There is no harm in doing a bit of preparation before travelling to Egypt – as well as knowing what awaits you. This destination of famous ancient sites and natural beauty can still be a sensory overload for even the hardiest holidaymaker. To truly get the most out of a trip to Egypt, browse through this list and get ready to experience the holiday of a lifetime with our Egypt tours.
Egypt is a conservative country so we suggest that you respect the culture and dress modestly. Women should cover their knees and shoulders at all times. It is also a good idea to bring a scarf to cover your hair at mosques or other religious sights. You will need to remove your shoes before entering a mosque as well. Men should avoid tank tops, sleeveless shirts and gym attire. It is only acceptable to wear swimwear at resorts along the Red Sea. By respecting the country’s culture and dressing modestly on your Egypt tour, the locals will be more inclined to welcome you to their home.
It is a good idea to keep some small change on you as you travel on your Egypt tour. You will find that carrying LE5 and LE10 around is most useful for buying small items like bottled water and for baksheesh (tipping). In most markets, many vendors do not accept larger bills. The Egyptian pound is the official currency of Egypt, but you should not change your money before you visit Egypt. Euros, sterling and dollars are accepted (notes not coins), but your money will go further if you convert it into Egyptian pounds.
Bring your haggling skills
Bargaining is expected in many local markets and you should definitely give it a go. If you are struggling to get the hang of it, the guide on your Egypt tour will be there to help you and give you advice. If you feel hesitant, just remember that haggling is the norm in Egypt and vendors expect you to ask for a better price. The first price that the vendor offers is normally ten times the worth of the item. We recommend that you begin at one tenth of the cost offered. You should give your maximum price and stick to that. You will find that if the vendor doesn’t agree and you walk away, they will usually follow you and agree to that price.
Wear comfortable shoes
This may sound like an obvious thing to do, but it will really make or break you trip to Egypt. On your Egypt tour you will do a lot of meandering around different sights and cities. When you are by the sea, flip-flops and sandals are good options, but you should wear more suitable walking shoes everywhere else to avoid blisters and being uncomfortable. You should also watch where you walk in the bigger cities, as the streets are not well maintained and there are potholes.
Avoid tap water and stay hydrated
The tap water is not safe for drinking in Egypt – not even the locals drink it. During your Egypt tour you will need to buy bottled water, which is readily available everywhere. Your expert guide will also make sure that you have access to bottled water throughout your trip. As the temperatures in Egypt can get extremely hot, it is vital to remain hydrated so you can enjoy your holiday. Dehydration can also lead to heatstroke and heat exhaustion. If you feel any symptoms, your guide will be on hand to help. To reduce the waste of plastic bottles, you should consider bringing your own reusable bottle and using iodine or Steripen.
Eat like a local
On your Egypt tour you will soon realise that street food plays a big role in the Egyptian food scene. Throughout your travels you will be able to sample the local dishes. The national dish of Egypt is kushari and it can be found at many food stalls. This hearty recipe of noodles, lentils, rice, fried onion and tomato sauce is delicious and filling. Dining in Egypt also takes place late at night and some restaurants might only open for dinner at 10pm or later in the summer. You should take into consideration that serving portions are often very big so you should pace yourself, share and don’t order too much.
Experience Egypt in the shoulder season
The best time of the year to explore Egypt is from October to April, as the temperatures are more pleasant. This is shoulder season in Egypt and there are fewer crowds. During this time, resorts on the coast are not as busy and the sea is warm. The high season and winter period in Egypt is from October to February. The weather is mild and there is occasional rain. The low season is from June to August and the scorching temperature makes travelling more uncomfortable. If you do happen to visit Egypt in this time, your tour guide will adjust the itinerary to make it more enjoyable.
Learn the local language
An excellent way to get the most out of a trip to Egypt is to learn a few words of Arabic. Our Egypt tours make every effort to show another side to Egypt beyond the touristy landmarks. Throughout your tour, we will give you plenty of opportunities to interact with the locals and understand their culture. Before your trip, try and master some simple phrases like is ‘salam alaykum’ meaning ‘hello’ and ‘shukran’ meaning ‘thank you’; Egyptians will warm to you quickly. In the bigger cities, you will see the English is widely spoken.
Keep an open mind
Before travelling on an Egypt tour, you must remember that Egypt is a third world country. You can’t expect the culture, the people, the food or the way of life to be the same as your home. Arriving in Egypt can be an overwhelming experience for most first-time visitors, but your guide will ensure that you feel comfortable throughout your trip. Egypt is a unique destination and you can get the most out of your visit by trying and doing it all.