Whenever you are traveling, it is always important to exhibit caution by carefully planning your trip. This applies to every country in the world. Jordan is not excused from this. But this kingdom is generally considered safe for you and other tourists. But there are still things to consider and put in mind before visiting this beautiful nation teeming with a rich history, colorful culture, tasteful cuisine, and friendly people. The question every traveler loves to ask, especially for countries in the Middle East is always “Is it safe to travel to this country and that country?”. It could be a complex thing answering for other nations, but if the query is directed to the Kingdom of Jordan, the answer is a resounding, “Yes, it is generally safe to travel to Jordan”. Knowing this fact together with this useful things to remember will greatly put your mind at ease when you visit Jordan.
Does Syria Threaten the Peace and Order in Jordan?Generally NO. This, despite Jordan sharing a border with Syria, does not make the country unsafe to travel. The civil war happening in war-torn Syria doesn’t affect Jordan. Thanks to a round the clock and highly trained security forces, the Jordanian-Syrian border is kept in check at all times. Refugees fleeing Syria undergoes strict security checks before being allowed entry to Jordan. The last recorded terror attack in Jordan occurred more than a decade ago in 2005. A similar plot was thwarted in 2012 and a strengthened anti-terror law was passed in 2014 – thereby providing a more stable blanket of security among Jordanian locals and tourists alike.
Theft and Other CrimesMost tourists visiting Jordan are always surprised to know that Jordan has a low crime rate. It is lower than most countries – including those in North America, Asia, South America and Europe. The locals take it upon themselves in ensuring the safety of tourist’s belongings. They know that any occurrence of theft will dampen their country’s image. No locals would want to create a bad impression on their tourism industry where most people rely on for earning a living. Harsh punishment awaits those who will be caught committing thievery and other crimes. It is difficult to find a job in the country. Punishment involves getting fired from their job and becoming blacklisted from other companies. Because of this, locals do not want to involve in crimes. That said, it is important to still be aware of some scams that targets tourists.
Speaking of, here are some Scams to be Mindful of:Overpriced taxi cab fare: There are reports of a few taxi drivers deliberately misread their taxi meter by pointing at that it should have an added zero to it. They increase your fare by one digit from for example 9 Jordanian Dinar will become 90 Jordanian Dinar. The solution here is to politely protest and tell the cab driver that you have already taken numerous trips on the same route before. Or do your own research or get help from very reputable travel agency. Most cab drivers are friendly and honest in genera. It is just always smart to be alert but never paranoid about dealing with them. Beware of made in China items advertised as “authentic local product”: The most common scam in most tourist destinations in Asia involves this trick. We all know how China has become a global manufacturer of almost everything under the sun. We know that most items being sold globally are mostly made in China. Some vendors in Jordan would market their souvenir items as crafted locally by resident artisans. But the truth can be that – it was all imported from China. Make sure to ask a local or your tour guide before purchasing any souvenir object. Avoid stopping and talking to mischievous kids on the road: Do not stop to entertain kids trying to flag your rental car. A few reports have been filed in recent years about kids demanding for Jordanian Dinar from tourists. They will try to break you car’s bumper lights if you do not give them money. This normally happens on the route between the Dead Sea and Madaba.
Other Safety Must-Do’sBeing aware of typical tourist trap scams is one thing and knowing safety measures is another. Just like traveling to other countries, it is paramount to be mindful of these simple safety tips:
- Always carry your wallet and passport inside a safety pocket inside your bag. Just bring enough cash when you go around since there are ATMs everywhere especially in the big city.
- Always require the driver to use their taxi meter whenever using a taxi or any public transport vehicle. Or agree with a definite fare for other type of public transport vehicles.
- Always keep your passport securely stored deep into your bag and keep a photo of it in your email.
- If you go out for a party, do not get too drunk. You will become the apple of the eye of pickpockets not only in Jordan but in other countries.
- Always follow the dress code when visiting temples, mosques, and other famous landmarks.