Egypt safe travel

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Dec 27th, 2014, 07:28 PM
  #1
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Egypt safe travel

hi. Fodor Folks have helped me over the years with planning my family trips to Greece, Rome and Spain. Now for Egypt--my husband's life long dream. Leaving Boston and traveling to Egypt, we are just now looking at flights and hope to go the end of Feb 2015 early March. My hubby and I are early 60 and my son is a early 20's. My thought is that my boys would probably have a safer, better trip if they traveled on their own without me, and should go on their own.
--Hotel room for 2 vs 3 (harder in Egypt to sneak a 3rd person into a room that only allows 2 like Spain)
--Are there "male only" entrance to some sites or is it easier to maneuver about for 2 guys vs. 2 guys and a lady.
I have been reading some of the earlier forums with interest. My husband was thinking of a delayed layover and spending the extra on plane fare for an day in Istanbul either going to or returning rom Egypt any thoughts or suggestions?
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Dec 29th, 2014, 05:29 AM
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Hi Joestrip,
We have just arrived back from Egypt and I cannot encourage you enough to go, you will have a wonderful time. The sites are extraordinary and your husband will be blown away by the history, temples and tombs.

I think the idea of stopping in Istanbul is a good one. If you stop for less than 24. Hours there should be no additional cost, however why not stay a few days. Turkish Airlines is well reviewed and a good option - their fares are competitive. They have joined the Star Alliamce which means you can get miles on a United which is worthwhile.

I'm really not sure what you mean about it being safer for your husband and son to go without you. Egypt has had a tourists industry for more than a hundred years and I'm not sure what you mean about separate entrances? You will not encounter separate entrances, except when you go to the toilet or for a pat down at the airport, which is the same as at home! Even in the mosques you can go in with your family. I'm not sure how else to reassure you but please do not worry, Egypt is not some sort of fundamentalist state and you will not encounter segregation. Remember, 15% or more of Egyptians are Coptic Christians. Yes, many women now wear the hijab but this should NOT be taken as anything extremist.

We found the Egyptians were very friendly and we were often thanked for coming to Egypt at this time

I'm not sure about getting family rooms, but this may be possible at some of the resort properties in Giza (pyramids)or Luxor. A travel agent would be able to let you know. Bear in mind that some of your costs are fixed, for example the cost for the car and guide will probably be the same whether you are two or three. With tourism down so dramatically the cost of hotel rooms had dropped considerably and it may not be that expensive to add a single room.

You will find it considerably cheaper to book with a local agent and quite a number have been recommended on the board. We went with Djed Egypt Travel which I can highly recommend and others here have had a good experiences with Lady Egypt and Memphis Tours. I found Mr Simman at Djed extremely responsive and very concerned that we had a good time. He planned our tours with great guides and drivers and I thought it was a wonderful value. I recommend the agency highly. We were impressed with the hotels and while we went for the higher end there seemed to be a lot of good options. I really appreciated that he included some less visited sites and the guides were happy to keep going beyond the program if we wanted to see more.

If I were you I'd contact Djed and see what the cost would be for two vs three people.

The cost of visiting all the sites ( entrance fees) should be included in your tour and we were astonished at how much the guide paid to get us into the sites. Over the trip it amounted to hundreds of dollars each.

Hope this helps. I'll be writing a trip report when I get home in mid January but if you have any more questions I'd be happy to answer them here.
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Dec 29th, 2014, 05:31 AM
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I haven't started blogging about our trip but here is a post on our planning which could be interesting...

http://somuchmoretosee.blogspot.co.u...-to-egypt.html
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Jan 15th, 2015, 05:51 PM
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Wow, wondering if Joestrip is about read to depart? And who is going? Best of luck as Egypt is a great destination.
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Jan 19th, 2015, 12:07 PM
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Hi. I depart mid February. Just posted on another forum asking about how quick the visa process is at the Egypt airport vs. getting it done in NYC before we leave. I'm would hate to get stuck in the airport after a long trip waiting for someone to be available. Does anyone know if they are there 7 days a week at all times that planes land?
Also have trouble picking a hotel in Aswan for two days while waiting for the Nile cruise to depart on Friday. Most reviews for the ISIS LTE island resort are ok but the few bad ones bother my husband. We are three 6 foot adults looking for a triple room. The Movenpick and the Sofitel legend don't allow three adults. Anyone have 1st hand RECENT experience with a great hotel in Aswan?
Thanks so much
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Jan 19th, 2015, 06:54 PM
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Another question. Some locations don't allow cameras inside or photography. What do the folks with upscale cameras do in those situations. Is it a matter of keeping it in the bag or are you required to check them. If so how safe is it. My husband is at the point of saying leave the good camera home and use the phone camera. Which seems sad for such a great trip
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Jan 21st, 2015, 10:41 PM
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AS everyone said on the other post the visa is very easy to get at the airport. here's what you need to understand, Egypt wants tourists and they make it very simple at the airport. The visa desk is right before the immigration desk. If your passport is valid and you have the $25 you are not going to have any problems. if you've arranged things with an agency they will probably send someone to meet you as you get off the plane and they will sort out the visa for you.
But if you are a nervous person and you'll be worrying about it, then get the thing ahead of time. It's not necessary but perhaps it will make you feel better?

I do have recent experience of a great hotel in Aswan but it's the Old Cataracts (Sofitel Legends). WE loved the hotel and as you may have read it's where Agatha Christie wrote Death on the Nile. It really is a fabulous hotel, very elegant with excellent staff. However, you mentioned that they don't allow three adults in one room. If this is something you read online it may be worth emailing the Reservations Manager (Hanan Gaber) to confirm their policy directly.

I saw cameras being removed from people and left at security was at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. You leave the camera and pick it up when you return. I knew this was the policy and opted not to bring my camera into the museum with me, I think I left it in the car with the driver. I did the same at the Valley of the Kings. Yes there are places they don't allow cameras but you will want to bring it for all of the outdoor sites, the temples, pyramids, the nile etc.
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Feb 28th, 2015, 01:07 PM
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Thank you for your feedback! We are landing in Alexandaria as a cruise and plan to spend a day there.
Can not wait.
Lwhites.
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Mar 5th, 2015, 04:28 PM
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We just got back from our second trip to Egypt, the first being in 2008, before the 2011 revolution. This most recent tour was with Viking. To us, the security situation seems similar to 2008. Since a 1997 European tourist bus attack in Luxor, the Egyptian government has taken tourist security very seriously, as tourism is 15% of their economy. As in 2008, tour buses have an armed guard riding within the bus, and each bus is followed by a tourist police car containing 4 armed officers. There are numerous armed police check points on all roads, more frequent near and around tourist areas. Tourist sites, such as the Egypt Museum in Cairo, have concrete barriers surrounding building entrances and several layers of scanners, with a large police presence. Larger hotels have this level of security with explosive sniffing dogs and vehicle trunk and undercarriage inspections and limited ability of vehicles to approach the building. The security rivals US embassies. These measures were in place in 2008 and are not new since the revolution. There was essentially a military dictatorship in 2008, as there is today. We felt very secure during our entire trip. I walked for an hour through Aswan and felt very comfortable. I would not recommend independently traveling through Egypt today or in 2008, as only rare signs are written in Latin script and few Egyptian speak any English unless they are involved in the tourist industry. I would advise using a tour group, and our experience with Viking was excellent. Any visitor to Cairo, Paris, New York, or Copenhagen needs to have “situational awareness”. One needs to be aware of their surroundings and who is approaching them. Eyes open and brain turned on. Don't wait, go to Egypt. See the most ancient of civilizations. Be overwhelmed by the age, size, and grandeur of the temples, tombs, and pyramids. We have been to many interesting places all over the world. Egypt is number one on our list. GO TO EGYPT, NOW!!
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