Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk: Is it safe to holiday in Jordan at the moment?
Simon Calder is Travel Editor at Large for The Independent, writing a weekly column, various articles and features as well as filming a weekly video diary. Every Sunday afternoon, Simon presents the UK's only radio travel phone-in programme called The LBC Travel Show with Simon Calder (97.3 FM). He is a regular guest on national TV, often seen on BBC Breakfast, Daybreak, ITV News and Sky News. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio, particularly for BBC Radio 4’s You & Yours programme and BBC Five Live.
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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