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Coronavirus Travel Updates

Always check the sites below for any current updates, but we needed a negative PCR test within 72 hours of landing. You will also need to register and pay 20 JOD ($30 USD) for a rapid test to be done onsite, as soon as you land in the airport. You will need to click the button below to purchase the rapid test in advanced and before boarding your flight to Jordan you will need to show this QR code. If you don't already have it prepurchased, it's not the end of the world, as you can buy it on your phone in line. It will save time and stress to do it ahead of time and you won't have to deal with your slow internet speed while traveling. We received the results in a few hours via WhatsApp but they also put a sticker on our passport with a QR code that allowed us to scan them for the results. Since we all tested negative we didn't need to show these results to anyone or do anything further.

Things To Do Before you Travel

MONEY EXCHANGE: If you have a money exchange local to you, I always try and get the money before getting to the airport/to my destination. It just alleviates the stress of having to worry about it on travel day or the fees associated with doing it at the airport or in the country that you are traveling to. If you are unable to do this, they usually always have a place in the airport when you land. However, if you land super early or late, they might not be opened so you will need to keep an eye out for an ATM or store front in town to exchange money. They usually have pretty high interest rates, but better than nothing!

JORDAN VISA: Jordan issues single entry visas to U.S. citizens upon arrival at Queen Alia International Airport (AMM) and most international land border crossings. There is an option to purchase a Jordan Pass which will cover the cost of the visa at the airport and grant you free access to over 40 of Jordan’s top and most beautiful tourist attraction sites, including Petra. One thing to note, is that this pass covers the FEE of the visa, but you will still need to stop by the kiosk at the airport to show the QR code and your passports to obtain the visa stamp. If you are unsure of where to go, you should be able to ask anyone that works there to help point you in the right direction, but there were about 4 kiosks right before the passport check.


Click this link to explore some of Jordan's top attractions:

Just to kind of sum of the benefits of the pass for you:

  • The cost of a visa on arrival to Jordan is 40 JOD ($56.50 USD)

  • A one-day entry ticket for Petra is 50 JOD ($70.50 USD)

  • Basic Jordan Wanderer Pass 70 JOD ($98.70 USD)

So, even if you just plan on entering Jordan and going to Petra, you have already saved 20 JOD ($28.20 USD). Plus the entry fees of the other tourist attractions included in the Jordan Pass make it worth it.

Showing your Visa & Covid-19 Test

VISA: I was very nervous with this one, because usually acquiring a visa takes a process and an application to be filled out, so I was worried that we would run into issues. However, when we landed and got off of the plane it was a simple process of handing over our passports and showing the papers for the Jordan Passes that had the QR code. They stamped our pages and we were off to the next checkpoint of passport checks. If you go through the line to the passport check and get up front without the visa stamp, they will simply direct you to the kiosk to have this completed and then you will have to go back in line.

NEGATIVE COVID-19 PCR TEST: We were asked to show this a few times in the boarding/landing process:

  1. When we were checking our bags at the airline counter

  2. When we were in line to board the plane, we had to show it with our boarding pass and passport

  3. When we exited the plane and were in line to take the rapid test

ONSITE COVID-19 RAPID TEST: As soon as you exit the plane, you will be in a single file like and approached by someone checking your negative PCR test within 72 hours of landing, as well as the QR code that shows you paid for the onsite rapid test (this link was above). Once he confirms this, you will be sent to a small sectioned off room where they will ask for your passport and complete the rapid test. They place a QR code sticker on your passport for you to have access toyour results later that day, as well as send a text to your WhatsApp under the number that you provided.

Renting a Car in Jordan

After doing tons of research we realized that it was more beneficial to rent a car from the airport and drive ourselves around, which costed us about $165 total for 4 days. We were booking some of this last minute, so I think the prices were much better further out, but unfortunately, we had to wait.


Roads are extremely well paved and traffic isn’t hectic like you might find in Cairo, Egypt. There are tons of other options, like airport shuttles and pre-arranged cars that can take you anywhere, if you don’t feel comfortable driving yourself. Everything we wanted to do was relatively spread out, so we like to be on our own time and not stuck to a guideline of someone else driving.

We rented from Thrifty which was inside the AMM airport. Again, we just simply asked someone that worked there and they gave us the directions to the Rental Car section inside. It was a very smooth pick up and drop off process, minus some miscommunication about the fuel tank.

CONS with Thrifty Rental:

  • We had to put about $15 in the tank as soon as we left the airport, but they told us to fill it up to full on our way back. When I asked if we could get the $15 back and showed the receipt with the time stamp, he was very rude and told me I shouldn't have filled it all the way up then.

  • Not the best windshield wipers and brakes for a surprise snow storm.

PROS with Thrifty Rental:

  • All in all, I have dealt with much worse with rental cars in other countries and there were no hidden fees and nothing was required like wildly high insurance costs, so what we signed up to pay online, is what we paid.

RENTAL CAR TIPS: I ALWAYS take my own pictures of every possible angle of the car and make sure to take detailed pictures of any visible bumps or scratches. They typically do this also, but it doesn't hurt to have your own angles and proof as well. 

In searching for our options I came across this website that does transfers and you just put in the pickup and drop off locations to see how much money they are. You can decide if it’s worth the money for what you need:

Getting Gas in Jordan

This was an extremely easy process and honestly there was a TON of well lit gas stations, even at 11p at night, on the highway. We filled up 3 times and they all took Visa and dinars and we simply said "full" and they understood exactly what we needed. My biggest rule of thumb is to never let the tank go below 1/2 a tank, or 3/4 a tank, if you're ever uncertain. It's just SO easy to lose track of your gas tank when you are worried about so many other things when driving in a foreign place. The last thing you want to do is hit a strip of your trip that doesn't have a gas station for awhile. There is nothing quite as terrifying like that feeling of you potentially running out of gas in the middle of nowhere with no cell service.

Wadi Rum Desert

Once we picked up the rental car we started towards Wadi Rum Desert, which was about a 3 1/2 hour drive from the airport, where we stayed at the Desert Magic Camp. There are literally hundreds of camps available now to stay in out there, so your options are endless when you are searching. We were looking for something on the nicer, but cheaper, side so we found this camp that had a tent that fit 3-4 people and had its own bathroom. Some of the camps also have the bubble tents, which are more of a luxury stay, if you are looking to go that route. This tent saved us a ton of money and still had the option to watch the sunrise from our porch area. We also found out from our tour guide that they were one of the original camps ever to start a business in Wadi Rum and many of the newer more "IG popular" ones are ran by the government, so I'm ultimately happy we chose one that belonged to a local Bedouin family.

Because this is in the middle of the desert, you will need 4-wheel drive, which our rental car did not have. Our contact at the camp had us meet them at a parking lot in town, where we parked our car for our entire stay and they drove us up to the front of the camp, as well as back to our car when it was time to leave.

Below is their exact website, but we were able to book the tent on Expedia for a cheaper price.

 Most camps also have their own tours such as jeep tours, hikes, camel rides, etc. All of them will include you exploring the insanely beautiful sand dunes in one way or another. We chose a 6 hour jeep tour, which you usually ride in the back of the jeep, but because it was so cold in January we chose to ride inside. Honestly, it was still so beautiful and such a fun day of exploring and learning. Here's what was included: 

  • Siq Um Al Tawaqi

  • Tea at multiple different stops

  • Alameleh Inscriptions

  • Sand Dune Area

  • Seven Pillars of Wisdom

  • Burrah Canyon

  • Lawrence's House

  • Mushroom Rock

  • Um Fruth Rock bridge

  • Abu Khashaba canyon

  • Lunch Included

 The main tent has a dining area where breakfast, lunch and dinner is available at the camp upon request and the chef made the most amazing local dishes for us to try. This main tent also has wifi if you are in need of connecting, so we came up here one night to eat the amazing food, drink some tea, smoke some hookah and just hang out. 


Spending The Day Exploring Petra

This was only a 2 hour drive for us from Wadi Rum. It is one of the 7 Wonders of the World and absolutely incredible in person. You could honestly spend a full day here and sometimes even split it between 2 or 3 days. They also have the Petra at Night tours available, which due to some minor bumps in the road with our travel plans, we were unable to make it.

  • Hours: 6am- 4pm every day

    • We had some what of an unusual situation as there was a random snow storm the night before we got here, which caused a lot of people to stay off of the roads and road closures.

    • Although we planned to get here by 6AM to try and be one of the only groups there, we very slowly made our way to Petra and arrived by 7AM. I believe the snow storm/cold weather helped with pushing back some of these crowds.

    • We honestly had the entire place to ourselves, minus a handful of tour guides and 4 other people total, for about 2-3 hours. When we were walking back towards the front, that's when we started seeing the tour groups walking in around 9:30am-10am

  • Weather: I had ZERO idea that it got as cold as it was that day and luckily we had some fluffier jackets that we could layer, but it was in the 30s. January is typically a colder month as is, but the snow storm definitely made it drop even lower. Keep an eye on the weather when you go to make sure you pack accordingly.​

  • Admission: 50 JOD ($70.50 USD)​​​

    • However, if you have the Jordan Pass you will just need to show this with the QR code and this fee is waived​

  • Parking: there is a free visitor parking lot right across the street from the entrance​

Below is a map from and it's a perfect visual of what all there is to see and do at Petra. There are more detailed ones that you can find that also show the hiking trails on the property as well, but this will show the main information.

  • We took our time and it took us about 2-3 hours to walk from the entrance, through the Siq, stop at the Treasury, walk to the Theatre and continue on to the Royal Tombs. We were even able to hike up and go inside the rock formation building which was honestly my favorite part​.

    • Looking at the map we were close to getting to the end, but it was so cold and we were ready to make our way back.

    • On our way back we allowed one of the tour guides to take us to the small hike overlook for 7JOD/ person.

      • I will talk about this more below​

  • After that, we made our way back through the Siq and stopped at a small store, which we spent about 20 minutes in looking around, talking and purchased a few items.

  • So, if you are wanting to make it to the Monastery, I would carve out 5-6 hours just to have enough time to actually enjoy it all, take it in and get pictures if you want to.

Petra Map from Petra Vistor Centre w Text (1).jpg
  • Walking Around:

    • Before we went, we heard that Petra was much like the Pyramids in regards to tour guides bombarding you. Since we went when it was rather empty, there wasn't many people there but maybe 5 total tour guides. At the entrance there were a few people that approached us about tours, that we politely declined.

    • Once inside we had several people ask if we wanted a donkey ride, the store owners were asking us to come look inside their stores and then maybe 2 or 3 asked us if we wanted to hike the rock in front of the Treasury for the cool viewpoint.

      • I will talk about this more below​

    • From what it looked like there were stores and tables with trinkets lining the entire walk passed the Treasury on to the tombs, where people typically sell things. No one had set up their stations that early, but I can imagine it gets pretty hectic with them constantly asking you to check out their items.

    • We did stop in at one of the shops on the way out to get a few more small things to bring home and they were so helpful and welcoming. It's definitely their slow season so I am sure they are appreciative of any and all business. They gave us hot tea as we walked around, offered us hookah and even went into detail about the history of some of their items without ever making us feel pressured to buy anything.

Different Locations for Pictures
of the Treasury

  • Walking Through the Siq:

    • The first 20 minutes of the walk will pass by an Obelisk Tomb and then you will be walking through what is called the Siq, which reminded me of Antelope Canyon in Arizona.

  • Glimpse of the Treasury:

    • As you come to the end of the siq, you will see a sneak peak of the Treasury until it is full showing, in all of its glory. If you pan to the right there is a rock that sticks out that you can climb on to sit and snap a picture.

  • Overhead View of the Treasury:

    • There are several spots that a local guide can take you to. The easiest is on the right and is a 5-10 minute hike (pictured below), where as the one on the left is about a 15-20 minute hike and slightly higher ground. Both require a guide, which won't be an issue finding one, as most approach you and show you the picture anyways. There is one additional hike that is much more strenuous and involves more hiking and rock scrambling for about 45 minutes to an hour. This one you can do on your own but is similar to the second viewpoint since it's the same height, it's just from the opposite side.

Before we hit the road onto the next spot, we stopped for an early lunch at a place that one of the workers at the Petra gift shop told us about. It was SO good, I had to share- My Mom's Recipe Restaurant, which was a straight shot from when we walked out of Petra. It was very close and walkable and for comfort you can put it into your Google Maps and it will take you right there.

The Dead Sea

After a nice meal and some Turkish coffee, we walked back to the car and set off to our final destination of the trip, the Dead Sea! Our hotel, the Movenpick Resort & Spa Dead Sea, was a 3 hour drive through very windy, mountainous terrain pretty much the entire way.

In a perfect situation, with perfect weather, you can walk straight down from the hotel to the Dead Sea and experience the mud bath there, as well as floating. However, the storm that came through caused it to be too choppy so we had to find another way. We were dead set on finding somewhere else to enjoy the Dead Sea, because we did not come all this way to not be able to float and experience the natural mud baths ourselves.

My friend found out that two hotels down from us had public access (Dead Sea Public Beach), so we parked at the Dead Sea Spa and walked straight through the hotel to the back. Make sure to bring your own towels though, as they will only let you borrow towels if you have a room at the hotel.

Once you get to the beach there is a guide who helps everyone with the process. He had us soak in the dead sea for 10 minutes and then we began the fun part of painting the mud all over our bodies and faces. After about 10 minutes, or so, of letting the mud sit, we got back in the Dead Sea to rinse it off, which is when we got to float and relax. It really is a crazy feeling to just relax your entire body and have it all float to the top. My first thought when I thought of salty water is that it would make your skin super dry, but this water was almost like we dunked ourselves in oil. It was so slippery and rejuvenating on our skin, we felt like a million bucks afterwards- seriously the best free spa day ever.

We started our final day with a good complementary breakfast and just relaxing around the hotel. We hit the road a little early to make it back to the airport at a time we didn't have to rush, which I highly suggest doing. We had to fill up our gas tank and return the car and with the storm hitting this area the hardest, we didn't know what we would run into on the roads back to Amman. The rental return took no time at all but from that point on we were stopped almost anytime there was a checkpoint. At the baggage check counter, we had to fill out paperwork to get home, which took about 15 minutes, and provide our negative covid-19 test. From that point, we were stopped about 3 different times when getting our bags checked, which added even more time as they had me take out an entire half of my luggage and then just left me to put it all back. By the time we made it to the plane there wasn't too much time left to play with, so definitely do not risk missing your flight and plan to leave earlier than usual.

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