Jordan family vacation

“This 9 day small group vacation is for families looking to experience Petra, Wadi Rum and the Red and Dead seas, alongside an overnight camp in the desert.”


Amman | Dead Sea | Madaba's mosaics | Petra | King's Highway | Wadi Rum 4WD expedition | overnight in desert camp | Aqaba | optional afternoon in Jerash |

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Check dates, prices & availability

20 Oct 2018
US $ 1345
excluding flights
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Jordan family vacation

A fair deal:
You will spend 7 nights in 3-star hotels with en suite rooms and 1 night in a Wadi Rum desert camp. We employ local Bedouin people to run the camp, so we know we are directly benefiting local communities with our business. The hotels are also locally staffed as per law in Jordan, so our stay here is also in support of local employment. Where meals are provided, ingredients will be sourced from a local market wherever possible. Clients may eat a ‘zarb’ (where food is slow cooked underground) at the Bedouin camp and there will also be plenty of chance to eat in restaurants selling ‘mezze’ style specialties like kebabs, fresh salads, and bread with hummus.

Local Craft and Culture:
Usually guides take clients to the market on the day going from Petra to Wadi Rum or Aqaba. This is a great cultural experience where clients can buy their own vegetables and fruit as well as shop in a local bakery supporting the economy of the area. We also visit the ancient city of Jerash, Madaba, the Dead Sea, and the fortified town of Kerak, but the cultural highlight of the trip for many is the visit to UNESCO World Heritage city, Petra. There are two full day here to explore the ancient, rose-coloured rock-cut architecture including El Khazneh (the treasury) and El Deir (the Monastery). On the way up to the main sights and all along the silk there are some local handicrafts and souvenirs available like scarf, hand painted ceramics, jewellery and vases filled with coloured sand. Clients can help the local community by purchasing any of the souvenirs. Being the leader a local person he is aware of the personal stories of some of the people owning the shops and will share them with clients. This will encourage interaction and further support.Clients can also help the community by purchasing donkey or horse rides from local people.

Traveling with respect:
We try to minimise litter as much as possible and are careful to emphasise that clients should not damage or remove pieces from any historical sites we visit. As we hire local guides as well as Bedouin guides, we can ensure that our activity has a positive effect on the economy and that our clients take away some of their passion and knowledge of Jordan. Our guides are trained in responsible travel issues and will be able to convey these in briefings.

Waste and Water:
Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For this trip we have decided to include drinking water in order to reduce the amount of plastic used. This means that safe filtered drinking water will be available throughout and we advise clients to bring a bottle to re-fill along the way.

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked to reduce our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size.

4 Reviews of Jordan family vacation

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 24 Apr 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Too many to name just one; Petra, bobbing on the Dead Sea and staying in the desert with the Bedouin, here we rode a camel into the desert to see the sunset and then slept under the stars.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Take mosquito spray for the desert and put it on when you arrive. Don't know when they bit us but gosh did they bite.
Take more money than suggested as there are rather a lot of extras.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Absolutely, we only ate in local restaurants, all the drivers and the guide were Jordanian. The hotels all seemed to be locally owned and run. We also flew with Royal Jordanian.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Fantastic, Jordan is an amazing country, full of amazing people and amazing sites. Our guide was superb and we met the most wonderful Jordanian people. Please don't worry about there being any trouble, we all felt very safe. The Jordanians are so friendly and warm and there is no feeling of any tension in the country.

Reviewed on 09 Apr 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The first sight of the Treasury at Petra on the Petra by night tour was the most memorable moment for me. The candlelit approach, through the towering rocks of the siq, and the incredibly bright light from the almost full moon, created an amazing atmosphere. Also being part of a family group made the whole trip particularly enjoyable: adult company for us and other kids for our own children to play with.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Pack light and don't be afraid to re-wear your dusty clothes from the day before. Any clean clothes you put on the next morning will be just as dusty by the end of the day. Then simply relax and enjoy!
For Petra by night, take a torch - the path can be very uneven - and maybe something you can sit on - even just a folded up fleece which you don't mind sitting on top of on the ground!
For Wadi Rum, take a map of the star constellations so you can see how many you can identify in the wonderful desert sky, unspoiled by light pollution. No mobile phone / wifi so you need to plan / download ahead - you can't google this one.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Traveling in a group saved on fuel, and the night at Wadi Rum supported the upkeep of Bedouin culture. Also the entry fees for the various ancient sites will help to preserve them and uncover more of them for future generations. And re-wearing our dusty clothes reduced the amount of laundry to be done when we got back home!

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

An excellent vacation for the whole family with a range of activities from visiting ancient sites such as Petra and Jerash, to plain old good fun like smothering ourselves from head to to toe in Dead Sea mud, riding camels in the desert and snorkelling in the Red Sea, plus all the benefits of traveling in a small group. I can't believe we did so much in just 8 full days - a lot more than we would have managed on our own - it feels like we were away for weeks. A complete break. We totally switched off from 'the real world', although in part this was due to limited internet - HURRAY!

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visting Petra and camping in Wadi Rum.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Perhaps consider shelling out a bit of extra money to go up one notch in the category of hotels.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Not quite sure. I seemed to be doing what other tourists around me were doing - staying in Jordanian hotels, eating in local restaurants, using the services of local guides, visiting the usual souvenir shops. The only time I felt we were minimizing our impact on the environment was when we were camping in Wadi Rum. I presume the operator is better placed to know to what extent my trip helped the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

The vacation was well planned (apart from the arrival at Amman airport) and the sights we saw were great. I would however not book another "family" vacation until I was certain that there were actually other families on it. As to the number of stars I have to allocate below, I will tick the 3 stars. But I would give the trip only 2 stars, because of the fact that our guide was not child friendly, the hotels were not that great and it was a bit lonely for the children just on their own. I would however give the sights of Jordan 4 stars.

Reviewed on 05 Sep 2008 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Many different things, but camel riding in the desert of Wadi Rum is probably the top one.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

If you can afford the time, try to have some extra days in Jordan before or (better) after the organised tour, to see some other things, especially country areas and nature reserves, not possible to fit into the 1-week tour. If you are not constrained to go in the summer, spring time is probably better for less-hot weather and more greenery and flowers; or failing that, autumn.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

1) Yes: we mostly used locally-operated hotels and restaurants, not international 'chains'.
2) Not so good: but this is a problem of the local infrastructure - lack of eco-design in buildings etc (heavy use of electricity for air-conditioning, lack of passive air-con/ventilation systems and 'green buildings'). Also, it's a pity there's an emphasis on using bottled drinking water, also creating a lot of plastic waste: tap water seems perfectly clean and is safe if boiled/sterilised (eg, in tea!)

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

We had a great time and would like to go back to see some more sometime.

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