When you think of solo travel, Egypt is almost certainly not the first place that comes to mind. But maybe it should be. Egypt is the place on everyone’s bucket list, but so many of us (myself included!) think it’s a place we need to go with someone. You know, for safety reasons. But if you’re always waiting for someone else, chances are high that you’ll never get to go.
That’s why it’s so important not to wait on “perfect” timing when now is as good a time as any! It takes a little planning, but making Egypt your next solo destination will blow your mind and be worth everything you put into it. Here is your guide to making solo travel in Egypt a reality!
So, this point needs to be made first. A solo trip to Egypt is totally on the table, but I highly recommend visiting with a guide from a reputable tour company. You won’t be in danger if you go around by yourself, but you will be a target of scams from people who seem so well meaning, but who are not. Having a trustworthy guide with you will take all the stress (and scams) out of the equation so you can just have a good time.
Egypt is a family-centric culture that’s generally stranger-averse. That’s not bad, but it’s definitely going to make it harder to meet people for the authentic Egyptian experience you’re hoping to have. Your guide will be your friend and the best possible resource to make sure you have the experiences you want to have.
Why not? It’s the pyramids! It’s a cruise on the Nile! It’s literally larger than life! Egypt has fascinated travelers for thousands–thousands–of years. There is so much to see, so much to do, and so much to experience in Egypt that you can’t do anywhere else. You can go inside a pyramid. You can see actual mummies of kings and pharaohs that are thousands of years old. You can go inside monuments and temples with original color, that are larger than you can really comprehend.
I mean, the real question is, why wouldn’t you want to go to Egypt?
Also helpful: Tips to Travel Egypt Like a Pro
Is it Safe?
The short answer: Yes!
The long answer: There is literally a Tourism Police Department to protect you (and the major tourist sites). Someone will go looking for you if you don’t show up to the places you will have a permit for (courtesy of your tour company). Punishments for crimes against tourists are severe, so no Egyptian would dare do anything to hurt you. And you’re smart, right? You’ll dress appropriately, you’ll tip accordingly, and you’ll be fine because you are capable.
Yes, you will be safe in Egypt!
How Can I Get There and Get Around?
Just to emphasize the point I made earlier: You can go to Egypt solo, but you also need to go with a tour company. Why? Logistics in Egypt is a beast! Egypt is huge, and distances are far.
You definitely don’t want to drive in Egypt, especially in Cairo, because there are literally no rules–not even rules for which side of the street you have to drive on! Plus there are flights that only go from certain places, cruises only leave on certain days of the week, and if you try to take a cab as a non-local (they’ll know), you will be getting scammed on the price.
You’ll want to book a trip with a tour company. And yes, it’s possible to book a solo trip! Don’t be fooled by the “cheap” group packages that are out there. They’re cheap because they’re not paying their guides.
I booked with Egypt Elite, which actually worked out to cost me less than the “cheaper” tours, because everything is included in the price up-front. That’s tipping, entry tickets, excursions, etc., all included up-front so there are no surprises later. I got to customize my tour, stay where I wanted to stay, do what I wanted to do, and most importantly, I was with some of the best guides in the entire country. Scammers literally saw us coming and scattered! It’s like I was with Egyptian tour royalty.
Where Should I Go?
Go everywhere you want to go! Get certified to dive at the Red Sea. Go inside the Great Pyramid. Take a Nile cruise. Fly down to Abu Simbel. Climb Mt. Sinai. Stay at the hotel where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile. Go inside the Hanging Church. Visit famous mosques. Go to the Crocodile Museum to see mummified crocodiles! Get epic photos with the massive columns at Karnak Temple. See Queen Nefertari’s colorful and elaborate tomb.
If you’re going to fly all the way to Egypt, then stay for a week, 10 days, or two weeks and really make it worth your while!
How Can I Save Money?
Honestly, you can save money by not going with the cheaper companies. That ultra-low price does not include tipping (which, despite what they’ll tell you, is not optional), does not include excursions, and in many cases, doesn’t even include tickets to the actual tombs, temples, and pyramids you flew all the way there to see. I know that sounds bonkers, but it’s true. I researched a lot of companies before we booked anything!
Also, Egypt is already incredibly cheap. I was actually there with my husband, and even with the two of us, we never paid more than the equivalent of $30 USD for a meal (including service charges and tip!). Even the nicest hotels were very inexpensive, especially by American or European standards.
Once you’ve got your plane ticket (click here for How to Find Cheap Flights) and your tour paid for, anything else you spend will be pennies. Literally, 10 EGP to tip the bathroom attendant is $0.30. Thirty pennies.
More here: The Top 30 Trips to Take in Your 30s
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