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Tips For Planning a Trip to Jordan...

 

We put a call out to our Journeywoman membership asking women who've been to Jordan to share their female-centered travel tips. Their emails arrived from Canada, United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Israel and Saudi Arabia. Each bit of advice we've included in this article mirrors their women-centered sensibility and experience. We think you'll find them very helpful.

 

I recommend this guide...
Having returned from a 6-day trip to Jordan we are very pleased to recommend the services of Bashar Herzallah as a driver: Email address: bashar_herzalla@yahoo.com Bashar is very professional, he has many years of experience in his line of work and in dealing with international customers. He is clear to specify that he is not a guide, but his insight and contribution in making the trip enjoyable and interesting turned out to be even better than having a guide. The facts and figures of a country can be researched and read in books and travel guides, but getting the real insight from the locals and interacting with them is what makes the difference between a regular and a special trip. His recommendations ranged from a particular mountain to climb in the middle of the desert (he even accompanied us), a restaurant to have a delicious Jordanian meal, the perfect place to get free internet connection, a highway that would provide a better view and ride to our next destination and even the right steps for a Bedouin dance.
Sibilam, Toronto, Canada

 

I have a guide to recommend, too...
My traveling pal and I (two 50-something women) would like to recommend Bassam Al Bouz as a driver and guide. We were allocated Bouz through the Hertz desk at the Movenpick Resort and Spa Dead Sea in Amman. Bouz was full of interesting information including the history of the places we saw, knew all the best places to stop and went out of his way to make sure we saw the real Jordan. Even on the way to the airport he went off the highway to a side road so we could see the olive groves and grapevines. We think he did a good job. You can contact Bassam Al Bouz in Jordan, tel: +962797206028, email: bassamtrans@yahoo.com
Jeny, Wellington, New Zealand

 

Four tips for you...
When I went to Jordan, I was nine years old. It was one of my most memorable childhood experiences, and I can't wait until I can return as an adult. Thinking back this is what I would advise other women travellers to do: (1) You will be in the desert. Be prepared for heat like nothing you've ever experienced. (2) Some home-made rehydration solution might be handy, especially if you're travelling with kids. (3) Since your water can be warm and unappetizing, some sort of flavouring might make it easier to drink the large amounts of water that you need. (4) Pack bubble wrap, even if you're just out for the day. You can often buy souvenir glass bottles of colourful sand (especially in Petra), but often the artists who make them don't have anything to wrap them in safely for the trip home.
Leah, London, England

Editor's Note: Here's an emergency rehydration remedy that uses ingredients found in most parts of the world. Eat bananas (to replace potassium). Drink cola to replace glucose. Eat dry chips to replace salt.

 

I recommend a hotel and a driver...
I have been to Amman many times and have tired several local hotels -- but my favorite hotel
is the 5-star Amman Marriott. As a woman traveling alone on business I felt very safe at this hotel. The Marriott is centrally located, has a friendly, observant staff, lovely rooms, quick room service, good food, a lively bar, internet service, and a quiet pool area. There is a taxi driver at the Marriott by the name of Wael Farid. I highly recommend him for any sight-seeing jaunts or as a business driver. He is honest, funny, patient, knows how to treat and entertain foreigners, and knows where to take you for the best souvenir deals. His cell # is 079-6l0 287. But you can ask the Marriott taxi service for him or the front desk at the hotel.
Pat, San Francisco, USA

 

Photograph street signs...
I spent a month in Jordan several years ago. If you stay in one of the larger hotels, the cab drivers will often speak English and you can arrange to go almost anywhere in the country with them. Carry a guide book with photos and you can show the driver where you want to go. I took a photo of the street signs where I was staying in case I needed it for any return trips from downtown. It is also good to have a notebook where you can write down the arabic numbers and the corresponding numerals. Shop owners will often (but not always) give you prices in U.S. dollars or Euros.

Petra is a must see. I would not recommend taking the horse and buggy ride there. It's too short a ride and does not save that many steps. There is an evening tour with candlelight that is magical but don't miss going in the day time as well. Bring water with you and wear good shoes. We had a toddler with us and it is a bumpy ride even with a good stroller.
Kathy, Winnipeg, Canada

 

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