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Travel to Egypt Important Information
Best time to Visit Egypt
You can vacation in Egypt year round. The months of May to October are hot. Temperatures are milder between November to April. Is recommended you take extra precautions when travelling in the summer months by drinking plenty of water, wearing proper clothing, using sun protection, and slow down when necessary.
Passport and Visa Requirements
You need a valid Canadian or American Passport to enter Egypt; it must be valid for six to eight months past your return date. A tourist visa is also required and is easily obtained upon arrival in Egypt. You purchase your visa by filling out an application form provided at the airport and submit it with the required fee or USD 25 Per person; paid in exact cash. The airport Visa Office is near customs and immigration, and once you pay the fee, they will give you a sticker to be applied to your passport then continue to the Customs and Immigration booth.
For information on entry requirements for Passports holders of different nationalities, please contact your local Egyptian Consulate.
Children travelling with one parent, or another person/s, or where parent/s are deceased, must have an affidavit from the remaining parent/s or guardian permitting the child to travel.
Vaccination Requirements
They are no vaccinations required to travel to Egypt unless you come from a high risk infected area. If you would like to take precautionary measures, you should visit your local travel clinic, and they will advise you based on your personal medical history.
Some Tips to keep you healthy while travelling in Egypt
Only drink water bottle, inspect the seal cap before drinking it. To be in the safe side, you should brush your teeth with bottled water as well although tempting do not eat food from street vendors. If you know your system is susceptible take extra precautions like eating only fruits you can peel and making sure food is freshly prepared and well cooked. Fruit juices may not be advisable to drink unless they are bottled. Wash your hands frequently, do not touch any stray animals. Do not overload your stomach especially on the first days of your arrival give your body time to acclimatize, if you keep a special diet back home continue while on your trip. Drink more water than you usually do at home especially while touring the sites on hot days. Bring a small medic kit with headache tablets, allergy and stomach medication, etc. Public hospitals are available at most major Cities and are open to tourist most doctors speak English, but you will be asked to pay for your treatment, medical travel insurance that covers hospital bills and repatriation to your Country is strongly recommended.
Bring sunblock with you especially if you are fair skinned, SPF lip balm is also a good idea.
Arabic is Egypt's official language. But English and French are widely spoken.
The national currency is the Egyptian Pound (LE) Genaeh in Arabic. Each pound is divided into 100 Piasters (1LE= 100 Piasters) with different banknotes.
ATMs are found only in major Cities at banks or shopping Centers; in smaller Towns, they will be difficult to find.
All major credit cards are widely accepted at most major Hotels and shops, but most likely you will have to pay a surcharge, American Express cards are not widely accepted. If you are paying cash the currency preferred is USD, sterling pounds, or Euros. Traveler's cheques are not widely accepted.
It is recommended to advise your Credit Card of your trip, to avoid security blocks on your card.
Banks are open Sunday to Thursday 08:30 to 2:00 pm.
Since most costs are included in your package, you will only need money to purchase souvenirs, drinks, and some meals. Bring plenty of smaller notes (1, & 5) that you could carry on daily for small souvenir purchases and tips. For large purchase items or hotel/cruise incidentals, credit cards will be the best way to pay with.
Religious Sites
You are expected to wear modest clothing and cover up when visiting holy sites such as Mosques, Monasteries, and Churches. Wear long trousers or skirts, and for women, a headscarf may be required in some places as well as covering your shoulders.
When entering a mosque is customary to leave the shoes with the mosque guard, who usually has a desk at the entrance and a place to store shoes. He will keep an eye on them. When leaving you can give him 1 Egyptian pound.
Dress Code
Restaurants require you to wear a shirt/Tshirt, trousers/shorts, dress and shoes/sandals.
Evenings are smart casual. Swimming suits and shorts are reserved for the beach or swimming pools only.
Egypt is a very relaxed destination; so casual modest clothing is acceptable through the Country.
Bring light colored clothing, loose linen/cotton trousers or a below knee skirt and sleeved blouse/shirt (If you're planning to ride a camel, a dress is not a good idea).
Comfortable, sturdy shoes are a must. Sandals can be worn, but you will suffer from dust/sand, there are often mud puddles too, so in general, having closed shoes is the better option. In the winter months (November to April), long slacks or long walking shorts are recommended, as well as sweaters since you may encounter some cold evenings. Is good to bring one or two casual dressy outfits for special occasions aboard the Nile Cruise or at one of the major Hotels in Cairo.
Please note Domestic flights within Egypt have strict limitis for checked-in luggage; on average only one piece of luggage is allowed.
Suggested Travel Essentials
- Valid Passport for six months past your return date with blank pages (blank two sided), please note insufficient blank pages will deny you boarding.
- Children not traveling with their parents need a notarized affidavit from both parents.
- Travel Insurance/numbers/Policy Number who to call for emergency assistance (leave a copy at home as well).
- Flight Tickets.
- Trip invoice confirmation.
- Photocopy of passport (leave a copy at home as well).
- Credit cards (advise the credit card company of your trip).
- Money belt or pouch.
- Pens.
- Bring a small flash light (pocket size) it becomes useful when visiting some of the underground archeological sites.
- Small binoculars can be helpful.
- One to two good hats (wind proof).
- Sunscreen and Insect repellent.
- Toilitries.
- Sunglasses and an extra pair of prescription glasses.
- Swimsuit/cover up.
- For women a cotton scarf.
- Lightweight jacket.
- Carry on bags/large backpacks or large purses may not be permitted at some sites. Bring an extra small shoulder bag/purse.
- Personal medication/prescriptions copy in case of need to refill.
- Small First aid kit (bandaids, antibiotic cream).
- Over-counter essentials such as painkillers, digestive aids, cold medicine, antidiarrhea.
- Extra Eye glasses/contact lenses.
- Antibacterial gels/wipes.
- Batteries / Charger / USB chord.
- Small Binoculars.
- Electrical adapter.
Electricity - Time Zone
You need to bring an electricity converter since electricity is 220 volts and uses rounded plugs. Egypt is GMT +2 (+3 during the summertime) or 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Telephone and Internet
Long distance charges can be expensive at most hotels, calling cards are widely available, and you should try that instead. The Internet is usually not reliable, and WI-FI is generally available although extra charges apply for both. Internet Cafes are found in most major Cities and Towns.
Regular mail will take over a week to reach USA or Canada.
The best things to buy in Egypt are Egyptian handicrafts, carpets, blown glass also known as Muski glass, papyrus, antique jewelry, leather goods, cotton goods, perfumes, silver and gold jewelry, and textiles. And of course, you can have a gold or silver cartouche made with your name written in hieroglyphics! El Khalili Bazaar in Cairo is a favorite place for shopping is unique and offers a great variety of interesting and artistic goods. In Luxor, The Souk is an ideal place for tourists. To bargain is always accepted at these bazaar markets and small shops.
Bringing children on an Egypt Tour
Egypt offers a great holiday for children, to have the opportunity to see ancient Egyptian history first hand is invaluable, all the excursions to the archeological sites are guided by a licensed Egyptologist great chance for children to get full details from an expert.
Please note there are no children's activities while on the Nile River Cruises, therefore, bring some activities to keep them occupied while on board, some boats have a television, but the broadcast is in Arabic. Fortunately, you do not expend too much time aboard and when you do you sail thru the Nile while passing small villages which makes for interesting observation.
Beach resorts like Hurghada do offer a variety of activities for children and young teenagers with theme parks, swimming, and snorkeling. Back in Cairo visiting the Cairo Pyramids, the Egyptian Museum and the downtown bazaars are exciting tours for children and adults alike. You do need to be vigilant to keep children hydrated and with proper sun protection, dress them comfortable wearing sturdy shoes. Making sure they get proper nourishment, and plenty of sleep is necessary.
Always stay with your tour guide, if you would like to visit something outside the scheduled tour always consult him/her, be mindful of times to return to the tour buses.
Egyptian food is an exotic combination of Middle East, Mediterranean and African cuisines, some of the most popular dishes are grilled lamb kebabs (Kufta) with Egyptian bread (Aysh), stuffed vine leaves, falafel, Dips like babaganoush, soups made of beans tomato and spices, and for desert pastries filled with dates and rose water. Olives and Egyptian bread accompany many of the dishes.
Tea flavored with mint and robust coffee is very popular.
If you are a vegetarian, Egyptian cuisine has dishes that will accommodate you; while on the Nile River Cruise you will find most of the food caters to tourists, and offers plenty of choices from western and tradional Egyptian dishes. Meals are buffet style.
If you are interested in sampling real Egyptian food speak to your guide first, he/she will take you to a good restaurant; (extra costs apply).
In regards to drinks wine, spirits and beer are available onboard your Nile Cruise and major hotels and restaurants catering to tourists. Legal drinking age is 21.
Keep your camera well protected from sand and dust while travelling to the archeological sites, please note that many Museums and historic sites restrict video or photography to protect the antiquities, you may be asked to leave them at the entrance. Other outdoor places may charge a fee to use them, expect to pay 10 Egyptian pounds for a camera and 100 Egyptian pounds for video cameras. But at the majority of the outdoor sites, you are free to take pictures and video. Many sites will not allow Flash photography, be careful to comply.
Please note:
Bringing professional camera equipment into Egypt is subject to fees, at the discretion of the Customs and Immigration Officers.
Nile River Cruise Information
Nile River Cruises are the best way to visit the ancient monuments along the Nile from Luxor to Aswan.
The Ships feature on average of sixty Cabins, air-conditioned with large panoramic windows with a Nile view. The cabins have a TV, private bathroom, safe, telephone and hairdryer. Internet is available onboard at an extra charge. Please note the internet is expensive and unreliable. WIFI is available at the front desk reception only.
There is a swimming pool on the top deck where you can relax as you sail the Nile.
All meals are included on board, usually in an open buffet manner at a fixed time each day. The menu consist of western cuisine and some traditional Egyptian dishes. The dress code for dinner time is smart casual. Afternoon Tea is served on the top Deck. Every meal has some vegetarian choices, but we can not guarantee any specific special diet.
Our packages include and expertly Guided Itinerary with Offshore excursions to visit Egypt's famous antiquities.
Drinks are not included, soft drinks, wine, bottled water, coffee, tea, and other beverages are available at an additional cost. Local beer is around USD 5, and the exported beer can be a dollar or two more. Soft drinks, bottled water, hot beverages, and juices are between USD 2 to 5 dollars. Please note prices are subject to changes. Alcoholic drinks are only served between 10:00 am to 11:00 pm. Legal Drinking age is 21.
Credit cards are accepted, USD, Sterling Pounds, and Euros are the preferred currency.
The Cruise does offer laundry service.
During the day, swimming wear is not allowed in restaurants. Please wear a shirt/Tshirt, trousers or dress shorts and shoes/sandals.
There is entertainment onboard, and one night will be a Galabeya Party where you wear the local Egyptian you can purchase one on board (approx 20 USD) or rent it.
Tipping is expected in Egypt; gratuities are not included, If you are happy with the service you can leave it an envelope at reception, is suggested USD 35 per person for a three-night Cruise, USD 45 per person for a four-night Cruise, and USD 65 for a seven-day cruise.
For the Tour Guides USD 10 per day and USD 5 for Drivers. Always have with you small USD 1 for tipping porters or for using public washrooms.
Travel Insurance
Having Travel insurance is essential for any vacation, and Egypt is not an exception, the cost of medical emergencies or home repatriation can be extremely high, make sure you read your policy carefully and understand all the applicable exclusions and limitations. Usually, you pay for small medical bills while on destination and claim upon arrival, but in the case of a significant emergency you must call the insurance company immediately (or have someone call on your behalf), not doing so affects the eligibility of your claim. Is always a good idea to give details of your policy to a close relative back home and your travel companion. Protect your investment by also having trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Ramadan is a period of Islamic religious fasting, there are alcohol restrictions during that time, but major Hotels and your Nile Cruise do not get affected.
Same applies for day tours and excursions. It is polite not to eat in public areas, instead, choose to dine inside the restaurants or cafes.
Fasting breaks at Sunset and most major Cities come alive with a Festive atmosphere. Restaurants and public places become very busy with everyone celebrating the breaking of the fast and everyone is welcome to the festivities.
Essential Airline information
Please note Airlines have to advance seating assignment fees and may have checked luggage charges which are not included in your package. We suggest you book your seats directly with the airline; Please consult your airline for exact fees, terms and conditions. The airline reservation code is listed on your tickets and your confirmation invoice.
Airline tickets are 100% non-refundable/unchangeable. If the airline allows a change, the change is always subject to fees that may vary from USD 250 and up+ the difference in fare.
Charges are per ticket, and every airline has specific policies and fees.
Reconfirm your Flight
Call the airline or check the website at least 24 hours before departure.
Flight Check-In
Please arrive at the airport for at least 3-4 hours before departure. If you are driving from another City, it is suggested to arrive the night before.
For Code-Share Flights, your ticket reads "Operated by" you should check-in at the desk of the "Operated by" airline.
Baggage allowance varies greatly between airlines. Please consult with your airline by phone or online for your specific flight. The airline reservation code is listed on the top left of your e-ticket or in your confirmation invoice.
You can also visit the airline's website, for more details: Click Here >>
Please note domestic flights within Egypt have strict luggage allowance polices on average, only one checked bag + one carry on are allowed.
Delayed or Missed flights
Should this event occur let us know as soon as possible at 1-800-842-6943 for USA and Canada.
Or by e-mail at savemore@traveldiscounters.us
To call long distance dial 416-481-6701
Please note in some cases these changes/delays may lead to changes to your itinerary that will incur on penalties. These charges are not included in the cost of your package an may have to be paid locally. We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover for those unexpected situations.
Lost, delayed, or damaged Luggage
You must file a report with the airline before leaving the airport; keep a copy of the report for your travel insurance.
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