Jordan - the currency unit in Jordan is the Jordanian dinar (JD or JOD), which is divided into 100 piastres.
Israel - the unit of currency in Israel is the Israeli new shekel (ILS or NIS), which is divided into 100 agorot.
British pounds, Euros and US dollars are easily exchanged in Jordan and Israel and are an alternative to using ATMs. US dollars cash can also be used for some purchases in Jordan. Please note: You may not be able to exchange other currencies.
Cashpoints/ATMs are widely available and are the safest and easiest way to access cash.
Most major credit cards are accepted throughout the region. We recommend that you bring yours along in case you see something special, which you hadn't budgeted for.
Please note: Credit cards cannot be used to pay for Optional Activities.
It is advisable you notify your bank or credit card issuing company of your intention to travel as for security reasons, banks and credit card companies sometimes block cards when withdrawals are unexpectedly made overseas.
Upon arrival it is advisable to have about JD 25 (on top of your visa fee). This will cover any expenditure on your Amman sightseeing day and give you flexibility until you need to change more money where you can get a better exchange rate.
On your trip you will be given the opportunity to change money at either a bank or hotel.
Bear in mind for the end of your trip that changing Jordanian dinar and/or Israeli shekel back into dollars or other major currencies can be complicated and the exchange rate will certainly be unfavourable. So keep an eye on the amounts you take out so you're not left with a huge surplus at the end of your trip.
Based on past experience, we recommend at least JD 40 to 50 (approx USD 55 to 70) per day in Jordan to cover your normal expenses including sightseeing, small souvenir shopping and non-included meals. If you wish to purchase expensive souvenirs, you will need to budget for more, or use your credit cards for these purchases.
Remember, this is a rough figure only and spending habits vary greatly between individuals according to their budget and habits!
Although you may not be accustomed to tipping at home, tipping is an important way of life in Jordan and Israel and is something that is done by locals as well as tourists.
When travelling with Topdeck, tips are already included on anything that forms part of your itinerary, including bus/coach drivers, included meals, hotel staff, local guides, etc. This includes your Topdeck Trip Leader. That means you do not have to tip for any of these included services!
However, you will need to tip for services that are not included, so please take this into consideration when working out your budget. For example, you will need to tip at non-included meals when you pay for the meal yourself, even if your Trip Leader has helped organise it, and you will need to tip for anything you do on your free time. Your Trip Leader can advise you what an appropriate tip amount is. A general rule when tipping is if the service warrants it, tip what you think is a fair amount, and if you do not think so, then do not tip or tip less than normal. Also, do not get bullied into tipping and disregard any comments that you have not given enough.
Topdeck Top Tip: it is a really good idea to hide away somewhere a small amount of cash and/or extra card; this will really come in handy in the unlikely event that you lose your wallet or any other kind of emergency.
It is compulsory for all passengers to take out comprehensive travel insurance before the trip departs covering cancellation, medical expenses including repatriation, loss or damage to baggage and personal belongings, money and personal liability.
You must bring a copy of your travel insurance policy with you on the trip. Your Trip Leader will make a record of your travel insurance details at the start of your trip, e.g. the name of the insurance company, the 24 hour emergency telephone number, and your policy number. These will be sent to our operations team to ensure that if you lose your policy details, they can be easily retrieved.
Passports & Visa
Some countries may refuse you entry if there is not at least six months validity on your passport after your departure date from their country so please ensure your passport complies before you leave home.
All visitors to Jordan require a visa, however you may eligible to obtain this visa on arrival for FREE at the international airport in Amman. To be eligible, your passport nationality must not be from a restricted country (see below) and you will also require the assistance of the Topdeck Jordan airport representative. As a result, we can only help with obtaining this free visa if passengers have booked transfers with Topdeck.
In order for our rep to meet you prior to reaching immigration at the airport, you MUST supply us with your passport details and flight arrival details well in advance of arriving in Jordan. NOTE: Jordanian authorities alone control entry to their country. Topdeck and our airport representative CANNOT guarantee you will be allowed to enter Jordan.
If you are from a restricted country (see below) OR we do not receive your passport details in advance, our airport representative CANNOT assist you in obtaining a free visa on arrival. As a result, you will need to obtain a Jordan entry visa at cost on your own. If you are not from a restricted country (see below), you are eligible to obtain a visa on arrival at a cost of JD 40 (approx USD 60).
RESTRICTED COUNTRIES: You must contact your local Jordanian consulate or embassy well in advance of your departure to determine if your country is on the restricted list and for confirmation of your visa requirements. Topdeck has no authority over which countries are on the restricted list, nor do we have any control over visa requirements and processes. The restricted countries list could change at any time, as could the processes described above, and therefore Topdeck cannot guarantee the accuracy of the above information.
When visiting Israel, most (but not all) nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at the border at no charge. We normally cross from Jordan to Israel via the Sheikh Hussein Bridge (known as the Jordan River crossing in Israel) north of Amman.
However, if you want to visit other Middle Eastern countries either on the same trip or in the future, it is important that you ask the authorities not to stamp your passport. Instead you will be issued with a loose leaf paper visa that will be stamped and it is important that you do not lose this.
You must contact your local Israeli consulate prior to departure to ensure you can obtain a visa on arrival, or if you require one prior to travelling. NOTE: Israeli authorities alone control entry to their country, and you may find Israeli immigration and customs to be more rigorous and thorough than most other countries. Topdeck CANNOT guarantee you will be allowed to enter Israel.
Remember that some visas can take up to six weeks to acquire, so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Also bear in mind that the validity of the visa often runs from the date of issue rather than date of entry into the country.
Please check with the appropriate embassies prior to departure as requirements do change periodically.
In addition to the visa fees indicated above, you will also need to pay the following departure taxes when exiting these countries:
Jordan - JD 10 (approx USD 15)
Israel - if departing by air, the departure tax is included in your ticket price
Your trip will use a modern air-conditioned mini-bus. A 4x4 jeep excursion is also included in the desert near Wadi Rum.
Important information about border crossings between Jordan and Israel
As your trip includes Israel, you will travel with the group until you reach the Dead Sea on the Jordanian side. Here the group will split with some passengers returning to Amman and those going to Israel transferring to another vehicle.
Please note: borders can close and/or crossing procedures and fees can change without notice. Topdeck, and our partners in Jordan and Israel, have no control over the customs and immigration practices of both of these countries. Crossing these borders can take more time than you are used to when entering/exiting other nations, and may involve more rigorous and thorough customs and immigration procedures. On occasion, we may need to make alterations to our itinerary to deal with unexpected changes in border procedures.
Entry into Israel on this trip is normally via the Sheikh Hussein Bridge (known as the Jordan River Crossing in Israel), north of Amman.
Your Jordanian Trip Leader and Driver are not allowed to travel into Israel with you. They can only take you as far as the security gates to enter the Jordanian side of the border crossing, so you will need to observe the following:
You must first clear Jordanian customs and pay the Jordanian departure tax (JD 10 or approx USD 15).
You then take a shuttle bus across to the Israeli border. The fee for the shuttle is JD 7 (approx USD 10) plus JD 1.50 per 'checked' bag (all fees subject to change). Once at the Israeli border you walk through Israeli immigration and customs. The entry visa is free, but only if you are eligible to obtain an Israeli visa at the border (always check with your local consulate well before departing from home). However, you should request that your visa not be stamped into your passport, otherwise you could have problems if travelling to other Middle East countries in the future.
Once clear of immigration and customs you will be met by your Israeli Trip Leader and/or Driver – looking for them holding a Topdeck sign. You will then continue the rest of your trip with your new crew!
Health & Safety
We want to make sure you're having the time of your life while travelling with us. Therefore, if you suffer from any kind of medical condition or allergies, we will need to know at the time of booking, or at least six weeks prior to the departure of your trip.
If you require regular medication, you must have a sufficient supply before your trip departs, as it may be difficult to obtain while travelling. You must be able to administer your own medication, as Topdeck Road Crew will not be able to administer it, and there are no guarantees that there will be anyone with first aid training on board.
Strict food and water hygiene is essential to avoid diarrhoea. Make sure food has been properly prepared, drink only boiled or bottled water and keep in mind that ice will likely come from tap water. Also take precautions against insect bites and sunburn. During the hot summer months it is advisable to carry bottled water in your day-pack at all times.
We recommend that you ensure your tetanus, diphtheria, typhoid, polio and hepatitis vaccinations are up to date. Please consult a medical practitioner for the relevant requirements prior to travelling.
If you are arriving a few days before the start of your trip, please be advised not to accept offers from people to visit specialty shops or to take guided tours. These people are not associated with Topdeck and therefore we can't be responsible for the service you receive from them. Your Topdeck trip includes professional guides who will accompany you to all the sites mentioned in your itinerary.
Most hotels in Israel and Jordan use the same two-prong plug as used in Europe (CEE 7/16 'Type C' standard) and a single adaptor will work in both. However, in some Jordanian hotels you will find the British plug socket (BS 1363 'Type G' standard).
Throughout Jordan and Israel the voltage is a uniform 220v. If the voltage is the same or similar in your home country your appliance will comply. If you have a 110v appliance you will need to use a transformer to avoid damaging your appliance.
Should you encounter any difficulties meeting your transfer from the airport to the starting hotel, depending on which country you are in you can contact a Topdeck representative on the following:
Al-Thuraya Travel and Tours - Local handlers in Jordan and Israel
Phone: +(962) 6 553 5525
Other emergency contacts
Ms Sholpan Geegeeh: +(962) 79 606 9393
In Cases of Emergency
While we hope you never have to use it, if for any reason you need to contact someone from Topdeck, whether it be that you have missed a trip departure meeting, have become separated from your trip on the road or any other unforeseeable problem, the following options are available to you.
Your best recourse to assistance during the day is to call our team between 8am-9pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am-4pm on Saturdays UK time.
Tel: +44 (0)20 8987 3305
If you need to contact Topdeck outside of the above hours the following number is available:
Mobile: +(44) 7792 775 415
Please remember if it is a genuine emergency, we of course want you to call us; however, if it can wait until the next day, we kindly ask that you call during our office hours.
What to bring
The golden rule is to travel as light as you can. Only bring what you really need and leave plenty of space for things you might want to buy. Don't forget you will have to carry your bag around yourself before and after the trip, as well as in and out of where you’re staying while on your trip!
We recommend soft bags, suitcases or frameless backpacks, plus a small day pack or carry bag. No external framed bags please, as they damage other bags on the coach. Please limit your luggage to a maximum of 20kg. Luggage must not exceed dimensions of 70cm in height, 45cm in width and 25cm in depth. Only one piece of luggage is allowed.
Please note: Due to space and weight restrictions on our coaches, passengers with too much luggage on departure morning may be told that they cannot take their entire luggage with them. Luggage storage facilities are usually available at the departure point, if they are not available you will have to make your own arrangements to have it stored or shipped home. Any luggage left behind will be at your own risk and you will be required to pay any costs incurred.
The following is a suggested clothing list only, based on our experience.
- 1 pair of comfortable walking shoes
- 1 pair of smart-casual shoes
- 1 pair of thongs/jandals/flip-flops
- 2 pairs jeans/trousers
- 2 pairs shorts/skirts
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- 2 sweaters/jumpers
- Smart casual evening wear
- 1 rainproof jacket
- Underwear and socks!
General things to pack:
- Swimming costume
- Beach Towel
- Hat & Sunscreen
- Basic medical kit (including plasters, aspirin etc.)
- Washing powder
- Insect repellent
- Conversion plug
Optional things to pack:
Travelling in winter
While the daytime temperatures can be mild in the winter months in the region, the evenings are generally cold, especially in the desert. We recommend that you bring warm clothing including a warm coat for use in the evenings.
The hotels do not cater for winter temperatures as well as they perhaps could so we recommend you bring something warm to sleep in. You need a good sleep at night to enjoy the daytime activities. The winter is not the busiest season, so the mild days can make sightseeing more enjoyable than during the heat of summer, and provided you have some warm clothes, walking through street markets without the crowds is a joy.
A sleeping bag will not be required for your trip.
Passport (with visas if required!)
Insurance Policy (you must bring these details with you)
Camera; batteries; chargers; conversion plug