- Ensure your passport is valid for a minimum of six months.
- Check your country's foreign office advisory before booking your airline ticket.
- Organise travel insurance that includes medical cover.
- Inform your credit/debit card company of your travels before you leave home.
- Check if you can use your mobile abroad.
- Book accommodation and domestic flights.
What to Take
- Hat, sunglasses and a good sunscreen
- Two-pin electrical adaptor to recharge gadgets
- Good mosquito protection
- A mobile phone compatible with an Egyptian SIM
- Patience to cope with a different concept of time
What to Wear
Egypt is a conservative country, so modest attire is recommended, especially when travelling as an individual. Out of resort towns, women will usually feel more comfortable wearing loose clothes. There are places (mosques and churches, for instance) where arms and legs should be covered. In resort towns the dress code is more relaxed. Cotton or linen clothing is recommended for the heat, and a fleece or wool sweater is needed for the cooler nights.
The dress code in most places is fairly casual, even at night, although Cairenes do dress up to go to the hip spots in town.
Egypt Tourism (www.egypt.travel) Official tourism site with trip-planning tools.
Daily News Egypt (www.dailynewsegypt.com) Independent English newspaper.
Mada Masr (www.madamasr.com) Independent, progressive online reporting in English.
Egypt Independent (www.egyptindependent.com) Respected online news.
Egyptian Streets (www.egyptianstreets.com) Independent features.
Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/egypt) Destination information, hotel bookings and traveller forum.
- Visit during the shoulder season (spring and autumn) when the weather is less extreme and there are fewer visitors around.
- Learn a few words in Arabic – greetings and thank you are the obvious ones – and you'll get a laugh or a smile from the person you are talking to. One of the highlights of the trip is meeting good-humoured Egyptians.
- Keep small change to hand (LE5 and LE10 notes), as it is useful to give out as much needed baksheesh (tips) just about everywhere.
- Start your visits early in the morning to avoid the midday heat.
- Rent a car with a driver rather than driving yourself. Avoid travelling on roads outside cities and towns at night, which can be particularly dangerous. People and animals often sit or walk on the road in total darkness.
- Check your government's travel advisory before visiting.