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dress for Jordan

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I am a 50-something woman who will be travelling in Jordan and Israel in July. Other than the obvious recommendation about dressing for the heat and for modesty (no bare shoulders or knees), what specific type of clothing should I bring? Cotton pants? long shorts and American-style t-shirts? loose-fitting longish dresses? sleeveless shirts? My husband and I are fairly adventurous and plan to do as much walking as possible. Walking sandals a good idea for places like Petra or do we need sturdy boots? We don't want to be burdened with alot of luggage either. Any specific suggestions from recent travellers?

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    Jean,
    I can't speak for Jordan specifically, but Israel in summer will be very hot (as you've stated you know). I brought a pair of good walking shoes (not boots) that I could wear with pants, shorts and skirts, and they were very comfortable. If you do any walking outside of major cities, like going to Masada or the Dead Sea, I wouldn't recommend wearing sandals, but rather something that will cover the feet.

    Light, loose clothing is best, preferably cotton or other natural materials. In some areas where modesty is required, there is sometimes a cover-up provided for women. However, I brought along a simple cotton "wrap-skirt" that I kept folded in my backpack, and when I needed to cover shorts I would simply get that out and wear it over shorts. (this works if you are going to maybe one site for a short period during the entire day) I would stay away from skirts coming above the knee - in most cases you will be asked to cover up - so it's best to stick with dresses/skirts that come to the knee or slightly below. In almost all places in Israel you will be able to wear pants, although if you are going anywhere outside of Jerusalem it will be VERY humid and pants, even cotton, may be somewhat uncomfortable.

    Basically, most holy sites are in Jerusalem, so once you leave there to go to other places within Israel, you can get by with mostly shorts/pants.

    Hope this helps.

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    That wrap around skirt in the backpack is an excellent idea! I never thought of that one.
    In Jordan, it's best to stick to modest wear. 3/4 sleeves, dresses covering knees yada yada yada...
    When outside the home, Jordanian women are covered from the neck to the toe and wear scarfs. In the city of Aqaba, I saw a european tourist, from a cruise ship, wearing very short shorts and her cheeks were falling out of the bottom of her shorts. One citizen of Aqaba almost had his eyes popping out from the sight. In hopes to avoid being the catalyst of a heart attack, no shorts please. At the beach it's a different story. Business as usual althought I have never seen any thong bikinis there. Naturally much of this advice is meant for others, Jean. Unless you are known in the entertainment industry as "Cher."

    If you are going to tour Petra, be sure to wear a good sun screen lotion and a hat. The sun can really blister you. Petra is very dusty so sandals would not be comfy. You wouldn't go wrong wearing athletic shoes. Bring a small bottle of frozen water in your fanny pack. It won't be frozen for long and will taste marvelous after 3-4 hours in Petra. Here I would wear long walking shorts, capris, or slacks. Customs be damned, you can't climb like a mountain goat in a skirt.

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