Egypt was a country I was a bit concerned to travel to, but then a bit not concerned. The Western media is constantly talking of death, etc, in the country, but everyone I’d talked to said it was pretty safe and easy to get around (lol I clearly did that wrong).
I did know that for safety’s sake, I was going to generally upgrade this trip. So I knew going in that it was going to be a bit more expensive that it could be, but I was also hoping it was safer.
In all, in 13 days in Egypt, I spent $1,604.49.
How did that work out?
I took the ferry from Aqaba!
This is a quick and easy visa on arrival – just have cash. The funny thing is that they put it on the very last page of my passport (Arabic reads backward from English).
This includes four nights at the Hilton All-Inclusive in Sharm el Sheikh, two nights of a hostel in Cairo, and two nights of the Movenpick Aswan. The other nights are from the overnight train (in transportation costs) and the cruise (below).
I’m pulling this out separately just because it’s got a few things rolled into one. This included a four-night cruise from Luxor to Aswan and included my meals, most of the tours I took (others are in activities), and my accommodations. I feel like this was a good deal for all it included.
Combined with the cruise, my activities spending was pretty high while in Egypt – the hot air balloon ride was $100, my trip to Abu Simbel $110. Besides those two, the rest was made up of high tea at the Old Cataract, and then museum/temple admissions. For admissions, I was quite lucky the pound was down so much, because that made them all much cheaper for me.
This was a bit more expensive because I did a decent amount of traveling around. This includes the ferry ticket from Jordan, cab from Nuweiba to Sharm el Sheikh, bus from Sharm el Sheikh to Cairo, overnight train to Luxor, and then miscellaneous cab rides in between.
A lot of my food was included on the cruise and the all-inclusive resort I went to, so there wasn’t just a ton of other food spending.
To discover whether a person in Egypt expects a tip, you can apply this simple test: Have they converted oxygen to carbon dioxide while in your presence? If yes, they expect a tip.
I tried to play dumb as much as possible to their tipping culture – it’s a hard one to explain, but tipping is not actually part of their culture. Their “tipping culture” is actually a culture of extracting as much as possible from foreigners. I was told by a couple of Egyptians that they don’t actually tip each other. So if I had provided a tip whenever one was requested or “expected” this number would have been far higher.
I bought just one souvenir – a stone obelisk for my “stone things from world wonders” collection. I definitely overpaid for this one, but I also didn’t mind adding the money to the economy?
And then I bought another pair of sunglasses. We are now on the third pair for this trip. The pair I bought in Myanmar got crushed and broken in my bag on the train (sad day!). So I immediately bought another pair because Egypt would be miserable without them. At this rate of sunglasses, I am definitely not buying a new pair of real Ray Bans until I’m back in the States!
Ultimately, it came out to an average of about $122.37 per day. For Egypt, my target had been $125/day – I knew the cruise was going to up it, and I also knew there were some expensive activities I wanted to do. I also upgraded a number of things (the cruise was not the cheapest possible, none of the accommodations were the cheapest possible, etc) but overall had a good trip to Egypt!
You can also see how much I spent on my entire round-the-world trip.