Cost of Petra Tours – Is Jordan an Expensive Place to Travel?

Cost of Petra Tours – Is Jordan an Expensive Place to Travel?

We had three days in Jordan, as a stop over between an 8 week tour of Europe, and heading back to our home in Bali. Our original goal was to spend almost two weeks traveling in Jordan and Israel. But we were tired and wanted to head home. I wished, though, that I had known about the cost of Petra before we decided to do a layover trip. I wished I had asked: is Jordan expensive? And, like many of our blog posts, this Petra blog focuses on the cost of Petra tours, so you make a more educated decision than we did. Book One Of The Best Petra Tours – Updated 2018 Pricing What is the Petra Entrance Fee? If I researched the entrance fee to Petra, and the cost of travel from Amman to Petra, ahead of time, I may not have gone at all. That might be a harsh thing to say as I actually enjoyed my time in Jordan. But, if I had known the cost of Petra plus the cost to float in the Dead Sea combined would be $100 per person, we probably would have flown straight through and made our way back to Bali a few days earlier. I lacked information about Petra – and it was my own fault. I did not do my research ahead of time. We did not buy a guide book, and I did very little reading. I had read a few blogs awhile back when trying to figure out an itinerary and how long we needed. I don’t remember any of them asking “is Jordan expensive.?”...
Qatar Business Class Lounge in Doha

Qatar Business Class Lounge in Doha

When we cash in our miles for a business class or fist class flight, we like to do everything we can to make the most of the business class experience. This of course includes the chance to use an airline’s business class lounge. And, the Qatar Business Class Lounge in Doha was easily the best airport lounge we’ve ever experienced. So far. Our goal is to eek out every minute of luxury and pleasure, and to take advantage of all the opportunities to experience flying something other than in cattle class. Using the Qatar business lounge in Doha certainly provided us this opportunity when flying Qatar business class. The lounge was massive, airy, clean, and new. The Etihad lounge in Abu Dhabi is way too small for the number of passengers flying through. The Qatar business class lounge, though, is huge. I couldn’t imagine a situation where they run out of seats, a problem at so many business class lounges around the world. A large reflecting pool, and contemporary surroundings just exuded luxury. In fact, I almost felt like the lounge experience was nicer than actually flying business class and made travel to Doha worth it! Dining at the Qatar Business Lounge in Doha When we flew Etihad out of Dublin, I was super impressed wit the Etihad lounge at Dublin Airport. Mostly because of the a la cate breakfast menu. It was the first time I was served a fresh, hot meal at an airport lounge. But the food service at the Qatar Business Lounge in Doha took the cake. Upstairs was a full restaurant, with an a la...
Etihad Business Class Review 777-300ER – Dublin to Abu Dhabi

Etihad Business Class Review 777-300ER – Dublin to Abu Dhabi

There’s no denying that the Middle Eastern airlines (Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways) have taken the global commercial aviation industry by storm, whether through massive aircraft orders, brand new mega airports or inflight offerings. Although our first experience booking Etihad business class did not go so well, this time we were determined to enjoy our experience. We flew Etihad business class from Dublin to Abu Dhabi, and then continued onto Kuala Lumpur. Etihad Business Class Chauffeur Service in Dublin Etihad offers a chauffeur service for first and business class passengers. This service isn’t offered in all cities and is restricted in the distance from the airport, usually 50-100 miles. Wanting to make the most of our business class experience, we ordered the car service the night before. Because we are normally in Ireland visiting family in Limerick, any flight out of Dublin early in the day requires us to stay the night before in Dublin. We’ve made the trip this enough times that our routine is to catch the Dublin Coach from Limerick to just outside Dublin. This time we stayed the night at the Ibis hotel. The Ibis is conveniently located near the Dublin airport bus. Usually costing between 50-70 Euros, it serves it’s purpose. The morning of our Etihad business class flight, the black Mercedes S Class sedan arrived at our Ibis hotel. The irony wasn’t lost on us that we were taking advantage of Etihad’s chauffeured sedan service from a budget hotel. Etihad Business Class Lounge in Dublin I’ve got to hand it to Etihad with their Dublin lounge. They secured one of the best lounge...
The Animals of Petra – a Photo Essay

The Animals of Petra – a Photo Essay

It can be difficult to find cute animals in the desert, or at least interesting animals in the desert.  When looking for the animals of Petra, I figured we would see at least a few.  I anticipated we would see some animals with all the stories of the horses, donkeys, and camels offering tourists entertainment at Petra.  Unfortunately, we heard about the aggressiveness of the touts, the animals’ owners, who often try to fleece the tourists, and even worse, the mistreatment of the horses. As we made our way further into the park, you could tell there were a lot of animals of Petra.  Well, you could smell there were a lot of animals around.  I, unfortunately, will always associate Petra with the smell of poop. I was very much on guard, and even once I started snapping photos of the animals of Petra, I did it on the sly, lest a tout demand that I pay for a picture of the animals.  I was certainly more ready to delete a photo than pay.  After all, we had already paid so much just to get into the park. I managed to sneak a few photos though, of donkeys. I tracked down a few horse drawn carriages – some waiting for fares, others barreling down the siq, the cavernous passageway leading to the famous Treasury.   This carriage, almost hit a cute cat that was stupid enough to cross his path. I can’t go anywhere without taking cat photos.  I just can’t help it. And, there’s no suprise that I end with some camel shots.  This is a desert in Jordan,...
Arabian Adventures Night Safari in Dubai

Arabian Adventures Night Safari in Dubai

I really don’t have a bucket list per se, and don’t even really believe in the concept.  But, I once put together a travel to do list – years ago.  Once in a blue moon I look over the list to see if I am on the right track.  In all those years, one thing remained on my to do list – riding a camel.   When we were offered the opportunity to tour Dubai courtesy of Dubai Tourism, they asked us what, specifically, we were interested in doing in Dubai.  The first thing that came to mind – I wanted to ride a camel.  It did not need to be a long trip across the desert, a la Lawrence of Arabia, but enough for me to sit on top, bop along, and knock it off my travel to do list. Dubai Tourism delivered.  And then some.   After our disappointing evening on the Dhow dinner cruise, my hopes were set on having a lovely evening for our last night in Dubai.  Our guide, Yafei, picked us up from the hotel, where Eric was waiting in his desert chic attire.  We were ready for our Arabian Adventures Night Safari. Yafei escorted us about an hour outside of the city, explaining about the safari and some history of Dubai.  We even drove past the practice grounds for camel racing on the way.    When we arrived at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, we pulled over with the other Arabian Adventures cars and deflated the tires of the 4×4 truck, to make it easier to drive through the desert dunes. Yafei was excited...
Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding – Dubai

Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding – Dubai

I consider myself fairly educated and world traveled, although I know I have a lot more to learn, and a lot more to explore.  One region that we have not explored, and know so very little about, is the Arab world.  It is challenging to try to learn the reality of Islam in an American media-driven world.  If I accepted what FoxNews preached, I would be holed up in a bunker in Kansas, afraid to see daylight.  At least, though, I understood what I did not understand when landing in Dubai, our first stop in our tour of the Middle East.  As part of our tour, we were invited to the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, where the motto is open doors, open minds.  Set in a traditional wind house in the rebuilt, historic center of Dubai, the goal of the center is to encourage understanding of the Emirati people, traditions, culture, and the Muslim religion.   Visiting an Emirati Mosque First, we visited a mosque with our guide, Nasif, who in quite a humorous and matter of fact way, explained some of the lesser known theories behind Islam, and how it compares to other religions.  His goal was to debunk some of the rumors that surround the Muslim world, in a way everyone can understand.   We all removed our shoes, and the women were asked to wear a head scarf.  As the only mosque in Dubai which is not only open to the public six days a week, but is dedicated to receiving non-Muslim visitors, I wondered how traditional this mosque really was, particularly as men...