Jordan is a relatively expensive country. This is the opposite of what many might expect. With minimal resources of their own and ever-growing population due to its geographic location and no oil, basic things are pretty expensive here. However, if you want to travel Jordan on a budget, There is a number of things that can help you keep the costs down.
Fly with Charter Airlines to Jordan
Low-cost airlines are getting more accessible to everyone nowadays. When you are in/from Europe, flying with these airlines will help you achieve traveling to Jordan on a budget. At a price of less than €100, sometimes for as low as €20, you can already get a flight to Jordan. Ryanair and EasyJet are examples of these low-cost airlines and they both fly to both Aqaba and Amman – two airports in Jordan. Deciding which airport to fly into will also help you keep the cost down. If you are planning to explore more of the Southern part of the country, then flying into Aqaba Airport is your best choice. Otherwise, fly into Amman.
Use Public Transportation
Jordan offers different ways of public transportation. You can go all local and take buses that only leave when they are full. This is where you need to knock with your ring on the window if you want to jump out along the way. A more convenient way of taking buses in Jordan is through Jett Bus company. They operate in most major touristic cities in Jordan. And you can pre-buy the tickets so you can make sure that you can fulfill your itinerary and stick to your schedule at a low cost.
Rent a Car
Renting a car is no doubt one of the most popular ways to keep a trip on a budget almost anywhere you go. It will also make your Jordan on a budget trip more achievable as online deals are available to allow you to rent a car at a cheaper price than usual. Having the ability to pre-book a car online, this will give you time to plan and focus more on other things. It also saves you the hassle of looking for cheaper options and haggling when you get to Jordan. Just always make sure that you are renting from a legitimate company. And make it a point to rent from a proper company to make sure that you can insure yourself properly. There’s only a hand full of rental car companies in Jordan that are able to get you a full CWD insurance. If in doubt, ask someone like us.
Note: We advise you to purchase a sim-card with the internet so you can use online GPS and you have a convenient form of communication in case of emergency. Sim cards are very cheap and readily available at the airport.
Book Cheap Accommodation
Accommodations are not always cheap, and especially in places such as Petra, the price can end up incredibly high. The little town hosts more than a million visitors every year and hotels don’t have enough space to host everyone. As a result of high demand, prices skyrocket even for backpackers’ hostels. It is almost always wise to book ahead of time to get the best deal. In places like Aqaba, the high-season lays differently. Many locals and people from neighboring countries head to the coastal town for holidays making the prices go up. Make sure to look into accommodations’ availability the moment you think of traveling to Jordan on a budget.
Walk Your Way Through the Country
It is no secret that walking tours or just by yourself or group are one of the best ways to cut costs. Jordan is no different. It is a home to a beautiful walking trail that starts from the most northern part of Um Qais and ends at the Red Sea, in Aqaba. Parts of the Jordan trail can be done unguided and along the way, you can stay in small hotels or camping at beautiful places. Remember, it’s important that you do your research. Some valleys are dangerous to hike alone and you need to do proper planning to make sure you have enough water, for example, to hike your way along this trail. You can find more information on the website of the Jordan Trail.
Eat Like the Locals & Prep Your Own Meals
Falafel sandwiches are an all-time favorite, head out to bakeries where they fry fresh falafel in the morning. You can either sit at the restaurants to enjoy the falafel, hummus, and other dishes spread out on the table, together with a cup of sweet tea. Or, have the bakery make you a falafel sandwich that you can take along with you on the go. Other cheap options are shoarma, manakeesh (pastries with goat cheese or sprinkled with Za’atar), or ask around for places where they serve different dishes with chicken and rice. And if you’re heading out for a day, then you can head to the local supermarket and bakery to get your own cheap flatbread and prepare your own lunch.
By a Jordan Pass
As soon as you arrive at one of the northern borders or via Amman Airport and you want to visit Petra, then a Jordan Pass makes sense and saves you money. This ticket combines both the visa and entry tickets and gives you access to many historical sites in Jordan. Please note that if you want to visit Bethany beyond the Jordan you need to pay an additional fee. Also for the Jordan Pass, you need to buy this before you depart to Jordan and do this in time. There’s no desk at the airport where you can buy this pass upon arrival. You can purchase it here.
Travel at the Right Time
Charter airlines only offer flights on certain periods of time at the moment. If the neighboring countries are on holidays, there us a higher chance that flight prices go up. Make sure to check events online. If there are big events happening on your target date and location, there is a higher chance that accommodation prices are expensive. Also, check the weather! This is a very underrated and free way to cut your costs down. When in doubt, contact us to help you travel Jordan on a budget.
An example of a Jordan on a Budget Trip:
Day 1. Arrival to Amman
You can take the airport shuttle to the 7th circle but this is depending on the time of arrival. The shuttle is free but only operates during the daytime. From the 7th circle, you may take a taxi to your hotel in Amman for the overnight stay. If you choose a budget hotel in Amman that is located close to the Roman Theather and Citadel, then you can save money on taking taxis and just walk your way through Amman.
Day 2. Amman – Jerash – Ajloun – Amman
In the morning, you need to be at the Jett bus station in the 3rd or the 7th circle. Make sure you’ve purchased your tickets beforehand and be there half an hour before the bus departs. TIt is the day to explore Jerash, the biggest Roman city outside Italy. Be amazed at how big this site is! After your visit to Jerash, you can go to Ajloun. A forest reserve in northern Jordan where you can visit the castle before heading back to Amman for the overnight stay. Squeezing these locations can help a lot in maintaining your Jordan on a budget trip.
Day 3. Amman – Madaba – Mount Nebo – Bethany beyond the Jordan – Amman
Make sure you have bought your tickets beforehand and that you arrive half an hour before departure at the bus station. Take public transportation to Madaba, here, you can visit the mosaic map of the Promised Land. Continue your way to Mount Nebo where you will find even more beautiful mosaics. And with good weather, you can even see the Promised land from here. From Mount Nebo, go down to the lowest point on earth. Instead of visiting the Dead Sea, go to Bethany beyond the Jordan. Here’s where John the Baptist, baptized Jesus in the Jordan River. After a tour on this site, you head back to Amman.
Day 4. Amman – Petra
From Amman, head directly to Petra by bus. The Jettbus departs early and you’ll arrive at Petra between 10 and 11 AM. From where the bus stops it’s only a short walk to the visitors center of Petra, where you can enter this UNESCO world heritage site. If you have a lot of luggage, you might want to bring this to your hotel first, which means you need to take a cab. Please note that the cabs in Petra are taking about 2-3 times more money than taxies elsewhere in Jordan.
When you’re on a budget, then most likely you don’t have that much time to travel around the country. But in case you do, opt for an extra day in Petra. With the schedule of the Jettbus, you will arrive at Petra at the same moment that big busses with tourists arrive. This means that you’ll walk in one big line towards the Treasury. But if you are able to stay another day and walk-in early, you can avoid the big crowds.
Why Budget travelers also book with In2Jordan
When heading to Jordan, you’ll find that when you try to book hotels and transfers last minute, you’ll have the hassle of negotiating the best prices every single time. But you also might find yourself in situations where you’ll pay jackpot for your overnight stays. Or you find a cheap hotel but you didn’t expect to pay triple the price for a taxi to the nearest site you want to visit. The In2Jordan team is happy to assist you in arranging everything on beforehand for you and advice you best routes and puzzle your budget friendly trip together.
Day 5. Petra – Wadi Rum – Aqaba
Early morning you take the Rum Bus towards Wadi Rum. The accommodation of your choice can arrange with the driver of this bus to pick you up as early as 6 am. This bus takes you towards the beautiful desert. When you’re traveling with up to 6 people, then you can book your jeep tour at the visitors center of Wadi Rum. Or when you travel solo, negotiate on the best prices. Also here, it will pay off to book ahead of time and get in touch online with the camp owners for the best prices. Or, if you’re lucky, you’ll find more travelers willing to share a jeep with you. And keep in mind that there are two parts of the Wadi Rum. Both are beautiful yet only the southern part is Protected Area.
In the protected area is where you find the Nabatean inscriptions and sand-dunes for example. After your jeep tour it’s time to head back to the Rum village and continue towards Aqaba. There are local buses that head from Wadi Rum to Aqaba but they are not incredibly reliable and they only depart during specific times of the day. Therefore it might be worth it to book a taxi that takes you straight to Aqaba. This way you don’t need to wait for hours and you can spend some time at the beach for example. Overnight stay in Aqaba
Day 6. Aqaba – Amman
In the morning you have time to take a stroll through Aqaba before heading towards the Jettbus station. From the station, you’ll head directly to Amman. This will take about 4.5 to 5 hours in total. Once in Amman you can relax at the hotel or take a walk through the capital or visit places that you didn’t visit at the beginning of your trip. Overnight stay in Amman.
Day 7. Amman – departure Amman Airport
Today you can take the free shuttle back to the airport, depending on your departure time. Make sure you’re at the airport 3 hours before your departure.
Are you heading towards Jordan and don’t have time to read through the Lonely Planet in order to make the most of your trip? Also for budget-friendly trips, our In2Jordan team is ready to assist. Get in touch and we’ll present to you the most budget-friendly options for your holiday.