first time in Egypt: tour group or on our own??

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Jan 15th, 2001, 03:55 PM
  #1
bill
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first time in Egypt: tour group or on our own??

We are going to Egypt for the first time and were looking for advice on weather to go on an escorted tour or travel on our own. We like to do what we want, at our own pace when we travel but this will be our first time out of North America. Any suggestions?
 
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Jan 16th, 2001, 05:43 PM
  #2
Lee
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Hi Bill,
My husband & I went to Egypt last Oct. We choose to take a tour for the first time in our lives thinking that it was necessary for security reasons and it was a BIG mistake. We actually felt more at risk for harm being in a large group than we would have on our own.We travel Europe frequently and never go on tours because we like to have flexibility and variety. Having search the postings for months before leaving (but unfortunately after booking our tour), I read of many folks who went on their own - they were the smart ones. The 5 star boat was very shabby, mediocre food, rigid restrictive schedule, and boring guides who loved to drone on for hours in 115 degree heat. What time of year are you planning on going and what budget range do you have. If you like, email me directly and I could suggest an itinerary that I wish we had followed. There are many wonderful things to see in Egypt, but it is a country full of unpleasant surprises as well. The more you know about those surprises before you leave, the more enjoyable your adventure will be.
 
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Jan 27th, 2001, 05:46 AM
  #3
cb
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Decision also depends on how comfortable you are on your own visiting a country where the spoken and written language does not resemble what you are used to. English is spoken at places that cater to tourists, but if you plan to venture to out-of-the way areas, can you tolerate dealing with foreign customs and culture. Not everything is run as efficiently as what you are used to. Booked reservations like flights should be confirmed; I recall ours changed a few times.How comfortable do you think you would be with having to bargain for everything or having to hand out baksheesh right and left. I suggest you read all the posts in this and other sites and travel stories from those who have been there. Egypt is so different and fascinating.
 
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Jan 27th, 2001, 06:00 AM
  #4
Sarabe
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Lee
I would be greatful if you post your ideal itneray here. I bet there are other people like myself who would like to see your suggestions after being there. Thank you so much
 
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Jan 28th, 2001, 04:53 AM
  #5
Lori
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I don't know how long you are planning to go, etc. We booked through a travel agent and had guides in areas, but not all were really necessary. The tours to Abu Simbel are all the same, ie they book through Egypt Air and Egypt Air provides transport to the site and a guide speaking your language is included. A Luxor to Aswan cruise is nice, relaxing and you see many sites as a part of the trip. Our boat provided a guide for the "unaffliated" individuals (ie that weren't part of a group). In my opinion you do not need a guide for the pyramids, the Khan el Khalili, etc. We did like having a guide for the Egyptian muesum only because our time was limited and reading on your own from a book (not too much info provided by the museum).

It really depends on you a bit...
 
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Feb 9th, 2001, 07:20 AM
  #6
Margaret Grier
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Lee, my husband and I are planning a trip to Egypt, and would love to have a copy of the itinerary you suggest!
 
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Feb 10th, 2001, 09:54 AM
  #7
Sarabeth
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My husband and I were in Egypt last June/July. We had a fantastic time. We went on our own. Started in Sharm at the Ritz for scuba. THE most amazing scuba we've ever done. Then to Luxor for a 3-night cruise. We were 2 of 7 other Americans who booked the cruise independently so we had our own guide (same one for the whole cruise). He gave us more information we could ever have hoped for. From Aswan we flew back to Cairo for 3 days. We had a guide and driver for 2 of the days. She was very knowedgeable as well. The last day we just had the driver and that, by far, was our BEST day. With the travel agent back home we booked people to meet us at the airport and take us to the hotel or cruise. Even though the tour guide was good, we felt that she had taken us to HER shops where she gets a commission so we are unsure whether or not we got good prices..well, in one case the plate we bought was even more than the shop in the Cairo Marriott so we were able to return it to the first shop. They were very nice about it and even came to our hotel to make the return.
During our whole trip we felt nothing but safe..one night we crossed the Nile and ended up in a small neighborhood were we were treated like the special guest stars. Really, it was amazing....being invited into cafes for tea,etc. It was a heavenly trip.
 
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Feb 19th, 2001, 06:47 PM
  #8
Daniel
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I would definetely go on my own. My wife and I spend two weeks in Egypt last year. I made our own arrangements and everything worked out perfectly. We spent much less than we would have had we used a travel agent. I can give you more detailed suggestions by e-mail. We visited Cairo, Aswan, Luxor and Sharm.
 
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Mar 12th, 2001, 12:54 AM
  #9
Tracey
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Dear Daniel,

Would like to have your suggestions on your trip to Egypt. My husband and I will be going there at end of march.
 
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Mar 26th, 2001, 07:02 PM
  #10
wagih
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hi every one i am staying here in Cairo so i can help you in any qustion that you want to ask about EGYPT.i am wating for you by sending me E:MAILS so see you soon.wagih
 
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