Tag - Egypt

Visiting Egypt needn’t cost an arm and a leg!

    Egypt, Credit-flickr-eviljohnius

Egypt, Credit-flickr-eviljohnius

by Jonathan Swain,

With the cost of living far lower in Egypt compared to the United States and most affluent countries in Europe, US dollars and Euros tend to go so much further. According to seasoned Middle East travellers, a $15 daily budget should see you through rather nicely. But, like all else in life, spending is a rather relative preoccupation. A meal or two in a rather up-market restaurant in Cairo can easily dent any careful traveller’s budget, not to mention the rest of the holiday plans.

Access to your money shouldn’t be too much of a problem when travelling throughout Egypt, at least not in the major towns or cities where ATMs and bank branches abound. Difficulties, however, may arise in the more rural and remoter spots. There the major banks in Egypt have yet to assert themselves in any meaningful or helpful way, at least from the point of view of traveller convenience.

While the traveller’s cheque has a long and illustrious history, their use appears to be on the decline because of the cheaper alternatives now available. For example, many visitors are opting for the prepaid credit card instead, which they load up prior to departure with enough funds to cover the spending costs of the trip. Such cards are backed by MasterCard or Visa and can be used abroad like any normal credit card. Thus they have all the advantages of a credit card but none of the debt. They can also be topped up online, too, if necessary. Perfect.

Travellers in Egypt interested in the country’s ancient antiquities are surely spoilt for choice. The royal tomb of the 19th dynasty King Merenptah in Luxor’s west bank is officially open to the public again, says Ahram Online.

The tomb, closed for the last three years, is just one of a number to have had a make-over in recent times. The Pyramid of Chefren at Giza and several other nearby tombs have also just reopened after extensive restoration work costing millions of dollars. But it’s money well spent judging by the millions of tourists from around the world who flock to this famous site every year.

Of course, tombs and tourism are a lucrative mix for an Egyptian government determined to recapture the visitor numbers seen in the country prior to the Arab Spring revolution. More than 14 million tourists visited Egypt in 2010 but the numbers plummeted to just under 10 million in 2011, the year which saw the downfall of the Hosni Mubarak regime. But the good news is visitors are returning once more in droves. And plans are in the pipeline to boost numbers even higher than 2010 levels. Egypt truly is back on track.

For the backpacker and those who prefer to travel on a budget, accommodation in Egypt needn’t cost an arm and a leg, providing you don’t mind ‘roughing’ it a bit – code for dormitory-type sharing with two or three like-minded fellow travellers. But don’t think such hostel accommodation is second-rate. Far from it. Although hostels in the centre of Cairo may set you back anything from $6.30 a night to just over $10, they’ll usually offer a range of excellent facilities for the money, including in-house lounge, laundry facilities, small guest kitchen and even internet access. Super value indeed for the budget traveller.

Useful info



Travel to Egypt on your own or in a small group



Though one of the richest countries with the history of a great civilization and god-sized remnants of its legacy to our world, Egypt offers a mixed intellectual and emotional experience to its visitors.

Anyone who wants to visit Egypt on his/her own without booking on a large tour group in the USA or any European country, keep in mind that going to see the Pyramids and massive temples of ancient Egyptian civilization will be both overwhelming and yet an unforgettable experience.

Planning a Trip to Egypt

  1. An ideal tour for about a week will hit the highlights of: the Giza Pyramids and Sphinx, a short train ride to Aswan and then jump on a 3-day Nile cruise boat stopping at Luxor to see the Valley of the Kings and massive temples, Edfu to see more temples and enjoy the scenery along the Nile, then back to Cairo for a short city tour.
  2. It is highly recommended that travelers, especially single females, book a tour of some kind. There are a number of tour companies within Egypt if you don’t want to go through a travel agency in your home country. One warning to keep in mind, if you look for a domestic Egyptian tour company, is that most tour guides are contracted to these local companies, but certified by the Egyptian government as guides. Most are trying to branch out on their own in hopes of going private or start their own tour company as a more profitable career option. Thus, they may offer you business cards and extra options on your tour as a side way to make a few extra bucks. As a single traveler, be very cautious of these so-called “freebies”.
  3. If at all possible, small group or single travelers should try to be a part of a larger tour group. Traveling alone can have its benefits with a private driver and tour guide to most sights, but the intellectual overload of trying to keep all the varied historical stories straight after a couple of days can be wearing on a poor traveler.
  4. If you do book a Nile river cruise, check to make sure that the other passengers will speak your language. It’s an interesting experience to be the only English-speaker on an all French-speaking boat for three days with no one to converse with other than the ship staff.
  5. Getting around is reasonably easy if you have a tour guide, who usually works with a driver. Traffic is unruly as driving seems to be a game of survival-of-the-fittest with horn-honking, light flashing and mad-dashing as the main forms of progressing on the bumpy roads. Therefore, be prepared for a bit of culture shock when you hit the roads, especially in Cairo.

How to Get to Egypt

Most major airlines will get you to Cairo’s International AirportEgypt Air is the local airline and a reasonable option in terms of service and quality.

As long as you plan ahead and are prepared for being regularly approached to give money or your business to tour guides, vendors, or the man on the street, a visit to Egypt is definitely worth it.

Hotel Review – Alf Leila Wa Leila, Hurghada, Egypt

Alf Leila Wa Leila, Hurghada, Egypt

Alf Leila Wa Leila, Hurghada, Egypt

by Sita Patel,

A brief overview of what Alf Leila Wa Leila in Hurghada, Egypt can offer to holiday-makers looking to stay at this hotel. Alf Leila Wa Leila is one of a kind compared to most of the hotels situated on the Red Sea coast of Hurghada. From the minute you step into the hotel grounds, you feel a sense of authenticity, the way it embraces the typical Arabic look, to the welcoming feeling you get from the workers around the hotel always greeting you with a big smile.

The hotel is located behind Dana Beach Resort, similar to Alf Leila but with its own private beach. Guests from Alf Leila Wa Leila may use the beach, with free shuttle buses running every ten minutes to and from both hotels.

What Can Alf Leila Wa Leila Offer You?

Alf Leila has a lot to offer guests who chose to stay here. There is plenty to do, activities to involve children and even adults, something for everyone to enjoy.

If you’re relaxing by the pool, there are a lot of sports and leisure activities you can get involved with, all run by the hotel’s very own friendly animation team.

This hotel offers the most modern facilities to ensure that you have the most relaxed and hassle-free holiday.

  • Reception and lobby, with round the clock service. So, even if you have a problem at 4 a.m., it will most definitely be resolved.
  • Several restaurants for you to choose where you wish to dine daily. Every day could be a new dining experience. Also available are a buffet and à la carte service.
  • Two bars, one serving non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. (if you are all-inclusive). Beverages are still available after 12 p.m., but have to be bought.
  • A coffee bar serving around the clock coffees, lattes, mochas and flavored teas. If they don’t have your flavor, you can just ask.
  • Six swimming pools, two of which are heated during the winter periods. Some pools are also located in the quieter parts of the hotel. If one day you decide to get away from the buzz by the main pools, the quiet spots won’t disappoint. Sunbeds are also available in the quiet areas, all you need is a good book and an ice cold drink.
  • Free sunbeds and towels on the beach and around the hotel daily, you can choose to exchange your towels at the end of the day for fresh ones ready for the morning.
  • Kid’s Club, Playground and two children’s swimming pools, great fun for children to enjoy. A member of the animation team gathers all the children wishing to take part in the day’s activities, leaving parents to enjoy a nice relaxing day at the poolside.
  • 24-hour room service
  • Internet; medical; bank; laundry and car rental services are widely available whenever you need around the hotel.

There are a lot of widely available facilities this hotel provides for you, and excellent service comes with it. From getting involved in the activities to just lazing around the pool, this hotel really does live up to its 4-star rating.