Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is it safe to holiday in Jordan at the moment?
Simon Calder’s career in travel started at Gatwick Airport, where he cleaned aircraft for Laker Airways and later worked as a security officer. He became The Independent’s Travel Correspondent in 1994, and is known as “the Man Who Pays His Way” because he does not accept free travel facilities. He writes across the Independent titles, as well as for the Evening Standard.
Thursday 29 August 2013
Q Is it safe to holiday in Jordan at the moment?
K Redman, London
A Assuming you are going to the usual tourist locations - Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba – then you should not encounter problems. The carnage taking place across the border in Syria has not affected the typical traveller, but keep an eye on the Foreign Office advice: bit.ly/JordanFCO. In particular, the Foreign Office warns travellers to “Stay away from downtown Amman and the centres of other major towns and cities after Friday midday prayers and be aware of the possibility of spontaneous demonstrations and road blockages occurring elsewhere, particularly after sunset.”
I am more concerned about road safety. As the FCO says, “There are a high number of road accidents and deaths on the roads. Drive with care, especially at night, and avoid driving on unlit roads. Stray animals, broken-down vehicles and unmarked road works are common.” The best advice is to travel only by day.
Having said all this: Jordan is a profoundly friendly, beautiful and historic country, and September is the ideal month to visit.
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