Jordan is hot by nature and conservative by inclination. Its capital Amman is a world away from the new-money glitz of Dubai or Abu Dhabi, but it’s still got a great cosmopolitan vibe, with trendy cafes and art galleries popping up on the palm-studded boulevard of the aptly named Rainbow Street.
People packing for a Jordan adventure have to be prepared for all conditions – burning sands, bustling souks and salty seas – and women in particular need to be aware of a few dos and don’ts when it comes to respecting local Sunni dress codes.
So we thought we’d take the guesswork out of things with our definitive Jordan packing guide (well…as definitive as we can be. We still have no idea how to fold a shirt properly or how to ward off the strange voodoo which causes socks to disappear.)
- Wide-brimmed hat: you may look like a dork, but it’s better than frying your head under the desert sun.
- Sunglasses and sunscreen: for obvious reasons.
- Lightweight linen pants: for the sake of religious modesty, short shorts are a no no. Pack a light, breathable pair of pants instead (white is good for reflecting the heat).
- A lightweight jumper/sweater: the nights in Wadi Rum can get pretty cold. Pack a couple of lightweight layering options.
- Non-leather shoes: the desert air and sand will destroy most leather after a while. Consider something more lightweight, open-toed and breathable.
- T-shirts: t-shirts are acceptable, tank or halter tops not so much. The longer the sleeves the better.
- Chapstick and Vaseline: the Dead Sea’s minerals are great for the skin, but they can dry it out in seconds. Some sort of moisturiser is essential.
- Water purification tablets: water in the major cities is usually fine, but these will come in handy as you move through rural communities.
- Wrap or headscarf: more for sun protection than modesty reasons.
- Mosquito coil: consider a natural sandlewood incense coil to ward off mosquitos and other bitey things.
- Gloves and warm socks: temperatures can plummet in the desert at night. You’ll be glad you brought these.
Nice to have
- Camp headlight: good for finding the bathroom in Wadi Rum at night.
- Tripod: almost an essential for photographers keen to capture some killer desert stars.
- Insulated water bottle: avoid buying bottled water (it’s bad for the environment). A well-made insulated model will keep you hydration nice and cool.
- Earplugs: if you’re a light sleeper, earplugs are a good way to block out nearby mosques’ regular calls to prayer.
- Pocket air blower: great for keeping sand particles out of your digital camera.
Al packed and ready to go? Check out our Jordan adventures here.
Feature image c/o Wotjek Ogrodowczyk, Flickr