordan to walk long distances – be it in Petra, Wadi Rum desert, or while discovering the endless amounts of sand castles. Durable and comfortable hiking shoes will make your life a lot easier. I recommend the Ahnu's Sugarpine Hiking Shoes.
Travel adapter. Jordan is weird when it comes to what type of sockets they use.
Portable charger. If you plan on staying at Wadi Rum, you'll need a portable charger to be able to use your phone. Electricity there is almost nonexistent and camps are usually solar powered, so it's super important that you pack one like this one.
Phone. You can get a sim card at the airport when you arrive in Jordan. I recommend Orange.
Camera. Jordan is one of the most photogenic countries I've visited, so you'll definitely want to bring a camera to document everything!
I always carry my Panasonic Lumix G7 and absolutely LOVE it! The quality of the photos is great and it's super compact and light. It also shoots video.
Flashlight if you are going to Wadi Rum.
A wide-brim hat to protect yourself from the sun.
Sunglasses + sunscreen
Wrap or Sarong. While covering your head is definitely not expected or even encouraged while you're out and about in Jordan, you'll need one if you plan on visiting mosques.
Gloves + warm socks if you're visiting Wadi Rum during the winter season. It never hurts to pack them even if you visit during the hottest months as a precaution.
Visa. Most nationalities can get a visa on arrival in Jordan for a price approximately $56 USD. Head over here to check if your nationality applies for a Visa on Arrival to Jordan.
BUT. A visa on arrival is not the way to go if you want to save money!
I always love reading books about the destinations I visit, both before and while I'm traveling (there is something magical about wondering if the book's characters ever sat where you're are or if you might be walking their footsteps).
A few books I love about Jordan:
Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life
by Queen Noor of Jordan
Born into an Arab-American family, Lisa found an interest in the Middle East's social issues through her career in architecture.
After a whirlwind romance with King Hussein of Jordan, Lisa becomes Jordan's queen. In this book, Lisa tells the story of her marriage with a king and her joint efforts to bring peace to the Middle East.
Petra: The Red Rose City
by Christian Auge
Deep in the Jordanian desert lies the hidden rose-red city of Petra, carved directly out of the solid rock that rises in sharp ridges above the sands.
Recent excavations provide new information about this mysterious, beautiful and dramatic site.
Married to a Bedouin
by Marguerite van Geldermalsen
Marguerite, a nurse from New Zealand, marries a Bedouin souvenir-seller from Petra.
Her marriage means moving into Mohammad's cave, collecting water from the nearby spring, and getting involved in life as a Bedouin woman.
Her heart-warming tale tells the story of this major twist in her life, the ancient traditions she comes to learn, and the tales of the people she comes to know and love.
A purifying water bottle like the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier. It filters bacteria, viruses, and chemicals from any source of fresh water in a matter of seconds. Not only is it more environmentally friendly than buying and disposing of plastic bottles, but it will also save you tons of money in the long run.
Travel towel – I used to pack a regular towel on my trips and for years I didn't realize how dumb that was. They take up tons of space and take ages to dry, so I decided to give travel towels a go and now I never go anywhere without one. They're super light to carry, take almost no space in my luggage, and they dry super quickly. A huge bonus is that they can double as blankets if you find yourself in a cold plane or bus. I recommend this one by Youphoria.
Packing cubes - They’ll save you tons of space because they compress air and they’re also a great way to stay organized. I always use one cube for one item. Bottoms go into one cube, tops into another, and my underwear + socks into the third one.
I can unpack easily and I always know where to find my things instead of scrambling through my bag and making a mess as soon as I arrive at my accommodation. I use this set of packing cubes from Ebags.
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR JORDAN
Luckily, medical care in Jordan is considered top notch and the best in the Middle East, but services are mostly concentrated in Amman. This means, if something happens, you'd need to be evacuated and transferred to the capital, which could be really, really costly.
From exploring Petra to trekking the alluring Wadi Rum area, Jordan is a hub for adventure-filled activities you're going to want to be covered for minor or bigger accidents.
World Nomads covers most nationalities and over 150 adventure activities that most other insurance companies don't. You can also make claims online and even extend or adjust your insurance while you're already traveling.
And that's it!
If in doubt, make sure whatever you wear covers your cleavage, your stomach, your knees, and your shoulders and you're good to go.