Security Alert May 17, 2024

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Travel Advisory July 13, 2023

Oman - level 2: exercise increased caution.

Reissued with obsolete COVID-19 page links removed.

Exercise increased caution due to  terrorism  and  armed conflict . Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • The Yemen border area due to  terrorism  and  armed conflict .

Country Summary : Due to risks to civil aviation operating within the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman region, including Oman, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has issued an advisory Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) and/or a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR). For more information U.S. citizens should consult the  Federal Aviation Administration’s Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices .

Read the  country information page  for additional information on travel to Oman.

If you decide to travel to Oman:

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program  ( STEP ) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on  Facebook  and  Twitter .
  • Review the  Country Security Report  for Oman.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest  Travel Health Information  related to your travel.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the  Traveler’s Checklist .

Yemen Border Area

Terrorist attacks and violence continue in Yemen. Crossing the border into Yemen can be dangerous, and U.S. citizens who attempt to cross the Oman-Yemen border, from either Oman or Yemen, may be detained by Omani authorities.

Visit our website for  High-Risk Travelers .

Embassy Messages

View Alerts and Messages Archive

Quick Facts

1 page per entry stamp

Yellow fever (when coming from an area with yellow fever outbreaks)

Amounts over 20,000 USD must be declared

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Muscat

Jamiat A'Duwal Al Arabiya Street, Al Khuwair Area (Shatti Al-Qurum), Muscat Oman Telephone: +(968) 2464-3400 Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(968) 2464-3400 Fax: +(968) 2464-3535 Email:  [email protected]

Destination Description

Learn about the U.S. relationship to countries around the world.

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

COVID-19 Requirements: There are no COVID-related entry requirements for U.S. citizens.

Please visit the  Embassy of Oman website  for the most current visa information.

Requirements for Entry:

  • Passport valid for at least six months

Tourist Visas: 

  • U.S. citizens should apply for tourist visas in advance via the  Royal Oman Police E-Visa website . Tourist visas are also available upon arrival at airports and land crossings.
  • Visas are issued at Mazoonah and Sarfait (Oman-Yemen land borders) on a case-by-case basis.
  • The current list of visa types and a schedule of fees are available at the  Royal Oman Police website .
  • Have proof of adequate funds and an onward/return ticket.

Penalties for expired passports or visas include fines and/or imprisonment.

Avoid Travel to Yemen:  We strongly advise U.S. citizens against travel to Yemen. Crossing the Yemen-Oman border can be dangerous, and U.S. citizens who do so are routinely detained by Omani authorities. The Department of State and U.S. embassies abroad will not facilitate entry of U.S. citizens into Yemen. See Our  Travel Advisory for Yemen  for further information.

Oman does not recognize dual nationality. Omani authorities may confiscate your U.S. passport if you have Oman/U.S. dual nationality. Should this happen, contact the U.S. Embassy. This does not constitute loss of U.S. citizenship.

Children of Omani fathers automatically acquire Omani citizenship at birth and must enter and exit Oman on their Omani passports.

Omani/U.S. dual nationals are subject to all Omani laws, including those placing special obligations on citizens of Oman.

Expect considerable delays if your U.S. passport is lost or stolen. The Royal Oman Police require entry verification upon departure. If your passport containing your entry stamp is lost or stolen, a police report may be required to exit Oman using a replacement passport. For further details, see the  Royal Oman Police website .

Yellow fever vaccinations are required if you are coming from a country with yellow fever outbreaks.

Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors and foreign residents of Oman. HIV/AIDS testing is required upon arrival for people on work or immigrant visas. Oman does not accept U.S. HIV/AIDS testing. Verify this information with the  Embassy of Oman  before traveling.

Customs Regulations:

  • Pornographic materials and firearms are prohibited.
  • Muslim travelers are forbidden to bring in alcohol. Oman does not require visitors to identify with a religion.
  • Non-Muslim travelers can bring in two bottles of alcohol bought at a duty-free shop.

Find information on  dual nationality ,  prevention of international child abduction  and  customs regulations  on our websites.

Safety and Security

Terrorism:  Terrorist groups and those inspired by such organizations are intent on attacking U.S. citizens abroad.  Terrorists are increasingly using less sophisticated methods of attack – including knives, firearms, and vehicles – to more effectively target crowds.  Frequently, their aim is unprotected or vulnerable targets, such as: 

  • High-profile public events (sporting contests, political rallies, demonstrations, holiday events, celebratory gatherings, etc.) 
  • Hotels, clubs, and restaurants frequented by tourists 
  • Places of worship 
  • Schools 
  • Parks 
  • Shopping malls and markets 
  • Public transportation systems (including subways, buses, trains, and scheduled commercial flights)  

For more information, see our Terrorism page. 

MARAD Report:  According to the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD), U.S. flag vessels in the Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el Mandeb regions face an elevated risk of attacks by violent extremists.

U.S. flag vessels should report suspicious activity to:

  • COMUSNAVCENT battle watch captain at 011-973-1785-3879
  • U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 (toll-free), 202-267-2675, or 202-267-4477 (TDD).

Crime : There is minimal street crime in Oman, and violent crime is rare.

See the  Department of State  and the  FBI  pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime:  U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance. Report crimes to the local police at 9999.  Emergency hotlines are mostly Arabic-speaking.  The U.S. Embassy has received reports from U.S. citizens who were unable to receive assistance due to language barriers.  Contact the U.S. Embassy at +968 2464-3400.  Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on  help for U.S. victims of crime overseas .

  • Help you find appropriate medical care
  • Assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • Contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • Provide general information regarding the victim’s role during the local investigation and following its conclusion 
  • Provide a list of local attorneys
  • Provide information on  victim’s compensation programs in the United States
  • Provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • Help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • Replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence:  U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy for assistance.  The law in Oman does not specifically address domestic violence.  However, charges may be brought under other statutes.  Victims of domestic violence may file a complaint with the police, and reports indicate that police respond promptly and professionally.  The government operates a domestic violence hotline and a shelter for victims.

For additional information please see Oman’s Penal Code and our Human Rights Report for Oman .

Dial 1100 to reach the government-operated domestic violence hotline.

Tourism : The tourism industry is generally well-regulated and rules with regard to best practices and safety inspections are regularly enforced. Hazardous areas/activities are identified with appropriate signage, and professional staff is typically on hand in support of organized activities. In the event of an injury, appropriate medical treatment is widely available throughout the country. Outside of a major metropolitan center, it may take more time for first responders and medical professionals to stabilize a patient and provide life-saving assistance. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance . 

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.  Individuals establishing a business or practicing a profession that requires additional permits or licensing should seek information from the competent local authorities, prior to practicing or operating a business.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on  crimes against minors abroad  and the  Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification : If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. Omani authorities typically do not permit foreigners accused of crimes to leave the country while cases are open.

See our  webpage  for further information.

Carry your passport at all times, or you could be detained.

It is illegal to photograph certain buildings.

Alcohol and Drugs:  You may be arrested for possession of alcohol or driving under the influence. Drinking is permitted in some international hotels, bars, homes, and some restaurants.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs include lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines.  Some prescription medications, such as narcotics, available in the United States may be illegal in Oman.  Travelers should check the Oman Ministry of Health’s Medications and Travel webpage before importing prescription medications.

Motor Vehicle Violations:  Traffic laws are strictly enforced and carry heavy penalties. Remote traffic cameras are extensively used to monitor speeding and stop light infractions.

Immigration officials, airports and other ports of entry and exit have ready access to information on traffic offenses, and violators cannot depart Oman unless all fines have been paid in full.

Personal Defamation Charges:

  • Using vulgar language or hand gestures can lead to personal defamation charges. 
  • An accusation alone, regardless of who files it, can initiate a legal process.
  • U.S. citizens can usually resolve these cases with a formal apology and payment of damages to the aggrieved party.

Cultural Heritage Items:  To avoid prosecution, check first with Omani authorities before taking “cultural heritage items” such as archaeological artifacts, meteorites, or stones. 

Notary Services:  All foreign public documents (Birth, Marriage, Death, Divorce, academic records, etc.) need to be apostilled for use in Oman. The U.S. Embassy in Oman cannot apostille any documents issued in the U.S. See  our website  for designated authorities in the United States. That can issue an apostille.

Employment in Oman:  Although a common practice, it is illegal for Omani employers to retain your passport. Such retention could grant undue leverage to your employer in case of a dispute. U.S. passports are the property of the U.S. government.

The U.S. Embassy cannot intervene in labor disputes. At the beginning of any employment, obtain a contract that clearly states the terms of employment. Try to resolve disputes privately with your employer. If this fails, consult our  list of lawyers .

Dress Code : Be sensitive to Islamic culture and do not wear sleeveless shirts, halter-tops, or shorts. Only wear athletic clothing in public when engaged in sports activities.

Currency : U.S. bills printed before 2006 are often not accepted. Local currency is easily available from ATMs or currency exchange counters.

Faith-Based Travelers:  See our following webpages for details:

  • Faith-Based Travel Information
  • International Religious Freedom Report  – see country reports
  • Human Rights Report – see country reports
  • Hajj Fact Sheet for Travelers
  • Best Practices for Volunteering Abroad

LGBTQI+ Travelers:  Consensual same-sex sexual conduct is illegal and subject to a jail term of six months to three years. See our  LGBTQI+ Travel Information page  and section 6 of our  Human Rights report  for further details.

Travelers with Disabilities:  The law in Oman prohibits discrimination against persons with physical, intellectual, or mental disabilities   Expect accessibility to be limited in older buildings (including government buildings and schools), public transportation, and general infrastructure, and more common in newer medical facilities and public buildings in cities. Outside of urban areas, access is greatly reduced.  Handicapped parking spaces are scarce.

Omanis will generally try to accommodate reasonable requests for assistance.

Students : See our  Students Abroad  page and  FBI travel tips .

Women Travelers:   See our travel tips for  Women Travelers . 

COVID-19 Testing:   For general PCR testing and exiting Oman, various health clinics in Oman offer PCR tests with results within 72 hours as well as 24-hour and 3–6-hour options.  PCR tests are at the expense of the individual/traveler.  Prices vary by clinic and range from 20 – 40 OMR; surcharges often apply for expedited result processing within 24 hours or less.  Drive up testing, walk-in tests, and tests by appointment are all available in Oman.  Test result delivery varies by clinic: e-mail, text, and physical message are commonly used to communicate results.

COVID-19 Vaccines:   The COVID-19 vaccine is available for U.S. citizens to receive in Oman. Please refer to the  Omani Ministry of Health  for additional information on vaccination registration.

Visit the FDA's website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States.

For emergency services in Oman, dial 9999.  Emergency hotlines are mostly Arabic-speaking.  The U.S. Embassy has received reports from U.S. citizens who were unable to receive assistance due to language barriers.

Response times for ambulance services vary.  Injured or seriously ill travelers should take a taxi or private vehicle to the nearest major hospital rather than wait for an ambulance.

Modern medical facilities and Western-style pharmacies are available. Local medical treatment varies from average to inadequate, depending on location.

Hospital emergency treatment is available.

We do not pay medical bills.  Be aware that U.S. Medicare/Medicaid does not apply overseas.  Most hospitals and doctors overseas do not accept U.S. health insurance.

Medical Insurance:  Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See  our webpage  for more information on insurance overseas.  Visit the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for more information on type of insurance you should consider before you travel overseas.

We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription. Check with the Government of Oman to ensure the medication is legal in Oman.

Vaccinations : Be up-to-date on all  vaccinations  recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

  • World Health Organization
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Air Quality:  Visit  AirNow Department of State  for information on air quality at U.S. Embassies and Consulates.

The U.S. Embassy maintains a  list of doctors and hospitals .  We do not endorse or recommend any specific medical provider or clinic.

Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions:  Road conditions in cities and along major highways are good. Road conditions in rural areas range from good to poor. During rare instances of rain, roads are prone to flash flooding.

Travel between cities can be dangerous due to poor lighting, wandering livestock, and speeding drivers.

Public Transportation:  Public transportation is generally safe, although vehicles may swerve to pick up passengers without warning.

Traffic Violations:

The following traffic violations may result in jail sentences, fines, and/or deportation:

  • driving without a license
  • running a red light
  • driving under the influence of alcohol
  • failure to wear a seat belt
  • talking on cell phones while driving (hands-free technology is allowed)
  • excessive speeding or overtaking another vehicle
  • failure to maintain a clean car

When involved in a traffic violation, cooperate with police officers and do not attempt to negotiate payment.

If you are involved in a traffic accident that involves injuries, death, or material damage to vehicles, do not move your vehicle until the police give you permission. Moving your car may be interpreted as an admission of guilt. For minor traffic accidents with no damage or injuries, you may move your vehicle to the side of the road.

Traffic Guidelines:

  • Traffic circles are common. The driver already in the circle always has priority.
  • Drivers flashing high beams are signaling that they want to pass.
  • Do not turn right on a red traffic signal.

Driving License Requirements:

  • Short-term visitors with a U.S. driver’s license may drive rental vehicles, but not privately registered cars.
  • Residents must have an Omani driver's license.
  • To obtain an Omani license, you must take a vision test and either have a U.S. license (with proof of being licensed for at least two years) or take a driving test.

Car Insurance:

  • Insure rental cars against death, injury, and loss or damage.

Residents may insure their vehicles outside the Sultanate; however, third party liability insurance must be purchased locally.  For all traffic-related emergencies, call the Royal Oman Police at 9999. Have an Arabic speaker call when giving directions to a location, since English-speaking operators are not always available.

See our  Road Safety page  or the  Royal Oman Police website  for further information.

Aviation Safety Oversight:  As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Oman, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the Government of Oman’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. See the  FAA’s safety assessment page  for further information.

Maritime Travel:  Mariners planning travel to Oman should also check for  U.S. maritime advisories and alerts . Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website  and the  NGA broadcast warnings .

For additional travel information

  • Enroll in the  Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)  to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Call us in Washington, D.C. at 1-888-407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1-202-501-4444 (from all other countries) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
  • See the  State Department’s travel website  for the  Worldwide Caution  and  Travel Advisories .
  • Follow us on  Twitter  and  Facebook .
  • See  traveling safely abroad  for useful travel tips.

Review information about International Parental Child Abduction in Oman . For additional IPCA-related information, please see the International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act ( ICAPRA ) report.

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Oman travel advice

Latest updates: The Need help? section was updated.

Last updated: June 6, 2024 08:01 ET

On this page

Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, oman - exercise a high degree of caution.

Exercise a high degree of caution in Oman due to the potential for violent demonstrations and the threat of terrorism.


Avoid non-essential travel to the area within 10 km of the border with Yemen, due to the ongoing conflict in that country.

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Border with Yemen

Avoid approaching the Yemeni border due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Crossing the Yemen–Oman border can be difficult and very dangerous. Houthi militias and other forces operating in Yemen do not normally engage in cross-border exercises. However, you should be extremely cautious near the border due to the potential spillover of violence.

There is a threat of terrorism. Terrorist attacks could occur at any time. Targets could include:

  • government buildings, including schools
  • places of worship
  • airports and other transportation hubs and networks
  • Western interests
  • public areas such as tourist attractions, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping centres, markets, hotels and other sites frequented by foreigners

Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.

The crime rate is low and violence is rare. Robbery and auto theft occur. Do not show signs of affluence, and ensure that your belongings, including your passport and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

  • Do not travel alone after dark
  • Lock car doors and keep windows closed
  • Do not leave vehicles unattended
  • Upon returning to your vehicle, inspect both its exterior and interior for any attached device or suspicious package
  • Be suspicious of mail and packages from unfamiliar sources
  • Contact your visa sponsor or the police if you suspect anything unusual


Demonstrations may occur. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Women have been detained when reporting sexual assault, as they must prove that the sex was not consensual to avoid being charged. Oman’s laws criminalize extramarital sex.

Advice for women travellers

Road safety

Roads conditions in Oman are generally good. Exercise caution when driving in rural areas, especially after dark, because of roaming animals, insufficient lighting, speeding drivers and limited visibility.

Rainfall can cause significant flooding on roads, particularly during the rainy season.

Off-road driving can be hazardous. If engaging in off-road driving:

  • drive in a convoy of four-wheel-drive vehicles and with an experienced guide only
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary
  • be well prepared and equipped with gasoline, water, food and a cellular or satellite phone if you are driving in the desert areas of Wahiba and Rub’ Al Khali

Cell phones may have limited or no service in remote areas, which can become especially dangerous if you experience vehicle problems while driving in desert areas.

Public Transportation

Taxis are generally safe.

  • Use only officially marked taxis
  • Negotiate fares in advance, or insist that the driver use the meter, as you may be overcharged

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Exercise caution if travelling by sea, including for recreational purposes, in the Gulf of Oman and the Northern Arabian Sea regions due to an increased risk of maritime attack.

Pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean and, in some cases, farther out at sea. Mariners should take appropriate precautions.

Live piracy report - International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre

Adventure tourism

Only undertake adventure sports, such as zip-lining and rock climbing, with a well-established and reputable company that has insurance.

Tour operators may not adhere to international standards. If you have any doubt concerning the safety of the installation or equipment, refrain from using them. Ensure that the recreational activities you choose are covered by your travel insurance.

If engaging in adventure tourism:

  • never do so alone and always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped and well informed about weather and other conditions that may  pose a hazard
  • obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out and do not venture off marked trails

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada cannot intervene on your behalf if you do not meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

We have obtained the information on this page from Omani authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Verify this information with the  Foreign Representatives in Canada .

The Government of Canada can’t facilitate your entry into or exit from Oman.

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of entry to Oman.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

The Omani authorities may deny you entry if your passport shows an X in the “sex” field or if it includes an observation to that effect.

Tourism visa: not required for stays up to 14 days Business visa: required Student visa: required

You can obtain and pay for a visa upon arrival at Muscat International Airport. You can also apply for an e-visa before you travel through the Royal Oman Police portal.

  • Entry visas - Foreign Ministry of Oman
  • Oman eVisa  - Royal Oman Police

Omani employers must obtain a work visa and a single-entry for you, either before or after you arrive. Omani employers often insist on retaining foreign employees’ passports as a condition of employment. This practice is illegal. Do not agree to this, as it could restrict your ability to travel and provide leverage to the employer in disputes.

Regional travel

Canadians have been denied entry into Oman because their passports bore an Israeli visa, an Israeli border stamp, or an Egyptian or Jordanian border stamp issued by an office bordering Israel. Such a stamp would indicate the traveler has been in Israel.

Restricted zones

Some areas of the country are considered of strategic importance and cannot be visited without authorization from Omani authorities.

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

  • Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 13 March, 2024
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 13 March, 2024

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease that is caused by parasites spread through the bites of mosquitoes.   Limited malaria transmission may occur in this destination, but risk to travellers is very low.    Antimalarial medication is not recommended for most travellers. Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic before travelling to discuss your options. It is recommended to do this 6 weeks before travel, however, it is still a good idea any time before leaving.    Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times: 

  • Cover your skin and use an approved insect repellent on uncovered skin.
  • Exclude mosquitoes from your living area with screening and/or closed, well-sealed doors and windows.
  • Use insecticide-treated bed nets if mosquitoes cannot be excluded from your living area.
  • Wear permethrin-treated clothing. 

If you develop symptoms similar to malaria when you are travelling or up to a year after you return home, see a health care professional immediately. Tell them where you have been travelling or living. 

Yellow fever   is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is required if you are coming from or have transited through an airport of a country   where yellow fever occurs . Proof of vaccination is also required for travellers coming from or having transited through, Rwanda and Tanzania.


  • Vaccination is not recommended.
  • Discuss travel plans, activities, and destinations with a health care professional.
  • Contact a designated   Yellow Fever Vaccination Centre   well in advance of your trip to arrange for vaccination.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada * It is important to note that   country entry requirements   may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest   diplomatic or consular office   of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.  

In this destination, rabies is carried by dogs and some wildlife, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. While travelling, take precautions , including keeping your distance from animals (including free-roaming dogs), and closely supervising children.

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. Rabies treatment is often available in this destination. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who are at high risk of exposure (e.g., occupational risk such as veterinarians and wildlife workers, children, adventure travellers and spelunkers, and others in close contact with animals). 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is a viral disease that can cause fever, pain and bleeding under the skin.  In some cases, it can be fatal.  It spreads to humans through contact with infected animal blood or tissues, or from the bite of an infected tick.  Risk is generally low for most travellers.  Protect yourself from tick bites and avoid animals, particularly livestock.  There is no vaccine available for Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever.

  • In this country, risk of  dengue  is sporadic. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue fever.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Cases of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) have been reported in this destination. The risk to travellers is low; MERS is primarily spread through contact with camels or camel-based products (raw milk, meat, urine). It can also spread through close contact, such as when caring for an infected person. 

Avoid contact with animals (especially camels), camel-based products, and wash your hands frequently.

Prevention of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)

MERS symptoms range from mild and flu-like to more severe pneumonia-like symptoms, and can result in death.

There is no vaccine or medication that protects against MERS.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Modern medical care is available in main cities but could be inadequate in remote areas. Immediate cash payment is often required.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and heavy fines. The death penalty could apply.

Respect restrictions concerning the consumption of alcohol. Do not drink alcohol outside licensed hotels. Public intoxication is an offence.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Prescription drugs

Prescription or over-the-counter drugs that are legal in Canada, such as those containing codeine, may be restricted in Oman. Possession of such drugs could lead to a jail sentence. Carry your original prescription and keep prescription medications in their original container.

You should carry an international driving permit.

Drivers involved in an accident must move their vehicles to the side of the road to reduce congestion. Anyone deemed responsible for a motor vehicle accident may be detained for 48 hours. Consult the  Royal Oman Police  for more information on traffic rules.

Follow traffic laws diligently. Penalties for violations, such as driving under the influence of alcohol, excessive speed, using a mobile phone, running a red light and failure to wear seat belts, are stringent. It is forbidden to use cellular phones while driving.

International Driving Permit

2SLGBTQI+ travellers

The laws of Oman prohibit sexual acts between individuals of the same sex. Oman does not recognize same-sex marriages.

2SLGBTQI+ travellers should carefully consider the risks of travelling to Oman.

Travel and your sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and sex characteristics

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is not legally recognized in Oman.

If local authorities consider you a citizen of Oman, they may refuse to grant you access to Canadian consular services. This will prevent us from providing you with those services.

Travellers with dual citizenship

Children of an Omani father automatically acquire Omani citizenship at birth and must enter and leave the country on an Omani passport.

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. It does not apply between Canada and Oman.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Oman by an abducting parent:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Oman to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children's Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country's judicial affairs.

  • International Child Abductions: A guide for affected parents
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Request emergency assistance


You must carry photo identification. Keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place, in case it’s lost or confiscated.


Do not take photographs of individuals without prior authorization. It is prohibited to photograph public buildings and military or police vehicles.

Child Custody

Child custody decisions are based on Islamic law (Sharia). It is difficult for a Western woman, even a Muslim, to obtain custody of her children through a court decision. Minor children of an Omani-national father must have their father’s permission to leave the country.

Legal process

Witnesses to incidents, as well as suspects, may be held for lengthy periods without access to legal counsel or consular officials. If access is granted, it may be severely limited by the Omani authorities. Authorities may withhold the passport of an individual involved in a legal process, pending resolution of the case. This could result in the delay of a planned departure.

Dress and behaviour

The country’s customs, laws and regulations adhere closely to Islamic practices and beliefs. Dress conservatively, behave discreetly and respect religious and social traditions to avoid offending local sensitivities. It is prohibited to wear military or similar clothing and accessories. Certain public areas may be restricted to men or women only. The work week is from Sunday to Thursday.

Sex outside legal marriage is forbidden. It is against the law to live together or share the same hotel room with someone of the opposite sex to whom you aren’t married or closely related. Adultery and prostitution are illegal and are subject to severe punishment, including the death penalty. Avoid physical contact or displays of affection in public, including kissing and holding hands.

Omani authorities do not permit criticism of the government, the sultan or the society in general.

In 2024, the lunar month of Ramadan is expected to begin on or around March 10.

In public, between sunrise and sunset, refrain from:

 Offensive language

Exercise particular care in your behaviour with others, especially officials, to avoid offending local sensitivities. Do not use aggressive, vulgar or abusive language or gestures in public, including on social media. Verbal insults and obscene gestures may be considered a criminal act and, if found guilty, you could face deportation, fines and a prison sentence.

Culturally acceptable content

Books, videotapes and audio tapes may be reviewed by airport and other customs authorities prior to being released to the owner to ensure that their content is culturally acceptable

Possession of pornographic material is forbidden.

The currency of Oman is the Omani Rial (OMR).

Credit cards and U.S. dollar traveller’s cheques are widely accepted.

The rainy season extends from May to September. Seasonal flooding can hamper overland travel and reduce the provision of essential services. Roads may become impassable and bridges damaged.

Flooding occurs in the far south during the rainy season. Heavy rains may cause wadis (dry riverbeds) to overflow, flooding underpasses and tunnels. Oman is subject to cyclones and tropical depressions, which are accompanied by strong winds and heavy rain. Flash floods and mudslides may occur.

Sand and dust storms occur during the dry season.

Local services

Dial 9999 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Bahrain, Oman, Yemen

For emergency consular assistance, call the Embassy of Canada in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

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The Sultan's Palace. Muscat, Oman

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Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

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After Your Trip

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Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines


Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Oman.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers younger than 60 years old traveling to Oman. Unvaccinated travelers 60 years and older may get vaccinated before traveling to Oman.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

Dogs infected with rabies are sometimes found in Oman.

Rabies is also present in some terrestrial wildlife species.

If rabies exposures occur while in Oman, rabies vaccines are typically available throughout most of the country.

Rabies pre-exposure vaccination considerations include whether travelers 1) will be performing occupational or recreational activities that increase risk for exposure to potentially rabid animals and 2) might have difficulty getting prompt access to safe post-exposure prophylaxis.

Please consult with a healthcare provider to determine whether you should receive pre-exposure vaccination before travel.

For more information, see country rabies status assessments .

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for travelers ≥9 months old arriving from countries with risk for YF virus transmission, with the addition of Rwanda and Tanzania; this includes >12-hour airport transits or layovers in countries with risk for YF virus transmission. 1

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

  • Avoid contaminated water


How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil
  • Avoid floodwater

Clinical Guidance


  • Wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in contaminated freshwater streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.

Avoid bug bites

Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic fever

  • Tick bite 
  • Touching the body fluids of a person or animal infected with CCHF
  • Avoid Bug Bites
  • Mosquito bite


  • Sand fly bite

Airborne & droplet

  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

  • Scientists do not fully understand how the MERS virus spreads
  • May spread from to others when an infected person coughs or sneezes
  • May spread to people from camels.

Middle East Respiratory virus syndrome (MERS)

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Oman, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Oman. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Oman include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Oman. Avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Oman’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.


Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Oman may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Oman, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Oman for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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Wanderlust Chloe

First Timer’s Travel Guide To Visiting Oman

Birkat Al Mouz, Oman

Planning to visit Oman for the first time? Find out all the information you could need to make the most of your trip in this Oman travel guide.

I’ve just got back from the most incredible trip to Oman. It was my first time visiting the country, and excitement levels were high! Before leaving I found myself clicking on endless pretty photos of the country, saving locations, and wondering whether it would really look as pretty as the pictures.

With expectations flying high, was I setting myself up to be disappointed? I arrived in Muscat with six days ahead of me and a mission to see and do as much as possible.

Beach near Muscat, Oman

I decided to pop together a huge travel guide to Oman, with lots of tips and advice for anyone visiting for the first time. So along with a few must-sees, you’ll find info below on safety, sim cards, wild camping, drone laws and more. It’s everything I wanted to know before I visited, and more! 

If there’s something in particular you’re looking for, click on the contents below, otherwise strap yourself in for a whistle-stop tour of my new favourite country in the Middle East! 

Is It Worth Visiting Oman?

Yes, 100%. That was easy. Next question?

Oman has a lot to shout about, but I feel its biggest selling point is the fact you can see such diverse landscapes in just a few days. One day I was on the beach, the next in the sand dunes in the desert, the next at altitudes of 2000m in the mountains. Culturally and historically there’s a lot to take in too, from ancient forts and stunning mosques, to bustling souks.

View from Rustaq Fort, Oman

If you’ve never visited the Middle East before, I think Oman offers one of the best introductions to the culture, climate and landscapes. The people are really friendly too, and a lot of people speak some English, making it a lot easier to travel around than some of its neighbours.

View of Rustaq, Oman

How To Get To Oman

I flew direct from London to Muscat with Oman Air . The airline flies direct from London Heathrow to Muscat twice a day (and once a day from Manchester).  The flight takes just over 7 hours. If you book well in advance, you can find return flights from as little as £320 return.

From Muscat airport I’d recommend hiring a car (more on that coming up) or booking a guide for your trip. It depends on what you want to see and do, but there are some treacherous, off-road drives like Wadi Bani Awf, where I was relieved we were in the care of Ahmed from Desert Camels Adventure Tours .

Useful Tips For Visiting Oman

Best Time To Visit Oman

Oman has a warm climate all year round. It gets seriously hot in the summer months, so unless you’re a fan of 40+ degrees, I’d avoid June, July and August.

The best time to visit Oman is between October and April. It’s still lovely and warm, but temperatures are a lot more bearable, peaking around 30 degrees. I visited in November and thought it was perfect. It was warm and sunny during the day. Temperatures in Muscat were around 28 degrees, while up in the mountains (at altitudes of 2000m) it dropped as low as 8 degrees at night.

Exploring the sand dunes in Oman

One of the biggest surprises during my trip was that it rained. In Oman! WOW – I was not expecting that at all. It was only fleeting, but pretty torrential! We were based in northern Oman, but I read that the south of the country has a monsoon season which runs from June to September. It’s great for the area though, as it helps the region’s fruit trees and vegetables flourish.

Is Oman Safe?

I travelled with my fiancé and a local tour guide, and felt very safe in Oman. If I’d been travelling solo, I also think I would have felt pretty safe, but it’s hard for me to judge. Oman is rated as one of the safest countries to visit in the world right now. Major crimes carry strict penalties, but as with any country there are occasional petty crimes. Just be alert, don’t put yourself in obvious dangers and stick to areas you where you feel safe.

Top Things To Do In Oman  

Oman is the perfect destination for adventure lovers and culture seekers. Coming up are my must-dos… from deserts and beaches, to wadis and epic mountains, you’ll want to pack a lot in! 

Dunes by Al Nadha in Oman

Visit A Wadi In Oman

A wadi is a valley or canyon, often created through epic mountains by a dried-up river. Some are fed by natural springs, which lead to incredible emerald green rock pools, surrounded by palm trees. There are also a few stunning wadis on Oman with waterfalls cascading through the landscape. As the country is so dry, they’re always a surprising sight – a bit of a desert oasis!

Wadis are great for hiking, canyoning, swimming or driving through on a road trip. The most famous wadis in Oman are Wadi Shab, Wadi Bani Khalid, Wadi Al Arbeieen, Wadi Al Hawqayn and Wadi Tiwi.

I headed to Wadi Bani Awf in the north of the country, a few hours’ drive from Muscat. The most famous spot within this wadi is Snake Canyon, a huge gorge which divides the impressive rocks. Adventure lovers can hike, climb and abseil their way through. I, however enjoyed a bumpy 4×4 ride through the landscapes, hopping out every now and then to take photos.

Snake Canyon, Oman

This is 4×4 off-road territory, and with extremely windy, cliff-edge roads with sheer drops below. Unless you’re really experienced at this sort of driving, I’d recommend hiring a guide to drive the route for you.

The views were utterly spectacular, with huge mountain backdrops and beautiful valleys below. There was barely any water in the wadi when we visited, but this isn’t always the case and we spotted one pool where a few people had stopped for a swim. 

Views of Wadi Bani Awf in Oman

Head Up To Oman’s Mountains

I was awestruck by the epic mountain views as we drove through Wadi Bani Awf . They included Oman’s most impressive mountain range, the Al Hajar Mountains. They’re the highest mountains in the eastern Arabian Peninsula, with Jebel Shams (Sun Mountain) being the highest peak at just over 3,000m.

Al Hajar Mountains, Oman

I’d recommend visiting Jebel Akhdar, known as the Green Mountain, as it receives more rain and enjoys cooler temperatures – perfect for growing crops. One of the best spots to see the panoramic views of the mountains and canyon is  Diana’s Point within Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort . Sunsets are particularly spectacular from there too!

If you’re visiting other areas of Oman, and craving some mountain time, check out Samhan Mountain, Lion’s Jaws Gate and Jabal Al Qamar (Moon Mountain).

Explore An Ancient Omani Fort

You won’t drive far in Oman before spotting a fort or watchtower. I read there are over 1,000 in the country, and while some have been left in ruins, others have been beautifully restored to their former glory.

Spend a few hours at Rustaq Fort , one of the largest and most important forts in Oman’s history. Originally constructed in the 12 th Century, it was restored and added to in the 16 th Century when Rustaq was the capital of Oman.

Rustaq Fort, Oman

It costs just £1 (500 baisas) to enter, and there’s lots to see. Climb up one of the four towers, venture inside armouries and libraries, peer over the turrets and take in the landscape below. It’s somewhere you’ll find yourself reaching for your camera over and over!

Others to add to your list are Nizwa Fort, which dates back to the 12 th Century and Bahla Fort, which underwent a big restoration a few years ago.

Sample Some Local Omani Food  

It’s hard to put my finger on exactly what Omani food is as the cuisine features influences from the Mediterranean, India and parts of Africa. However, I thought the food was delicious, blending a variety of tasty spices and a nice bit of chilli. If I had to compare to foods I’d eaten before I’d say most of the dishes were reminiscent of Indian or Turkish dishes.

Expect to eat lots of rice (usually seasoned with saffron, cumin, cloves, cardamom and onion), accompanied by grilled meat (lamb, chicken, goat). Towards the coast you’ll be able to find great fish and seafood too.

One of the most traditional Omani dishes is shuwa. It’s made by covering meat in a marinade of spices, then wrapping in banana leaves and baking in an underground oven. I tried it with lamb, and the meat just fell away; it was so tender. I also had lots of tasty curries throughout my trip. If you’re not keen on spicy food, I’d suggest you ask for it mild as some of the Omani food I ate had a serious chilli kick.

Shuwa - a traditional Omani dish

One of the most popular fish eaten in Oman is hamour. It’s a type of grouper, and when cooked correctly, the white fish flakes away delicately. 

Dates are a popular snack or sweet in Oman, often served alongside a cup of coffee. If you want to try coffee with a twist, order kahwa. It’s the Omani style of coffee, usually spiced with cardamom and cloves. Yummy!

Grilled hamour and chicken with rice in Muscat

It’s worth noting that food is extremely affordable in local restaurants, but pricey in hotels. I loved the local food experiences I had, and would definitely recommend getting out of tourist restaurants and resorts and trying some traditional dishes. Omanis tend to eat with their right hand rather than use cutlery, but it’s not frowned upon to ask for a spoon or fork if you’d find it easier. I did! 

Stay In Some Unique Accommodation

There are plenty of incredible places to stay in Oman, with views that will seriously amaze you.

For something extra special, spend a night or two at the luxurious Dunes by Al Nadha , right in the sand dunes and only a one hour drive from Muscat. Accommodation is in large tent-style houses, with chic bathrooms, colourful fabrics and hanging lanterns. Think of high-end glamping, and then raise it up a few levels.

Sunrise at Dunes by Al Nadha

Start your day watching the sunrise over the sand, splash around in the infinity pool, hire quad bikes to reach the summit of the dunes, and enjoy a sand spa – a bizarre spa treatment that’s great for relieving aches and pains. This special resort definitely ticks the unique box.

The pool at Dunes by Al Nadha in Oman

Explore Muscat

Muscat isn’t like most capital cities. You won’t find skyscrapers or glitzy commercial buildings. In the centre you’ll find a few busy roads, but nothing on the level of Dubai. It feels like it has a clear identity, and flies the flag for Omani culture.

Start with a wander along the Corniche, enjoying views of minarets, ancient forts, super yachts and bright turquoise water.

Muscat Corniche

Pay a visit to the Sultan’s Palace to see the pretty gardens and grandeur for yourself. Then head inside Oman’s National Museum to learn more about the country’s past.

Sultan's Palace (Al Alam Palace) Muscat

My favourite spots? Along with the pretty corniche with that bright turquoise water, I enjoyed ambling through Mutrah Souq, where you can buy everything from pashminas and silver teapots to spices and incense. Don’t miss Mutrah Fish Market for a real flavour of daily life in Muscat. You can watch the fishermen arriving with their latest catch, locals haggling for their dinner and weird and wonderful creatures from the abyss.

Mutrah Souq, Muscat

Take In Oman’s Spectacular Beach Views

Before visiting Oman I’d seen photos of stunning beaches, but as our trip was coming to an end, I felt like we were going to go home a little disappointed. That was until we took a drive south from Muscat and followed the coast. These views were close to the entrance of the Shangri-La Hotel – just WOW! Look at that view!

Beach near Muscat in Oman

If you’re not spending much time in Muscat, you’ll find great beaches all over Oman. Check out the beaches at Al Mughsayl, Bandar Jissah, Khassab and Tiwi, along with those on the stunning island of Masirah. That’s somewhere I’d love to visit on a return trip.

Visit A Mosque In Oman

Oman is a Muslim country, so you’ll see mosques everywhere you go, even in the most remote areas. I’d recommend visiting Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat. It’s free to enter, and is open to visitors from 8 – 11am each day.

It’s absolutely stunning, and an incredible feat of architecture, with its 50m tall tower and five minarets to represent the five pillars of Islam.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat

The inside is just as impressive as the outside, with one of the biggest chandeliers and handwoven carpets in the world. The extravagant chandelier in the men’s prayer hall contains 600,000 Swarovski crystals and weighs over 8 tonnes!

Chandelier in Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat

N.B. You’ll need to adhere to a strict dress code in order to enter the mosque, which you can find out all about in my guide to what to wear in Oman .

Omani in a dishdasha at the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat

Try An Adrenaline Activity In Oman

Oman is a great destination for adventure lovers and adrenaline addicts. From quad biking, sand boarding and dune bashing in the desert, to climbing, abseiling, cliff jumping and canyoning in the mountains and wadis, and scuba diving and water sports on the coast, there’s something to suit everyone. 

I tried quad biking for the first time while staying at Dunes by Al Nadha . It was the perfect way to get to the top of the sand dunes and see our amazing desert resort from a different perspective.

Quad biking in Oman

If you’re looking for a real thrill, head to Jabal Akhdar and enjoy Oman’s highest via ferrata , which includes abseiling, zip-lining and manoeuvring along some sheer drops.      

Relax With Some Luxury  

The Middle East is home to some of the world’s most glamorous hotels. In Oman, resorts like the Kempinski Hotel Muscat offer 5-star luxury right on the beach. Enjoy dining at one of four restaurants (which includes excellent Thai restaurant Soi Soi), or enjoy cocktails and light bites at Zale Beach Club, right on the sand. You can read my guide to the best luxury hotels in Oman here. 

Kempinski Hotel Muscat

Meanwhile, 2000m up at the Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort , you can wake up to impressive canyon views, enjoy premium middle eastern cuisine at Al Qalaa, and relax in the spa.

Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar Resort

Get To Know Oman’s Wildlife

I’ll admit right now, that I didn’t see a lot of wildlife on this trip, but I do think it’s a big reason to visit. During my trip we spotted lots of mountain goats, donkeys, a camel, a mountain fox, a small gecko and lots of birds.

Mountain goats in the Jabal Akhdar mountains

However, there’s plenty more wildlife in Oman, particularly if you’re heading to these specific regions…

You can spot dolphins along Oman’s coast, with large pods of humpback dolphins often seen in the Musandam Peninsula. 

Oman is famous for its green turtles which nest along the shore each year. Head to Ras Al Jinz or the Dimaniyat Islands to see the babies racing towards the sea between May and September.

In the south, head to the Jabal Samhan Reserve near Salalah and you could spot one of the country’s endangered Arabian leopards.

Meanwhile, bird lovers should head to Masirah Island, where more than 328 species have been spotted.

Go Wild Camping In Oman

I’ve mentioned a few of the most luxurious places to stay in Oman, and now it’s time to tell you about the other end of the scale. Did you know you can camp ANYWHERE in Oman? Well, pretty much anyway. Wild camping is legal in Oman, so you really can find a bit of public land you like and pitch your tent for the night.

That means you can venture to the most beautiful spots in Oman’s mountains, kayak to a secret beach or even fall asleep under the stars in the desert at Wahiba Sands. I enjoyed reading this account of wild camping in Oman, as it really paints a picture of what it’s like, especially for a family!

Al Hajar Mountains, Oman

Not only is it the most affordable way to explore Oman, you’ll have access to some of the country’s most stunning morning views. If you don’t fancy lugging tents and equipment from home, there are plenty of local companies offering camping rental, or tours that take care of everything for you.

Enjoy A Road Trip Across Oman

Honestly, just hop in the car and DRIVE! As you’ve heard, I just loved the variety of landscapes we saw during our week in Oman. Sometimes we were driving along a road and I’d shout STOPPPPP! Then I’d hop out of the car, take a few photos, then we’d continue onwards.

One of my favourite spots was Birkat Al Mouz, where if you look beyond the beautiful rows of palm trees you can spot ancient villages built into the rugged mountains.

From the rugged terrain in the wadis and mountains, to the stunning beaches, it’s such a beautiful country to drive around. Make a playlist, stock up on some tasty snacks and enjoy the views. 

What To Pack For Oman

With a range of temperatures and activities to think about, packing for Oman isn’t the simplest process. It’s especially important for women to consider the Arabic culture before visiting, as on the whole, it’s recommended to cover up shoulders, chests and wear something that covers below the knee.

Before my visit, I searched for information on what to wear in Oman as a woman, and didn’t find much that was useful… so I’ve popped together a handy guide to what to wear in Oman . It includes a packing list, and includes a few helpful tips for men too.

Useful Travel Tips And Information For Visiting Oman  

From whether to buy a sim card, to how to apply for a tourist visa, here are a few extra tips for first time visitors to Oman.

Sim Cards In Oman

My phone network charged high prices for data usage in Oman, so I decided it was best to buy a sim card on arrival. That way I’d be able to do research on the go, plan routes and update my social media channels.

As you come out of departures at Muscat Airport you’ll see several phone stores, including Omantel, Ooredoo and Renna. Our guide recommended we use Omantel, so we popped to the store, gave our passports (to register the sim) and paid on credit card. We went for a sim with 2GB of data, which cost 3 Rial (£6). It was more than enough data for a short trip, especially as most hotels had good WiFi. 

Omani currency

What To Wear In Oman

Oman is a lot less conservative than other places in the Middle East, but you should still dress appropriately and adhere to some basic etiquette. I’d recommend reading my post on What To Wear In Oman , which has lots of detailed info on what clothing to pack for different regions and experiences.

WiFi In Oman

All the hotels we stayed at had WiFi. It was a little slow in the desert areas, but worked well in Muscat and the mountains. As I had data via my sim card I didn’t try to connect to public WiFi in Oman, however I did see that some required an Omani phone number or address in order to register. 

It’s also worth noting that at Muscat Airport you’ll need a local phone number or a wifi code from customer services in order to connect to the public WiFi. This could make things a little complicated when you land, so I’d recommend downloading or printing all the info you need to get to your first hotel, before boarding your flight to Oman.  

Tourist Visas For Oman

To visit Oman, you’ll need to apply for a visa via the Royal Oman Police website. I applied for a 10-day tourist e-visa online, which was a reasonably simple process. I had to upload a copy of my passport and a recent photo, along with typing in my basic information. It was granted within 48-hours and cost 5 Rials (£10). If you’re staying a bit longer there’s also a 30-day visa available.

Oman Tourist Visa 26A

Car Rental In Oman

Renting a car in Oman is pretty straightforward, and we found the roads to be excellent. Thankfully there weren’t too many crazy drivers around either! To rent a car in Oman, you need to be over 25, possess an international driving license and have had your license for a minimum of one year. If you’re under 25, it may be possible, but check with the company first.

Due to the rugged terrain in some areas, I’d recommend renting a 4×4. There are some beautiful off-road areas in the wadis, mountains and deserts, so that extra control is really important.

I read that some car rental agencies don’t allow you to pass between Oman and the United Arab Emirates, so if you’re planning a day trip to Dubai or a visit to Abu Dhabi, definitely check out the rules before you book your vehicle. 

Driving through Wadi Bani Awf in Oman

Drone Laws In Oman

Thinking of flying your drone in Oman? Think again! You can only fly a drone in Oman if it’s for a commercial shoot, for which you need to obtain a permit before arriving in the country. If you arrive in Oman without a permit for your drone, then sadly it may be confiscated by airport security. For me, that was too much of a risk so I left mine at home.

Laws like this are reviewed regularly, so it’s worth double checking the latest news before you travel. If in doubt though, leave it at home. Nobody wants to get held up at customs at the start of a holiday!

Experience Oman

I hope this first timer’s travel guide to Oman is helpful in planning your holiday. Let me know if you have any questions below! Don’t forget to read my guide to What To Wear In Oman and my pick of the best luxury hotels in Muscat too.

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First Time Guide To Oman

Chloe Gunning

With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

3 thoughts on “First Timer’s Travel Guide To Visiting Oman”

Great guide Chloe, it answered a fair few of my Qs before i head to Oman.. in 2 days! Excited 😀

It looked like you had an amazing time too Scott!

Nizwa is a fort city surrounded by a palm oasis near the foot of the Western Hajar Mountains. One of Oman’s oldest cities, it was once the country’s capital and a vital hub of Islamic learning for centuries. The city is still somewhat conservative, you just have to dress correctly so you stay out in trouble. But I found it very welcoming. Missing my travel there way back in 2004. Thank you for sharing your memories!

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Traveling to Oman? Don’t Miss These Essential Things to Do

Bustling capitals, rugged mountains, and expansive deserts—there’s no shortage of things to do in oman..

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Large, empty white plaza in front of the Sultan Qaboo Grand Mosque in Oman

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque allows non-Muslim visitors to enter, but they are asked to dress modestly.

Photo by Nathalie Mohadjer

Oman is the oldest independent state in the Arab world. Historically reputed to be one of the most prized producers of frankincense, the nation—located in the southeastern portion of the Arabian Peninsula—has quietly become an adventurer’s paradise in recent years, with multiple ways to experience the beauty of its deserts, mountains, and beaches.

Row of 5 white parasols and empty lounge chairs at Tabacco bar lounge pool, the Chedi Hotel Muscat

Tabacco bar lounge pool, the Chedi Hotel Muscat

Tour the capital(s)

Situated on the Gulf of Oman, Muscat is the country’s capital and home to more than 1.4 million people. One of its best-known sights is the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque , Oman’s largest, which is an icon of the city skyline and features an intricate hand-loomed carpet and a massive chandelier. Don’t miss a performance at the storied Royal Opera House , another of the capital’s architectural landmarks. At sunset, walk the Mutrah Corniche along Muscat’s harbor, which is lined with restaurants and markets.

To stay, check into the 162-room beachfront resort Chedi Muscat , which welcomes guests into a palm tree–filled oasis on the north side of the capital city. The hotel is known for its elegant design, expansive spa and beauty treatments, and six restaurants featuring cuisines from around the world. The Jumeirah Muscat Bay is another option: Opened in December 2022, the resort is 30 minutes by car from downtown Muscat, with views of the Gulf from each of the 206 rooms and villas. The property also offers a PADI-certified diving and water sports center and access to trails for exploring the surrounding Hajar Mountains.

Roughly two hours south of Muscat by car is Nizwa, the country’s capital in the 6th and 7th centuries C.E. Once there, walk through the cylindrical Nizwa Fort, then head to the Nizwa Souq. (It gets especially lively on Fridays, when the camel and livestock trading takes place.) Have time for an excursion? Visit the gleaming new Oman Across Ages Museum in Manah, a 20-minute drive south of Nizwa.

Left: A woman dressed in a wetsuit and a blue and orange life vest. Right: The ocean meeting bare rocky coastline.

A tourist takes a boat ride to the Daymaniyat Islands, which UNESCO has called a “nationally, regionally, and internationally important conservation area.”

Photos by Nathalie Mohadjer

Dip into Oman’s waters

Take a day trip from Muscat with tour company Husaak Adventures and wade through the canyon waters of Wadi Tiwi and Wadi Shab, or swim in spots such as the Bimmah Sinkhole. Beachgoers will enjoy the Dhofar region on a custom trip with tour operator Geographic Expeditions ; travelers can expect coconut and banana groves as well as pristine beaches. To visit the Daymaniyat Islands, writer Sarah Thankam Mathews booked an excursion with marine tour company Daymaniat Shells , which offers daily snorkeling trips from Muscat.

The rocky terrain surrounding the road to Mibam village

The road to Mibam village is characterized by steep climbs and a four-wheel-drive vehicle is recommended.

Explore the mountains

Best accessed by a four-wheel-drive vehicle or by hiring a tour operator such as Elite Travel & Tourism , the Hajar Mountains stretch for roughly 430 miles from the United Arab Emirates to Oman’s eastern coast. In spring, pink damask roses cover Jebel Akhdar, making this hiking area even more beautiful. A good base is the luxurious Alila Jabal Akhdar hotel atop Jebel Akhdar, which is surrounded by some of the highest mountains in the region. The Alila Jabal Akhdar also offers outdoor excursions that include a via ferrata cave adventure and a hike around Jebel Shams (Mountain of the Sun), so named because it is the first place to see sunrise in Oman due to its height.

Left: Three camels resting in the Sharqiya Sands, with one patted on the head. Right: A man in white walking the dunes of Sharqiya Sands

Oman’s Sharqiya Sands stretches for more than 125 miles.

Have a desert experience

South of Oman’s fertile northern coast, the dunes of Sharqiya Sands are a good entry point to the country’s sprawling desert. Tour the region in a 4x4 and consider an overnight stay at the Bedouin-style camp Sama Al Wasil .

AFAR’s Travel Advisory Council can help plan a trip to Oman. Contact the council for more information .

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Oman Travel Guide: Tips and Must Do’s Before You Go

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a group of camels walking on a beach

Think ancient cities with fascinating architecture, sweeping sand dune deserts, spectacular river gorges and canyons, staggering mountain ranges, and remote islands that have some of the most sparkling, crystal clear waters in all of the world. 

Oman is a country that dates back thousands of years to the origins of civilization, and amid the ever-changing states of the Arabian Gulf, Oman offers a breath of fresh air that harks back to a seemingly bygone age.

a pool with palm trees and chairs and umbrellas

Unlike other Middle Eastern countries, overdevelopment and skyscrapers have not tainted its otherworldly landscapes, making Oman one of the best places in the region to experience the Arabia of yesteryear. 

It is also one of the safest and most stable countries in the Middle East – with a modern highway system and a tourism industry that has boomed within the last few years.

Oman has started to become so popular that many top hotel brands are bolstering their presence in a number of different regions, which makes it easier than ever for visitors to explore this naturally diverse and breathtaking country in all of its glory.

That being said, I was pleasantly surprised that Oman remains relatively under the radar and off the tourist-beaten-path. At many of the major tourist sights across the country we had the entire place all to ourselves, which certainly makes for a very unique and super enjoyable experience! 

Oman Travel Tips

After years exploring the Middle East, I recently came back and spent 6 days in Oman in October 2022, and here are my top tips, must do’s, and hotel recommendations, so that you can more easily plan your own bucket list trip to Oman. 

a pool with a deck chair and a deck chair

Don’t Only Visit Muscat — And Rent A Car

Renting a car to explore Oman is really the best way to go, but if you’re not able to do so,  then make sure you take day trips to other parts of Oman from your base in Muscat. Renting a car and driving in Oman is easy, as the highway system is modern and easy to navigate.

FYI if you plan to go into the mountains or into the desert then a 4×4 vehicle is a must! There is so much to see outside of the capital of Muscat, that in order to truly and fully experience and appreciate Oman for all of its natural splendor, renting a car or hiring a driver in order to explore all of the regions of Oman is definitely the way to go – if you can make it work with your travel schedule. 

Oman Is Expensive, So Save Up!

I was rather shocked at how much hotels, taxis, food and beverages, etc. cost in Oman compared to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, etc. Yes, even compared to Dubai.

As there is not as much luxury hotel competition in Oman as in the other more popular Gulf states, prices in Oman are higher than what I was expecting. Make sure you account for this if you plan to stay at a 4 or 5 star hotel, and if you plan to eat and drink on-site at your resort.

Other than that, outside of hotels and resorts, the cost of food and bev, goods and services in Oman is more-or-less on par with the rest of the Middle East. Just keep in mind that  if you’re traveling on a budget and staying at a nice resort that you make sure to account for these extra expenses when planning your trip. 

a mountain range with a blue sky

Duty Free Is OK

Non-Muslim foreigners traveling to Oman are allowed to bring some alcohol into the country duty free .

As we were traveling from Dubai, we were able to bring 4 liters of wine with us, so that we could offset the price of the expensive drinks at our hotel. If you are a wine or cocktail enthusiast, then make sure to stock up in duty free before your flight to Oman.   

Winter Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit

Just like the rest of the Gulf, Oman is hot hot hot in the summer months (June to August). The best time to visit is October through May, when the weather is more temperate and mild. 

HOT TIP: For those looking to dive or snorkel with whale sharks in Oman – one of the countries most popular water activities – then make sure to book your trip between July and September.

Be Adventurous! – Nature Lover’s Delight

You can hike wadis, river gorges and canyons, rock-climb and so much more . Oman is also excellent for scuba diving, snorkeling, and boating, since the country is also home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world.

In the desert, you can go dune-boarding, dune bashing, camel riding and camp under the stars. With all its wadis, mountains, beaches, oasis and deserts, visitors to Oman who seek adventure will definitely find it, no matter what part of the country they decide to visit.

HOT TIP: Make sure to pack appropriate gear such as hiking boots, water bottles, backpacks, waterproof dry bags, etc., based on the types of adventure activities you plan to partake in during your trip.   

boats in the water next to a city

Book a Tour Guide For Cultural Sights

You’re really missing out on immersing yourself and learning about the rich culture and history, if you don’t hire a tour guide to visit the top cultural tourist attractions in Oman.

During our 6 days in the country, we hired a tour guide from Sunshine Tours Oman , and we are SO SO SO glad that we did! Being able to learn more in-depth information and being able to ask questions brought the history and culture of Oman to life, especially considering Omani history is not something you typically learn in a history class. 

Bring Appropriate Attire , Seriously

People in Oman are religious and have a deep respect for their traditions and culture. Although it is not expected for foreigners to wear traditional Omani clothing, visitors should make sure they dress on the conservative side.

Put more plainly, they shouldn’t show too much skin while outside of their hotel or resort. Personally, I wore longer dresses (knee length or longer) and I brought a scarf with me to cover my shoulders when visiting most tourist attractions. 

When visiting the wadis throughout Oman, there is dress code for women (ie: no bikinis or one piece bathing suits). Women are supposed to be covered in shorts and a t-shirt, so that most of their legs and arms are covered.

I was surprised by this, given that many Instagram influencers take photos in bikinis and one pieces, and I did not have the proper attire to go swimming. Keep this in mind if you plan on visiting wadis that are popular with both foreign and local tourists.

You Likely Won’t Need A Tourist Visa

In 2020, Oman passed a new law – in order to boost tourism – allowing citizens of 103 countries the ability to travel as a tourist for up to 10 days without having to obtain a visa.

This means US, UK, EU and Australian citizens can easily enter Oman and not have to fuss with getting a visa in order to visit. Hooray!

a group of camels walking on a beach

Try All The Omani Cuisine!

While you can find all types of international cuisine in Muscat, you shouldn’t miss out on trying traditional Omani cuisine. Spices take center stage in most Omani dishes, as do fish, lamb, chicken, rice, and vegetables.

Some of the most popular Omani lunch and dinner entrees are: Mashuai (tasty fish dish), Meshkak (beef, lamb or chicken kebabs), Majboos (traditional saffron rice, meat and veggie dish), Mushaltat (soft flatbread stuffed with honey, meat, spinach or cheese), Harees (savory porridge) and Shuwa (a meat dish marinated in various spices then baked in an underground sand oven for 1-2 days).

In addition, you won’t want to miss out on trying fresh Omani Dates, Kahwa (coffee with a dash of cardamom), Laban (a yogurt and buttermilk blended beverage flavored with pistachios or cardamom), and Halwa (a sweet dish made with brown sugar, honey, eggs and various spices, then flavored with rosewater, nuts, chocolate or dates).

Stay At Least A Week Or More

As you probably have figured out already, there is so much to do, see and experience in Oman, that staying for a week to 10 days is best.

Although the country looks small on the map, getting to all of the “must see” attractions and destinations takes time. You’ll want to make sure that you have enough time to get from A to B, and to not be too rushed, which is a good thing to keep in mind terms of planning. 

palm trees in a desert

Go Shopping For Local Specialties

Shopaholics will love the variety of traditional Arabian textiles and products, both natural and manufactured, that can be found in the souks of Oman. While there are souks all over the country, the finest array of Omani goods under one roof can be found at the legendary Muttrah Souk in Muscat’s Old Town.

The souks at Nizwa and Salalah also offer an excellent selection – Nizwa in particular is known for its handicrafts, while Salalah is perhaps the best place in the country to pick up samples of the famous Dhofari frankincense. 

HOT TIP: Prices are rarely fixed in the souks, and bargaining and haggling is very much a cultural norm. And don’t forget to hit the ATM to get some cash before you go to the souk, as you’ll be hard pressed to find a stall that accepts credit cards. 

a building with a large courtyard

Must Do’s and Must See’s in Oman

You could likely live in Oman your entire life and not get around to seeing all of the fantastic landscapes and sights that the country has to offer. That being said, here’s a bulleted list of the top places to see in Oman to help you plan your own itinerary:

  • Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
  • Daymaniyat Islands are not to be missed! I booked my day tour with Cruise Oman , and this scuba and snorkel adventure was the highlight of our time in Muscat! And don’t forget, if you’re planning to visit Oman between July and September, you may be lucky enough to swim with whale sharks!
  • Old Town, Corniche and Muttrah Souk
  • Royal Opera House
  • Al Alam Palace
  • Mutrah Fort, Al Mirani Fort, and Al Jalali Fort
  • Bait Al-Zubair Museum
  • NOTE: This might be a little “touristy” for some, but if you’re really into shopping and into beauty and fashion, then the Amouge Perfumery is worth consideration 
  • NOTE: If you’re staying at a beach resort then there is no need to visit either Qurum or Yiti – I would just enjoy the private hotel beach myself
  • Nakhal Fort
  • Bahla Fort (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Jabreen Castle
  • Misfat Al Abreyeen 
  • Al-Ayn Beehive Tombs (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Al Hamra Village
  • Aflaj Irrigation System (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Qalhat (UNESCO World Heritage site)
  • Dhow Factory
  • Ras Al Hadd Castle and Village
  • Sunaysilah Fort
  • Al Ayjah Lighthouse
  • Sur Corniche
  • Bilad Sur Castle
  • Salalah Souk
  • Land of Frankincense (UNESCO World Heritage sites): Al Baleed Archeological Site, Sumharam Old City (khor Rori), and Wubar Archeological Site
  • Sultan Qaboos Mosque

a round building with a flag on top

  • Jebel Akhdar and Jebel Shams Mountains
  • Wahiba Sands Desert 
  • Ras Al Jinz Reserve – turtles
  • Ayn Athum Waterfalls
  • Mughsail Beach and Blowholes
  • Rub Al Khali desert
  • Fazayah Beach
  • Musandam Peninsula and Fjords
  • Wadi Bani Khalid
  • Wadi Al Hawqayn
  • Bimmah Sinkhole 
  • Wadi Al Arbeieen
  • Wadi Dayqah Dam
  • Wadi Tiwi 
  • Wadi Darbat
  • Wadi Al Rawdah

a river with palm trees and rocks

Best Hotels in Oman

a pool with a deck and chairs on the side

You’ll find accommodations to fit all types of traveler’s needs and budgets, but here’s a list of the best-of-the-best hotels in all of Oman:

  • Six Senses Zighy Bay – arguably the best hotel in all of Oman, Six Senses Zighy Bay is an IHG-affiliated resort that is literally heaven on earth! Unfortunately, Zighy Bay is one of the many Six Senses’ properties that is not currently bookable with IHG points 🙁
  • Al Bustan Palace Ritz Carlton – I stayed here for 5 nights during my trip to Oman, and it’s hands-down the best Marriott Bonvoy property in the whole of Oman
  • Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah
  • W Hotel – Another nice option for folks looking to blow some Bonvoy points on their trip to Oman
  • Alila Jabal Akhdar – You won’t be disappointed with your stay at Alila Jabal Akhdar, as the views from the top of the mountain are out of this world! Better yet, Alila is a Hyatt owned chain, so you can use Hyatt and Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book here!
  • Anantara Jabal Akhdar  
  • Alila Hinu Bay – The newest Alila in Oman, this beach resort looks utterly divine. And just like Alila Jabal Akhdar, you can use Hyatt and Chase Ultimate Rewards points to book here as well!
  • Anantara Al Baleed  
  • Dunes by Al Nahda
  • Magic Camps
  • Desert Nights Camp

Final Thoughts

If Oman wasn’t already on your bucket list, then I hope I convinced you to add it!

From breathtaking mountains, wadis, islands and deserts to ancient architecture, pristine beaches, beautiful mosques and so much more, Oman offers an incredibly wide range of experiences for all types of travelers. 

Oman is without a doubt the ultimate Arabian escape and still a hidden gem, where both luxury and simplicity blend and coexist side by side.

While Oman remains a relatively under-the-radar destination for now, as more travelers experience the country, it will likely become more and more developed and popular with the global jet set.

If I were you, I would go now while you can still enjoy one of the most beautiful countries in the world without all of the tourists and crowds!

a large building next to a body of water

Ceci Sutcliffe

Ceci Sutcliffe is a wanderlusting avgeek and self-professed points and miles junkie. After working in the credit card industry for over 4 years, where she launched one of the most popular premium travel... More by Ceci Sutcliffe

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Nice post, provide useful information

Glad you found the info useful, Amit!

We visited Oman in 2018 and stayed at the Crown Plaza for five nights, which opened six months prior. Oman required entry visa at the time but you could not apply more than one month out prior to entry. You had to crop the passport required to upload for entry visa which was challenging because the system rejected regular sized passport photos. Quite challenging as we were not tech savvy and had no one around to assist. We will definitely visit Oman again. We will position when opportunity arises for a free stopover from Qatar Airways, Gulf Air or Etihad Airways. Emirates is way beyond our budget for flight redemption.

Hopefully for your next visit you found some of this info helpful! And at least you won’t have to go through that visa hassle next time around!

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Tips & How to travel to Oman in 2024

By Joan Torres 22 Comments Last updated on May 8, 2024

travel in Oman

Alluring Arab fortresses, 3000km of dramatic coastline, massive seas of dunes, thousands of miles of empty roads, and unspoiled landscapes.

Oman is the ultimate destination for raw adventurers, seeking to venture into the most traditional and welcoming Arab country.

This Oman travel guide contains everything you need to know to travel to Oman , including all the practical information, travel tips, top experiences and more.

travel to Oman

In this Oman travel guide you will find:

Table of Contents

  • Best time to visit
  • Travel insurance
  • Useful books
  • Top 5 experiences
  • Tours or independent travel?
  • 20 Cultural facts
  • Money and budgeting
  • Transportation
  • How to get in
  • Accommodation
  • More information

our recommended travel insurance for Oman

With its Backpacker plan, IATI Insurance is the best insurance for any kind of adventurous destination, like Oman.

😍 Reasons to visit Oman, the most welcoming country in the Middle East

I have visited Oman 7 or 8 times. 

The fact is that I lived in Dubai for nearly 3 years, and going to Oman was the classic weekend getaway. 

Two years after leaving Dubai and my corporate job , I came back to the region and decided to travel around Oman for a whole month, this time without a car, right before making my way into Saudi Arabia .  

I love Oman, I absolutely love it, for many reasons, but mainly because, unlike the United Arab Emirates, Qatar or Kuwait, it has managed to keep its own character.

Oman is an oil-rich country, but they don’t need to spend billions building extravagant buildings and nonsensical monuments. No, they don’t need to because people visit Oman to meet the kind-hearted Omanis, to check out the incredible coastline and the most epic mountains in the Arabian Peninsula, which go as high as 3,028m. 

Despite the modernization of the country, Oman has managed to preserve all its traditions and that is why, today, here you can still attend a livestock market and always share a meal with a local in the traditional way. 

Not surprisingly, Oman is getting immensely popular, but the good thing is that the country is big enough, so you can still find loads of off-the-beaten-track places that have remained untouched for centuries. 

Welcome to Oman.

travel advice to oman

🪪 How to get a visa for Oman

Most nationalities can buy an Oman tourist visa on arrival:

  • 14-day visa : for free, no cost
  • 30-day visa: 21 rials
  • Multiple-entry visa, valid for 1 year: 50 rials

If possible, try to pay in either Omani Rials or with a credit card, because the price in USD is higher than the actual exchange rate. 

You can also buy your Omani visa online through this portal at a discounted price (around 1 rial), which is 2-3USD, for the 30-day visa at least. 

What nationalities are eligible for visa on arrival?

European Union, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Japan, Lebanon , Liechtenstein, Macau, Macedonia, Malaysia, Moldova , Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United States, Uruguay, Vatican City and Venezuela 

If you come from any other country, I suggest you check the e-visa portal . 

Do you have a UAE residence?

If you are not on the lucky countries list, but you are living and working in the United Arab Emirates, you may also be able to get a visa on arrival. However, you should check it with your own embassy.  

visa for Oman

⛅ Best time to visit Oman

In Oman, there really isn’t a spring or autumn season but the weather just evolves from crazy hot to pleasant. Note that, depending on the year, May and October could still be really, really hot.

Traveling in Oman in summer – From May to October

  • Pleasant weather in the high mountains
  • Low-season prices
  • Monsoon season in Salalah (South Oman)
  • Unbearable heat across the country
  • High levels of humidity in the coastal areas

Traveling in Oman in winter – From November to April

  • Pleasant weather across the whole country
  • Loads of social life, events, etc.
  • Omanis are in their best mood
  • Higher prices

backpacking Oman budget

🚑 Travel insurance for Oman

Hey, Oman is an adventure destination, a country where you may be camping in the wild, go trekking and do epic road trips, plus their health care system is private.

For this reason, I recommend IATI Insurance because:

  • Covers all types of adventure activities
  • Up to 5 million € of medical coverage
  • Covers senior citizens too
  • Readers of this blog can get a 5% exclusive discount

📚 Books for planning your trip to Oman

Oman travel guide by bradt.

The guide to Oman by Bradt is, definitely, the best guidebook about Oman that exists.

travel advice to oman

Arabian Peninsula travel guide by Lonely Planet

They also mention UAE and other Gulf countries but if you like collecting the LP or want to combine a few countries, this is also a good option. 

travel advice to oman

🛖 5 Top experiences in Oman

Some travelers may not agree with the below list, basically because they might not be part of the tourist trail, but having visited Oman extensively, getting quite off the beaten track, these are the must-try experiences worth to be featured in this Oman travel blog.

Traveling to Dubai? Read my complete 1-week itinerary to UAE for the independent traveler

1 – Experience the khareef season in Salalah

In Oman, there is a place full of green meadows, where it rains, and the locals sell locally-grown coconuts, pineapples, and papayas. This place is called Salalah, in southern Oman, a city that experiences a monsoon season called khareef , which takes place from July to September.

During this season, Salalah becomes beautiful and lush green, attracting visitors from all over the country, as well as Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Check my ultimate guide to visit Salalah and the rest of Dhofar region

Salalah Khareef

2 – Driving the coastal road from Salalah to the Yemeni border

Very few travelers visit this remote part of the country, which is a real shame, because the coast of Dhofar province is home to the most dramatic coastline in Oman, composed of lush green mountains which, at the same time, serve as vertiginous cliffs that directly drop to turquoise-blue waters.

A type of landscape you would never think of in the Arabian Peninsula. 

It looks like Hawai, right?

visit Oman

3 – Experiencing the Omani traditional life

What I like about Oman is that, unlike its neighbors from UAE, Qatar, Bahrain or Kuwait, it is a country with a complex, ancient history that managed to keep its traditions.

From livestock markets to artisan shops, actual Bedouins and historical mountain villages, the cultural experience in Oman is just as great as its epic landscapes. 

travel advice to oman

4 – Camping at one of the many wadis in Oman

Oman is about outdoors and since the country is not known for its nightlife, not even Muscat , both locals and expats tend to spend their weekends outdoors, especially camping in a wadi (valley) over a night barbecue.

If you want to join an Omani group, check the weekly events on Couchsurfing.

If you decide to go alone and go on a weekend, expect kind Omanis to tell you to join them.

best time to visit Oman

5 – The historical heritage, from ruined cities to epic forts and abandoned villages

Despite being a mostly desert country, Oman has a fair amount of historical places to visit, ranging from well-restored, impressive forts, like the one in Rustaq, Nizwa or Bahla; to absolutely ruined historical cities like the barely visited one in Manah. 

Moreover, the mountains of Oman are also filled with abandoned villages that had been inhabited for centuries, but due to their inaccessibility, the Omani Government gave the villagers incentives to move to more accessible towns.

The ruined city of Manah, Oman

👨 Independent travel in Oman. Do you need to join a tour?

Oman is a difficult country to move around, basically, because you hardly find public transportation. 

Therefore, to travel in Oman, you need to either rent a car or go on a tour .

There is a third, more challenging way: hitchhiking – but we will get into that later. 

Below you can find a few examples but here I have put a compelling list: Best excursions, activities and day tours in Oman

Best Muscat City Tour

Muscat is full of amazing sites, but it is not very walking-friendly precisely. Joining a tour will definitely prove cheaper than hiring a taxi driver.

Best adventurous tour: Jebel Shams

The Grand Canyon of Oman is one of the most epic, natural places in the country, and it is easily visited from Muscat on a day trip.

Best cultural tour: Nizwa

One of the most historically important cities in Oman has a great souq and a beautiful fortress.

You may also like: the 10 best desert safaris in Dubai

Oman travel guide

⚠️ Is it safe to travel to Oman?

Oman is safe and, perhaps, the safest country in the Middle East , no kidding. 

Even the utterly negatively-exaggerated FCDO advice says that Oman is trouble-free. 

The fact is that Oman is one of those countries where crime is a rare thing to see.

Actually, a good friend of mine from southern Oman told me that since he was born 40 years ago, there is only been one murder in his province (Dhofar), and it was between foreign workers. 

How many people have been murdered in your province or city?

There are no pickpockets and nobody will mug you. Oman is very safe and terrorism is unheard of, especially because it has always kept away of all Middle Eastern conflicts. 

For a more comprehensive analysis, read: Is Oman safe?

my trip to Oman

20 Facts about Omanis and the country of Oman

1 – oman is an arab country and omanis are arabs.

It is one of the 22 countries that comprise the Arab League . 

2 – Many Omanis are ethnically from Zanzibar

From the 17th to the 19th century, the Sultanate of Oman was a major maritime force that controlled a large part of East Africa, Zanzibar being one of the most important territories.

When you travel in Oman, you will see a lot of very dark Omanis with strong East African features. Most likely, their ancestors come from Zanzibar but, culturally, they are 100% Omani. 

Read my city guide to Muscat!

3 – And then you have the Baluchis

Balochistan is a region spread across Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan and, for many years, the Baluch city of Gwadar (in today’s Pakistan) was under Omani rule. Baluchis were known for being fierce warriors and that is why, over the centuries, the Sultanate used them as loyal mercenaries to consolidate Oman’s power.

Today, a large population of Baluchis still remain in Oman (about half a million) and while they are considered 100% Omanis, many of them speak a distinct language which is close to Hindi or Urdu, and they have similarities with their South Asian neighbors. 

4 – But there are more groups

From the several Dhofari tribes in southern Oman (which are culturally closer to Yemen) to the Bedouins, Oman is ethnically rich. 

travel advice to oman

5 – South Asians make up around 45-55% of the total population

By South Asians, I mean people from Pakistan , India, and Bangladesh, especially Bangladesh, most of them being workers with low-qualified jobs. 

travel advice to oman

6 – Arabic is the official language

Omani Arabic is very similar to the one spoken in UAE, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf countries, with its own similarities, of course. They claim that the Arabic from the Gulf is the closest to Classical Arabic, the Arabic the Quran is written in.

7 – Other languages, however, are also spoken

I personally spent several days in Dhofar province, staying with a guy named Mussab in a small village north of Salalah . Mussab spoke Jabali (Shehri) , a language that sounded completely different from Arabic. He said that some old people from remoter villages in his region can’t speak Arabic, only Jabali. 

8 – Many educated Omanis speak English

Especially in Muscat but, in smaller cities and rural areas, communicating in English can be a problem sometimes. 

9 – Most Omanis are Sunni Muslims

There are small concentrations of Shias in Muscat and along the northern coast, but Sunni Islam is the prevalent religion. 

10 – And they are a very conservative society

Islam is the basic pillar for pretty much any Omani, including the young generation. I hung out with Omanis from all ages and social classes and I barely met anyone who didn’t pray 5 times a day. They are strong believers and most of their rules, habits, and laws are based on Islam. 

travel advice to oman

11 – Conservative, but tolerant with foreigners

In Oman, there aren’t specific rules dictating how you need to dress, and alcohol is widely available for foreigners. Women don’t need to cover up and, if you want to wear shorts, you just wear them. Omanis understand the cultural differences between themselves and Europeans, so you don’t need to explain anything to them. 

A piece of advice for women – When I was traveling in the touristic areas of Oman, I saw quite a few Western women dressing like they would do in a beach destination back home, and that was with very tight and small clothes. There isn’t really a law against that, and Omanis are the kindest people on Earth, so most likely, whatever you wear, they won’t say you anything to you because you are their guest. However, I certainly know that many Omanis get bothered when they see a woman dressing like that, especially in villages. Look, I know that I shouldn’t tell a woman what to do, but just bear in mind that you are in their country and, in order to enjoy their kindness and hospitality , showing your respect for their culture is a great start. You don’t need to cover your head or anything like that, but just try to dress more conservatively, and you will see that Omanis will receive you in open arms. For more information, read: Solo female travel in Oman

12 – Some of the most hospitable people ever

You may think this as a cliché statement, but it’s not. Omanis are in the top 3 of the most hospitable people I have ever met, along with Iranians and Pakistanis.

Over my backpacking journey, I lost count of all the house invitations I got, plus the kindness of the many locals I hitched a ride with, always willing to meet and help you, expecting nothing in return. 

travel advice to oman

13 – You will visit many guest rooms, but nothing beyond that

Omanis are very private. Families don’t really like people entering their houses, especially because it is the only place where their women can roam around freely.

For this reason, all houses tend to have a guest room, which is a living room attached to the main entrance of the house. If you are a man, you won’t be allowed to cross that room but, in that room, you will be treated like a royal guest. 

14 – About local women

Yes, Oman is a conservative Muslim society and as such, women have fewer rights than men but still, they are much further ahead than Saudi Arabia , especially when it comes to high education and public jobs, and you will hardly see any women wearing the niqab .

However, you won’t really see women socializing alone in the street and, as a man, you will hardly talk to any of them. 

Read: 9 Misconceptions about traveling as a female in Saudi

travel advice to oman

15 – Expect to see many pictures from Saddam Hussein

I traveled around Oman always hitchhiking and, during my journey, I got lifts from many people who had Saddam Hussein’s photo hanging from the rear mirror. 

Read: Iraqi Kurdistan travel guide

travel advice to oman

16 – Get used to shopping from the car

Omanis have a strange custom which is that they don’t like to get out of their car when they go to the grocery store or want to take away food. Instead, they stop at the entrance and beep like crazy until a poor Bengali comes out asking for their order.

A strange custom which I never managed to get used to. 

17 – They even have drive-thru ATMs

When I was at the gas station of Salalah, for the first time in my life, I saw a drive-thru ATM, which was also located right next to a few normal ATMs.

The shocking fact was that there were 3-4 cars standing on the line, yet, the normal ATMs were empty, which meant that they preferred waiting to getting out of the car – and it wasn’t due to the heat because it was during winter. 

18 – The strangest signboards for shops

”Fish Marketing”, ”Food Stuff”, or ”Café that offers meals mainly”, among the most classic ones.  

travel advice to oman

19 – Sultan Qaboos is the most beloved leader in the world

There isn’t a single Omani who doesn’t love their leader and the reason is that he has made their country great, not only when it comes to giving free stuff to its citizens – like houses – but he introduced a bunch of liberal laws (like freedom of religion) which his dictatorial predecessor didn’t allow.

Sultan Qaboos passed away in January 2020 at the age of 79. May him rest in peace

20 – What you need to know about camels

In Oman there are a lot of camels, but most of them are concentrated in the south, in Dhofar province (the north is more about goats). Dhofar is perhaps, the place with the largest concentration of camels in the world, no kidding.

They are absolutely everywhere, like sleeping in the middle of the road and stuff like that. Unfortunately, most of them will end up their days in a butchery.

Tales of Omani hospitality I wish I had space here to tell you all the stories of hospitality and kindness I had with the tens of Omanis I hung out with. As I told you before, I traveled in Oman completely by hitchhiking, camped in the middle of towns and cities, and did a lot of Couchsurfing. When you are backpacking this way, the local interactions are non-stop and in most cases, Omanis just tried to be overwhelmingly helpful. I got invited to have coffee to countless houses, they took me out for lunch and dinner every other day and, on many occasions, the people I hitched a ride with, always insisted on driving me to my exact location, even if that required them to make a huge detour. For this reason, I strongly recommend you travel in Oman independently , not on a tour.

travel advice to oman

🍲 Food and coffee in Oman

Honestly, food isn’t the highlight of any Oman trip, but there are some surprises and interesting facts. 

The first thing you need to know is that Omani cuisine is very limited, as it mainly consists of meat or fish with rice , served in ridiculously massive portions. 

Camel meat is eaten all across the country but nowhere like in Dhofar province, the place with perhaps, the largest concentration of camels in the world. In Salalah and around , camel meat is eaten very regularly in most restaurants, usually grilled, but you also find camel shawarmas , burgers and stuff like that. 

travel advice to oman

Besides rice with its respective portion of protein, you may also find shurbah , a local soup made of oatmeal, tomatoes, and other vegetables. 

That’s it pretty much when it comes to Omani food but, one day when I was Sadeh, a coastal village 2 hours north of Salalah, my host wanted me to eat a very special dish from his region. 

And what are we gonna eat?  – I asked

He didn’t know the name in English, so he Googled it and said: It’s called oysters. My friend catches them. 

I thought we would be eating oysters in the same way we eat them back home but instead, he brought a massive dish of oysters without shells, cooked in a spicy sauce, but they still preserved the strong sea taste oysters usually have.

That dish was, definitely, one of the best dishes I ever had traveling, if not the best .

travel advice to oman

On the other hand, due to the big Indian influence, you also find loads and loads of restaurants – even in the smallest villages – serving all kinds of Indian food , ranging from daal to fish curries, and even calamari masala, always very cheap. Daal was usually my everyday breakfast. 

Here are some facts about eating when you travel in Oman:

  • Typically, you will eat on the floor, with a plastic tablecloth
  • Usually, everything will be served on one single plate, even if you are several people, and you will eat from the same plate.
  • You eat with your hands, and no plates or forks are provided. 
  • Guests are not supposed to leave any food – That was hard because of the XXL portions
  • In rural areas, you should eat with your right hand and doing otherwise is considered rude – This rule applies in all Muslim countries but Oman is particularly conservative and, along with Saudi Arabia, it is the only country where, on several occasions, the locals told me I was doing it wrong  (I am left-handed).

What you need to know about kahwa

Kahwa is the local coffee from the Arabian Peninsula, consisting of regular coffee with cardamom, served in a traditional pot. 

The problem with kahwa is that if you travel in Oman independently and have a lot of local interactions, you will be offered this coffee several times a day, meaning that you will have a shit load of cups, therefore, your heart rate is likely to increase.

When I was hitchhiking in Central Oman, where tourists are rare, one day I had to have more than 25 cups of kahwa – no kidding – as you are supposed to have at least a few when you are offered. 

If you are in a house, kahwa will be typically served with dates and if you are lucky, with tajin as well, a kind of sauce in which you dip your dates.

In fancier occasions, they will serve it with halwa , a traditional sticky, jelly-like dessert made of wheat starch, eggs, saffron, cardamom, nuts, and A LOT of sugar. It’s a bomb. 

What to do with all the dates

Of course, dates are immensely popular in Oman, especially in the north, and they claim that dates from Nizwa are the very best. Every time I stayed with an Omani from the north, they gifted me with a crazy bag loaded with dates, and they were so heavy.

Since I couldn’t finish them all, they were piling up, so every time I hitched a ride with a foreigner, I also gave them dates.

💻 Internet and connectivity in Oman

Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi usually works great but, unfortunately, it is difficult to find a Wi-Fi network, as the internet is expensive in Oman, so only hotels and Western-style cafés can afford it. So, when you are traveling in rural Oman, getting connected may prove challenging.

Moreover, Wi-Fi networks tend to require a local Omani number in order to connect, so you will have to buy a SIM Card anyways. 

SIM Card – SIM Cards in Oman are expensive as well. Omantel is the most popular one. They offer an entry plan which may be enough for short-term stays but then, if you are planning to travel to Oman for several weeks, the price per GB is pricey, like 8-9USD for 1GB worth of data. 

eSIM for browsing, calling and traveling in Oman

Basically, an eSIM is a regular SIM card with a digital format that works like a normal physical SIM card, with the added benefit that you can buy it from home before the beginning of your trip, hence avoiding the hassle of buying it at your destination. 

With Holafly , you can get a SIM Card for a wide range of destinations, including Oman . 

Moreover, you can benefit from a 5% discount with the following code:  AGAINSTTHECOMPASS

Get a VPN for traveling in Oman

You should always use a VPN when you travel, especially when you connect to public Wi-Fi networks.

Your connection will be much safer. 

Moreover, you will be able to access content which is typically censored in Oman. 

I recommend ExpressVPN – Extremely easy to use, fast and cheap. 

If you want to learn more about VPN, check: Why you need a VPN for traveling .

💰 Money & budgeting when you travel in Oman

In Oman, they use the Omani Rial (OMR) and approximately:

1 USD = 0.38 OMR

Yes, it is worth more than 2USD. 

Omani Rials are split into baisas (bzs) and 1OMR = 1,000bzs

The Omani Rial is a stable currency. 

Exchanging money in Oman

Given the fact that half of the population are foreigners, money exchange offices abound. 

Plenty of ATMs everywhere

Credit cards

In local eateries, taxis, small shops, budget hotels etc. you must pay in cash, so always bring plenty of it. 

How much does traveling to Oman cost?

All right, Oman is an expensive destination (yeah, really), for two reasons:

  • There is no public transportation
  • There aren’t budget hotels

How much you will spend when traveling in Oman is hard to say, as it will depend on several factors.

For example, I have never spent much because, during my first 6 or 7 visits, I always came with my own car and used to camp in the wadis or the beach and, on my last occasion, I was purely hitchhiking and Couchsurfing, so I barely spent 20USD a day. 

Local food is actually cheap but, if you rent a car and stay in hotels, costs will add up significantly. 

Here are the typical prices of the most basic stuff:

  • One-month visa –  20OMR
  • Welcome package SIM + Data –  3OMR but then you pay 3OMR for 1GB
  • The most budget hotel –  10-12OMR
  • A plate of daal – 500bzs
  • A biryani –  1.5OMR
  • A big bottle of water – 200bzs
  • A beer – 4OMR
  • Short taxi rides within Muscat –  2.50OMR
  • Bus from Muscat to Salalah –  7OMR

How to travel in Oman on a super budget:

  • Do hitchhike (it is fairly easy)
  • Do Couchsurfing
  • Only eat in Indian-run restaurants
  • Go to the mountains and camp outdoors
  • Sign up for Couchsurfing events and join weekend trips

If you want to know more, read my guide on how to go backpacking in Oman on a super budget

travel advice to oman

🛺 Transportation tips – How to move around Oman

  • Regular taxi – If you don’t have a car, taxis are the way to go in Muscat. They don’t have taximeters, however, and taxi drivers from Muscat are really annoying because they always try to rip off tourists. I recommend using Careem or Uber.
  • Bus – There are a few bus lines in Muscat that go all the way to Ruwi from the airport. They cost 500bzs. For more information, read my Muscat City Guide . 

Renting a car in Oman

To be very honest, Oman is a country that is best explored by car, as the vast majority of its places are completely inaccessible.

A car will make your life much easier, plus you will be able to find epic camping spots and just have a lot of freedom.

I recommend you find your car via Rental Cars, a search engine that helps you find the best deals, no matter where you are.

Do you need a 4×4 for your trip to Oman?

Before making this decision, you need to think: where are you going to go?

The roads in Oman are generally good and the only 2 places I went where a 4×4 was needed were Jebel Akhdar and the road from Al Hamra to Rustaq via Bald Sayt. 

Then, you have the Empty Quarter but, even if you had the best 4×4, it is not recommended to go without an experienced driver – The dunes in the Empty Quarter are a few hundred meters high, and they are shifting sands. 

Unless you really want to drive off-road , bear in mind that renting a 4×4 is much more expensive than a regular car, so you really need to assess whether it is worth to pay the extra money for being able to go to Jebel Akhdar and Bald Sayt. 

Traveling around Oman by bus

Traveling in Oman by bus sucks, for 3 reasons:

  • They just go to the main cities and towns
  • There are only a few a day
  • Cities in Oman are not walking-friendly, so when you get to a city by bus, you are screwed again.

Going by bus isn’t a good option for traveling in Oman. 

Hitchhiking in Oman

The best option for budget backpackers. 

Hitchhiking in Oman is super easy. I hitchhiked more than 1400km, from Salalah to Muscat and everything in between, and never had to wait much.

For more information, read my budget backpacking guide in Oman .

why visit Oman

🛫 How to get to Oman

Traveling to oman by air.

Today, there are many international connections coming from different European and Asian cities to Muscat . However, flying to Dubai will always be cheaper, so I recommend you check both and then you decide.

The southern city of Salalah also has an international airport, with connections from other Arab countries, India, Pakistan , etc.

Traveling to Oman by land

Oman shares a border with UAE, Yemen , and Saudi Arabia.

  • UAE – Traveling from Dubai to Muscat is a 400km drive. You can come by car but there are also buses from Bur Dubai. Check here for more info . 
  • Saudi –  Apparently, the border was recently opened, but there are no buses and it is actually faster going through UAE, which would be a 1,300km drive from  Riyadh  to Muscat. Read my  travel guide to Saudi Arabia . 
  • Yemen – The border is open but it is a very long drive. For more information on visiting Yemen, read this post . 

🏨 Accommodation tips – Which kind of accommodation do you have?

Check my comprehensive guide on how to find the right accommodation in Muscat

The first thing you need to know is that in Oman there aren’t hostels or guest houses, only hotels.

Budget Hotels

Only available in big cities and on roads. You pay 25-30USD for a single room but on the bright side, the few I stayed in tended to be clean and have some minimum standards. 


In big cities, you can also find hotel apartments, which are very good value-for-money if you are more than 2 people.

Mid-range hotels

In rural touristic places such as Jebel Shams, Jebel Akhdar, villages like Bald Sayt, etc. there aren’t budget hotels and rates may easily start at 100USD per night. 

5-star hotels

The offer of luxury hotels in Oman is very large. 


Plenty of profiles but I recommend you send the requests in advance because Omanis tend to take a while to reply.

❗ More information to add up to this Oman travel guide

📢 In my Travel Resources Page you can find the list of all the sites and services I use to book hotels, tours, travel insurance and more.

All guides and articles for traveling in Oman destination

  • Travel Guide to Musandam
  • Muscat Travel Guide
  • Where to Stay in Muscat
  • Best Activities, Tours and Excursion in Oman
  • A City Guide to Salalah Dhofar
  • Oman Budget Guide
  • Solo Female Travel Guide to Oman
  • Is Oman Safe?

Travel guides to other countries in the Middle East

  • Iran Travel Guide
  • Palestine Travel Guide
  • Syria Travel Guide
  • Travel Guide to Lebanon
  • Iraq Travel Guide
  • Travel Guide to Saudi Arabia
  • Yemen Travel Guide

You will also be interested in: Where in the Middle East is safe? and The most beautiful places in the Middle East .

This Oman travel guide contained everything you needed to know for your trip. If you have any additional information or questions, kindly post them in the comments section

travel guide Oman


Great article – very useful and informative. Thanks!

Thank you very much, the article is very helpful und interesting!

Just wanted to comment on correcting one fact Oman is the only country that the majority of muslims are Ibadi, not Sunni.

thanks, Ali!

Hey Joan, great source of info, really well written and love all the cultural information. We want to rent a car for traveling around Oman. Is it easy to find camping gear in Muscat? Any shop you can recommend?

Hey there, thx for all the information, do you know if it is possible for EU citizens to get a 10-day visa on the border when coming by bus from Dubai?

If coming by land, I recommend you buy it online beforehand.

Hi, have you got any direct contact details (phone, email) for Fort Guesthouse in Muscat? Thanks, love your stuff, Terry

Thanks so much for all this info! I recently returned from a trip to Oman and used this (along with a lot of your others posts) for help and information 🙂

thank you 🙂

Hi, Can someone advise me on the best currency to use when holidaying in Oman please? Rials or USdollars? TIA

In Oman, they use Omani Rials

Love your work, I have been reading it extensively. We have accidently booked our 4 days in Oman next year during Eid al-Adha. Do you know how this may negatively affect our time there? Ie. can we still rent a car and travel easily?

Hi Richard, it’s really not a problem, other than it will be busy, since many expats in UAE decide to travel to Oman during these dates.

About visa, most of nationalities doesn’t need visa for 14 days or less if they arrive by airplane. Visa for 14 days on land border crossings is not valid/avaliable anymore, nor it is possible to buy it through official government website.

I can send you screenshot from government official email on my request about that matter as proof if you need. 🙂

Thank you for the information, Peter.

Great Article , can u recommend any good hassel free car hire company .

none in particular, I always check on Rental Cars

Such a nice summary!! We originally planned to go with a travel agency but at the end we might rather go on our own with more freedom to travel where we want. Thank you so much for these tips! I learned all I needed to know! Love from Lucy form Prague

Have a fun and safe trip!

Greetings, Joan! Inspired by you (and a few others), I’m visiting Oman for 24 days. Can you suggest a site where I might find a travel partner to split a vehicle? Many thanks–I’m a big fan1

Maybe in Facebook group Overlanding in the Middle East

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11 Practical Tips to Know Before Visiting Oman


A holiday in Oman is a worthy experience as visitors enjoy its charming architecture and natural beauty. Nevertheless, to make your stay unforgettable, you must invest time into planning how to spend your time. Here we present some top tips that you need to know before visiting Oman.

Oman is a hot country.

Oman is a sunny country during almost all its seasons, even in the winter. Temperatures vary between 25 C (77 Fahrenheit) and 17 C (63 F) in the winter, to 40 C (104 F) and 30 C (86 F) in the summer. Nevertheless, the weather on mountains like Al Hajar Mountains is colder than the surrounding areas during the day, but even more in the night.

Muscat is humid and hot during the day, and sometimes at night as well, because it is a coastal city. Salalah, on the other hand, has unique weather during the summer months, which makes it rainy and pleasant. While it gets very hot in most cities of Oman in the summer, Salalah gets its monsoon season, which fills the city with rain and fresh air. Depending on the time you will be visiting Oman, it is important to check the temperatures, and the type of weather where you will be staying. Nevertheless, as a general role, make sure to pack light and colorful clothes to fight the heat and extremely hot sun.

Oman Desert

Be Mindful of the Conservative Nature of the Omani Culture

People in Oman are religious and have deep respect for their traditions and culture. That also applies to how they are dressed and how they behave in public. Omani men wear a dishdasha, which is long piece of white or colorful cloth that covers them entirely, and a kummah, which is the Omani traditional cap. Sometimes, they wear shorts that reaches their knees and t-shirts. As for women, they usually wear black abaya, and a scarf that covers their heads. They also wear colorful dresses with uniquely decorated textiles, and matching scarves. Omanis are always conservative and dress decently. Although it is not expected from visitors to wear the same traditional Omani clothes, they must make sure they dress conservatively and don’t show much skin. That’s why it’s not recommended to wear swimsuits on public beaches, as it will be disrespectful to the locals and their culture.

Omani People

Decide on the Places you want to visit

It is true that every city in Oman has charming architectural and natural beauty. Nevertheless, each one is distinguished with its unique attractions and various must-see sites. Each region offers its own celebrations and festivals on different months around the year. Moreover, weather differs from one city to the other during different seasons. That’s why visitors must decide on the places they want to visit in Oman, and the best timings to go there.

Muscat Festival

The city of Muscat for example, has an annual festival in which there are selling booths of Omani and international products, folklore dances and theatrical performances, stands for traditional Omani food and drink, races and competitions, and a fun-fair. The Muscat Festival usually takes place during January and February, and attracts visitors from all over the world. So, it is a good idea to plan a holiday during this time, to enjoy the festival as well as other attractions like mosques, museums, parks and beaches, which are open year-round.


As for Salalah , it is located in the southern part of Oman. During almost the whole year, the city is nothing but a big hot desert. Nevertheless, starting in July and until September of every year, the city turns into a big green heaven due to the monsoon season. Locals call it Khareef Salalah, which means Monsoon of Salalah, and dedicate a special festival to enjoy this natural beauty and rain, which attracts visitors from different parts of the globe.

people cheering on a mountain

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Money in Oman

The local currency in Oman is the Omani Rial, which equals 1,000 baisas, which is another smaller currency. One Omani Rial equals 2.60 US dollars. It also equals 2.22 euros, and 1.97 GBP. In Oman, the paper notes are 100 baisas, 500 baisas (which is a 1/2 Rial), 1 Omani Rial, 5 Omani Rials, 10 Omani Rials, 20 Omani Rials and 50 Omani Rials. As for coins, they are 5 baisas, 10 baisas and 50 baisas. Tipping is not customary in Oman, but visitors can do so if they would like to appreciate a good service.

Omani Money

Language in Oman

Arabic is the official language in Oman. However, people also speak English. As Oman is a melting pot of cultures that combines Arabs, Hindi people, Pakistanis and others, other languages are also widely spoken like: Hindi, Swahili and Baluchi.

Nizwa Souk

Food and Drinks

The Omani cuisine usually consists of traditional bread, rice, beef, chicken or fish, special tomato or Omani sauces and various types of salads. Omanis usually drink kahwa (traditional coffee with cardamon) with dates and halwa (Omani dessert), and sometimes they drink red tea. Nevertheless, there are options for vegans, vegetarians and other types of cuisines at local and international restaurants around Oman. Restaurants and coffee shops serve fresh juices and soft drinks. However, alcohol can only be found in international hotels and bought through a license that is issued by the police department in the city.

Omani Food

Electricity Plugs and Internet

In Oman, the plugs are a type G 200V to 240 V. Adapters are available at hotels and at different supermarkets around Oman.

Oman is a Safe Country

Oman is one of the safest countries around the world. Not only for the great efforts of the police, but also the great and kind hearts of the Omani people. They always care for their country and its visitors, and provide them with the warmest welcome even when they are complete strangers. According to the Global Terrorism Index, Oman is one of the few terrorism-free countries in the world. So, visitors don’t need to bring weapons or to be worried about safety. If anything wrong happens, they can go and talk to the police.

Oman Police

Oman is the Perfect Destination for All Adventure Travelers

Oman is full of natural attractions that facilitate all kind of activities and adventures. Visitors can go hiking, rock-climbing and camping in Oman’s mountains, especially Al Hajar Mountains in northern Oman. They can go diving, snorkeling, or take a ride on a boat in Oman’s different seas and charming beaches. They can also go dune-boarding and camping in Al Wahiba Sands in northeastern Oman, or in Al Rub Al Khali (The Empty Quarter) desert in southern Oman. With all its wadis, mountains, beaches, seas, oasis and deserts, visitors can never have enough time to do all the exciting nature activities.

Camp in Oman

Omanis Welcome Everyone with Dates and Coffee

Palm trees can be seen everywhere in Oman. People have their own palm tree farms, and they are planted alongside every road. Dates are served as an essential part of the Omani hospitality along with their traditional coffee, which is called Kahwa. Omanis are very friendly and always welcome people to their houses and their food, even strangers. It is important to know that they love to welcome people to their country and to make them feel at home. They also give visitors bags of dates and sometimes desserts when they are leaving. As hospitality is a dear part of the Omani culture and personality, it is polite and respectful to accept the invitation.

Nizwa Dates

Smell of Frankincense is Everywhere in Oman

Oman is famous for the frankincense trees, which they export to different countries around the world. It is known for its high quality and unique fragrance. Omanis homes are always filled with the scent of the frankincense as it is burnt in every room of the house. That’s why sometimes walking in the streets, you will smell the frankincense. Nevertheless, visitors don’t need to worry, the burning doesn’t produce lots of smoke, but they must be careful if they are allergic to strong scents.

Burning Frankincense

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travel advice to oman

See & Do

Exploring the lost villages of oman.

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The Most Historic Forts and Castles in Oman

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What's So Secret About Oman's 'Forbidden City', Sur Al Lawatia?

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Under the Desert Sky: Wild Camping in Oman

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The Ancient Tradition of Bullfighting in Oman

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Al Hoota: Inside Oman’s Stunning Two Million Year-Old Cave

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Understanding oman through its architecture.

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Places to Stay

The best hotels to experience oman.

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Why You Shouldn't Miss Oman’s Ad Dakhiliyah Province

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The Best Weekend Getaways From Muscat, Oman

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Atlantis of the Sands: The Myth and Rediscovery of the Ancient City of Shisr

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One of the most enjoyable weekends I have spent and it was not just because of the beauty of Oman´s beaches, dunes and wadi but also because of perfect job...

Oman is well plugged into international air networks, either through the national carrier Oman Air or through other Gulf airlines such as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad , meaning that it’s now possible to reach Muscat from most major air-hubs in Europe, North America and Australasia with only a single change of plane.

Flights from the UK and Ireland

Flights from the us and canada, flights from australia, new zealand and south africa, travel ideas for oman, created by local experts.

Omani Road Trip

Omani Road Trip

Take a road trip through the Mars-like terrain of the Arabian Peninsula, marvel at Muscat's Grand Mosque, get hands on Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve, experience imposing desert forts, all on this unique trip! Experience the magic of Oman with a self-drive trip through this stunning and varied country.

The Great Outdoors of Oman

The Great Outdoors of Oman

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Oman’s great outdoors: sleep under starry skies in the middle of the desert just as the native Bedouins do, hike around the crater of the Grand Canyon, watching as the light changes on the Jebel Shams Mountains, and swim in the Wadi Oasis.

Classic Oman

Classic Oman

Few countries in the world can match Oman's geographical diversity, which boasts palm-fringed white sand beaches, verdant mountains, rolling golden sand dunes and turquoise-watered wadis (water-filled ravines). Experience them all with this unique trip.

Omani Adventure: Deserts, Dunes and Turtle Watching

Omani Adventure: Deserts, Dunes and Turtle Watching

Explore this vast country of beautiful beaches, lonely deserts, rocky coastlines, prehistoric wildlife, huge sand dunes, Arabian culture, and luxury hotels with this exquisite package.

Discovering Oman: from Muscat to Salalah

Discovering Oman: from Muscat to Salalah

Oman offers a boundless and soulful destination, full of culture, ancient trade routes and incredible landscapes. Experience it all for yourself with this unique trip.

A Grand Tour of Oman, from Muscat to Khasab

A Grand Tour of Oman, from Muscat to Khasab

Discover Oman, packed with beautiful beaches, lonely deserts, rocky coastlines, undulating sand dunes, Arabian culture, and luxury hotels, on this unique trip.

Overland routes into the country are more limited. Oman shares land borders with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, though at the time of writing it was only possible to enter the country via the UAE border posts listed. There are no regular international ferry routes into Oman, although the country is an increasingly popular stop on many cruise itineraries.

Oman Air is currently the only operator offering direct flights from London Heathrow to Muscat. There are numerous one-stop options with other Gulf carriers including Qatar Airways (via Doha), Etihad (via Abu Dhabi), Gulf Air (via Manama) and Emirates (via Dubai), while British Airways also fly via Abu Dhabi. Fares start at around £600; flying time is around 7hr 30min outbound, 8hr on the way back. Oman Air also operates codeshare flights with BMI to Muscat via Heathrow from Manchester, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Travelling from Ireland , the easiest thing to do is to get yourself to Heathrow and pick up a flight from there. Oman Air and BMI operate codeshare flights from Belfast.

The flight from North America to Oman is a long journey with myriad different route options. It’s possible to get to Muscat with just one change of plane travelling from New York or Toronto (with Emirates or Etihad via Dubai or Abu Dhabi respectively), Washington ( Qatar Airways via Doha), Chicago ( Etihad ), Houston (Emirates and Qatar Airways ), and Los Angeles and San Francisco (both Emirates).

From Canada, you could fly from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver and other destinations to London with either British Airways or Air Canada, and then pick up a direct flight to Muscat with Oman Air, or go via Abu Dhabi with BA. Flying times from the east coast to Muscat can be as little as sixteen to seventeen hours depending on connections, although other flights can take anything up to 24 hours. From the west coast you’re looking at a minimum flight time of eighteen to twenty hours, possibly quite a bit longer. Fares from both coasts are around US$1300–1400.

There are various one-stop routes from Australia to Oman. One option is to aim for a major Asian air-hub and pick up a direct flight with Oman Air (who currently operate nonstop flights to Muscat from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Colombo, Mumbai and Delhi, among quite a few other places in Asia). Other one-stop routes include travelling via Dubai with Emirates from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, or via Abu Dhabi with Etihad from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Fares are around A$2000, with flying times averaging around thirty hours.

From New Zealand , it’s easiest to travel to either Bangkok (with Thai Airways), Singapore (Singapore Airlines) or Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia Airlines) and pick up an Oman Air flight to Muscat from there – or alternatively to follow one of the routes via Australia described above. Fares start at around $2700, with flying times from around 33 hours.

From South Africa , the simplest way of getting to Oman is to catch a direct South African Airways flight from Johannesburg, Cape Town or Durban to Dubai, and pick up a connection there. Alternatively, you could fly to Dar es Salaam, from where Oman Air operates direct flights to Muscat. Fares start from around R8000. Another romantic, if slightly more time-consuming, option is to fly to Dar es Salaam and then make your way over to Zanzibar , from where direct Oman Air flights leave for Muscat, allowing you to combine a visit to Oman and its most important former colony in a single visit.

Oman Air’s “Visit Oman Air Pass” (VOAP) may prove useful if you’re combining a visit to Oman with one to the UAE or other countries in the Gulf. The pass offers discounted airfares (at a fixed $100/flight, or “sector”, as it’s described) from Muscat to various regional cities including Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Ras al Khaimah, Bahrain, Doha, Kuwait City and Damman when bought in conjunction with a flight to Oman from London or other points outside the Gulf. The scheme is also valid for domestic flights to Khasab and Salalah, but at $100 per journey these actually work out more expensive than standard fares – although this may change in future.

Oman shares land borders with the UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, although at present it’s only possible to enter the country overland from the UAE , either via Buraimi/Al Ain, Khatmat Milahah or Hatta. There’s also a border between the UAE and the Musandam peninsula at Tibat. Border formalities at all four posts are straightforward, and citzens of most European, North American and Australasian countries can buy a visa on the spot. The whole process shouldn’t usually take more than fifteen to thirty minutes, although you might have to wait considerably longer during weekends and local holidays.

Agents and operators

Signing up for a tour of Oman – either tailor-made in your own car or 4WD, or as part of a larger group – takes the hassle out of organizing transport around the country, and can also get you some good deals on rates at better hotels. On the downside, travelling around in a group inevitably neuters your experience of the country, while the itineraries offered by most agents are boringly predictable – although booking a tailor-made package should at least enable you to customize your itinerary to suit your particular interests. Many foreign operators offer tours of the country while there’s also a decent selection of operators in Oman itself.

If you just want some kind of discounted flight-plus-hotel package deal, Destination Oman ( w, Dream Oman ( w ) and Travel Oman ( w ) all have a decent selection of offers.

Tour operators outside Oman

Abercrombie & Kent UK t 0845 618 2203, w ; US t 800 554 7016, w . Upmarket, tailor-made tours focusing on Muscat, Musandam, Nizwa, Salalah and the Wahiba Sands.

Destination Oman t 0844 482 1672, w Range of basic tours (5–7 days) plus flight-and-hotel packages to Muscat.

Kuoni t 01306 747002, w . Range of short tours including “Highlights of Oman” (6 days), combined tours of Oman (or just Muscat) and Dubai (8 days), plus various one- or two-day excursions focusing on themes such as forts, wildlife, the desert, and frankincense in Salalah.

North South Travel UK t 01245 608291, w . Friendly, competitive travel agency, offering discounted fares worldwide. Profits are used to support projects in the developing world, especially the promotion of sustainable tourism.

Oman Bike Tours w . German company offering exhilarating off-road motorbike trips from its camp in Wadi Bani Auf.

Responsible Travel t 01273 600030, w . Refreshingly different – and socially responsible – tour operator offering an excellent selection of unusual and ethical tours across Oman. These range from mainstream country tours through to camping, hiking, camel-trekking and Empty Quarter safaris, as well as the chance to work on local conservation projects.

Shaw Travel t 01635 47055, w . Upmarket tailor-made tours, plus a range of one-day tours including off-road mountain and desert trips and dolphin- and birdwatching.

STA Travel UK t 0871 2300 040, US t 1800 781 4040, Australia t 134 782, New Zealand t 0800 474 400, South Africa t 0861 781 781; w . Worldwide specialists in independent travel; also does student IDs, travel insurance, car rental, rail passes and more. Good discounts for students and under-26s.

Trailfinders UK t 0845 058 5858, Ireland t 01 677 7888, Australia t 1300 780 212; w . One of the best-informed and most efficient agents for independent travellers.

Travel CUTS Canada t 1866 246 9762, US t 1800 592 2887; w . Canadian youth and student travel firm.

The Ultimate Travel Company t 020 7386 4646, w . Two countrywide tours (11–12 days) of Oman, plus tailor-made tours, including trips into the Empty Quarter.

USIT Ireland t 01 602 1906, Northern Ireland t 028 9032 7111; w . Ireland’s main student and youth travel specialists.

Voyages Jules Verne t 0845 166 7033, w . Reliable group tours: choose from “Muscat & Beyond” (6 days), with day-trips from the capital, and “Frankincense & Fortresses” (7 days), divided between Muscat and Salalah.

Tour operators in Oman

Arabesque Travel w . Long-established local company under mixed Omani–British ownership offering a range of day and overnight trips from Muscat and Salalah, including wadi, fort, wildlife and Empty Quarter tours.

Gulf Leisure w . Good range of adventure tours. On land there are desert safaris, wadi- and dune-bashing, mountain-biking, climbing, trekking and canyoning, while water-based activities include game-fishing, diving and glass-bottom boat tours.

Mark Tours t 2478 2727, w . One of the largest local travel agents offering an excellent selection of one-day and overnight tours (including trips to places like Wadi Abyad, Wadi Shatan, Bat and As Suleif which aren’t covered by other operators), as well as customized camping trips. They can also arrange car hire, or 4WDs with guide-driver.

Muscat Diving & Adventure Centre t 2454 3002, w . Oman’s leading adventure specialists, with a big range of energetic outdoor activities on land and sea, including canyoning, caving, mountain-biking, climbing, trekking and diving, along with more mainstream cultural tours and self-drive itineraries.

Zahara Tours t 2440 0844, w . Reputable local travel agents offering a wide range of one-day tours from Muscat, plus a few longer trips (2–10 days). They can also arrange car hire.

The Rough Guides to Oman and related travel guides

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Travel advice for Oman

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written by Rough Guides Editors

updated 26.04.2021


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Getting help

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office ( FCDO ) cannot provide tailored advice for individual trips. Read this travel advice and carry out your own research before deciding whether to travel.

Emergency services in Oman

Telephone: 9999 (ambulance, fire, police)  

Contact your travel provider and insurer

Contact your travel provider and your insurer if you are involved in a serious incident or emergency abroad. They will tell you if they can help and what you need to do.

Refunds and changes to travel

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  • where to get advice if you are in a dispute with a provider
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Support from FCDO

FCDO has guidance on staying safe and what to do if you need help or support abroad, including:

  • finding English-speaking lawyers , funeral directors and translators and interpreters in Oman
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  • what to do if you’re in hospital
  • if you’re affected by a crisis , such as a terrorist attack

Contacting FCDO

Follow and contact FCDO travel on Twitter , Facebook and Instagram . You can also sign up to get email notifications when this travel advice is updated.

You can also contact FCDO online .

Help abroad in an emergency

If you are in Oman and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the British Embassy in Muscat .

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You can call FCDO in London if you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad.

Telephone: 020 7008 5000 (24 hours)

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Risk information for British companies

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating in Oman on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.

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How Oman Looks to Grow Tourism: No Mega-Hotels Here

Josh Corder , Skift

June 25th, 2024 at 9:00 AM EDT

As the UAE and Saudi Arabia continue their mega-projects, we look at Oman's 'calmer' approach to tourism.

Josh Corder

Tourism in the Middle Eastern country of Oman is improving. The Gulf nation was hit hard by Covid and had long struggled to recoup its tourism sector. But government measures are helping.

Unlike the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Oman has largely stayed away from giga-projects and mega-hotels to spark tourism. Instead, the country focuses heavily on its heritage sector to boost travel, as well as its natural environment.

The country aims to increase the tourism sector’s contribution to 10% of the gross domestic product (GDP) by 2040. Oman also plans to attract 11.7 million tourists by 2040. To achieve these goals, the country is looking to attract more than $51 billion in investment.

Here are the latest tourism figures:

  • 767,900 visitors year-to-date by April 2024 compared to 668,168 up to the same point last year.
  • Revenues from three- to five-star hotels rose 10.7% to $242 million.
  • Hotel occupancy increased by 7%.
  • Around 4.3 million tourists visited Oman last year.

Oman’s Tourism Drives

One key development in Oman recently has been the extension of its ‘Khareef’ season. Khareef is the monsoon season in Oman, and an important period in the tourism calendar as temperatures drop and travelers flock to cooler parts of the country.

Traditionally, Khareef is promoted by Oman from late June to early September, but this year has been extended to a full three months of promotions to spur tourism.

Running from June 21 to September 21, Khareef is often Oman’s busiest travel period. In 2023, the season brought in close to one million travelers. Officials hope the extra few weeks of promotion will draw an additional 300,000 visitors.

In Salalah during this year, temperatures can range from 68°F to 77°F, a stark contrast to the wider Middle East during summer.

Recent Success

According to research from the World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC), in 2023 Oman’s tourism GDP contribution increased by almost 35%, totaling 2.8 billion Omani Riyals ($7.2 billion). The sector witnessed job growth of 15%, employing 191,500 people.

Last year, international visitors put 1.1 billion Omani Riyals ($2.8 billion) into the economy, a 69% increase from 2022, while spending by domestic travelers hit 1.4 billion Omani Riyals ($3.6 billion).

WTTC is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP contribution to more than 3.3 billion Omani Riyals ($8.5 billion) in 2024, 7.6% of the country’s economy, and is projected to employ more than 206,000 people across the country.

Collaborative Efforts

Surrounded by tourism powerhouses such as Dubai and the ever-growing Saudi Arabia , Oman has become increasingly focused on collaborations with nearby countries to boost its tourism.

In March, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAKTDA) and Oman Ministry of Heritage and Tourism launched a ‘See Double’ campaign, prompting travelers to visit both destinations during their summer holidays.

That same month, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Oman signed a pact to promote cruises across all four destinations. The cruise sector contributed around 380,000 tourists into Oman before the pandemic.

The Sultanate has also been a key voice in promoting the upcoming ‘GCC zone’ visa.

Unified Travel in the Gulf

In October 2023, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman agreed to form a ‘ GCC zone ‘ for visas, a similar situation as the Schengen Zone across the EU. This visa was first mentioned in May 2023 at a conference in Dubai, where the countries’ ministers shared their hopes to unite the GCC so tourists would consider cross-country travel like they do in Europe.

This new visa comes under the banner of the “Gulf Strategy for Tourism 2023-2030,” which ministers also said is in the works. The meeting also looked into the establishment of a GCC Tourism Statistics Platform.

It will either roll out this year or next and has been universally praised by tourism leaders.

“This new Schengen-style visa is huge for [GCC] tourism and Ras Al Khaimah will see a huge benefit,” said Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority CEO Raki Phillips at the  Skift Global Forum East 2023 .

“There is nothing more important than a collaborative approach. We should compete collaboratively. In this part of the world, we want to be collaborative. That could mean visa processing, hotels, and airlines.” 

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Tags: middle east report , oman , oman tourism , Tourism news

Photo credit: Oman plans to attract 11.7 million tourists by 2040. bhart9070 / Pixabay

Can it be too hot for a plane to fly? What to know if you're flying from Phoenix

travel advice to oman

Air travelers in Phoenix might find their summer vacation plans disrupted by the very thing they are trying to escape in the hottest months of the year: uncomfortable, 110-plus degree heat.

The searing Phoenix summers are when demand is high for travel from Phoenix, as residents seek cooler destinations for heat relief .

But extremely hot temperatures can make it harder and more dangerous for planes to fly. They're also a strain on the outdoor workers responsible for integral behind-the-scenes labor such as fueling the planes, guiding them to where they can park, loading and unloading luggage.

Most airlines' planes are certified to handle Phoenix's summer temperatures, and airlines and airports have made preparations to ensure that employees who work outdoors stay safe in the heat.

Can it be too hot for a plane to fly?

Most commercial jets are certified to operate in temperatures above 120 degrees, including some that can handle 130-degree heat, said David Ryan, an assistant professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University's Prescott campus.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport staff told The Arizona Republic in 2023 that aircraft performance data goes "up to and above" 122 degrees .

That's a change from when Phoenix would get too hot for airplanes to fly and the Federal Aviation Administration issued ground stops for Sky Harbor.

"I remember about 10 years ago, the temperatures in Phoenix got north of 120 (degrees)," Ryan said. "And the charts, the performance data for the aircraft went up to 120. All the airplanes had to divert to cooler airports until such time it cooled below 120. I remember several airplanes coming down to Tucson, where (the temperature) was 118."

Because of aircraft performance improvements in recent years, planes flew with few to no issues in summer 2023 despite a record-breaking streak of days above 110 degrees in Phoenix. When the FAA issued a ground stop at Sky Harbor last July , it was because of a computer glitch, not extreme heat.

The last time heat grounded airplanes in Phoenix was in June 2017, when American Airlines couldn't fly Bombardier CRJ jets used for regional flights because the planes were only certified to handle up to 118-degree temperatures, and highs approached 120 degrees. About 50 flights were canceled.

Is it hard for planes to take off in hot weather?

Still, performance improvements don't necessarily mean hot weather can't negatively affect a flight.

Heat can influence many factors that affect takeoff, such as wind direction and speed, barometric pressure, runway conditions, whether air conditioning is on or off and the aircraft’s weight at takeoff, Kristi Tucker, a spokeswoman for aircraft manufacturer Airbus, told The Republic last year.

How does heat affect takeoff?

Because hot air is less dense than cold air, it provides less lift for airplanes, Sky Harbor spokesman John Trierweiler said.

That means an airplane needs to operate at a higher speed and use a longer runway to create the lift it needs to take off, he said.

When a pilot needs more runway than Sky Harbor's Center Runway can provide in the summer heat, airport staff will allow the plane to use the North Runway instead, Trierweiler said. The North Runway, primarily used by arriving planes, measures 11,489 feet long, according to Sky Harbor's website . It's nearly 1,200 feet longer than the Center Runway.

Pilots must ensure their aircraft's takeoff distance fits within the runway length and allows enough of a buffer to continue takeoff or stop the aircraft in that runway length so they can operate safely, Ryan said.

Emphasizing airport worker safety in hot weather

Airports and airlines also must plan for the safety of employees who work outdoors.

Last year, workers filed a complaint with the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health alleging that Prospect Airport Services, a contractor at Sky Harbor Airport, failed to protect them from extreme heat hazards. This included restricting workers from carrying water in certain locations and on certain assignments.

Sky Harbor said at the time that it works with contractors to ensure employees have access to water; Prospect did not respond to requests for comment from The Republic.

This year, Sky Harbor airport staff provided heat safety information to outdoor workers months before the start of the heat season. The guidance included tips such as where to find water stations and wearing sunscreen and wide-brimmed hats. They also shared information about handling heat-related emergencies, like knowing where automatic external defibrillators and first aid kits are and how to report heat-related issues.

"The well-being of our employees and those of our tenants is of the utmost importance to us year-round, but especially during the summer with the increased temperatures," Trierweiler said. "We hope that the information we have provided to outdoor workers informs them of the resources available."

Southwest Airlines' heat safety program in Phoenix and other cities with extreme heat includes encouraging outdoor employees to take frequent indoor breaks and drink plenty of cold drinks and training employees to watch for signs of heat-related illnesses.

An airline spokesperson said most of Southwest's policies surpass the requirements of Phoenix's heat safety ordinance , adding the airline appreciates "the thoughtful approach to keeping safety top of mind for everyone who works outdoors."

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport's safety plans for the summer heat focus on providing regular breaks, hydration and cooling towels, airport spokesman Ryan Smith said.

Last summer, the east Mesa airport "did great with the prolonged heat," Smith said. Allegiant Air, the Las Vegas-based ultra-low-cost carrier that operates almost all of the airport's flights, had no heat-related delays or cancellations.

Tips for flying during extreme heat

Ryan offers a simple tip that could help you avoid heat-related delays or cancellations: Book flights for the early morning or late evening when temperatures are lower.

The challenge is that extreme heat effects might not be known until a few days before they happen, Ryan said.

"Weather can be difficult to forecast on what day it’s going to happen," he said. "One day they might predict storms and storms form, or one-day storms occur that were not forecasted. For the most part, they’ve got a pretty good grip on at least a range of temperatures a week out. It's hard to determine farther out than that."

Michael Salerno is an award-winning journalist who’s covered travel and tourism since 2014. His work as The Arizona Republic’s consumer travel reporter aims to help readers navigate the stresses of traveling and get the best value for their money on their vacations. He can be reached at  [email protected] . Follow him on X, formerly Twitter:  @salerno_phx .

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New travel deals for Amazon Prime members on cruises, rental cars, flights and more

These savings on travel come in time for any last-minute summer vacations.

Amazon Prime Day is fast approaching, and beyond viral beauty products or hot new kitchenware, the e-commerce giant is introducing savings on travel just in time for any last-minute summer vacations.

Amazon partnered with various travel companies, including Southwest Airlines, Viator, Turo, Carnival, and others, to give Prime members early access to price cuts on travel packages, car rentals, and cruises.

PHOTO: In this undated stock photo, two friends dive into the sea from a cliff.

In a similar move last summer fellow retail competitor Walmart partnered with Expedia to give Walmart+ members the ability to earn Walmart Cash by booking vacations.

"These travel deals are sort of an extra that they can offer their members," RetailMeNot editor Kristin McGrath told ABC News. "There are plenty of ways you can save and get discounts. These membership programs can just make it a little bit easier."

Amazon Prime travel deals and discounts for Prime Day

PHOTO: A Southwest commercial airliner takes off from Las Vegas International Airport, Feb. 8, 2024, in Las Vegas.

Save 10% on Viator travel experiences Save up to 30% off Avis car rentals and earn 10% back Up to 15% Sixt car rentals Book a Carnival Cruise for to 40% off Southwest Airlines get 50% off Rapids Rewards points

PHOTO: In this June 20, 2019 file photo, the headquarters of Turo is seen in San Francisco.

Editor’s Picks

travel advice to oman

Delta One Lounge debuts this week, here's a look at the premium experience

travel advice to oman

How gift cards from big box retailers could help save on expensive travel

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Walmart+ travel deals.

The company offers discounts on fuel and travel, plus up to 20% back in Walmart Cash for booking through their portal during Walmart+ week.

PHOTO: The Carnival Radiance cruise ship is seen at Avalon harbor, May 19, 2023, in Avalon, Calif.

Costco travel discounts and deals

The warehouse retailer's travel arm offers everyday savings on top-quality, brand-name vacations, hotels, cruises, and rental cars, exclusively for Costco members.

Teresita Nino has used Costco to book vacation packages and told ABC News how she saved on international deals.

"My last trip that we booked was to Saint Lucia and we ended up booking the airfare and the hotel -- I ended up saving about $700," Nino said of her experience using Costco. "Nine out of ten times is Costco Travel is always giving me a better deal overall than other travel companies."

Access to Costco's travel deals require a paid membership as an extra perk for customers.

"The travel savings are the cherry on top -- but it's not necessarily the most lucrative benefit," McGrath said. "In these membership programs, you have to take the value of membership as a whole rather than just joining to save on travel."

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A record 2.6 million Michigan residents expected to travel for July 4: What to know

Fourth of July — or Independence Day — typically ranks among the busiest travel times of the year in the United States, including in Michigan.

This year, July 4 lands on a Thursday. But the volume of people taking to the roads and the skies is still expected to reach record levels.

Here's everything you need to know to get ready for the 2024 Fourth of July travel rush.

How many people are expected to travel?

A travel forecast from AAA estimated that 70.9 million people — including 2.6 million Michiganders — will travel 50 miles or more away from home during the July 4 travel period. The travel period is defined as the nine days between June 29 and July 7. This two-weekend definition is different from years past, which only counted one weekend within the travel period.

Road travel in Michigan is projected to set records for the second year in a row and easily beat pre-pandemic levels. In 2019, 1.7 million people in Michigan were estimated to travel for the July 4 holiday.

Best and worst times to travel

Generally, AAA is advising drivers to beat the traffic by traveling in the morning, and to avoid rush hour traffic on the morning and afternoon of July 8. The best times to travel on each day of the Independence Day holiday period are as follows, according to INRIX , which provides data and insights on transportation:

  • July 1: Minimal traffic disruption anticipated
  • July 2: After 7 p.m.
  • July 3-4: Before noon.
  • July 5-6: Before 10 a.m.
  • July 8: After 7 p.m.

The worst time to travel by car during the Independence Day travel period is 2-7 p.m., according to INRIX. Specifically, July 3 and July 7 will have the greatest traffic delays, as travelers leave and return from their vacations. Here's when the worst travel times will be:

  • July 2: 2-6 p.m.
  • July 3-4: 2-7 p.m.
  • July 5: 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • July 6: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
  • July 7: 2-8 p.m.
  • July 8: 1-5 p.m.

In Detroit, the worst congestion is expected to be on Interstate 94 west from Toronto to Detroit, on July 8 at 3:30 p.m. Travelers should expect to travel for five hours and 35 minutes between the two cities — a 29% increase from the typical travel time, according to INRIX .

Weather outlook for next week

It's early and the weather forecast could change. But, in Detroit, temperatures are expected to remain in the high 70s to mid-80s, with periods of mostly sunny skies and low to medium humidity. However, as of Monday, there is a chance of thunderstorms on July 4. The UV index is projected to be very high in Detroit from July 1-6, so make sure to wear sunscreen and other forms of sun protection.

In Traverse City and on Mackinac Island, the weather is projected to be partly sunny for most of the week of Independence Day, and there's a scattered chance of thunderstorms during the week and rain at the end of the week. Temperatures will be between the mid-70s to the mid-80s in Traverse City, and hover around 70 degrees on Mackinac Island.

While gas prices nationally, at $3.44 per gallon, are lower than they were last year, the same may not be the case for Michiganders. According to AAA, gas prices averaged around $3.62 a gallon in May — an increase from last year's July 4 averages, but a recent downward trend means that drivers may be paying around the same for a gallon of gas as they did last Independence Day.

Road trip checklist

According to AAA and Chicco, a manufacturer of baby products, a few tips can help keep small children and their families safe while driving during a busy travel period:

  • Check car seat fit for children and installation inside the car.
  • Secure loose items within the car.
  • Be prepared for emergencies or car troubles.
  • Map and plan your route.
  • Have entertainment ready.

Contact Diamy Wang: [email protected].

AAA Newsroom

Automotive, Travel, and Traffic Safety Information

Nearly 71 Million People Expected to Travel over July 4th Week

This year’s extended independence day forecast exceeds pre-pandemic numbers, sets new record.

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WASHINGTON, DC (June 20, 2024) – AAA projects 70.9 million travelers will head 50 miles or more from home over the Independence Day holiday travel period*. For the first time, AAA looked at the entire July 4 th week, plus the Saturday before and the Sunday after the holiday. This year’s projected number of travelers for that time period is a 5% increase compared to 2023 and an 8% increase over 2019.

“With summer vacations in full swing and the flexibility of remote work, more Americans are taking extended trips around Independence Day,” said Paula Twidale, Senior Vice President of AAA Travel. “We anticipate this July 4 th week will be the busiest ever with an additional 5.7 million people traveling compared to 2019.”   

Share of Travelers by Mode pie chart and Number of Travelers by Mode table

AAA projects a record 60.6 million people will travel by car over Independence Day week – that’s an additional 2.8 million travelers compared to last year. This year’s number also surpasses 2019 when 55.3 million people traveled by car over July 4 th week. AAA car rental partner Hertz says Dallas, Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco are the cities displaying the highest rental demand during the holiday week. The busiest pick-up days are projected to be Friday, June 28, Saturday, June 29, and Wednesday, July 3.   

Gas prices are lower than last year when the national average was $3.53. Pump prices will likely continue going down leading up to Independence Day.  At that point, they will likely level off and remain relatively stable until after Labor Day, similar to last year.  An important caveat is hurricane season – underway now – which could affect gas prices should a storm negatively impact Gulf Coast oil production and refining centers.  

The number of air travelers is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 5.74 million people will fly to their July 4 th destinations. That’s an increase of nearly 7% compared to last year and a 12% increase over 2019. AAA booking data shows domestic airfare is 2% cheaper this Independence Day week compared to last year, and the average price for a domestic roundtrip ticket is $800. Airports will be packed throughout the week. AAA recommends arriving 2 hours early, reserving parking ahead of time, and traveling with carry-on luggage versus checked bags to save time and money.   

More than 4.6 million people are expected to travel by other modes of transportation, including buses, cruises, and trains. This category is seeing an increase of 9% compared to last year, but this year’s number is shy of 2019’s figure of 4.79 million. Cruising continues its remarkable post-pandemic comeback. This time of year, Alaska cruises are in high demand, making Seattle and Anchorage top domestic destinations. Cruise travelers are also finding deals this summer. With new ships coming onto the market – and going for a premium – some cruise lines have been offering targeted discounts to fill older inventory for remaining cabins.  

Best/Worst Times to Drive and Peak Congestion by Metro 

INRIX , a provider of transportation data and insights, says the worst times to travel by car before and on July 4 th are between 2pm and 7pm. Drivers should hit the road in the morning, and travelers returning on Monday, July 8 th should avoid rush hour traffic in the morning and afternoon.  

“Drivers in large metro areas can expect the worst traffic delays on Wednesday, July 3 rd , as they leave town, and Sunday, July 7th, as they return,” said Bob Pishue, transportation analyst at INRIX. “R oad trips over the holiday week could take up to 67% longer than normal. Travelers should monitor 511 services, local news stations, and traffic apps for up-to-the-minute road conditions.”  

Please note that the times listed below are for the time zone in which the metro is located.   

For example, Atlanta routes = ET and Los Angeles routes = PT.  

Source: INRIX  

  Top Destinations 

This July 4 th week, travelers are cooling off in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska – and by the ocean! Seattle, Vancouver, and Anchorage are top destinations because of the popularity of Alaska cruises this time of year. Beaches in South Florida, Honolulu, Punta Cana, and Barcelona are in high demand. Historical sites in European cities like London, Rome, Dublin, Paris, and Athens are also popular. The top 10 domestic and international destinations below are based on AAA booking data.  

Family Road Trip Checklist    

With road trips expected to set a new record this July 4 th week, AAA teamed up with Chicco to share safety tips for families with young children.  

  • Check car seat fit. Before you hit the road, check your child’s weight and height to ensure they’re in the right seat and mode of use – especially when it comes to transitioning from rear to forward-facing. Children should remain rear-facing as long as possible for better protection of their head, neck, and spine in the event of a crash. If you are unsure which car seat is best for your child, Chicco offers a car seat comparison guide.    
  • Double check car seat installation. Even if your car seat is already installed in the car, it’s worth checking everything is safe and secure. An easy at-home way to do this is with the “inch test.” Simply grab the seat at the car seat belt path and pull side to side and front to back. If it moves more than one inch in any direction, uninstall and start over until a secure fit is achieved. For any questions, utilize the car seat manual, QR codes, or online resources like those offered by Chicco.    
  • Secure loose items in the car. Take time to organize and clean up your car before hitting the road. Storage organizers that secure to the back of the driver and passenger seats are simple solutions to make sure everything has a spot, especially loose items that can become projectiles in case of a sudden stop.  
  • Be prepared for the unexpected. Pack an emergency kit with first-aid supplies, water, snacks, blankets, jumper cables, and flares. Make sure your phone is fully charged – and keep a charger in the car – to call AAA or request roadside assistance digitally if your battery dies, you lock yourself out, or you need a tow.   
  • Map your route. Families with young children should plan for frequent and longer stops along the way. Map out your route ahead of time with AAA TripTik and browse hotels, restaurants, and other activities along the way on AAA Trip Canvas.  
  • Bring entertainment. Make sure to place toys and books within reach to keep children entertained. If your kids use tablets or other electronics, make sure the devices are fully charged and pre-downloaded before leaving home. Another fun way to get the whole family excited for the road trip is to create a family playlist of everyone’s favorite songs!   

Holiday Forecast Methodology   

Travel Forecast    

In cooperation with AAA, S&P Global Market Intelligence (SPGMI) developed a unique methodology to forecast actual domestic travel volumes. The economic variables used to forecast travel for the current holiday are leveraged from SPGMI’s proprietary databases. These data include macroeconomic drivers such as employment, output, household net worth, asset prices, including stock indices, interest rates, housing market indicators, and variables related to travel and tourism, including gasoline prices, airline travel, and hotel stays. AAA and SPGMI have quantified holiday travel volumes going back to 2000.   

Historical travel volume estimates come from DK SHIFFLET’s TRAVEL PERFORMANCE/Monitor SM . The PERFORMANCE/Monitor SM is a comprehensive study measuring the travel behavior of U.S. residents. DK SHIFFLET contacts over 50,000 U.S. households each month to obtain detailed travel data, resulting in the unique ability to estimate visitor volume and spending, identify trends, and forecast U.S. travel behavior, all after the trips have been taken.  

The travel forecast is reported in person-trips. In particular, AAA and SPGMI forecast the total U.S. holiday travel volume and expected mode of transportation. The travel forecast presented in this report was prepared the week of May 27, 2024.   

Because AAA forecasts focus on domestic leisure travel only, comparisons to TSA passenger screening numbers should not be made. TSA data includes all passengers traveling on both domestic and international routes. Additionally, TSA screens passengers each time they enter secured areas of the airport, therefore each one-way trip is counted as a passenger tally. AAA focuses on person-trips, which include the full round-trip travel itinerary. As a result, direct comparisons of AAA forecast volumes and daily TSA screenings represent different factors.  

*Independence Day Holiday Travel Period   

For this forecast, the Independence Day holiday travel period is defined as the nine-day period from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, July 7. Historically, the Independence Day holiday period included only one weekend. This is the first year the Independence Day holiday travel period is a longer timeframe with two weekends included.  

About AAA    

Started in 1902 by automotive enthusiasts who wanted to chart a path for better roads in America and advocate for safe mobility, AAA has transformed into one of North America’s largest membership organizations. Today, AAA provides roadside assistance, travel, discounts, financial and insurance services to enhance the life journey of 64 million members across North America, including 57 million in the United States. To learn more about all AAA has to offer or to become a member, visit   

About S&P Global   S&P Global (NYSE: SPGI) provides essential intelligence. We enable governments, businesses, and individuals with the right data, expertise, and connected technology so that they can make decisions with conviction. From helping our customers assess new investments to guiding them through ESG and energy transition across supply chains, we unlock new opportunities, solve challenges, and accelerate progress for the world. We are widely sought after by many of the world’s leading organizations to provide credit ratings, benchmarks, analytics, and workflow solutions in the global capital, commodity, and automotive markets. With every one of our offerings, we help the world’s leading organizations plan for tomorrow today. For more information, visit .   

About DKSA    

DK SHIFFLET boasts the industry’s most complete database on U.S. resident travel both in the U.S. and worldwide. Data is collected monthly from a U.S. representative sample, adding over 60,000 traveling households annually, and is used daily by leading travel organizations and their strategic planning groups. DK SHIFFLET is an MMGY Global company.   

About INRIX     

Founded in 2004, INRIX pioneered intelligent mobility solutions by transforming big data from connected devices and vehicles into mobility insights. This revolutionary approach enabled INRIX to become one of the leading providers of data and analytics into how people move. By empowering cities, businesses, and people with valuable insights, INRIX is helping to make the world smarter, safer, and greener. With partners and solutions spanning across the entire mobility ecosystem, INRIX is uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology and transportation – whether it’s keeping road users safe, improving traffic signal timing to reduce delay and greenhouse gasses, optimizing last mile delivery, or helping uncover market insights. Learn more at   

The Swedish secret to the perfectly balanced vacation

Getting your Goldilocks on can help you restore a sense of spontaneity to your travels without hitting a wall.

Key takeaways

Summary is AI-generated, newsroom-reviewed.

  • “Lagom” is gaining steam as a mind-set that can be applied to travel.
  • It’s Swedish for “not too much, not too little.”
  • It emphasizes having balance, avoiding stress, packing light and taking breaks (“fika”).

Did our AI help? Share your thoughts.

If you’re the planning type, your vacations may begin to feel so structured that you need a do-nothing holiday by the time you return. Sound familiar? It may be time to consider the Swedish practice of “lagom.”

The word, pronounced lah-gom, means “not too much, not too little.” When applied to a trip, it means striking the ideal balance of exercise, adventure, food and relaxation.

Remember the coziness craze inspired by the Danish concept of “hygge ”? Similarly, lagom has been practiced for generations but is now gaining steam worldwide. Lagom is an overarching mind-set that applies to balancing all aspects of life, but it is ideal for travel.

Helen Russell, journalist and author of “The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to Be Happy ,” says that the word “lagom” derives from the Swedish word “lag,” or “team,” and that Swedish folklore suggests that “laget om” — or “around the team” — was a phrase Vikings used to make sure everyone got their fair share when a horn full of mead was passed around.

There’s no exact science or recipe to lagom; it varies by each individual’s own balance. Lola Akinmade Åkerström, travel photographer and author of the book “Lagom: The Swedish Secret of Living Well ,” says to think of lagom as an internal scale that must always stay balanced. Too much or too little of any one thing stresses the scale.

“Lagom actually means the optimal (not best) solution for maintaining balance and removing stress within your control,” she says. “As a personal ethos, it’s trying to help you live a sustainable life you can comfortably maintain.”

This means that lagom can be as simple as the “just-right” amount of salt in your soup or an entire idea such as eschewing bigger and better. Here are a few practical ways to fold lagom into your travel plans.

Start with a declutter

I grew up in a Southern household devoted to maximalism, so every suitcase-packing session ended with a good sit-and-zip because you never knew when you’d need a silk caftan and feather fascinator. But packing items you don’t need is the antithesis of lagom. Clutter can make a person anxious. Packing light (but smart), as with a travel uniform , better suits lagom travel.

My husband once told me that I have an otherworldly talent of turning our hotel room into a disaster zone in a matter of seconds. But with the practice of lagom, I now spend five minutes organizing my belongings and there’s an instant sense of calm in a new environment.

Akinmade Åkerström says that while traveling, you want to think simple, practical and sturdy, “from the gear you pack, so it lasts for a long time, to the activities you engage in.”

Pause for fika

In Sweden, “fika” is loosely defined as a practice to stop and recharge. And while Swedes do this on a daily basis, a vacation is the perfect time to dip your toe into the concept.

“This social act is often translated as taking a break several times during the day to socialize with friends, loved ones and colleagues over cups of coffee and pastries like cinnamon buns,” Akinmade Åkerström says.

“The unspoken reason why we fika is to center and reconnect with ourselves.”

Fika means swapping your order-ahead Starbucks latte for a sit-and-chat over a drink in a real mug. For solo travelers, it’s a fine time to people-watch in a new environment.

In its simplest form, fika is about recharging — perhaps by sitting for half an hour to rest your tired feet, or taking a refreshing nap before your next tour.

Leave room for spontaneity

Confession: I used to rely heavily on my No-Fun-Type-A Travel Planning Document, a spreadsheet that documented down-to-the-minute plans for every single day of our vacation. A sample:

  • 6 a.m. Wake up everyone!
  • 6:30 a.m. Please shove breakfast in your face, and make it snappy.
  • 6:35 a.m. Leave hotel for a must-do tour. (Don’t be late!)
  • Noon: Exhausted, but who cares because we have coveted restaurant lunch reservations!
  • 3 p.m. Not hungry? It doesn’t matter — we have a food tour on tap.
  • 4 p.m. Wanna nap? Too bad, it’s museum time.
  • 5 p.m. Happy hour? What’s that? No one here is happy.

I’ve since pared down my planning to a skeletal version that contains important details and a few plans but also some room for relaxation or spontaneity.

My husband and I have adopted a new acronym that fits with lagom travel: T-WOO, for “The world is our oyster.” In other words, no plans!

This approach has led to glorious days spent zooming around Laos on a motorbike, stumbling upon perfectly briny oysters near a peat-fed stove in Ireland, and making a last-minute decision to drive the Mississippi Blues Trail and finding live music in a smoky juke joint.

Spread out the indulgences

I don’t have enough fingers to count the number of times I’ve overeaten (and over-imbibed) on vacation. I wish I could turn back the clock and tell 21-year-old me that “all-you-can-drink mimosas” doesn’t mean you actually have to drink all the mimosas.

With lagom, the idea is to savor. Swedes have a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, veggies and berries — but they also have a serious sweet tooth (as in those beloved cinnamon buns for fika).

So eat the rich dessert and drink the beautifully made cocktail or mocktail, but do so with a sense of balance. For me, this means putting the brakes on at the breakfast buffet so that I can splurge on the multicourse prix fixe dinner.

Exercise — but also rest

I’ve always envied a skier’s vacation that includes a vigorous day of swooshing down the slopes and then the reward of an après-ski hot toddy and a warm soak.

Lagom allows you to forgo the hotel gym and instead enjoy the offerings of your destination. I like to think of it as making exercise local: a jog along the sea in San Juan, Puerto Rico; a hike in a Swiss forest; a bike ride in Amsterdam .

Aside from T-WOO, Russell suggests we embrace the letters WWASD: What Would a Swede Do? In short: Be mindful of biting off more than you can chew.

“To vacation like a Viking, lagom-style, think WWASD — is your cup really half-empty, or is there, in fact, just enough?” Russell says.

Anne Roderique-Jones is a travel writer who splits her time between New York and New Orleans. You can follow her on Instagram: @anniemarie_ .

More travel tips

Vacation planning: Start with a strategy to maximize days off by taking PTO around holidays. Experts recommend taking multiple short trips for peak happiness . Want to take an ambitious trip? Here are 12 destinations to try this year — without crowds.

Cheap flights: Follow our best advice for scoring low airfare , including setting flight price alerts and subscribing to deal newsletters. If you’re set on an expensive getaway, here’s a plan to save up without straining your credit limit.

Airport chaos: We’ve got advice for every scenario , from canceled flights to lost luggage . Stuck at the rental car counter? These tips can speed up the process. And following these 52 rules of flying should make the experience better for everyone.

Expert advice: Our By The Way Concierge solves readers’ dilemmas , including whether it’s okay to ditch a partner at security, or what happens if you get caught flying with weed . Submit your question here . Or you could look to the gurus: Lonely Planet and Rick Steves .

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    A travel forecast from AAA estimated that 70.9 million people — including 2.6 million Michiganders — will travel 50 miles or more away from home during the July 4 travel period. The travel ...

  29. July 4th Travel Expected to Set New Record

    The number of air travelers is also expected to set a new record. AAA projects 5.74 million people will fly to their July 4th destinations. That's an increase of nearly 7% compared to last year and a 12% increase over 2019. AAA booking data shows domestic airfare is 2% cheaper this Independence Day week compared to last year, and the average ...

  30. Travel like a Swede: Practice 'lagom' to balance rest and adventure

    It may be time to consider the Swedish practice of "lagom.". The word, pronounced lah-gom, means "not too much, not too little.". When applied to a trip, it means striking the ideal ...