Cairo, Egypt and airport experiences

I will be going on my first Egyptian adventure in the next few months and traveling to Cairo alone (I am female) and I was wondering if there were difficulties at the airport in getting a travel visa and transportation to the hotel.

  • Which program are you on? My friend and I will be on the January 28th date and we are going to have to meet at the airport as I am coming from Lisbon and she from NYC.
  • I will be flying out of JFK but my trip is on 3/13/18. When you get back would appreciate feedback on your Cairo Egypt airport experiences. Have a wonderful and safe journey.
  • In reply to wah_hill092203:

    I will let you know!
  • In reply to wah_hill092203:

    What was your experience like? I'm booked for a Oct/Nov 2018 trip and will be landing in Cairo at 11pm! I'd love some advice.
  • In reply to jenaowen072141:

    The trip was awesome. If you bought your ticket through Road Scolar, someone will meet you at the airport and get you to the hotel. It’s a very intense trip in terms of pace, so be as well-rested as you can be when you go. Our guide tried to get us out to the sites early, before they were crowded and hot. That makes for long days. The vendors at some of the sites are super aggressive. Do not engage with them. Keep your eyes forward and don’t communicate at all. It felt very rude to me, but these guys will shove things in your hand and then follow you until you pay for them. So beware. Definitely layer clothes. It’s cooler in Alexandria but hot in upper Egypt.
  • In reply to ELENA611051725:

    Elena, since you've been on an Egypt trip, can you help with a couple of questions? My party is wondering if bottled water is readily available and at a reasonable cost (e.g., on the bus), or is it necessary to take enough water to last for the entire day of site seeing? Also, do hotels provide shampoo, or do we need to pack. Ditto for hair dryers. We are trying to pack as light as possible. Do any of the nights on the cruise ship require dressy clothes? Thanks, so much.
  • In reply to ELENA611051725:

    My sister-in-law is Egypt right now and gave the exact same advice about vendors! But then she followed it up with "The locals can be lovely, often the stall people in the souk just want to joke with you, while they take you cash of course, but haggling can be a serious matter! The taxi guys can be the most annoying, but ..... revised the 'no smiling'. It's best to smile say no and add 'but have a nice day'. Seems to finish the exchange."
  • In reply to subrewer030716:

    Our guide gave us bottled water every morning. I also carried my own bottle with a filter straw. I like to drink a lot. Bottled water is available at most sites. Very few of the hotels had shampoo etc. We brought our own. I don’t recall seeing hair dryers, but I don’t use one, so I wasn’t looking for them. We never wore dressy clothes. Some folks changed for dinner, but that’s a lot of clothes to pack!
  • In reply to ELENA611051725:

    Elena, I hate to bother you again. I am wondering about the baggage restrictions on the smaller airlines that will take us to Egypt and around Egypt. We will take AirFrance from Paris to Cairo and EgyptAir (170) from Cairo to Luxor to Aswan to Cairo. It appears that Egypt Air only allows one carry-on for economy flyers and no personal item.
    I'm wondering if this was your experience and if you have any advice on luggage.
  • In reply to subrewer030716:

    We each had a large suitcase and sizable backpack and had no trouble on the interior flights. We paid no additional costs. EgyptAir checked the large suitcase at no charge and we carried on our backpacks. Just like other airlines. As a side note - You will go through metal detectors and be searched at every stop. That includes hotels, museums, archaeological sites, etc. I bought an ornamental dagger for my husband and almost didn't get it home because the hotel in Cairo would not let me bring it into the hotel. Road Scholar staff saved it for me and gave it to me on the way back to the airport.
  • In reply to ELENA611051725:

    Thanks much. I can’t tell you how helpful and reassuring this is. Is there anything you took that you didn’t need and wished you had left home?
  • In reply to subrewer030716:

    I checked the weather every day for week before I left, so I was pretty well-prepared. I went in January and wore jeans and short-sleeved shirts the whole trip. Alexandria was cooler, but we weren't really out in the evening. I tend to run hot, so I didn't need anything more than one long-sleeved shirt the whole time. I can't remember if I took a jacket or not. If I did, I probably didn't need it. The days are long, take comfortable shoes; a good hat; plenty of sunscreen and good sunglasses.
  • In reply to ELENA611051725:

    I'm back with a couple more questions! In addition to the $25 for a visa at the airport, how much US cash did you take/spend. What did most people do on their "at leisure" evenings?
  • In reply to subrewer030716:

    I didn’t take any money. I used the ATM at the airport so I could get Egyptian pounds. A lot of the vendors will take American, but some won’t. We had from about 4-6 free each evening. Some folks went to the bar, so went out shopping. I generally went back to my room and relaxed until dinner. You get up really really early and it’s hot. I needed to wash up, hydrate and check my emails. Dinner doesn’t end until 830 or nine and after that it was bedtime for me!
  • In reply to ELENA611051725:

    Again, thanks so much