The Best Tips For A Woman Driving In Jordan

Jordan desert Wadi Rum

Jordan is one of the most favored destinations in the Middle East for a road trip, but what if you are traveling alone as a woman? I know many of you have some doubts and anxiety, but you’re not alone. I have the same feeling when planning my trip. Leave that anxiety and doubts at home and go for it. In this post, I share what it feels like driving in Jordan as a woman. Honestly, I didn’t think about renting a car. I only decided one month before my trip after I found that buses don’t go to places I want to be. And it was the best decision I made. Self-drive!

How safe is it for a woman driving in Jordan?

Woman driving in Jordan
I feel confident behind the wheel

I spent ten days driving around Jordan without any problems from the first to the last day – the most satisfying trip I made in the Middle East. My anxiety was gone when I was out of the airport and on my way to Jerash. My advice is to lock your door when you are inside the vehicle. Also, avoid driving at night, and make sure you arrive at your hotel before it gets dark.

Masjid Al Sheikh Zayed In Aqaba
The astonishing Interior of Masjid Al Sheikh Zayed

It wasn’t my first time driving in the Middle East. I also rent a car in  Saudi Arabia, but just in Riyadh. The truth is, I feel safer steering a wheel in Jordan because of less traffic. Riyadh was a mad place. One thing to be aware of, Jordanian drivers don’t use signals, and the lanes don’t mean anything to them. They swiftly move from left to right. But I think it is a common habit in the Middle East, in Lebanon was just the same. 

Buy a SIM card when you arrive in Amman

Definitely get a SIM card. Having a local number and mobile internet is more comfortable to travel around. Also, you need Google Maps to navigate you anywhere. I also suggest downloading offline Maps.me. At the arrival hall of Amman airport, you find the counters of three providers: Orange, Zain, and Umniah. I opted for Orange Jordan I pay 10 dollars, for 15 GB of mobile data plus 60-minute local calls and unlimited SMS.

Dead Sea Free Swimming in Jordan
Dead Sea Free Swimming

Make a list of things you want to see

Be organized, write down everything you want to see so it’s easy to find it on Google Maps. You can even save it on your favorite if you can’t remember you find it there. But I prefer to write it down as I find it easier than looking into my phone.

Car rentals in Jordan and which one to choose?

It can be hard to pick the right one because there are dozens of car rental companies at Amman Airport. Booking through a third party is cheaper than a rental company website. But after comparing everything, I found that Booking.com has a competitive price. With full coverage rental, I pay 282 euros for ten days. Anyway, it’s up to you to decide, but I recommend booking in advance, not at the last minute because the prices can go up. I also suggest taking full insurance because things can happen unexpectedly. 

Dana Reserve Biosphere
Dana Reserve Biosphere

Keep in mind that every company is different I got the vehicle from Dollar Car Rental and during pick up, they only blocked 300 dollars from my credit card. I reserved a manual transmission but got an automatic one for a free upgrade. I have nothing to complain everything was correct from pick-up to drop-off.

They didn’t even charge for the early take-out, I was two hours earlier than what was on my on my voucher. I also got a penalty but not for speeding, it was during the police control. I could pay the fine with cash as I didn’t want them to take it from my credit card. And for that, I ask for a copy of the amount I paid. If something goes wrong I have proof for my bank.

Driving license or IDP

I suggest reading the company’s policy because they all have different agreements. But mostly, an international driver’s permit is not necessary. Your home license is adequate, but you must be 25 years old to rent a car, or fees may apply.

Kings Highway in Jordan
Kings Highway

Check the car documents before you start a road trip

I have rented cars during my trips, but it was the first time I got fined for not showing the correct car document during the police control. The most important document you must have and should be inside the car is the “certificate of roadworthiness” – a small white card that looks like a bank card. It was my biggest mistake. I thought a rental agreement was adequate to show to the police. I’ve seen the card in the cupboard but didn’t think it was the most significant car document in Jordan. Lessons that I learned!

Royal Tomb in Petra
The Royal Tomb in Petra

Keep an eye on your fuel

If I see from my dashboard that half of the fuel has gone, I’m panicking hahaha. Can you imagine if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere? Driving outside big cities, you see more desert than vehicles. And that is something I avoided for. Make sure you have a full tank before going on a long drive to avoid any problems.

Watch out for your speed

It is so tempting to speed up in Jordan since the roads are in pretty good shape, but I wouldn’t do it. Speed cameras and police patrols are active all the time. Follow the signs when you see 50 kph, then slow down because that is where speed bumps are. I think Jordan is the only country with heaps of humps in the Middle East.

Desert Highway in Jordan
Desert Highway

Arrange the accommodation before going on a trip

For safety reasons, you should organized before going on a trip, especially as a woman alone. Whatever your plans are, you must have a place to stay after a long day of driving. I’m sure you know that the majority of Jordan is desert. You don’t want to be caught up in the middle of nowhere during your drive. 

Family Hotel Wadi Musa
A room with a view in Wadi Musa

For any budget-conscious, there’s no shortage of accommodation in Jordan, but you should look for places with parking. Anyway, I highly recommend the hotels I have stayed in Jordan. They are within walking distance of the center, as I don’t like driving around in a busy city I left my car at the hotel parking and just walked.

Setup your navigation before you hit the road

To avoid driving back and forth look at the maps and put them in order on your navigation. Just be aware, the intervals you see on the maps are not always accurate. It may show the shortest way, but it is not always correct. Leave on time, I mostly hit the road right after breakfast.

Kings Highway in Jordan
Kings Highway

Which places to visit in Jordan?

Every visitor to Jordan will probably go to the same places. Also, it depends on how much time you have. I spent 10 days in Jordan and for me, it was more than enough. With self-drive, you have so much freedom and easy to move from one place to another. If you haven’t made your plan on what to do – read my other blog post.

Petra Siq
The Siq

Which currency do you need in Jordan?

American dollars are widely accepted. As for travelers with euro currencies, you can exchange in Jordan. Be aware of ATMs, as they can be expensive to use. However, some establishments accept cards, like restaurants, hotels, and some shops. Bring some cash with you especially if you plan to visit Wadi Musa, where you can only pay in cash.

Be aware of scams!

So good to be prepared with everything to avoid from happening. Scams can happen anywhere, and this is no exception in Jordan. Sometimes, it is difficult to avoid for solo travelers victimized by scams. That’s why I search for tips and annoyances before going on a trip. One thing to watch out for in Jordan is the gas stations during refueling. A woman traveling alone is more exposed than traveling with a companion. 

Donkeys in Petra
Just Amazing View

Unlike in Europe or countries like Australia or the islands in the Caribbean, I barely saw a self-service petrol station. In Jordan, there are staff to help you. These guys let the fuel gauge run with no flow of fuel. Show your strongest side, get out of the car and check the pump if they turn it on or insist on doing it yourself. It is the only way from being conned.

Be careful when photographing wild animals

Don’t walk too far from your vehicle so you can jump in anytime. Wildlife is everywhere, and it can be tempting to take pictures when you see them flaunting in the desert, but be careful. Behind the scenes, the owner appears from nowhere. They will demand money for taking pictures and if you decline, they become aggressive. I ran to my car and drove away.

Camel on the road in Jordan
He posed for the camera

Conclusion! 

As a woman driving in Jordan, it doesn’t make you any different. In fact, it feels special because most travelers in the country are couples or groups. So, set aside the anxiety. If you arrange everything before your trip, nothing can’t go wrong.
And believe me, I’m not as brave as you are – every trip I make gives me anxiety. But once I arrived at my destination I felt the excitement. Jordan is an excellent country for a woman to drive. It is actually, a favorite place for all kinds of travelers in the Middle East. But getting around is sucks and I find that they should improve their public buses.

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