Travel; Taking a Toddler to Petra

Yes, you read that right, we took our Toddler to Petra.  The absolute ultimate in archaeological sightseeing.  And we took our Toddler.  To Petra.

We believe in the mantra that kids are portable, that you can take them anywhere with you, that travel doesn’t have to stop just because you have little people in tow.  A mantra that is echoed by some of my favourite bloggers like Mummy Travels and My Travel Monkey.  Yet when we took the Toddler to Petra I wasn’t immersed in the blogging world.  I didn’t have a clue that there were other crazy people like me and the husband out there.  That just packed up and carried on with travelling.  With the kids in tow.

I digress.

So the Toddler. Plus my mother.  Petra. Were we crazy??

The story starts when my mum came out to visit and talk turned to places we’d like to visit. Having just had friends come back from Jordan raving about it we mentioned we’d love it. Turns out my mum quite fancied it too but since Dad died hadn’t really had anyone to go with. Cue a family outing for my birthday in the January (as the husband says yet another one spent on holiday) when the Toddler would be 15 months old.

Crazy right?

We flew into Amman and checked into the hotel before conducting our own walking tour round the city. It wasn’t the most pram-friendly place we’d been too but definitely not as bad as Belgium and our little Bugaboo Bee did well. Exploring the streets and the markets, finding the best falafel I have ever tasted before or after. Drinking sweet mint tea to warm up. Discovering the history as well as the city.

Amman

The Ampitheatre in Amman

Indulging in a cheeky vino in the hotel bar before crashing early that night to make the drive to Petra the next day. My husband drove us down, on what was a fairly straight road that was easily navigated (thankfully for the rubbish navigator) in about 3 and a half hours, 4 with a stop. You can get drivers to drive you down and it’s relatively inexpensive but hauling the Toddler plus associated paraphernalia meant we wanted the whole car to ourselves.

Arriving around midday we checked into our hotel, The Petra Moon, a 5 minute walk from the entrance of the ancient city of Petra. Checking in and grabbing lunch before headed down for our first glance at ancient Petra. Petra is an UNESCO World Heritage site and has been since 1985. Famous as the rose city for the colour of the rock that the architecture is lovingly carved out of. Also famous for being the scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

The Toddler and I standing in front of the Treasury

The Toddler and I standing in front of the Treasury

Being an ancient city it definitely wasn’t pram friendly, and involved a lot of walking. An estimate of 10-15km per day with a wobbly toddler meant that the Ergo came into play. We practiced and mastered the back carry, sharing the load between us throughout the day.

Getting up early, which wasn’t difficult having a 15 month old with us who was raring to go, to be the first to head into the ancient city of wonder. Strapping up and taking the first shift, walking down the Siq (a mere 3km) excitement building as we stepped through a tunnel carved in the rocks until you see a glint of sunlight and a hint of pink walking through to the majesty of the Treasury carved in the rock face.

Walking down the Siq

Walking down the Siq

Ambling through, pausing to take in the Treasury, to marvel at the wonder, walking over sandy rock filled paths, horses and carts standing by, donkeys ready to help you climb up the rock face. The roman ampitheatre you are able to explore and imagine what may just have taken place thousands of years ago.

The city carved into the rock

Exploring. Wandering round in the fresh air. Marvelling at what was done. What has survived.

And that was just the first day. Back to the hotel with a cheeky stop at The Cave Bar, a bar in a 2000 year old cave, for a rejuvenating drink before a quick shower, lots more falafel and an early night with the Toddler.

First Glimpse

First Glimpse of Treasury

Another early start, walking down the Siq for the second time, still a breathtaking sight to watch the Treasury loom in front of you, yet today a different task. A different ancient wonder. We were hiking up to the top of the hill to see the Monastery. Though hill isn’t really the right word. Situated 220m above the city and a cool estimated 800 steps to reach this site we questioned the sense of walking up. Mum was struggling. I drew the short straw in wearing the Toddler.

Climbing up the 800 steps

Climbing up the 800 steps

It was worth it.

The Toddler outside the Monastery

The Toddler outside the Monastery

Then we left the Toddler with Mum and climbed a little high.

Definitely worth it.

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More exploring. Watching. Feeling like a very small cog in a very old place. Breathtaking. Beautiful. The Toddler roamed free as we hit each site, going back in the Ergo to move from place to place. Napping on the go. He was a superstar.

So would I recommend taking a toddler to Petra?

Of course!

P1010816

Top Tips for Taking a Toddler to Petra

1. Invest in a decent, age appropriate, carrier. Even for the most confident and capable of walkers there is a lot of walking each day. Too much for little legs to deal with.
2. Pack light but pack snacks! Carrying a Toddler is hard work. Dealing with them being hungry as well? No fun. There are food options available in Petra but they are few and far between.
3. Don’t attempt to go in summer when temperatures are soaring.
4. Carry your Toddler between sites, but make sure you let them down at each point while you admire they can explore.
5. Start early, it’s quieter and your child will probably have you up early anyway.
6. Don’t be afraid just go for it!

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23 Comments

  1. November 5, 2015 / 12:27 pm

    Thank you for the mention! Love the post, what a fab thing to do with a toddler (and while they’re little enough to be carried ). Petra is just amazing , that first sight of the Siq made hairs stand up on my neck. Amazing.
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…Giveaway – 20 self-guided city walk appsMy Profile

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:43 am

      You can’t describe it can you? Mention had to be had I didn’t realise there were other crazy travelling mums til I found you! X

      • February 4, 2016 / 5:47 pm

        Loved re-reading this again (thanks for linking up with #citytripping!) – and exactly, there are more of us crazy travelling mums out there than people think. That is definitely a club I love being part of, especially when I get to share it with people like you and Ting. x
        Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…My family travel wish list – with a side of luxuryMy Profile

  2. November 5, 2015 / 1:15 pm

    Wow the Ergo looks great and walking 10-15km a day, you definitely needed it! Also Petra looks and sounds amazing, too. I think it’s great you took your toddler along. It’s harder to travel once children start school because it means only traveling in the school holidays (unless you don’t mind a fine). Horses and carts? Donkeys? Wow, amazing! I’d quite like to visit Petra one day 🙂 xx

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:44 am

      It’s incredible. Part of me wishes we went when he was a little older and more appreciative but you can’t guarantee that it will interest him and it certainly interested us x

  3. November 5, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    Wow you are very brave and I salute you. I would love to visit Petra, we went to Como and drove from the UK with Monkey for his first holiday and I thought that was pretty adventurous. You snapped some great photos. And I agree kids are most definitely portable. xx
    Mudpie Fridays recently posted…Practicing Dexterity with Giant Water BeadsMy Profile

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:45 am

      It was incredible and we loved it! Any travel with children is adventurous as you can never tell how they are going to be.

  4. November 6, 2015 / 12:38 am

    Wow you are really brave. I think once you have a sling you bring your toddler anywhere. I regret I didn’t go anywhere with Matthew when he was at that age other than Germany. I thought it was too much hassle. I can tell you now it wasn’t but it certainly is now that I have two!

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:46 am

      I can’t imagine trying to coordinate with both of them now!

  5. November 6, 2015 / 12:52 am

    It looks amazing there. We would love to go although our travelling is on hold whilst we save but we’re looking forward to introducing our children to all the sights

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:47 am

      It’s fantastic. Travel doesn’t have to be about the big places for little ones exploring anywhere new is an adventure be in the garden, the park or the cupboard under the stairs!

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:48 am

      I can’t either – I didn’t have to carry him down but that was definitely the better end of the deal x

  6. November 6, 2015 / 1:39 am

    Oh you are amazing to go to such an incredible place with a toddler, you make travel to exotic places look so easy, looks like it was an incredible trip!

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:49 am

      Ahh thank you. It’s easy when you get there but we have plenty of squabbles getting there!

  7. November 6, 2015 / 2:37 am

    Petra is on my dream places to visit list. It looks wonderful. I’m impressed it’s doable with a toddler.
    Emma T recently posted…Halloween party playMy Profile

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:56 am

      It’s incredible. Breathtaking really. And yep you can totally do it with a toddler!

    • November 13, 2015 / 3:00 pm

      It’s incredible. Breathtaking really. And yep you can totally do it with a toddler, as long as they cooperate with a sling x

    • November 12, 2015 / 7:56 am

      Glad you liked it – it’s such a beautiful place x

  8. February 4, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    Hi Laura. I certainly don’t think you are crazy to take your toddler to visit Petra, I just think you are crazy to climb the 800 steps carrying toddler in a sling! What an incredible place:) I have visited Leptis Magna in Libya, the Acropolis in Athens and the Valley of the Kings in Luxor but Petra is still on my list of places to visit…. I may wait though until my boys can climb the 800 steps by themselves:) #CityTripping

  9. February 5, 2016 / 2:15 pm

    Oh Laura, I must have missed this the first time round! Thank you so much for the mention… and I am so happy to be part of this great club of mummy travellers. Petra is one place I really, really want to go to… I will one day, although toddler probably won’t be a toddler by then 🙂 Hope you’re well lovely.

  10. February 8, 2016 / 2:47 pm

    Wow! Fantastic Laura! I love how you didn’t overthink the decision to go with toddler and just did it! No time to talk yourself out of it! Petra, and Jordan, is somewhere I would love to go and this is very inspiring to read. Being a mummy traveller rocks! Your Ergo looks great -but 800 steps – wow! Well done you! Thanks for linking to #citytripping xx

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