Egypt in Jan. 06 on a tight budget

Dec 10th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 130
Egypt in Jan. 06 on a tight budget

sandi: if you see this, thank you for the Dubai info. My son and his friends want to visit Egypt for a week. As Peace Corps volunteers in their 20's, they are on a very limited budget. They also have very limited internet access since many of them are sent to remote villages. I try to gather as much info. as possible and email it to him whenever he goes to Yerevan (may be once a week or every 2 weeks), he can check my email. Sad but true, due to not having enough money to heat schools, the government decided to shut the schools down from Dec. 24 to Feb. 12.

Even the schools are not in session, the volunteers have limited time off. For 2 weeks, my son decided he wants to see Dubai and Egypt. I just mailed him 3 guide books by Lonely Planet (Dubai, UAE & Egypt) It will take about 3-4 weeks to reach him; and this is air-mail!

My question is that possible to see Cairo, Luxor, Aswan in a week? Any additional sites that worth a visit? How best to travel so they can maximize their time in Egypt by not having to back tracking to different places. Any inexpensive lodgings/hostels that you can recommend in those cities? Are there any other discounts passes for people under 26 years old? I am thinking cruising down the Nile and train back to Cairo. Your suggestions and recommendations are greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
teatravel is offline  
Dec 11th, 2005, 04:24 PM
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The fastest but not the cheapest way is to do Cairo and then fly to Aswan and then cruise the Nile to Luxor and fly from Luxor to Cairo.

He can pick and choose what he wants to see in Aswan but in Luxor he can see the
Luxor Temple
Karnak Temple
Valley of Kings and Queen Hatshepshut's Temple.

In Cairo:
See the Cairo Museum
The Citadel
The Khan El Khalil Market and

of course the
Pyramods and Sphinx( both at the same place.)

Percy is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 08:21 AM
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I did Egypt (Cairo, Aswan, Abu Simbel, Luxor, Nile Cruise) in 7 days and saw pretty much all the main sights.

It cost us $775 per head plus airfare from NYC. But we had picked good hotels so I'm sure your son could find a package much cheaper than that if they are willing to go 4/3 star... I will be posting a message detailling my trip so you can check there for details.
as2085 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2005, 12:42 PM
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Egypt should be a whole lot easier for the guys to do on a budget. While it's been years since I would even consider youth hostels or 3* hotels, Egypt is doable. We saw plenty of backpackers when we visited.

There has been one company often referred to here - Egypt Highlights or Egyptian Highlights - but can't say whether they can arrange budget budget itineraries. But budget is relative.

Since you are gladly doing all the work for your son and friends, you may want to do a search on this board for "Egypt" to locate Egypt/ian Highlights, email them and inquire.

There is also an American woman living in Egypt that arranges full tours or only Cairo who may be a good resource. Her name is Debbie Senter, at Casual Cairo Detours. I believe her email is [email protected] or, again, do a search, as she has posted on Fodor's a few times and some other posters have used her services. Email her with what you're looking for, budget, when, etc. and see what she recommends.

And, then their is Lonely Planet's Thorntree message boards, where budget travelers mostly post.

Hope the above is helpful. Keep us posted.
Dec 12th, 2005, 09:16 PM
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as2085: I am looking forward to read your trip report. Thank you to all of you for the suggestions. This forum is wonderful. I found several trip reports that I have condensed and plan to email it to my son. He was able to make a phone call to another volunteer and asked him to email me that he will be in Yerevan this weekend to check my email. I try to gather as much info as I can. I have never been to that part of the world, but Percy's plan sounds great.

Sandi: I certainly will check out Debbie Senter to find out what she has to offer. Any additional suggestions are greatly appreciated.
teatravel is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 04:33 AM
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he may really struggle to find an airline that covers both Dubai and Egypt on a contract - Emirates fly direct Dubai to Cairo - but if you only do a one way on EgyptAir internationally you pay full fare on the internal flights - + the one way fare is very high

Had a client flying out of the UK who wanted to do 7nts Dubai and 7nts Cairo - was working out best part of £2000pp - and a lot of that was airfare
moschops is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 06:03 AM
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teatravel, forgive me- i'll shamelessly blame it on jetlag but i mistakenly said 7 days- we actually took 10 days. however, we ran into a couple of aussie student traveller several times along the way and they shaved off several days (and $$$) by not taking the nile cruise, instead using trains between cities. they still saw the same things we did. its cheaper and faster. if you've got a limited budget, thats the way to go.

2-3 days in cairo- see the pyramids in giza, maybe a 1/2 day visit to sakkara for the step pyramids and mere-roka. then a day for city stuff like the museum, citadel, coptic cairo, khan-el-khalili market.

overnight sleeper train to luxor or aswan..

2 days in luxor- see karnak & luxor temples. valley of kings & queens, collossi of memnon, queen hatshepsut temple.

1-2 days in aswan- abu simbel and philae temple. (high tea at the old cataract hotel is wonderful and not too pricey)

there's a lot more to see but these are the main sights.

they can travel by train (3-4 hr ride) between luxor and aswan as well. then take the overnight train back to cairo.

they should spend money for a very good tour guide though- it really makes a difference.
as2085 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2005, 07:20 AM
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moschops: The airfare is definately a problem. It is quite expensive to fly from Yerevan to anywhere. He took one week to London last March and 2 weeks to Greece in Nov., the airfare cost as much as flying R/T to the US. There are 2 direct non-stop flights by ARMAVIA per week to Dubai. I believe from Dubai, you have to buy a seperate R/T ticket to Cairo. Both Egypt Air and Emirates have daily flight. He is going to work with a travel agent this weekend to see if he is able to just buy one ticket instead 2 seperate tickets. Another option is to fly from Yerevan to Moscow and then backtrack to Cairo with Aeroflot. They were thinking about going to Thailand until they found out the airfare alone would cost about $2,700! That plan was scrapped. This is a last minute decision since they will have a long winter off and want to go somewhere warmer.

as2085: Thank you for your advice. I think the tour guide option sounds great. I found several tour groups in this forum, I am sure when they get to Cairo, they will figure out how to see Egypt.
teatravel is offline  
Dec 14th, 2005, 06:07 AM
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Dear teatravel,
I think that if you go on the web and price hotels you can get some very good rates. I returned from 21 days in Nov. and found that Egypt is very doable on a tight budget. You can read my post if it helps, however I would suggest the following, Cairo for a very few days, it can be very overwhelming especially if they are coming from a rural area. Luxor is worth the trip, the Temple of Karnak is breath taking. We took the overnight sleeper train, $56. pp US but it saved a hotel night. You can go cheaper on the regular overnight train. We stayed at the Sheraton thre for $43. US booked on line with the taxes and could stroll into town. The west bank should be seen in the afternoon and you would have to arrange transportation, the east bank is doable on your own to save $'s.

As for Debbie Senter or any other guide, if you are on a budget skip them. Egypt is very easy to get around and it is VERY INEXPENSIVE. We had no trouble and people were very nice. In Cairo we used the metro, walked and cabs. We had a 1/2 days trip with a very nice cab driver who did not believe in "monkey business" for 75 egyptian pounds or $13. You just need to be willing to walk away if you don't like the price. The only other budget item that you need to consider is the cost of admissions, and while they are inexpensive and worth it they can add up. We budgeted about $25.pp/day on museum days and were fine. As for eating, CHEAP is the word. Even great resturants were inexpensive. So that won't be a problem. They probably can tolerate a lot of the food that we would be reluctant to eat as they are coming from areas were the sanitation isn't great.

I would again caution them to think about Cairo, it is a large, bustling, polluted, noisy city with a tremendous amount of particulate matter in the air and I sense they will be coming from more remote areas, the culture shock is overwhleming.

Good luck and they can see and do a lot. Dubai will be the opposite of Egypt, very wealthy and polished.
spitz is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2005, 03:54 AM
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do you have any contact info for your cab driver? Thanks
NancyU is offline  
Dec 25th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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Your son could try Air Arabia out of Sharjah (15 min from Dubai) to fly to Eygpt( Luxor ), it's probably the cheapest airline in the region. Also there is Gulf Airlines and Qatar Airways. They would have to fly out of the UAE.

Good luck

winniep is offline  
Dec 26th, 2005, 08:56 AM
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Happy Boxing Day .
spitz & winniep: Thank you for the info. I didn't think about the local airlines like Air Arabia, Qatar or Gulf. I will look into their websites. I also forwarded spitz's & as2085's trip reports to my son. Thanks to all.
teatravel is offline  

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