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Israel/Jordan Itinerary Advice

Israel/Jordan Itinerary Advice

Old Dec 21, 19, 6:36 pm
  #1  
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Israel/Jordan Itinerary Advice

On a whim, booked an 8 day trip to Israel/Jordan next week. I have the following tentative itinerary planned out, but would appreciate any advice on potential improvements and places to stay. My goal is to see as many different places as possible in the limited time, and hopefully next time I can spend more time visiting various places.

Proposed itinerary:
29DEC: Land in AMM in the evening. Explore Amman in the evening. Stay the night in Amman.
30DEC: Explore Amman during the daytime, visit Dead Sea in afternoon. Stay the night in Amman.
31DEC: Visit Petra. Stay the night nearby (suggestions?)
1JAN: Visit Wadi Rum. Stay the night in Aqaba.
2JAN: Visit Aqaba/Eliat, then drive to Jerusalem in evening. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
3JAN: Explore Jerusalem. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
4JAN: Explore Jerusalem/West Bank. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
5JAN: Explore Tel Aviv, Redeye departure from TLV.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 10:46 pm
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The itinerary is hectic and you should try to extend it by several days, if possible.

You should try to spend two full days in Jerusalem (one in the Old City and one in the New City) so perhaps you should drop Tel-Aviv from the itinerary.

The drive from Eilat to Jerusalem takes over four hours. You do not need or want a car in Jerusalem or Tel-Aviv because of the parking and traffic problems. You cannot drive an Israeli rental car in the Palestinian Authority cities (Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah, Hebron, etc). You should consider the alternatives for going to Jerusalem: "Egged" bus (look at their website for info on schedules, fares and reservation) or flying to Ben Gurion airport (look at the Arkia and Israir websites). You can take the train or bus from Jerusalem to Tel-Aviv.

You should also consider visiting the Dead Sea on the Israeli side. There are one day tours from Jerusalem that take you to a beach and Massada (and some to Ein Gedi). If you decide to rent a car in Eilat, you can drive to Jerusalem via the Dead Sea.

Last edited by mbgg; Dec 21, 19 at 10:53 pm
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Old Dec 22, 19, 1:14 am
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Biggest comment is that you're wasting a lot of the very little time in relatively uninteresting places and glossing over the more interesting/important places. With only 7 full days in these two countries, I'd pretty much skip or minimize time in Amman, Aqaba and Eilat.
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Old Dec 23, 19, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
Biggest comment is that you're wasting a lot of the very little time in relatively uninteresting places and glossing over the more interesting/important places. With only 7 full days in these two countries, I'd pretty much skip or minimize time in Amman, Aqaba and Eilat.
I agree with Lax_Esq on this one.
Israel and Jordan is, in it's rightfullness, to interesting to waste time on places like Eliat and Aqaba, if you are short on time.
I would also recommend staying the night in Wadi Rum for the full experience. Dead Sea is less crowded and more rugged if you visit from the Jordanian side. Also cheaper.
Another advice is to spend less time in Amman, and rather go to Madaba and explore the beautiful mosaics. It's cheaper and more relaxed, and its easy to get a driver from there to take you to the Red Sea on a half day trip.
I found the hotel prices in Jerusalem to be on the high end compared to quality and value. An option is to stay in Tel Aviv (where you can also enjoy great eating places, markeds, awsome nigthlife and beaches), and go with bus to Jerusalem during the day/evening, it's easy and fast. For Jerusalem I would get a guide.
But what ever you decide on; Petra and Jerusalem is a must.

Bon voyage!
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Old Dec 23, 19, 4:09 pm
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Looks like pretty unanimous feedback to drop Eliat and Aqaba - we can use that day for further exploration of Jerusalem.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 12:56 am
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So here's a second cut of proposed itinerary, taking into account the helpful feedback from everyone:

Sun, 29DEC: Land in AMM in the evening. Explore Amman in the evening. Stay the night in Amman.
Mon, 30DEC: Explore Amman/Visit Dead Sea. Stay the night in Amman.
Tue, 31DEC: Day trip to Petra/Wadi Rum. Stay the night in Amman.
Wed, 1JAN: Explore Jerusalem. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Thu, 2JAN: Explore Jerusalem/West Bank (Bethlehem) Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Fri, 3JAN: Explore Haifa/North Israel. Stay the night in Haifa.
Sat, 4JAN: Explore Haifa/North Israel. Stay the night in Tel Aviv.
Sun, 5JAN: Explore Tel Aviv, Redeye departure from TLV.

For the Haifa/North Israel portion, planning to rent a car. For the rest of the time, planning to rely on taxis/public transportation. Any further feedback to think about? In particular, is New Years Day a significant holiday in Israel that is likely to close attractions in Jerusalem? Similarly, are we likely to have issues exploring Haifa/North Israel on Sabbath?
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Old Dec 25, 19, 2:20 am
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
So here's a second cut of proposed itinerary, taking into account the helpful feedback from everyone:

Sun, 29DEC: Land in AMM in the evening. Explore Amman in the evening. Stay the night in Amman.
Mon, 30DEC: Explore Amman/Visit Dead Sea. Stay the night in Amman.
Tue, 31DEC: Day trip to Petra/Wadi Rum. Stay the night in Amman.
Wed, 1JAN: Explore Jerusalem. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Thu, 2JAN: Explore Jerusalem/West Bank (Bethlehem) Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Fri, 3JAN: Explore Haifa/North Israel. Stay the night in Haifa.
Sat, 4JAN: Explore Haifa/North Israel. Stay the night in Tel Aviv.
Sun, 5JAN: Explore Tel Aviv, Redeye departure from TLV.

For the Haifa/North Israel portion, planning to rent a car. For the rest of the time, planning to rely on taxis/public transportation. Any further feedback to think about? In particular, is New Years Day a significant holiday in Israel that is likely to close attractions in Jerusalem? Similarly, are we likely to have issues exploring Haifa/North Israel on Sabbath?
I would consider staying the night in Wadi Rum, it's a very long day trying to do both Petra and Wadi Rum (4+hr drive back to Amman), and staying the night there is an experience of its own.
New Years is not a public holiday for most of the country but bear in mind if you want to visit e.g. the christian quarter of Jerusalem it might be different.
Depends on the type of 'exploration' you want to do, some places and restaurants will be closed on Shabbat but otherwise I'm fairly certain you will find enough to do.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 3:00 am
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Dec 30: You don't need this day. Go to Petra and go to Jerusalem on Dec 31. It will take half a day via the Allenby (King Hussein) Bridge.
Jan 1 : You can use this day for exploring the New City in Jerusalem: the Israel Museum, Yad Vashem, Mahane Yehuda, etc. OR take a day tour to the Dead Sea.
Jan3-4: What are the logistics of this trip to the North. Will you rent a car, take a bus tour, or ... ?
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Old Dec 25, 19, 12:31 pm
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For similar reasons to why I said to cut Eilat/Aqaba/Amman, I think you need to cut out the North. I travel fast myself and am not one of those people who thinks you need a month somewhere to even make a trip worthwhile, but all this is still way too rushed. Petra and Wadi Rum in one way without even an overnight in the desert is way too rushed. You basically have one full day for Jerusalem -- you have 2 full days including a 1/2 day of transit (Amman -> Allenby Bridge -> Jerusalem) and a 1/2 day trip to Bethlehem. That's not enough.
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Old Dec 25, 19, 10:59 pm
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Sun, 29DEC: Land in AMM in the evening. Explore Amman in the evening. Stay the night in Amman.
Mon, 30DEC: Day trip to Petra. Stay the night in Amman.
Tues, 31 DEC: transfer to Jerusalem as early as possible. Explore Jerusalem. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Wed, 1JAN: Day tour to Dead Sea, Massada (Abraham Tours).

Thurs, 2 Jan: Explore Jerusalem/West Bank (Bethlehem) Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem
Fri, 3JAN: Jerusalem in morning. Transfer to Tel-Aviv late afternoon
Sat, 4JAN: Tel Aviv. One day bus tour to North?
Sun, 5JAN: Explore Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Redeye departure from TLV.
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Old Dec 26, 19, 7:58 am
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Hmm, this is a bit tricky. One strong preference I have been trying to schedule around is that I need 3 nights at the Hyatt Amman to qualify for Globalist this year. Given the status will help with 30+ nights in Hyatt properties next year, it might be worth being suboptimal on this trip to improve the rest of the year. Or maybe not - decisions

Originally Posted by mbgg View Post
Sun, 29DEC: Land in AMM in the evening. Explore Amman in the evening. Stay the night in Amman.
Mon, 30DEC: Day trip to Petra. Stay the night in Amman.
Tues, 31 DEC: transfer to Jerusalem as early as possible. Explore Jerusalem. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Wed, 1JAN: Day tour to Dead Sea, Massada (Abraham Tours).

Thurs, 2 Jan: Explore Jerusalem/West Bank (Bethlehem) Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem
Fri, 3JAN: Jerusalem in morning. Transfer to Tel-Aviv late afternoon
Sat, 4JAN: Tel Aviv. One day bus tour to North?
Sun, 5JAN: Explore Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Redeye departure from TLV.
In order to achieve my third night in Amman, here's my proposed modification:

Sun, 29DEC: Land in AMM in the evening. Explore Amman in the evening. Stay the night in Amman.
Mon, 30DEC: Day trip to Petra. Stay the night in Amman.
Tues, 31 DEC: Day trip to Dead Sea. Stay the night in Amman.
Wed, 1JAN: transfer to Jerusalem as early as possible. Explore Jerusalem. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Thurs, 2 Jan: Explore Jerusalem/West Bank (Bethlehem) Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem
Fri, 3JAN: Jerusalem in morning. Transfer to Tel-Aviv late afternoon
Sat, 4JAN: Tel Aviv. One day bus tour to North?
Sun, 5JAN: Explore Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Redeye departure from TLV.

In this proposed itinerary, I miss Wadi Rum entirely. I can add it back by either squeezing it into the same day trip as Petra or giving up on Globalist for 2020. How much of a mistake would it be to miss it?
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Old Dec 26, 19, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by PVDtoDEL View Post
Hmm, this is a bit tricky. One strong preference I have been trying to schedule around is that I need 3 nights at the Hyatt Amman to qualify for Globalist this year. Given the status will help with 30+ nights in Hyatt properties next year, it might be worth being suboptimal on this trip to improve the rest of the year. Or maybe not - decisions



In order to achieve my third night in Amman, here's my proposed modification:

Sun, 29DEC: Land in AMM in the evening. Explore Amman in the evening. Stay the night in Amman.
Mon, 30DEC: Day trip to Petra. Stay the night in Amman.
Tues, 31 DEC: Day trip to Dead Sea. Stay the night in Amman.
Wed, 1JAN: transfer to Jerusalem as early as possible. Explore Jerusalem. Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Thurs, 2 Jan: Explore Jerusalem/West Bank (Bethlehem) Stay the night in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem
Fri, 3JAN: Jerusalem in morning. Transfer to Tel-Aviv late afternoon
Sat, 4JAN: Tel Aviv. One day bus tour to North?
Sun, 5JAN: Explore Tel Aviv, Jaffa, Redeye departure from TLV.

In this proposed itinerary, I miss Wadi Rum entirely. I can add it back by either squeezing it into the same day trip as Petra or giving up on Globalist for 2020. How much of a mistake would it be to miss it?

why not book the Amm Hyatt for 3 nights but stay elsewhere night #2 , yea youd be paying for 2 hotels but you wont kill yourself with the back and forth and yet get the Hyatt credit you want

Just make sure to leave the DND on the outside of your door and let the FD know you dont want any housekeeping and if you need anything you will call up for it. Ive done it a few times myself, and had no problems
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Old Dec 26, 19, 11:58 am
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OP, it's pretty bad form to solicit everyone's advice and hide the ball on MAJOR constraints. And as a regular FTer, you should know better than to waste everyone's time like that.

In any event, a day trip to the Dead Sea after a day trip to Petra is an incredible waste of time and a lot of backtracking. Plus, the Dead Sea isn't the best use of a full day when you have very few precious days in these two countries; there's not much to do other than put some mud on, go in the water, float and take a pic.

If you insist on spending the 3 nights in Amman for Hyatt status, I'd second craz's advice, stay elsewhere on night 2 (e.g., overnight at Wadi Rum), and hire a driver to take you to Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, the Madaba map and Karak castle. And then I'd cut out the North from Israel and focus on Jerusalem.

Last edited by LAX_Esq; Dec 26, 19 at 2:00 pm
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Old Dec 26, 19, 1:12 pm
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One strong preference I have been trying to schedule around is that I need 3 nights at the Hyatt Amman to qualify for Globalist this year
So why are you wasting our time?
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Old Dec 26, 19, 11:34 pm
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My apologies guys, I didn't realize what an impactful constraint it was when I first created the thread..
Originally Posted by LAX_Esq View Post
If you insist on spending the 3 nights in Amman for Hyatt status, I'd second craz's advice, stay elsewhere on night 2 (e.g., overnight at Wadi Rum), and hire a driver to take you to Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, the Madaba map and Karak castle. And then I'd cut out the North from Israel and focus on Jerusalem.
I will do exactly this. Thanks to all of you for the help in figuring this out!
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