Travelling outside your home country often necessitates extensive research. This is especially true when travelling to a distant, less-travelled part of the tourism world—Northern Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Egypt is no exception; though a beautiful country with a thriving tourism industry, American and European visitors may be compelled to read additional travel advice and cultural tips. To boost your research, we have included a few essential tips for travelling through Egypt.
- Invest in travel insurance. Regardless of your destination, travel insurance is an important investment. Though Egyptian politics have been relatively tame in the years following the Arab Spring, visitors should not worry about paying out-of-pocket for potential accidents. Cover your bases now instead of worrying through the duration of your trip.
- Bring your own toilet paper. Though most hotels will have toilet paper, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any in public restrooms. Most toilets have a built-in bidet spray nozzle, but they often do not work. Carry a roll or package of tissues with you throughout the day for a more comfortable bathroom experience.
- Wear your most comfortable shoes. Though the Cairo Metro system is one of the best in Northern Africa, you’ll be spending most of your trip walking through markets, deserts, and cities. Flip flops and sandals won’t cut it, especially when it comes to dusty, sandy streets; investing in a good pair of hiking boots prior to your trip is the best way to protect your feet.
- Stay hydrated. Egypt is hot. The average temperature in July is 91 degrees Fahrenheit, and thecountry gets just 0.79 inches of rain each year. Moreover, nobody—including locals—drinks the tap water. Buy bottled water to drink throughout the day.
- Use Uber where available. As in most places, taxi drivers may impose the “foreigner tax” if you utilize their services—they may take a circuitous route to drive up your price. Having a pre-planned route is an excellent way to avoid being scammed. And while ride-sharing regulations can be volatile, Uber is committed to its Cairo operations. So, you should be able to plan on using Uber weeks andeven months in advance.