Traveling to Egypt: Here’s What You Need to Know Before You Book Your Flight
Perhaps you’ve heard about gods on earth and rulers of the Egyptians – the Pharaohs. Yes, this Arabic speaking desert country has a rich history. From Moses to Jesus and the pyramids being built by Egyptians. For a Christian or Muslim, then you’ve probably read or heard the stories a couple of times (although with variations in both Holy Koran and Bible).
Before you get excited and jump on the flight to go and explore this ancient country, a few travel tips would be ideal. Plus, it will make your experience worthwhile. Here’s what you need to know before traveling to Egypt:
Beware of Heat Stroke
Egypt is a dusty desert country. During the summer, the heat can get to as high as forty-five degrees. Therefore, be sure to pack some essentials such as a hat, sunscreen and be sure to drink plenty of water. The last thing you want is your vacation to be ruined due to a heat stroke or dehydration.
Speaking of dehydration, when in need of water, a water bottle would be ideal. Also, be sure to inquire if it’s okay to brush your teeth with tap water. It might be okay in Cairo but not so in Dahab.
Know Entry Requirements
You can apply for an eVisa when preparing to travel to Egypt. However, the same is restricted to only 46 countries, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, Switzerland, and Russia, among others. You will require a passport valid for six months with at least one blank page.
Also, visa on arrival is granted to several nationals. However, there is conflicting information on the same as previously the country in 2015 announced that it intends to stop this and have all foreigners make a visa application in advance ( see further information here). Currently, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Kuwait, and Lebanon nationals are visa exempted for a stay of up to 30 days.
Respect the Culture
Egypt is a majorly Muslim country. Islam has a conservative dress code for women. While it’s okay to dress casually (summer attires) while visiting the pyramids and other temples and other tourist spots.
A tour guide should be able to advise you appropriately; for instance, on a dinner cruise, you would be required to cover up. It all depends where you are, but as a rule, the knees, chest, and shoulders must always be covered.
Beware of Scams and Bribery
While traveling to Egypt offers a rich history and culture of the pharaohs and the mythology, for a tourist, every day can feel like you’re being drained. Although, understandable considering that Egypt is a third-world country.
Besides, the economy broadly relies on tourism, and many may have resorted to tips (much prevalent) and bribes to supplement their living due to low base salary ( but that’s not an excuse). Nevertheless, the hassle is intense in Egypt, and many experienced writers will attest to this fact.
The ideal rule for any traveler is to assume nothing is free and avoid taking pictures without permission. Also, when buying a papyrus, a popular must-have souvenir, be sure not to get duped with the ones made from banana leaves instead of papyrus. Actual papyrus is flexible and folds.