Jordan  – the tiny Hashemite kingdom in the Arab region is most famous for Petra – one of the Seven Wonder of the World. This beautiful semi-arid country also has many interesting places such as Dead Sea, Wadi Rum desert and many beautiful castles & historical monuments from various historical ages such as Crusader era, Roman period and Ottoman empire. It was my childhood dream to visit Petra and me & my 2 close friends visited the stunning Jordan this year on a self-planned trip. Post our trip, we got many enquiries about our trip to Jordan and I am sharing our trip planning experience here benefit of all Indian travellers.

Mesmerized at Petra, Jordan – My childhood travel wishlist

 

A self-planned trip to Jordan is always a better idea economically as well in terms of experience both quantitively & qualitatively. I have broken down the Trip Planning into 5 major components – (1) Travel Itinerary in Jordan (Places to Visit in Jordan), (2) Visa from Jordan, (3) Booking Flights and Accommodation for Jordan, (4) Food & Drinks in Jordan (Eating Out in Jordan) and (5) Transportation within Jordan, including for all sightseeing.

 

8 Day itinerary for Jordan Self-Planned Trip

Me & my friends main attraction to travel to Jordan was visiting Petra, therefore, our self-planned 8-day itinerary allotted 2 day overnight stay in Petra, with one full day and one half day dedicated to sightseeing in this stunning UNESCO World Heritage site. I will share some alternate options at end of our itinerary, in case you don’t want to spent 2 nights in Petra.

Our travel route : India – Amman – Madaba –  Petra -Wadi Rum – Aqaba – Amman – India

Here’s our detailed itinerary for the self-planned trip to Jordan with each day sightseeing describe:

Day 1 : Flight from India  to Amman, Jordan

Day 2 : Pickup from Amman airport & drive to Amman hotel  – overnight Stay at Amman

Day 3 : Pickup from Amman hotel & drive to tour, Jerash city and Ajlun castle and um quaiss continue to Dead Sea – Overnight stay at Madaba

Day 4 : Pickup from hotel & drive via kings highway to tour, Kerak castle, wadi al Mujib, Shobak castle – Overnight Stay at Petra

Day 5 : Full day sightseeing in Petra – Overnight Stay at Petra

Day 6 : Another half day in Petra & later around 02:00 Pm, drive to view little Petra by car & go to wadi rum desert for overnight camping in desert – Overnight stay in Wadi Rum

Day 6 : Pickup from wadi rum & drive to Aqaba city  – overnight Stay in Aqaba

Day 7 : Pickup from Aqaba & drive to tour, MT Nebo, St George church – overnight stay in Amman

Day 8 : Pickup from Amman hotel & drive to city tour, citadel, roman theatre, Amman citadel, old markets and down town old city, drop off at airport late night at Amman Airport (arrive in India in late afternoon/early evening).

Alternate options for Petra sightseeing: In case one wants to stay in Petra for only one day, then alternatively, depending upon interest – (1) Spend one full day in Aqaba scuba-diving at the beautiful diving sites in Red Sea, (2) Visit Dana Reserve, (3) Spend more time in Wadi Rum

I will be sharing my full experience of this beautiful country in a separate post. This post is dedicated to travel planning to Jordan for Indian Travellers.

 

Visa Requirements and Process to Jordan for Indian Travellers

Indian Nationals have Visa on Arrival (VOA)  Facility to Jordan. Further, Jordan has an easy all include access for visitors (called Jordan Pass) to all the monuments via the Jordan Pass, which can be purchased online and it includes Visa Fees. Therefore, once Indian Travellers purchase Jordan Online Pass beforehand, on arrival to Jordan, its an easy process to just show it at the immigration counter and get Visa stamped. Personally, we found that purchasing Jordan Pass online made sense both economically (read below paragraph why) and also made the immigration process quicker on arriving in Amman, Jordan. Please note one needs to carry 1000 USD in cash (or in Forex Card) as part of Immigration requirement to travel within Jordan.

About Jordan Online Pass – The website of Jordan Pass says “The Jordan pass is the ultimate sightseeing package that has been especially tailor-made for visitors to the country. It gives pass holders the ability to make the most out of their trip visiting top sights and attractions whilst saving time, money and efforts”.

Definitely, Jordan Pass makes travel much easier within Jordan and it is very economical too, depending on whichever package one chooses. The Ticket to Petra is not cheap (around 125 USD), therefore, it makes sense to buy Jordan Pass, which not only includes the Petra tickets, but Visa Fees as well as tickets to all major tourist sites in Jordan. We purchased the 2 day Petra Package Jordan Pass which cost us 106 USD (or 75 JD). Check site https://www.jordanpass.jo/ for details and purchase online.

Flights and Accommodation in Jordan

Airfare from India to Jordan varied hugely depending on direct and connecting flights option, how many months beforehand the flights are being booked and of course on the season. Since we had planned to visit Jordan in the peak season of May, we opted for connecting flights from Delhi to Muscat to Amman, which we booked around 4 months in advance.  It cost us around 29k for a return flight on Oman Air.

We had booked out hotels via booking.com and our criteria was budget/3 star hotels. The booking.com website has a large number of listings for hotels suiting every budget and our experience at every hotel was as per description provided at site (meaning no surprises!). We had also booked our Wadi Rum desert camp through Airbnb. Booked Flights and pre-booked hotels (via booking.com or any accepted booking site) are also the requirements for VOA to Jordan.


Important Note for Indian Travellers on Visa, Immigration and Flight Boarding on something called ‘OK TO BOARD’  : In spite of our extensive research and planning, we faced a last minute emergency, when I got call from Oman Air that we do not have “OK to Board’ and should get it cleared from their main office in Muscat. Now we did lot of running around, calls to Jordan Embassy and sitting at the Oman Air office, calling up various people. Long story short, here are the basic things about ‘OK to Board’ in case you are served this twister as an Indian traveller to Jordan by any of the Airlines:

(i)             There is nothing called ‘OK to Board’ – no legal or immigration requirement! It was something in use way back when Indian travellers had to apply for Online Visa to Jordan. However, with VOA facility for Indians to Jordan, this procedure is no longer applicable. However, local offices of some airlines are unaware of this fact (as well as Jordan Pass) and insist on this at time of boarding. The way to tackle is to blast them with information (as I did!!)

(ii)            As per Jordan Embassy, if we have purchased Jordan Pass beforehand, it means we have already paid Visa fees and eligible to enter Jordan . Therefore, no Airlines can de-board or delay boarding on basis of OK TO BOARD permission.

(iii)          Immigration office in India is aware of latest rules and regulations, therefore, in case, the airlines staff try to quote immigration office into the conversation, please insist on them calling the immigration officers at the airport. For information, my immigration at the Delhi International Airport was cleared in 3 minutes flat (and officer said Jordan is VOA so have a nice trip madam!)


Eating out in Jordan (Food and Drinks in Jordan)

The Jordan cuisine has a wide variety of dishes to serve non-vegetarians as well as vegetarians. The Jordan Dinar (JD) conversion rate is around 90 for Indian Rupees, so the budget for each meal comes to around 900-1500 INR per person (depending on food choice). The breakfasts are included in the hotel package. We had packed a lot of ready to eat meals, snacks and energy bars, all of which saved costs on some of our meals. We also partied out on our last day in Amman, which cost 25K in INR (for drinks and food) or 220 JD pprox..

Transportation within Jordan, including for all sightseeing.

Our main worry while planning for travel to Jordan was how will be travel safely within Jordan to the various destinations. Jordan does not have a good public transport system (non-existent) in terms of railways or bus services. A lot of Indian travellers we connected online suggested to either go for self-drive car rentals or hire car rentals with driver. Since we were three women and also were not in mood to drive such long distances, we opted for car rental with driver.

There are many highly rated car rental companies in Jordan and after looking up many reviews on various platforms, we opted to hire a car rental package with Jordania Aventura Drivers (website : https://www.jordania-aventura-drivers.com/index.html). We opted for the 8-day package with car and driver. There are many more options available on their website. It cost us 57,000 INR for the whole package (which came out to be 18 k per person spilt 3 ways). Our experience with this car rental company was excellent; the drivers picked us up from airport on time, were knowledgeable as well as courteous, helpful with information and took great care of us. The car rental backup services kept in touch with all the time to know if everything was going great and even arranged Wadi Rum safari for us at 1/10th the cost of local Bedouin price (but which we eventually couldn’t go – that story is for another post!)

The other option for travellers is to hire local taxis from one destination to another, however, I am not aware how much cost that will incur for the whole trip. For 3 people and more, it is cost effective as well as convenient to hire a car rental + driver package for the whole trip, if one is not in mood to drive oneself.


Frequently Asked Questions for planning a trip to Jordan

While we were planning for the trip as well as after we shared our travel photos on Social Media, many people, especially women got curious and asked us many questions about our self-planned trip to Jordan. I have collated the FAQs here for easy reference. If you have any more questions, please ask in the comments section of the post and I will be happy to answer :

 

Is Jordan Safe Country for Women Travellers?

Jordan is very safe for women travellers (and indeed all travellers). In fact, its way safer to be travelling as a solo woman or group of women in Jordan than in India. Ofcourse, people are curious and ask which country are we from or sometimes Bedouins in Petra strike up a conversation which seems a bit cheeky, but until one keeps common sense intact, its all good fun and no stupid incidences. The police are very helpful and everywhere, so in case one gets lost or needs help, easy access.

How easy it is for vegetarian travellers to find food choices in Jordan ?

Many food options in restaurants. Also one can carry ready to eat meals.

Is it recommended to travel with a travel agency/tour group or do self-planned trip to Jordan ?

I will always recommend a self-planned trip to Jordan as all the various modalities (such as car rental, accommodation, etc) can be easily done by oneself and also the itinerary flexibility lies with us. The travel agency will just charge an overhead. We tried to contact two major travel agencies from India before we commenced on planning it ourselves. The response from both tour companies was very disappointing.

What is the approximate cost of a self-planned trip to Jordan from India?

It all depends on number of days, kind of accommodation and also destinations/activities one wants to cover. Further, if in a group of 3 and above, obviously costs come down a bit (for example – our car rental split 3 ways cost only 18k per person). For our 8 day trip, it cost us 90k per person including all expenses (except our personal shopping).

 

I hope this post helps you plan that long wished trip to Jordan. Do let me know if you need any further help (in the comments).

 

Shukran and Happy Travels


If you like this, then you might find my other travels below interesting :

 

Uzbekistan Trip – On the Great Silk Road

My Hong Kong Self planned Solo Trip

Switzerland Self-Planned Trip

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3 Comments

JORDAN tour packages · August 17, 2018 at 11:25 am

Awesome!! That looks so dreamy, Unreal ! I am packing my suitcase for Sicily and I’m really hoping to get some gems of experiences and photos as good as yours. Incredible jordan!

Joice · August 14, 2018 at 4:46 am

I’m a person who is afraid of travelling, but having read your posts, it gives a kind of boost to explore … Thank you !!

Shibani Ghosh · July 25, 2018 at 8:48 am

Thank you very much for this detailed itenary. Sushmita you are a pro on travel as well as always having an explicit and clear information on your blog. I enjoy reading about your experiences and adventures.
Shibani

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