If you would just love to visit the mystical Kingdom of Jordan and see the ancient city of Petra but you’re worried about “trouble in the Middle East” and whether it is safe to travel to Jordan then here are the facts.
The Official Travel Safety Warnings
The U.S. State Government website lists all previous acts of terrorism and violence in Jordan and goes on to say that since the death of Bin Laden U.S. citizens must be aware of “…the possibility of enhanced anti-American violence.” They also say that “special sensitivity and caution should be exercised when visiting …mosques and religious sites.” However “violent crime is infrequent and rarely targets U.S. citizens or other westerners.” The bottom line is that there is no official Travel Alert for U.S. citizens traveling to Jordan and the U.S. government does not advise against traveling to Jordan, there are no travel restrictions in place. In other words it is safe enough to go to Jordan but just be vigilant.
Citizens of the commonwealth can also visit Jordan as there are no travel restrictions in place and the Foreign Office website states “The majority of visits to Jordan are trouble-free and there are no specific threats to the safety of British visitors.” It also says “There is a general threat from terrorism.”
So from a legal and government point of view it is safe to travel in Jordan.
Traveling Safely in Jordan
As with traveling or living in any country there is always the chance that an unexpected attack from an unpredictable source could occur and the same goes for Jordan. If you abide by the laws of the country and remain aware of any suspicious looking circumstances around you then traveling to Jordan as to any country is completely safe.
Jordan is one of the more liberal of the Middle Eastern countries and women can wear western style clothes without threat of attack from religious fanatics. However Jordan is a Muslim country and open displays of affection (between men and woman or same sex couples) are not acceptable. The Jordanians are extremely hospitable and friendly people who gladly welcome foreign visitors, especially in rural areas you will be made to feel like an honored guest.
How to make your trip to Petra safer
- Take a guided tour or join an organized group of travelers, these usually have taken the necessary security measures for you.
- Avoid wandering off alone or down any dark alleys, when in a city
- Confine your trip to the specific tourist attractions and sites which you have come to see there is no need to go by yourself driving into the neighborhoods of Amman or into the desert without a guide.
- If you are traveling with a group make sure they know where you are and that you know where they are at all times.
If you are still worried or in any doubt about the safety of travel to Petra then read through some of the travel blogs and forums online. Every traveler returning from Jordan, in fact every post about Jordanian safety is extremely positive. Expats living in Jordan, Jordanians and foreign travelers all agree that they feel completely safe in Jordan.