Some destinations capture your imagination from the first time you see them. For me, Jordan jumped onto my bucket list when I saw Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (one of many movies filmed in Jordan!). As Indy and the rest of the crew ride into the “Canyon of the Crescent Moon,” I knew I wanted to see that place for myself… someday.
In 2015, I won a contest to make my dream come true: I set off in May 2016 for a 10-day trip to Jordan! Now, I’m planning my own tour to Jordan in March 2020. You might say I’m hooked – and I want to show off how amazing Jordan is as a destination.
As part of my preparations for my first trip, I struggled to know what to pack. Is there a dress code for tourists in Jordan? (No.) What are women allowed to wear… or not wear? (It depends.) Is it really that hot? (Yes!)
Based on my experience, I’ve put together this Jordan packing list, plus some tips I learned firsthand about what to pack for Jordan.
General Packing Tips for Jordan
I’m not gonna lie – I deliberated significantly about what to pack for my trip to Jordan. After having visited, here are some tips I can give you that I know are accurate.
- Pack breathable clothing – If you pack clothes made of materials that don’t breathe, or that cling to you tightly, it’s likely you’re going to be uncomfortable in Jordan. Despite being dry, the temps can get quite warm even in the peak travel seasons (30+°C) and your skin needs to be able to breathe and sweat.
- Pack deodorant, not antiperspirant – In a hot climate like Jordan, your skin needs to breathe. Be kind to your fellow travel companions and guide, and be sure to have deodorant in your bag.
- Pack layers – including base layers – Jordan is especially well-suited for layering clothing. Wearing a base layer during the day means you can change and sink-wash each night to have fresh clothes, while nights in the desert can get quite chilly so extra layers to add on will help.
- Jordan is an active travel destination – While I love to travel for history and culture, many of those sights require walking or hiking. For example, in Jerash, at Petra, in Wadi Rum, and in Dana Bio Sphere Reserve – all are times you need good walking shoes.
Specific Packing Tips for Women Traveling to Jordan
As part of preparing for my trip to Jordan, I read every post from other female travel bloggers that I could find to try and get a sense for how women might need to dress in Jordan. Here’s what I learned, and what I discovered myself during my trip.
Jordanians are – on the whole – quite progressive toward tourism and acknowledge that Western and/or non-Muslim women will travel in their country. However, this doesn’t excuse us from dressing modestly and being considerate of their cultural practices for women. In particular, it’s important to either dress each day to cover your legs and shoulders – or have a scarf or sweater you can put on to cover up.
However, you can wear your typical clothes; if you love form-fitting stuff, you can rock that look and still be respectfully covered. Same goes for a swimsuit at the Dead Sea; plenty of tourists wear bikinis, but a one-piece is more appropriate.
What to Pack for Jordan
Armed with these tips, here’s a Jordan packing list to use for a 10-day trip to Jordan (including two days of travel). Here’s what to wear in Jordan.
1. Jordan Travel Guide
If you’re planning to travel in Jordan on your own (not on my tour??), having a great travel guide will help you plan and make the most of your time on the ground. The Lonely Planet Jordan travel guide is a good one.
If you’ve never used a guidebook before, check out my helpful post on how to use guidebooks!
Jordan receives about 300 days of sunshine per year, so yeah, you’re gonna need sunglasses. Until I lost them while traveling, these gradient tinted Ray Bans were my go-to. They grip your head well so they’re up for any adventure, plus look great on everyone.
While it might sound wild to pack a scarf for a hot climate, a scarf is a fantastic multi-use item for your trip.
As a woman, you can use it to cover up when needed to enter different sites; as any traveler, you can use it to cover your head and shield yourself from the sun.
4. Base Layer Tanks/Tees
I always pack tank tops because they’re easy to hand-wash and dry on the road – and putting on a new tank each morning is a great way to start the day feeling fresh.
For Jordan, I recommend the UNIQLO Airism Cami. Their whole Airism line is great at moisture wicking and keeping you feeling cool; these camis add that layer of freshness without too much weight to overheat you once the day gets truly hot.
Mr. V’s Pick for Men: EJIS Sweatproof Undershirt
5. Short-Sleeve Tops
Whether you identify as a man or woman, your primary tops in Jordan should have short sleeves. While it’s hot and you’ll want to wear sleeveless tops, it’s more appropriate to find something that covers your shoulders.
I love these dip-dyed tops on Amazon because they’re fitted but flowy at the same time. If you don’t love this style, pack whatever you like that won’t be too hot to wear!
Mr. V’s Pick for Men: Fruit of the Loom V-Neck T-Shirt
6. Cardigan or Sweater
Bring a light jacket layer for cool airplane rides or desert nights. Similar to the camis above, I love UNIQLO Airism hoodies because they’re ultra-soft, fit well, and keep you warm without overheating. My last one went with Mr. V and I on our extended European jaunt and came home with only minor wear and tear.
If you don’t love hoodies, I am obsessed with the cardigan from the ICONIC20 Set.
If you’re going to Jordan, you’d better make sure your itinerary includes a stop at the Dead Sea! To really enjoy it, you’ll need a swimsuit so you can float in the salty water.
Like I mentioned above, I recommend a one-piece suit to be culturally respectful. I own cute but conservative black one-piece and it’s a perfect option: it covers you up but still has some fun details to still make you feel good in it.
Mr. V’s Pick for Men: O’Neill Santa Cruz Boardshorts
8. Breathable Trousers
My top mistake in Jordan was the trousers I packed – they were tight and hot and made me miserable. Since then, I’ve kept an eye out for great options, and I love UNIQLO’s drape pants. They come in both straight leg and jogger styles; their Airism leggings are also a great option for more diversity in your wardrobe.
The ICONIC16 set from ICONIC28 also has a great pair of breathable joggers along with other good layering travel clothes.
Mr. V’s Pick for Men: ExOfficio Sol Cool Nomad Pant
9. Comfortable Flats
I pretty much always travel with at least one pair of flats; Tieks have been my go-to for the past four years. I wore a pair of Tieks on my first trip to Jordan – you can see I’m wearing them in the picture on a camel (below).
If you want another great option, I also love Toms Julie Flats and they’re half the price.
Mr. V’s Pick for Men: Lacoste Men’s Bayliss Sneaker
10. Hiking Shoes/Boots
I love these Tevas; they’re one of the most functional shoes I own. Water resistant (not that you’ll need it), comfy, and cute, they can handle hiking in Dana Biosphere Reserve and strolling among the ruins in Petra.
Tevas changed the style of this boot, so if you’re looking for something more modern, check the new version here.
Final Thoughts on Traveling to Jordan
Jordan is a truly beautiful country that you’ll never forget – but don’t make it unforgettable because you’re wearing the wrong clothes for the climate. If you make sure to pack the right items, mix & match them, and add a few layers, you’ll be comfortable and focused on the beauty around you.
This post was originally published in August 2016 and updated in October 2017 and September 2019.