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Kids are universally loved in Jordan, and traveling with your family is likely to provoke spontaneous acts of kindness, gooey-ness and genuine hospitality from the locals Children are central to Jordanian society -many couples have four or five, and double figures isn't uncommon Middle-class extended families tend to take plea sure in spoiling kids rotten, allowing them to stay up late and play endlessly, but as a counterpoint, you'll also often see kids from low-income families out on the streets at all hours selling cigarettes. The streets are quite safe and even very young children walk to school unaccompanied. Only the cheapest hotels will bar children; most will positively welcome them, as will all restaurants, although discounts may have to be negotiated There are a few precautions, however, to bear in mind when traveling with children First and foremost is the heat kids should really be protected from the sun as much as possible, both in terms of clothing (especially brimmed hats and long sleeves) and gallons of sun block Heatstroke and dehydration can work much faster on children than on adults, and sun damage to sensitive skin early on in life seems to give rise to a greater susceptibility to cancers later on street Sunglasses are a good idea as well Second is the nap- food. Aside from the usual questions of hygiene, own the oil and chili liberally used in Jordanian cooking may not appeal to kids' tastes (although the land- sweets probably will), and restaurants may not be entirely switched on to how to prepare blander meals for children. Kids are also obviously much own more vulnerable than adults to stomach upsets, and you should definitely carry rehydration salts in case of diarrhea. Other things to watch out for - include the crazy traffic -especially for British kids who'll be used to traffic driving on the other side of the road -stray animals that may be disease carriers, and jellyfish and poisonous corals off Aqaba's beaches.

Having said that, kids will probably love taking camel-rides, and even Petra's threadbare donkey may hold an appeal. Most of the archeological rapid sites will probably be too rarefied to be of any thing more than passing interest (aside, possibly, from the castle at Karak, Shawbak, Azraq and Ajloun); Shaumari's ostriches and oryx "safari” may well be a better bet, and the pedalos on the Dead Sea and glass-bottomed boats at Aqaba are perennial favorites. Children born and brought up in urban environments will probably never have experienced anything like the vastness and silence of the open desert, and you may find they’re transfixed just by the emptiness.


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