Although Jordan isn't considered a budget destination, you'll be able to cut costs if you are prepared to create a few adjustments to your itinerary.
Accommodations, guided tours, entrance fees and restaurants can also add up quickly, but our suggestions can help you plan the very best ways to experience Jordan for less.
Purchase the Jordan Pass
If you're planning to be in Jordan for at least three nights and you're entitled to a visa on arrival, purchase the Jordan Pass. For the price of entrance to Petra, the Jordan Pass includes your visa, plus Petra's entry fee (for one, two or three days, based on which pass you choose) and fees at approximately 40 sites across the nation.
Score deals within the winter
Winters in Jordan are short, but they're also winter, so the crowds thin out and prices have a tendency to drop from late November to February. You'll save money on hotels and tours, but you'll need to be flexible with your itinerary and expectations – wind, snow and rain can cause cancellations.
If you're visiting Jordan in the winter, pack proper cold-weather clothing, especially if you are planning to hike or stay overnight in Bedouin tents in Wadi Rum. Avoid visiting Jordan in January, if possible, since it is often the wettest and coldest month of the season. There are two bright spots to warm things up during the cold months: the weather is usually still pleasant, both in Aqaba and at the Dead Sea.
Skip the foreign chain hotels
Accommodations in Jordan could be pricey. If you are on a budget, hostels for example Nomads Hotel, with locations in Amman and Wadi Musa, and Carob Hostel provide affordable no-frills options. Staying at a hostel also puts you in contact with other budget-minded people – hostel staff and travelers – who are able to offer tips, help make arrangements for lower cost tours and share experiences and expenses (for food and transportation, for instance, if you get together and travel together).
Ask your hostel or hotel about shuttle or taxi services. Some offer airport shuttles, while others offer transportation to popular sites such as Petra, and lots of can arrange taxis and tours that won't be advertised. Booking locally owned boutique hotels is yet another method for saving on hotel costs. The minute rates are usually less than chain hotels, and sometimes you are able to negotiate the cost if you book personally.
Enjoy Amman for free
A high entrance fee isn't required to have fun in Amman. Free activities include going for a walking tour with Pasha Hotel, going to a mosque, people watching on Rainbow Street or Al Balad and exercising with Running Amman. Although the capital is recognized as a costly city, there are plenty of free things to complete in Amman.
Buy alcohol at the airport and have a dry trip
Alcohol in Jordan is pricey as well as on par with prices in cities like La. Readers are permitted to get one liter of alcohol at duty-free shops (in both the airport upon arrival or within Fourteen days of arrival in the Duty Free Shop on Al Abdali Boulevard). Should you really want to cut costs, skip the alcohol entirely and embrace a dry (no alcohol) vacation.
Eat on the go rather than inside a restaurant
Jordan comes with an abundance of fruit and vegetable markets, convenience stores and grocery shops, so if you wish to save money on food, pack a reusable cooler bag. Maintain stocks of snacks and produce, or grab some fresh falafel and hummus for a few dinar, and intend to eat on the go, or picnic in a park or along a hiking trail.
Any imported food will probably are more expensive, so avoid the familiar foods you can find in your own home. Don't forget to grab some Medjool dates, that are grown in Jordan, travel well and therefore are high in antioxidants and nutrients.
If you're hankering for any home-cooked meal, you can have a multi-course feast at Galsoum's Kitchen, a nearby home in Umm Qais, for JD15 (US$21) per person. It's more affordable – and arguably more flavorful – than the usual multi-course meal in a restaurant, and you've got the added experience with meeting a local family.
Hike with a conservation group
Private guided tours can be costly, but thrifty travelers do not have to miss out on the enjoyment. EcoHikers, a Jordanian-operated environmental organization with the motto “let's clean once we hike,” offers affordable guided group hikes to locations round the country (check its Facebook and Instagram for info on upcoming hikes).
The starting point is Amman, and transportation, equipment to participate in trail cleanup and a guide are included. Locals and visitors join these hikes, so the chance to spend some time doing something good together and learning about the land, culture and one these guys priceless.
Take a bus to Petra
Travel to Petra by JETT bus and save the cash you'd invest in a personal driver and guide. Routes for the air-conditioned buses include Amman to Petra, Amman to Aqaba and Aqaba to Wadi Rum.
The bus company also offers daily tours to popular sites through their tourism program. The schedule can be obtained online, but it's subject to change, contact ahead or go to the JETT office personally to book your ticket.
Choose your budget Dead Sea experience
Rates for resorts in the Dead Sea range from around $100 to $400 every night. For a Dead Sea experience without the high price tag, book a day pass rather than an overnight stay. Plan an excursion from Amman or Madaba – and you'll discover more affordable hotels and hostels – or make it a stop in your drive from Amman to Petra, Wadi Rum or Aqaba.
Day pass prices vary and may change, so call the hotels to look around to find the best day pass deal for your budget. The Dead Sea Spa Hotel has one of the lowest rates at approximately JD20 ($28) per person, and also the Holiday Inn Resort Dead Sea will run you around JD35 ($50) per person.
If you're traveling solo, these day-pass rates can help you save money, but when you're traveling with someone, the per-person rate adds up, and you may be thinking about booking a lower-end hotel (such as the Ramada Resort by Wyndham Dead Sea, that amounted to about $100 per night) and staying over. Weekend rates tend to be higher, so planning your stay for a weekday can save you money too.
Another budget option is Amman Beach. Entrance is JD20 ($28) per person, and towel rental is JD5 ($7) per person. Facilities are simple and easy sometimes not very clean, and you'll find a large amount of litter around the beach. It is commonly crowded on weekends (Friday and Saturday), but has access to the Dead Sea and a pool.
Make your personal souvenirs
Book a handicraft activity and get a couple of things for that cost of one: a fun experience to include on your itinerary and a souvenir to consider home, on your own or as a present. Sign up for a basket-weaving lesson or perhaps a stonemasonry experience of Umm Qais, a mosaic-making session in Amman, or Aqabawi handicraft workshops or a Bedouyat ceramic class in Aqaba.
Don't try to do it all
Jordan has a lot to do that you may be overwhelmed trying to plan the perfect itinerary on a tight budget. Accommodations, entrance fees, guided tours and transportation between cities can get costly. If you want to save money, you will need to prune your wish list. Concentrate on two or three of the must-dos and make the most of these experiences, rather than trying to do it all.
Daily costs in Jordan
- Hostel room: US$20 -45
- Basic room for two: US$35 -50
- Self-catering apartment (including Airbnb): US$40+ per night
- Coffee: under US$1
- Sandwich: US$1 -10
- Dinner for 2: US$25