Advice for a 53yr old USA Woman Travelling Alone in Egypt
Replies: 23 - Last Post: May 12, 2013 6:58 PM Last Post By: jonlyd
Oct 7, 2012 6:51 PM
Oct 7, 2012 7:09 PM
Oct 7, 2012 7:30 PM
Oct 8, 2012 3:00 AM
3When you get to Cairo or Luxor or wherever you stay, ask at your hotel if they can arrange a car with a driver or a guide if you need one, and negotiate a price with the hotel. Hotels use independent services on a regular basis and wouldn't keep them on board if there were any complaints by clients. Go solo. In Cairo, you can easily travel by metered taxi or the Metro.
Oct 8, 2012 3:03 AM
4OK - As long as you use common sense (such as avoiding goofballs like #3) you'll be fine on your own.
Egypt is easy to travel solo. Everything you mentioned as places of interest can be reached by train and once there you can walk or take a taxi. The "civil unrest" involves a very small number of fanatics, is mostly confined to a couple square blocks in Cairo and is easily avoided.
Two weeks is enough time to spend several days in Cairo. You can then take the train to Aswan. Your hotel will help you arrange a day to trip to Abu Simbel. You can then take the train to Luxor and either fly back to Cairo for your departing flight or take the train. If a short Nile cruise appeals to you, go ahead and book once you get to Aswan so you can inspect the boats at the dock and pick the one that's right for you.
Get a good guide book. Have a great trip.
Oct 8, 2012 10:47 AM
5Laketraveller makes some good points.
Personally i would take a Felucca any day over the cruise boat variety. Best done from Aswan.
The only thing that concerns me doing it on your own is your inexperience of travel other than the sanitized traveling in the States. You will likely be a fish out of water and in my opinion it may be better for you on a tour. Normally I am all for independent travel but seeing its your first trip you may need some moral support.
Oct 8, 2012 12:11 PM
Oct 8, 2012 12:18 PM
7OP - I do not disagree with Simsy at all. If you feel you lack the experience and / or confidence to travel on your own, then by all means use a tour. I don't say lack of confidence out of any disrespect, just the fact that we all lack confidence at something. I certainly would not want to undertake certain projects on my own without help.
I found Egypt to be pretty easy to travel solo. I'm not female, but I met many other solo females traveling the country and all reported no problems.
The only thing you should consider is there are several disadvantages to going on a tour as compared with doing it yourself. Tours are more expensive and offer less flexibility.
Ultimately you should do what you feel most comfortable doing.
Have a great trip.
Oct 9, 2012 7:26 AM
8I highly suggest you take a tour. Any new place can be daunting and without planning, you could end up wasting time, or missing things you would have liked to see.
There are plenty of local agencies here that can help you. They can create tailor made itineraries for you based on what you want to see.
I suggest 3 nights in Cairo to see the Pyramids, Museum, Citadel etc.. then the overnight train ride to Upper Egypt (or flight if you can find a cheap ticket). There you should go on a Nile cruise. Honestly picking one from the docks is quite risky. Do research first, ask agents (no need to book with them, just ask :) ). Also walk-in customers are always charged more.
I would also suggest a Lake Nasser cruise. I've done it. so peaceful and beautiful.
If your interested in a beach, El Gouna is a great resort on the Red Sea. Beautiful Marina.
I booked my last tour through nile-exploration.com. They were very helpful.
Oct 10, 2012 8:55 AM
Oct 10, 2012 3:52 PM
10Thank you everyone for all your info. I am still torn between tours vs solo travelling. I've been doing research on women travelling alone and have been getting some really good feedback. I say I'm from NY, so I'm not afraid to travel alone and my friend reminded me EGYPT IS NOT NY! lol But I am older and do not think I will be harrassed as a younger traveller would be. I don't want to see everything in Egypt only a few things, so I think my itinerary is managable on my own. Right now I'm searching prices for different travelling modes. It always says...Decide on the price before you get in, but WHAT are the reasonable prices for say...car and driver taking you to Valley of the Kings after you get off the ferry....those things I still need to find out. LAKETRAVELLER-did I read that you WALKED to Valley of the Kings from ferry? Would that be doable in May 2013? I LOVE to walk too but worried about the heat. ALSO I would love to BLOG my travels to help others-what is the best place to check out before I head out, so I can share my adventures with others? Thanks again. G
Oct 10, 2012 6:27 PM
11With all due respect to your friend, has he / she ever been to Egypt?
Yes, I did walk. I walked because I enjoy walking a lot. For me a ten mile walk is not out of the ordinary. I've walked up to 20 miles or more a day on my various adventures. I was there in March. The heat wasn't an issue for me then.
Another option specifically for Luxor is to rent a bike. There are several bike shops where you can rent a bike for the day and ride it all over the West Bank (you can also take it to the East Bank on the ferry).
The way to find out approximate costs is to simply ask people. You can ask locals, hotel clerks, other tourists, etc. I always ask people what the costs are for various things and then use that information as a guideline for approximately how much I should pay. Don't get hung up on details. If you ask five people what the taxi from A to B should cost you'll get a range and you can use that range to negotiate. Don't worry if you actually pay a bit more. Specifically at Luxor, once you get off the ferry ask around and find others going the same place as you and you can split the cost of a taxi with them (if you don't want to take the bike).
I travel solo a lot. I'm not shy about asking anyone around me all the time if they want to split a taxi ride or if they know a great restaurant or if they recommend such and such. It's a good way of striking up a conversation and making new friends.
Oct 10, 2012 6:37 PM
12Best to travel solo. You can book 1/2 day or full day tours if you want to in Cairo, Luxor etc. Or a car and driver as has been mentioned . Even if one day's cost happens to be expensive, you will still be paying less overall for the trip than on a full tour.
Hotels will help you with this and other travel arrangements.
If you book a full tour in advance, you will be glued to their itinerary and other passengers for the duration. There is unlikely to be any flexibilty.
Being flexible with your time and itinerary is important for you to really enjoy your trip.
Oct 11, 2012 2:01 AM
13Two years ago, the going rate for a driver for the day, arranged by hotel--in both Cairo and Luxor -- was E£250. Prices may have gone up a bit, but this is an idea into the general cost. If you go with a tour, you're paying for both the transportation and the guide. You will also likely be taken to a rug factory and papyrus showroom, and anything else the tour company gets a kickback on. Think of this as an adventure--write it your way!
Oct 11, 2012 9:51 AM
14To go to the Valley of the Kings/Queens/Nobles I rented a bike for the day at the hostel (Boomerang, 10 EGP) and I would definitely do it that way again. It’s a rather long uphill ride, but fairly gentle. In april it was quite hot but bearable (if you decide to go on your own try to start very early in the morning). Have a great time.
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