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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. 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!

As part of my preparations for that 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 packing list, plus some tips I learned firsthand about what to wear in Jordan.

What to Wear in Petra

Packing Tips for Women Traveling to Jordan

I’m not gonna lie – I deliberated significantly about what to pack for my trip to Jordan. I read every other female travel blogger post I could find and still didn’t feel prepared. 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 just antiperspirant. 

Breathing skin means sweating skin. Be kind to your fellow travel companions and guide, and be sure to have deodorant in your bag. Bonus points if it smells lovely. (I’m currently in love with Secret Destination Australia Eucalyptus Blossom – I smell good ALL day!)

Pack layers.

Despite the fact that you want breathable clothing, don’t forget the cardinal rule of travel packing: LAYERS! Nights in the desert can get quite chilly, and it never hurts to have an extra layer to use as a blanket on the plane.

Base layers, babes.

I will preach the gospel of base layers until I stop traveling, but Jordan is especially well-suited to base layer clothing. Nothing beats stripping off a base layer tank, washing it in the sink, and having something fresh to put back on the next day. Especially if you’re trying to travel light (#amen!).

What to Pack for the Dead Sea

Modesty, not nunnery.

Jordanians are – on the whole – quite progressive and open to tourists – but women should be aware of the need for modesty in dressing. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear your typical clothes; if you love form-fitting stuff, rock that look! Just make sure you’re modestly covered. Same goes for a swimsuit at the Dead Sea; plenty of tourists wear bikinis, but a one-piece is more appropriate.

Be prepared to walk.

I put a pair of hiking/walking shoes on this packing list for a reason. At Jerash, at Petra, in Wadi Rum, and in Dana Bio Sphere Reserve were all times where more supportive hiking shoes were appropriate (plus Wadi Mujib where I didn’t even get to hike!). Trust me, and your feet will thank you later.

What to Pack for Jordan as a Woman Traveler

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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:

  • Breathable Short-Sleeve Tops. It’s important to have clothing which covers you but also help you stay as cool as possible. Two good tops are the H&M V-Neck Jersey Top and the Lock & Love Short Sleeve Ombre Tee. Both are budget-friendly and fold down small. If you want a sleeveless option, I love tulip-back tops like this Sleeveless Chiffon Tulip Back.
  • Light sweater. Why do you need a sweater in Jordan? The Timeson Scoop Neck Batwing for cooler nights without taking too much space in your bag.
  • Base Layer Tanks. I typically advise these tank tops on every packing list because layers are always a good idea. In Jordan, these tanks serve two additional purposes: 1. they’re perfect for sleeping, and they help absorb sweat to keep your clothes less smelly over the course of your trip.
  • Flowy and/or breathable trousers. Arguably the most ‘frustrating’ part of traveling in Jordan as a woman is the fact that it’s not appropriate to wear shorts. To manage this, opt for wide leg trousers like the UNIQLO Wide Pant or East Castle Wide Leg Trousers.
  • Hiking trousers. If you plan to do any hiking in Dana, Petra, or elsewhere, you’ll need a pair of fitted trousers. The Mountain Khakis Traverse Pants are a good, conservative option.
  • Cute flats. A feminine but practical pair of flats is a must. If you’re looking for travel flats, I always recommend Tieks. While these are an investment at $175 per pair, they hold up so well while traveling. I put over two million steps into my first pair! Read my review here.
  • Walking/hiking shoes. Absolutely necessary if you plan to hike in Jordan. I’d recommend the Adidas AX2 for a lightweight option, and I own a pair of Soloman trail running shoes.
  • One traditional Jordanian scarf. I recommend the Mato & Hash Military Shemagh (one of my favorite travel scarves!).
  • One modest, single-piece swimsuit. I recommend the Cupshe Front Cross One-Piece Swimsuit; it’s sassy without being sexy.
  • Comfortable travel bras. Boob sweat is real, yo – don’t make it worse by wearing your normal, semi-uncomfortable bra. I recommend the Luna Flower Strappy Crossback Bra or any bras by my friend Alysia at SOMI Apparel.

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.


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This post was sponsored by Bestway Tours and produced as part of a partnership agreement with that company. This post was originally published in August 2016 and updated in October 2017.

2 comments

Reply

I read this article and your other article about your trip to Jordan and what surprised you. I’m glad you had a good time in Jordan, it is indeed very diverse and beautiful.
I’m wondering when you went though, because you talked so much about how hot it is. No doubt it’s hot in the summer, but spring, fall, and definitely winter can be brutally cold. It snows in Jordan. I find that the weather is almost the same as the DC area. Hot summers, cold winters. Most houses don’t have heat and are made of concrete which just makes it colder and more unbearable. I’m sure hotels have heat (I haven’t stayed in a hotel but I’m sure they do) but still everyone should be warned about the cold. No one should ever go to Jordan in the winter.. Ever. And in the fall and spring definitely bring sweaters and jackets and maybe even long underwear depending on the time of year.
Enjoyed your articles, just wanted to warn potential travellers that really the weather is like VA MD NC weather so it really gets cold outside of summer. The “middle east” is vast and not just a big desert.

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