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Egypt and Jordan with kids

Woman and kids on a camel at the pyramids

Last month, I went on an incredible bucket list adventure with my two young kiddos to Egypt and Jordan. We spent three weeks exploring these beautiful countries. We trekked inside of the Pyramids of Giza, rode camels, hiked around the world wonder of Petra, slept in a bubble tent in the desert, and floated in the Dead Sea (to name a few things 😉).

Here’s more about some of my favorite experiences and tips for how I solo parented my 2 and 4 year old in the Middle East.

Getting There

It’s a long way to the Middle East from the US! I keep my toddlers entertained on long flights with tablets, shows, sticker books, and loads of snacks. As long flights are usually overnight, they will also typically sleep for a fair amount of the journey.

When we arrive in a new time zone, I usually like to leave our first full day fairly relaxed so that everyone has a chance to adjust. For this trip, we spent our first day in Cairo and had some time to play and took a short food tour of the city.

Must Do Experiences

First, here are some of the things that we did that I recommend for any traveler.

The Pyramids of Giza

I think it’s safe to say that the Pyramids really don’t need any introduction - and they are just as amazing in person as I had always imagined. Go with a guide to get the full experience here and learn more about everything that you’re seeing. We took a camel ride around the Pyramids (the highlight for my son), and we went inside of the Great Pyramid.

If you’re with kids, note that the path inside of the Great Pyramid is a little tricky, as the ceilings are very low and the steps are narrow.

Get out on the Nile

Many travelers will opt for a full Nile cruise from Luxor to Aswan for the ultimate Egypt experience. This is a 3 or 4 night trip depending which direction you go in. We skipped it simply because I thought my kids might get a little restless with it, but I highly recommend it for those without little ones. We did enjoy a sunset felucca ride on the Nile in Luxor, which was beautiful. And, the temples and historical sights that we visited in Luxor were simply amazing.

Petra, Jordan

Petra is one of the Seven Wonders of the World and an entire ancient Nabatean city carved into pink sandstone cliffs in the Jordanian desert. Dating back to 300 BC and once home to 30,000 residents at its prime, the most famous spot here is the Treasury, but there are several miles of temples, tombs, and caves to explore. For me, this was probably the highlight of our trip and one of the coolest places I’ve ever seen.

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum in Jordan is often called the most beautiful desert on Earth, and the scenery is said to resemble Mars. It’s actually been used as the backdrop for Mars in several movies and TV shows. A stay in a tented camp is an absolute must during your visit to Jordan. We went for the real deal and stayed in a bubble tent, a very cool glamping experience. I was able to lay in bed and see the stars through the ceiling of our tent. We also took a jeep tour through the desert to see some of the most picturesque spots.

Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth, and the water here is so salty that you naturally float right on top! The mud in the water contains minerals often used in spa treatments - so go ahead and take a mud bath. There are several nice resorts along the Dead Sea that you can stay at for a relaxing experience.

Practical Tips

Go in the spring or fall for best weather. Temperatures this time of year are pleasant for being outside most of the day and generally warm enough for kids to enjoy some pool and beach time as well. Summers get very, very hot here.

For young kids who won’t be walking all day, a baby carrier is a must. You will find a stroller difficult to navigate in most of these places. I did use my jogging stroller for our day in Petra, but I wouldn’t recommend a smaller stroller if you want to make it through the area.

Egypt and Jordan were both wonderful, family friendly places overall. Many of the sites that you visit in these countries are natural playgrounds, and there are many places for kids to safely run around and explore. However, to keep my kiddos happy, I made sure to balance out our visits to temples and historical sites with some time at the pool or beach.

For Egypt, private drivers and guides are the best way to get around. These knowledgeable locals know the area and the style of driving here, and they can offer tons of insight on the places you’re visiting. For Jordan, I rented a car (generally my preference for the most flexibility with my kids) and found driving there to be pretty straightforward and relatively comparable to the style and rules in the US.

At the time of writing, a PCR test is required for entry into each country, as well as to return to the US. For testing during your trip, most major hotels are able to offer convenient testing right on site. I found both Egypt and Jordan to be taking excellent safety precautions, and I felt very comfortable throughout my stay. Be sure to check embassy sites for the most up-to-date information on entry requirements.

Thinking of taking a trip to Egypt or Jordan? I’ll put together a custom itinerary for you based on your style and interests. Simply send me a message to get started or schedule a complimentary call here.


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