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I have been trying to convince my parents to visit us here in Egypt for about 1.5 years now. My dad doesn’t like to fly because he is afraid of flying and thinks it will hurt his back. But he will ride his Harley Davidson all day and go 4 wheeling down uneven mountain paths that set my nerves on edge. My mom likes to travel and wants to see the world but is afraid of going by herself. How did they produce a child who has been solo traveling around for the past 12 years or so and is teaching her way around the world as a solo parent?!
All of this to say, that I am trying really hard to convince my mom to come and visit me in October 2022. Egypt has so much history that I feel like she really can’t miss it while I’m here. My mom said that she is considering if she can afford to make the trip with my aunt and just leave my dad at home. So I have priced out my idea of the ideal week-long trip in Egypt for 3 adults and 4-year-old and created this post for them and decided to share it with whoever is still reading this blog!
Remember to bring your vaccine card and get tested 72 hours before arriving in Egypt. This of course can change and you should check here frequently.
Flights from SEA to CAI RT $801 p/person
Flights from CAI to Luxor and Aswan to CAI- $202 p/person
Visa $25/per person
Hotel for 2 nights in Cairo (106/3= 35 p/adult) and 1 in Aswan (75/3= 25)
Nile Cruise (3 nights/4 day)- $208 + $80 entrance fees + tips + drinks
Cairo Pyramids Tour – $59 + tip
Food- 100 p/person?
Misc/ Shopping- 100?
Tips ($10 a day?)- 60?
Total estimate for 1 week in Egypt- about $1700 USD
Flights from Seattle to Cairo round trip with all taxes and fees are $801. I always recommend booking directly with the airlines in case of Covid issues.
You need a visa for entry to Egypt: You can either apply in advance for an Egypt e-Visa online, or pay with cash upon your arrival into the country (I always do this). The visa will cost $25 US for a single entry visa (for up to 30 days).
1 week will allow you just enough time to quickly see Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor while cruising along the Nile River. I have been working in Egypt for 1.5 years and I still feel like I haven’t seen enough!
A note on alcohol
I prefer traveling carryon only (I have used this Osprey for years) and avoiding the high cost of alcohol while I’m here, but if you DO plan on checking a bag this trip, each adult is allowed to buy ONE bottle of alcohol from duty-free (you are also allowed to bring in only ONE liter of alcohol from your home city). The Cairo airport will be your best place to get alcohol in the country, though the selection is also limited.
Pro Travel Tip
If you want to save money while traveling in Egypt, I would highly suggest you take an Uber whenever you need to go somewhere. It’s going to be the cheapest option and will save you the process of bargaining when looking for a ride. I attach my travel credit card so I don’t have to deal with finding the correct change AND it codes for extra points as Travel on my credit card. I haven’t paid more than $5 for an uber across town in Egypt.
Before I moved here for my teaching job, I was hesitant to visit Egypt without a tour group due to the DO NOT Travel warnings from the US Government. It was high on my list of places to go, but I had planned on waiting until my son and I could go on a tour with Intrepid and doing the Egypt Family Holiday for about $1600 plus flights. However, I have lived here for a bit more than 1.5 years now, and haven’t had any issues while traveling on my own in many places. While I have joined two tours via Viator to see touristy things (like the cruise described here and one to the pyramids), for the vast majority of the time I have been traveling with just my sweet toddler son!
Leave Seattle at 5PM on Fri Oct 21 and arrive Saturday, October 22 at 11 PM in Cairo
Dinner: Eat dinner on the plane/bring snacks/grab snacks from a convenience store in the airport on way out.
Sunday, Oct 23
8AM Wake up and have breakfast with a view of the pyramids!
9 AM Option Sleep in OR to Uber to Cairo Tower Ticket Price(s): 60 EGP (4 USD), Free for children under 6
You could try to squeeze in some traditional Egyptian food for lunch at Zooba in Zamalek. Or grab something quick to eat at the airport (they will give a tiny sandwich+ muffin+ juice on the plane but they aren’t very tasty).
Flight with Egypt Air departs Cairo to Luxor 1:15 PM – $208 RT (arrives in Luxor at 2:15)
Stay the night at a hotel in Luxor at El Mesala Hotel $75/3 adults $25 plus free breakfast and free airport shuttle. If you are looking for a 5* hotel, last year I stayed at the Pavillon Winter Luxor which had an incredible breakfast and swimming pool too.
Monday Oct 24
Free breakfast at the hotel.
8:00 AM Tour pickup from the hotel for 4 Day/3 Night Nile Cruise from Luxor to Aswan $208 p adult plus $80 for entrance fees + 51 f/4 year old
Day 1 of Nile Cruise: East bank of Luxor, Visit the great temple of Karnak, Then explore the beautiful temple of Luxor.
A note about Touts in Luxor– You will most likely have time to explore on your own and when we walked in the afternoon from our hotel to the street market as 2 adult women and 1 toddler last year we were endlessly harassed worse than any other trip I’ve had in 42 countries. People trying to sell tours followed us down the street and into 2 different stores and wouldn’t leave until my friend yelled at one to go away. While on the cruise, vendors would chase the cruise ship, yell, and throw items for sale onto the boat to sell things. My friends have all had similar experiences while in Luxor. Just know that the rest of Egypt has not been like this for me and be forewarned so you are ready to be stern when you say no and walk away You could try to avoid this by taking an Uber or ask your hotel to call a taxi, but I don’t know how you can avoid the ones on their motorboat who chase the cruise (maybe bring some simple earplugs that work for me).
Tuesday Oct 25
Day 2 of Nile Cruise: Optional trip (early morning hot air balloon), Cross to the great West Bank of Luxor, Visit the famous valley of the kings, Move to explore the great Queen Hatshepsut temple, Stop at colossi of Memnon
Wednesday Oct 26
Day 3 of Nile Cruise: Traditional horse and carriage to visit Edfu temple. Back to the cruise and continue sailing. Enjoy your Egyptian tea on the cruise sun deck during sailing. Around sunset time visit Kom Ombo temple.
Thursday Oct 27
Day 4 of Nile Cruise: Arrive in Aswan the great city which is famous for the Nubian culture. Enjoy your breakfast on the ship. Optional trip (Abu Simbel- highly recommend this one!) Disembark after breakfast. Boat to get to Philae island temple. High dam of Aswan. They will drop off at the airport after the tour.
(Listed as 6 hour day- confirm end time before booking flights home).
Grab something to snack on for dinner at the airport. They will give a tiny sandwich and muffin on the plane if nothing else.
Flight departs at 8:20PM from Aswan. Arrives in Cairo at 9:40PM.
Spend night at Pyramids View Inn $53 f/3beds w/breakfast/free airport shuttle
Friday, Oct 28th
8 AM- Tour of Pyramids, Market for souvenir shopping, and Egyptian Museum– $59 p/adult (kid 4 and under is free). Admission included. Entry to go INSIDE of a pyramid is extra. + tip
The lunch location will be chosen by the tour guide.
Dinner at the amazing pizza restaurant in Maadi called What the Crust! I have been to quite a few restaurants in Cairo, but this is a favorite.
If you are young and don’t have a toddler tagging along, then I would recommend having a leisurely dinner and drinks in Cairo and just checking out of your hotel at noon.
If you are tired from all the sightseeing and want to rest before your 1 AM flight my friends love staying at Le Meridien Cairo Airport ($116 p/night) or the much less fancy Novotel (that I stayed at one night) for $77.
Saturday 29th– Leave Cairo at 1:20AM
If you have 1 extra day
After seeing the pyramids in Cairo you could take a day trip to Alexandria. The library in Alexandria is amazing and there is a Roman amphitheater to explore.
If you have 3 or 4 extra days
You can fly from Cairo to Sharm el Sheik and drive up to Dahab for amazing snorkeling/diving in the Red Sea or just a fabulous resort in Sharm. I spent my last October break visiting Sharm and Dahab and loved Dahab!
Please comment below! Have you visited Egypt recently? What was your favorite part? Any places I should add to the itinerary for our October break?