Jordan Work and Jobs
Jordan is not cheap, hence the fact that travellers don’t tend to stick around for months, like they do in Sinai or other parts of the world. However, being such a small country it’s easy to get around quickly, see the major sights and then move on (see Travel Tips Section).
There are no hostels as such in Jordan, however some hotels do have rooms with three or four beds which can prove to be economical if you can get a few friends together to share the expense. The cheapest budget single rooms start at about 5 – 10JDs, with mid range rooms starting at about 25/30JDs and upwards.
For a rough breakdown of prices see below: (where 1JD = £0.85 approx)
Coffee/Tea – 1JD; Soft drink 1JD; Beer 4JD; Mineral Water 1JD; 2 Course Meal in a small café or restaurant 5/6 JD; 3 Course Meal in a mid range restaurant 10JD
Jordan does not have a huge scene for backpackers generally, and few hang around for extended periods of time, overstaying their visa to make a few quid in bars and restaurants. This kind of thing is far more prevalent a stone’s throw away in the Israeli city of Eilat, where there are more than enough bars that need tending, restaurants that need staffing and boats which need crewing.
There are however, plenty of ex pats living in the country who enjoy more permanent employment. A number of these are qualified English teachers, (just speaking English as a mother tongue may not suffice in Jordan) whilst others are businessmen and women.
In order to encourage foreign investment, Jordan’s only coastal city Aqaba has been made into a tax free zone, and as a result more and more foreigners are coming here for the purpose of making money. In the last year or two lots of new bars and clubs have appeared in the city which in turn provide jobs. So far the vast majority of people taking advantage of this seem to be coming from Eastern Europe, or neighbouring Egypt.
Tour leading is another good way to earn some money, get to know a country and simultaneously integrate oneself with the local populace (see Tour Leading Guide). Tour groups make up a large percentage of Jordan’s visitors and each one needs a leader. This however is not the kind of work you can ‘blag’ your way into whilst abroad, and requires application through the normal kind of channels in your home country.
So there’s not a vast amount of work around for the opportunist backpacker, however, if you really do want to extend your time in Jordan, and do something productive whilst your there, you will always be welcome as a volunteer. Although the cities may superficially appear to be wealthy with nice cars and modern buildings, this is slightly misleading as there are plenty of people living below the poverty line in a country in which 65% of the population are Palestinians. There are huge refugee camps in the suburbs around Amman where the inhabitants still hang the keys around their necks to their former homes in Palestine in the hope of one day returning. As such there are plenty of schools and orphanages that always appreciate volunteers.