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Egypt in February...with a tour group

We are going on a 12 day, 10 night trip to Egypt with Trafalgar Tours (Sorry, Rick!) and the itinerary is what I want (7 nights on the Nile cruise with lots of down time to relax). But even thought most days are planned, I welcome any thoughts and suggestions from those who have visited there. We do have the last day completely free after breakfast in Cairo , with our departure at 1:00 a.m. the following day. Should we return to the Cairo museum, visit Alexandria, go shopping? I welcome all suggestions. Thanks!

Posted by
2308 posts

Trafalgar is a great tour company.
The Nile cruise will be wonderful.

I have been to Egypt twice and did a Nile cruise as well.
Some basic tips:
Don't eat at a restaurant unless it is at least on par with a restaurant in a 4 star hotel.
Don't wander on your own into places that you are unfamiliar with.
Don't drink any water unless you have the unopened water bottle and never put your hands in the Nile.
Don't drink draft beer, unless in at least a 4 star hotel or you have them bring you the bottle and they open it in front of you.
If you go shopping, bargain, never pay the first price stated. Start at less than half the first price.

I would skip Alexandria, every one that I know is disappointed by Alexandria.

The Egyptian Museum is wonderful, you can always use more time there.

Posted by
76 posts

Thank you so much for all the tips. And I appreciate the comment on Trafalgar Tours. Egypt has always been #1 on my bucket list and at last I am going there!

Posted by
7639 posts

I found a day trip to Alexandria very interesting, especially the Library.

Posted by
1022 posts

Hi! Please come back to this forum and do a trip report when you return. I don’t think we have any on Egypt. You help others by doing a trip report. Have a great time!

Posted by
818 posts

"The Cairo flight times are really killers, aren't they! Arrive 3:30 am, depart 1:00am, why do they do this?"

Our flights to and from Alaska were the same. At that time the Anchorage airport was extremely busy.

Posted by
7639 posts

Flights from Nairobi to London, I remember, all seem to leave at or after midnight. Must have something to do with the cost of landing at the destination airport. Uneducated guess.

Posted by
1138 posts

I took a Trafalgar Egypt trip May 2011....just as they started back doing tours after the Arab Spring. Only 5 travellers....almost like a private tour. I was very satisfied with their service and the itinerary. I arrived early and stayed longer so did both Alexandria (before) and the Museum(after). It is a long drive there and back so before a flight home might be fatiguing. The ruins are more Greek, but the Library was beautiful. I appreciated returning to the Museum to see it all at my own leisure. The tour time is just not enough. There is supposed to be a new Grand Egyptian Museum opening early 2019, by the way.

Posted by
76 posts

Thanks everyone. Now that the holidays are winding down, I can re-concentrate on the trip. Does anyone have any comments on getting the tourist visa at the Cairo airport upon arrival? I have heard that it is very simple, but I can drive to the consular offices in LA if need be. (I live nearby and don't like sending my passport to them through the mail). Also, I have been told that banks in the US won't sell you any Egyptian pounds. I usually buy a small amount of the currency of the country I visit ahead of time, to have something upon arrival. I will call my bank's foreign exchange dept. tomorrow, but if they say no, can I change money at the airport to have some ready cash? I'll go with credit cards where I can, but do realize that I will need Egyptian currency for many purchases and tips. Any suggestions about currency matters will be greatly appreciated. And I willefinitely post about the trip when I return!

Posted by
4113 posts

"The Cairo flight times are really killers, aren't they! Arrive 3:30 am, depart 1:00am, why do they do this?"

My guess:-- probably partly to do with landing/takeoff slots both in Cairo and at the 'other' airport; may also be to do with the heat and the decreased lift with higher air temp air. This would be more noticeable on larger planes that are used for international long haul.

Posted by
818 posts

The the times are about the same for planes to Anchorage, Alaska. It most likely has to do with connecting flights from the east coast (Alaska) and from the US (Egypt). It sure isn't too hot air for proper lift in Alaska.

Posted by
2308 posts

Rethink going to Egypt. Now you have to worry about your tour bus being blown up by a terrorist IED!

Posted by
793 posts

I enjoyed your blog post on your trip to Egypt, Valerie. We will be there in March.

Geovagriffith - Where in the world is safe these days? We were in Strasbourg three years ago in the same places where the terrorist shootings occurred recently and shortly after the terrorist incident in Paris, in Nice on the promenade where another terrorist attack occurred, in Anchorage, Alaska in August just a few short months before the last earthquake. These are just to name a few. We live in Nevada with the constant threat of wildfires so we aren’t even safe here. We still choose to travel.

Posted by
2308 posts

I am very safe here on my island in South Georgia with a very, very low crime rate. Yes, when I go to Atlanta, I don't go where the crime takes place.

I lived in the Middle East for five years and traveled twice to Egypt. I love the history of that country. Israel is relatively safe, I would go there. Been there years ago. As for Europe, there are places in some cities that you don't go at night, but research is good, so you don't go there.

Yes, you might go to Egypt and not be blown up by an IED, but it is a risk that you don't find in very many countries.