For some travel companies, interpreting those nuances means canceling or postponing certain tours in the surrounding area. “From the time the Israel/Hamas war started we received cancellations and inquiries if we were still going to conduct our tours,” in the Middle East, says Jerry Sorkin, a travel specialist with Iconic Journeys Worldwide.
If you’re deciding whether to go ahead with a trip planned in the area, there are a few factors to consider. “First, it’s important to understand that every person has their own level of risk tolerance—the level of risk that they are willing to take for the activity they want to pursue,” Dennis says. “What’s reasonable for one person might not be the same for another.”
Here’s the latest information travelers should know about traveling to Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt in the near future—including what the situation on the ground is, how travel agents are advising their clients, and how you can monitor the ever-changing situation from a travel perspective.
Should you travel to Jordan right now?
The US State Department has so far kept Jordan under a “Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution” travel alert that it first issued on July 13. The only regions that travelers are instructed to avoid are the country’s borders with Syria and Iraq, its refugee camps, and Zarqa, Rusayfah, and the Baqa’a neighborhood of Ayn Basha due to ongoing safety concerns, according to the department’s guidance.
Most tours through Jordan are operating as scheduled, visiting highlights like Petra, the Wadi Rum desert, the Dead Sea, and the capital Amman. Red Savannah says its trips to Jordan are continuing as normal, as are El Camino Travel’s and Intrepid Travel’s tours.
Even so, about 50 percent of hotel reservations throughout Jordan were canceled in October and about 60 percent of confirmed reservations have already been canceled for November, the Jordan Hotel Association told the Jordan Times.
For travelers who choose to reschedule their visit, United Airlines is offering a travel waiver for its flights into Amman. Customers booked to fly into the Jordanian capital through November 30 can change the date of their flight to any day through the end of the year (they also have the option of changing the destination to Athens instead), or they can cancel and receive a full refund. (United is the only US carrier that flies to the destination.)
Should you travel to Egypt right now?
Trips throughout primary tourist regions of Egypt are continuing to operate as usual. The country’s alert level from the State Department also hasn’t changed since July 13, and remains at a “Level 3: Reconsider Travel.” Tourists should continue to avoid travel to the Sinai Peninsula, the land bordering Israel and Gaza and to the east of Cairo, as it is a “particularly dangerous area” according to the department.