Tipping – Tipping is common throughout the Middle East, so it is good to have some smaller denominations in your wallet ready to offer as a gratuity. There is no steadfast rule and etiquettes vary, but roughly 10% is a good benchmark. Check with your local guide if you are unsure what is appropriate. Power plugs – The power sockets and standard voltages vary throughout the Middle East, however, nowhere is consistent with Australian and New Zealand configurations. An adapter is required for Australian and New Zealand appliances, and check if your items need a current converter for your trip. Currency – Middle Eastern countries retain independent currencies, so you may need multiple currencies depending on your itinerary. Check with your bank for the options available to you (and fees involved) for accessing your funds overseas. Advise your bank of your travel plans to avoid having your transactions flagged or blocked on holidays.
What should I bring?
Light scarf – A scarf is a practical addition to your Middle East packing list – particularly for women to cover up when visiting religious sites where conservative dress is customary. A scarf or wrap is also handy for men and women alike to protect against the sandy terrain. Sun protection – Include a hat made from lightweight breathable material for your trip, along with sunglasses and sunscreen. Pack a light singlet and long thin layers to protect you from direct sunlight and consider a cooling neck wrap for hotter days. Carry a refillable water bottle to keep yourself hydrated while out sightseeing. Comfortable clothing – Pack comfortable clothing, particularly footwear. You will spend a lot of time on your feet exploring so it is important to have practical shoes. Include light loose clothing for comfort, and some warmer layers for nighttime. For women it is important to have some outfits that cover shoulders and knees for visiting religious sites.
Don't miss these authentic experiences on tour!
Middle Eastern cuisine – Middle Eastern menus are rich with hummus, falafel, tahini, baba ghanoush, flat breads, and koftas. For a sweet snack, pick up some dried fruit from a market, or for something a little more indulgent, try some baklava or a signature Israeli Chocolate Rugelach (chocolate and dough twist – yum!). Explore the historical sites – Get lost in the history and spirit of this intriguing region. Explore the Pyramids and the historic Sphinx sculpture in Egypt, discover the famous archaeological city of Petra in Jordan, and uncover the religious sites of Jerusalem in Israel, all with the knowledge and passion of your local guide. Check out a local market – While on your trip through the Middle East, venture to a local marketplace. Full of flavourful produce, aromatic spices, vibrant textiles and hand-crafted ceramics, it is the perfect place to buy some souvenirs. Bartering is standard practice in marketplaces, so be prepared to haggle for your items.