Published: 2/3/2020 Feb 3rd, 2020
Among the countries up high on my small “must visit” list is Egypt. Like a lover in history, I lengthy to produce my inner archaeologist and explore the numerous ruins of the nation. While it may be a lengthy time before I recieve there, my pal Jeremy Scott Promote from TravelFreak has visited a few occasions. Within this guest publish, he’ll provide you with his best strategies for saving cash in your next trip to Egypt!
I’ve visited Egypt two times. On my small first trip 4 years ago, I solo traveled the Sinai Peninsula across the Gulf of Aqaba, remained in shared hostels for $5 USD every night and required overnight buses that cost just like little. On my small newest trip this past year, I traveled in the very north of Egypt in Alexandria south to Cairo, after which further south across the Earth River towards the border with Sudan.
And, throughout everything, I fall crazy about the united states where foreign thought of violence keeps a lot of at arm’s length.
The tourism industry in Egypt continues to be feeling discomfort because of the political upheaval, riots, and terrorism-related activities which have damaged its the recent past. As tourist figures have dwindled and competition for that tourist dollar is becoming fiercer, travel deals have proliferated.
What most visitors miss is what you could gain — free from crowds as well as for little money too.
In the chaos of Cairo up to the more laid-back vibe of Luxor, Egypt is a perfect place to go for budget travelers.
1. How to save cash on Accommodation
In most cases, accommodation in Egypt is comparatively affordable. However, there’s a couple of useful methods that may cut lower your expenses.
Remain in hostels rather of hotels – Typically, you will probably look for a bed inside a shared dorm room (with 4+ beds) for between $5-8 USD every night, or perhaps a comfortable private single room for around $15 USD every night. You will have to talk about your bathroom, but a minimum of you’ve your privacy.
Use Hostelworld to discover the best money saving deals. I suggest Dahab Hostel in Cairo and Al Salam Camp in Luxor.
Use Booking.com to check prices for hotels – If you are searching for affordable hotels or guesthouses in Egypt, I suggest checking Booking.com. A personal room inside a guesthouse or hotel applies to about $40 USD every night.
Costs are generally listed per room, not per person. So, if you’re going with a buddy, it can save you much more money by splitting the price.
Search for accommodations that add offer some extra – I additionally discovered that, along with accommodation, it had been pretty common for hosts in guesthouses to provide extras for example breakfast and native tours at very affordable prices. Certainly one of my incredible hosts cooked a conventional hot breakfast with coffee and tea just for $1 USD. On top of that, he was more than pleased to recommend some affordable local eateries and purchase food.
Look past the standard rooms in hotels for hotels – Vrbo and HomeAway are wonderful Airbnb alternatives, as they’ve been connecting budget travelers and homeowners because the ’90s. HomeAway is aimed at people wanting an effective holiday rental, so that you can expect a completely furnished home to reside in which is ideal for longer stays.
Vrbo enables you to remain in a local’s house, but in a slightly elevated cost. You are able to usually have some pretty luxurious apartments beginning from $50 USD every night.
The upside is the fact that you’ll have full use of your personal kitchen, and that means you can further reduce your costs by cooking in your own home.
2. How to save cash on Food
Keep to the local eats and street food – If you wish to reduce food on a trip in Egypt, do your favor and steer obvious from the Western chain food joints. While a cheeseburger is all about half the cost of the items you have to pay in your own home, it’s still more costly, less tasty, and less adventurous than experiencing and enjoying the local cuisine.
Why make use of a hamburger when you are able consume the most scrumptious falafel on the planet for $1 USD?
Navigate the narrow alleyways associated with a busy Cairo market (like Khan El Khalili or Mohammed Ali Street) to search out the very best shawarma ($2 USD). Or grab a stuffed falafel sandwich from the street vendor on the way in one ancient relic to a different ($2 USD). You are able to literally find Arabic bread for five cents. It’s all cheap and incredibly filling.
And, the hummus. It’s so. Darn. Good.
If you are remaining in a guesthouse, it’s common practice to allow them to offer full dinners for around $10 USD. The fact is that they’re really just sourcing the meals from restaurants locally and going for a cut, so by searching for your personal food options, be prepared to spend about ¼ from the cost.
With this stated, never be scared of street food or street vendors, particularly if the meals are cooked before you. And when there’s an audience of locals waiting, then odds are you’re onto a great factor.
Get your meals at a kosheri – A kosheri is really a small, local restaurant that delivers generous servings of pasta, chickpeas, lentils, etc. frequently for under $1 USD! There isn’t any menu, you simply select how big your portion after which you’re offered this mishmash of deliciousness.
Prepare your personal meals – As pointed out, preparing your personal meals on a trip is another great money saver. If you can get a kitchen area, just ask your location of point you in direction of the closest market. They likewise have the lowdown on where you can eat for affordable, so make the most of their local understanding!
3. How to save cash on Transportation
Bargain together with your taxi driver – In many Egyptian metropolitan areas, taxis are an affordable and convenient method of getting around.
Now, when i state convenient, I am talking about they’ll allow you to where you have to go relatively rapidly. However I could be remiss basically didn’t give a couple of disclaimers.
Taxi motorists could be aggressive on the highway, departing you white-colored-knuckled from hanging on for dear existence. I’ve never possessed a more heart-stopping journey than the usual Cairo taxi ride.
In addition, while Cairo comes with metered taxis, never be lulled right into a false feeling of security. Meters are notoriously hard to rely on or rigged, and motorists frequently “forget” to show them on. It’s among the earliest travel scams within the book.
The very best practice is by using an unmetered taxi and agree with a cost using the driver prior to getting in. (Outdoors Cairo, most taxis are unmetered, so regardless of what, always agree with a cost upfront.)
If you are unsure just how much is definitely an acceptable cost, ask someone at the hostel or guesthouse for any prices recommendation, after which start your bargaining at approximately ½ that cost. Oftentimes even they provides you with a greater estimate than is common (it’s locals helping locals), however the real cost ought to be about ¾ of the items you have been suggested.
For extended-distance journeys, getting a vehicle having a driver is easily the most cost-effective option. The cost would be the same whether you’re traveling on your own or with several four, so gather some travel buddies and split the price.
However, be ready for some aggressive haggling for the greatest cost. Be obvious about where you need to go as well as for how lengthy you’ll need the motive force. Take it easy if negotiations break lower, though. With regards to haggling over cost, not be afraid just to walk away. There are many motorists available, so just proceed to the next.
Go ahead and take local train – Using the train between Alexandria, Cairo, Luxor, and Aswan is easily the most popular mode of transport with this route.
If time or budget is an issue, you are able to take a weekend train. If you take the sleeper train from Cairo to Luxor or Aswan, you’ll save a night’s price of accommodation inside a hotel. A luxurious sleeper cabin for just one is all about $110 USD, while a 2-berth cabin is $80 USD per person. Cabins feel at ease, and fares have an air travel-style dinner and breakfast. Your meals are fundamental, but it’s edible.
However for a real bargain, you are able to book your day train between Cairo and Luxor or Aswan for less than $10 USD. However, there’s one caveat: for safety reasons, the Egyptian government prohibits people from other countries from purchasing day train tickets with this route. Officials say it is because just the night trains have armed pads in situation of the terrorist attack, but it is really an incredibly rare occurrence.
It’s very easy to obtain for this, though. It’s important to book tickets online at enr.gov.eg (you’ll need to register a free account but it’s very easy to complete) or ask your best guide, host, or driver to reserve the tickets for you personally. They’ll likely oblige for a small charge.
There aren’t any reports of ticket family and friends kicking any people from other countries from the day train, so you will be fine. And when not, you’re only out $10 USD.
Obtain the Flight Pass – The quickest method to travel around Egypt is as simple as plane. Egypt Air may be the national carrier and Star Alliance Member serving most major domestic destinations. Its Flight Pass is really a cost-effective option that enables you to definitely secure low fares for domestic flights even though you haven’t determined your travel dates.
All you need to do is purchase no less than four flights (or credits) and select a period when you would like to visit within the next 12 several weeks. After that you can book your flight as many as seven days before departure.
Around the downside, you’ll need to always fly to your original departure point. That’s, rather of flying from Cairo to Luxor and Alexandria, it’s important to fly Cairo to Luxor and to Cairo before you go to Alexandria. That stated, the Flight Pass continues to be about 30% less expensive than booking exactly the same multi-destination flights along with other airlines.
The Flight Pass is super customizable. You are able to select the amount of flights (e.g. four, that is two round-trip flights) for time (e.g. within 30 days), and how early you are able to book your flights (e.g. 1 week before travel). Which means that should you pick Cairo as the origin, you are able to select two round-trip flights to Aswan, Luxor, Alexandria, Sharm E Sheikh, or Hurghada. Each flight is $73 USD one-way.
But when I would book a flight ticket from Cairo to Luxor for just one week from now, that very same leg would cost a minimum of $142 USD!
You are able to alter this pass. For instance, if you buy an identical pass towards the one above but select “one month” for the way early you are able to book, the flights become $66 USD each per every-way.
If that’s an excessive amount of a hassle for you personally, there are many other airlines offering affordable flights. With regards to finding cheap flights on other airlines, I personally use Skyscanner. When you are flexible together with your dates, it can save you as much as 50%. Bear in mind, though, which you may be traveling at inconvenient occasions, such as the midnight.
Within the Skyscanner search bar, rather of entering specific dates, choose the “Entire Month” option. This will highlight a calendar with fare prices for departing and coming back flights for each day’s the month. This works best for one-way flights. However, it doesn’t work with multicity flights.
4. How to save cash on Tours and Guides
The very best money-saving tip I’m able to offer here’s to prevent reserving online before you decide to get to Egypt.
If you are a kind A traveler who requires a plan in hands even before you arrive, you aren’t likely to such as this. But online agencies charge massively inflated prices, and you’ll finish up having to pay much less should you deal directly using the tour company or guide in your area on the floor.
Include the feeling-good factor of the money heading for your guide, their loved ones, and community (and never with a middle person, agency, or large corporation) and you have your win-win situation.
You may want to be more flexible together with your dates. But you’ve got the benefit of having the ability to barter (haggle, the truth is), which means overall savings.
Tours, private motorists, and also the essential cruise lower the Earth all can be booked in your area at considerably affordable prices than booking ahead of time. So, if you’re able to stomach it, hold back until you receive your boots on the floor before booking your tours.
Guides, in my opinion, are an excellent supply of local understanding and knowledge. They’ve the interior scoop around the best vantage points for photos at the epic landmarks. Additionally, they’re efficient at coping with individuals persistent and often aggressive street vendors.
The very best guides are available by requesting recommendations using their company travelers who’ve used their professional services, however i always recommend my Egyptian brother, Rami.
In 2015, on my small first visit to Egypt, Rami and that i connected using a mutual friend. We hit them back, and after that, I’ve helped him to develop the small tour business he and the family-run. It seamless comfort so that you can help a nearby family in this positive way.
He’s honest, affordable, reliable, incredibly communicative, well connected, and i adore honest? That’s among the difficult parts about driving places like Egypt: when individuals can sell you things, it’s difficult to know who you can rely on.
But Rami is my man. Send him an e-mail at [email protected] and tell him Jeremy sent you (there aren’t any commissions here — case a useful referral to some well-deserving friend). He’ll sort you out of trouble or keep you in touch with another person inside your preferred destination.
5. How to save cash on Entrance and Admission Charges
Obtain the Worldwide Student Identity Card – Entrance and admission prices for most monuments and attractions in Egypt are positioned as marketed. However, you will get discounted tickets by having an Worldwide Student Identity Card, including 50% off a number of Egypt’s best museums (such as the Luxor).
Obtain a travel pass – You can aquire a Cairo Pass or perhaps a Luxor Pass (multi-entrance discount passes) in the Secretary of state for Antiquities, the Egyptian Museum, or even the Giza Plateau for around $80 USD. You’ll save about 50% off records to in excess of 30 attractions in Cairo and Giza. You’ll find hardly any details about these passes online, however, so the best choice would be to only be there at certainly one of individuals locations and inquire there.
Recommended Budgets to go somewhere with in Egypt
While the different options are cash on luxury resorts or private tours, it’s possible to visit through Egypt inexpensively. Actually, it is simple to spend less than $30-$35 USD each day.
The greatest method to keep costs down is in which to stay college dorms or hostels. If you go searching for a personal room or mid-range hotel, you will probably spend $30-40 USD more every night.
Where and your food intake also contributes to your everyday budget. For instance, street meals are an inexpensive and filling choice for dining in Egypt. To nibble on from falafel and sandwiches to shawarma and koshari noodles for less than $1 USD.
Eating inside a restaurant is much more costly, but nonetheless relatively cheap when compared with Western countries. Meals inside a mid-range restaurant start at $4 USD, while worldwide dishes could be around $10 USD.
Transportation is yet another added cost. Train travel could be cheap but might not be the best option in case your time is restricted. So, if you are planning to fly involving the destinations, be prepared to add $50-$100 USD for your plan for each flight.
Obviously, your everyday budget may also increase should you book private guides or splurge on souvenirs and gifts.
And don’t forget, haggling is among the most significant skills if you are searching to save cash in Egypt. Taxis, excursions, along with other services usually can be bargained lower to some lower rate than is initially quoted. So, for those who have a higher tolerance for haggling, your everyday budget could be easily less.
Regardless, it’s usually easier to go slightly over budget, especially somewhere with as numerous must-see sights and encounters as Egypt!
The important thing to budget travel in Egypt will be generally knowledgeable and to possess a good spontaneity (the second goes a lengthy way when confronted with vendors). Haggling and scammers are a part of everyday travel existence in Egypt. You will find very couple of products or services that can’t be expected.
Most significantly, always, ALWAYS request and agree with a cost first before accepting any services or goods. Most significantly, don’t hesitate to nicely refuse and leave.
Now it’s time for you to start planning your vacation to Egypt for optimum adventures at least cost within the land of Pharaohs, pyramids, and wonders from the ancient world. Reach it!
Jeremy may be the adventurous traveler behind TravelFreak, an internet site focused on helping people create lives they’re enthusiastic about. You should check out his blog to find out more or find him on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Book Your Vacation: Logistical Tips and Methods
Book Your Flight
Look for a cheap flight by utilizing Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favorite search engines like google simply because they search websites and airlines around the world which means you always know nothing remains unturned.
Book The Resort
You are able to book your hostel with Hostelworld because they possess the largest inventory. If you wish to stay somewhere apart from a hostel, use Booking.com because they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses and economical hotels. I personally use them constantly. Some recommended hostels to remain at are:
- Dahab Hostel (Cairo) – The rooms are fundamental however the owner is friendly and helfpful and also the hostel is within an excellent location.
- Al Salam Camp (Luxor) – Great location and incredible staff. it’s from the noise from the city and an excellent place to unwind and meet other travelers.
Don’t Forget Travel Cover
Travel cover will safeguard you from illness, injuries, thievery, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in situation anything goes completely wrong. Irrrve never use a trip without them when i’ve had for doing things many occasions previously. I’ve used World Nomads for 10 years. My personal favorite firms that provide the best service and cost are:
- World Nomads (for everybody below 70)
- Insure My Trip (for individuals over 70)
Searching to find the best companies to save cash with?
Take a look at my resource page to find the best companies to make use of whenever you travel! I list all of the ones I personally use to save cash after i travel – which will help you save money and time too!
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