Have you ever wanted to travel to Egypt?
If you have stumbled across this site, then you probably are curious about what it is really like to visit Egypt. This may be one of your dream destinations and I can tell you that it is worth visiting, at least once in your lifetime.
So what is it like? There are the pyramids, the white sand, the beautiful beaches, the hookahs, the loud music, the people… Sometimes friendly, sometimes not so much and then there is the food!
Shawarma, lamb, rice, falafel, Arabic sweets, Fiteer, Bechamel and much, much MORE!
It is common to walk down the streets of Whatever part of Egypt that you are visiting and be bombarded by smells coming from all directions… Food, drinks and laughter.
One way to get a great experience with the locals is to be a part of the main stream action… This will require you to learn at least some Arabic… Yet, do not be discouraged! Arabic, is not as hard a language to learn as it might seem. There are some common themes in Arabic that will help you to at least do the basics, such as ordering food, beverages and asking where is the hamam (Bathroom).
It is important to know that Egyptian Arabic is a different dialect than is spoken in some neighboring countries… So being specific in learning Egyptian Arabic, is best.
You are probably wondering about the most important aspect of them all…. How can you fund this trip and how much does it cost!… Excellent question and since you asked… It is not cheap… Yet, it is well worth it.
For about a thousand dollars you can fly to Egypt... Round trip! Sometimes it is more depending on the time of the year. Believe it or not, Egypt also gets cold so peak season is during the summer when it is warmer and people can enjoy their beautiful beaches.
With the new wave being Airbnb's, Egypt has also taken hold of this trend and offers a wide variety of housing options for your stay. Cost for a two week trip range from around $600 to well over $2000.
What about the places to visit… If you are a native from Egypt, you know of all the many options and places to go… Including places to shop. Yet, if you are not… You may want a guide on what places should be visited to make the most of your trip.
Heres the scoop!
Most people want to see the pyramids… Those are located in Cairo, along with many shops and restaurants and the Nile river. The Nile also stretches through a large part of Egypt so finding a place to sit and have dinner along the Nile, is easy once you are there for a brief stay.
Aside from the pyramids of Giza, there are the temples and monuments in Luxor Egypt.
To visit the pyramids of Giza you are looking at $40. Which is not bad at all. Keep in mind that the American dollar is worth much more in Egypt. Whenever I travel to Egypt, I only take with me $2,000 to be safe and end up coming back with almost half of that!
The cost of your trip can be cut down a lot if you learn some Arabic. If you are not good with learning new languages, don’t fret! For $2,400 or less you can get a hotel/ Airbnb, get a cruise along the Nile River and a tour guide for all of your excursions. This cost is per person and this estimate is based on being in Egypt for a total of 8 days and 7 nights.
So what about the people?
I would be lying to you if I said that Egypt has calm, happy people who are welcoming to tourists and travelers… In fact, of all the times I have been there; I can tell you that having visitors seems to be odd to most Egyptians… Especially if you are not on the tourist path and just out in main stream Egyptian society, as I was.
The first time I went was right before the January 25th, 2011 revolution… At a time when the tension was brewing with unhappy citizens who wanted their president at the time Hosni Mubarak; out of office!
It was pretty scary and I recall trying my best to not speak English in public and blend in as much as possible. Lucky for me, I can pass for Egyptian and often went unnoticed amongst the natives… Except when I spoke Arabic and my accent gave me away!
I was also with my ex, who is from Alexandria, Egypt… He was able to do most of the talking and ensure that there was nothing to be concerned about… I recall talks about how his auntie Alice could not visit during this time… She is polish with blonde hair and a fair complexion… There was fear that she could be disrespected, ridiculed or even kidnapped if she were to go during the looming days before the 2011 revolution… When I went again in 2015, Alice was present and all was well…
I say all of that to say... That it is best to also pay attention to what is going on in Egyptian society at the time you are considering visiting.
The goal after all, is to go… Enjoy your time… Annnnnnnnnnd, RETURN!
If your goal is sandy beaches, good music, happy people and great food! Then you may want to consider Sharm El Sheik Egypt! This is a resort town between the Red Sea and the Sinai Peninsula.
If I were to put together a dream vacation for anyone it would be to visit Luxor and then visit Sharm El Sheik all in one trip! A couple of days in Luxor and the remainder of the week in Sharm! You will then get the best of both worlds… Site seeing and warm, white sanded see through beaches.
A less expensive alternative to Egypt would be Tunisia. Tunisia is a North African country bordering the Mediterranean sea and the Sahara Desert. Currently Tunisia may not be the safest bet. When you stumble across this blog, please check the news and date before booking. This was made in 2020 and during a time when terrorist attacks in that region are at an all time high.
When there are no threats of attach... There are still the occasions where you may be asked to sell your beautiful daughter for three donkeys and an Arabian horse... This really happened to my step mother and step sister when they visited Tunisia with my dad... Luckily he was there and did not find this attempt at bargaining funny and was sure to keep my step mom and step sister close by him the remainder of the trip!
When you are visiting an unfamiliar place, whether Egypt or New Zealand! Please, be sure to not travel alone… Take someone with you, even if you are just going to get a sip of water… Again the goal is to have fun, to be safe annnnnnnnnd to RETURN!