Additional Information About Travel to Egypt
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your tour guide and driver a gratuity. Your WEST tour coordinator will collect the gratuity at any point during the tour (many travelers like to pay ahead of time to get it out of the way). Although it is not required, your driver and tour guides rely on these tips, and work hard to ensure you an unforgettable experience. We recommend tipping the equivalence of $3 USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6 USD/CAD to $9 USD/CAD per person per day for your tour guide. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2 USD/CAD per local guide, payable following the local tour. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.
For itineraries including Egypt, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. We recommend having at least two blank passport pages for entry stamps. U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain a visa in order to enter Egypt. You can purchase your visa at the airport upon arrival. You can also purchase your visa in advance by using a visa provider, such as our partner VisaCentral. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements.
The flights for tours beginning or ending in Egypt will arrive or depart from Cairo. On-tour transportation is provided primarily by private motor coach, but may include planes, trains, boats, ferries, or other modes. While most destinations on your tour are accessible on foot, some cities may require some use of public transportation. Buses serve most cities and surroundings. Taxis are also available. Make sure the meter is running and always ask for a cab number and receipt.
We advise that you pack in layers. Light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers is also recommended for exploring the cities. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket is advised. You may want to pack dressier attire if you plan to visit a high-end restaurant or attend a special performance. Waterproof shoes or sandals, a swimsuit, sunscreen, sun hat and insect repellent are recommended for outdoor activities..A small bottle of hand sanitizer may be helpful when other facilities are not readily available while on the road. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (and entrance may be denied on this basis).
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
Egypt operates on 220 volts and uses a Type C or F plugs with two round pins. We recommend packing a universal adapter, as well as a voltage converter if you plan on using your own hairdryer or other device without a built-in converter. The strength of the air conditioning in African hotels is often not as strong or as cool as what one might be used to in the U.S. or Canada. When air conditioning is available, it is usually regulated seasonally and controlled centrally by the hotel. Your hotels may provide hairdryers, irons and other small appliances. However, these amenities cannot be guaranteed.
Per Egyptian Tourism Police, all foreign groups must be accompanied by an armed guard and/or convoy. Be aware of your surroundings, as pickpockets are active at most tourist sites. We recommend leaving your passport in the hotel safe, and concealing credit cards and cash in a money belt or a hidden pouch. Bring photocopies of your passport, credit cards and other important documents. Keep them separate from the originals.
There are no major health risks associated with traveling to this country. At least 60 days prior to departure, check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and entry requirements, or visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website at cde.gov. Certain over-the-counter and prescription medications may be banned in one or more countries on this tour. Importing these drugs can carry severe consequences, including imprisonment. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to departure to ensure that any drugs you may want to bring with you are legal in countries you will visit. If you have dietary restrictions and/or food allergies please notify us by calling 855-355-8728 at least 30 days prior to your departure.
In order for you to stay healthy throughout your tour, we recommend the following:
- Drink bottled water. Refrain from drinking tap water, including when brushing your teeth.
- Avoid eating fresh fruits and vegetables unless they’re cooked or washed in clean water and peeled.
- Bring a small first aid kit, including antacids, anti-diarrhea medication, motion sickness medication and any prescription medications
- Take avoid risk from exposure to the sun, including the use of sunscreen and sun hats, and keep properly hydrated. The sun can be especially strong in some of the areas you are visiting.
- Public restrooms in Egypt can be quite bare. We suggest carrying bathroom tissue and hand sanitizer with you.
- If you have medication that you take daily, be sure you have enough for each day of the tour and any possible delays encountered.
Egyptian cuisine uses the bountiful harvests of the Nile Valley—corn, eggplant, zucchini, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, chickpeas and citrus fruits are popular in many dishes. Don’t miss out on Egyptian interpretations of typical Mediterranean staples like baba ghannoug, falafel and stuffed grape leaves. Tea is the national drink and is offered at breakfast, after lunch and in most social situations. Meals on board the cruise ship are served buffet-style and provide a wide variety of international offerings. Afternoon tea is offered every day.
You will use the Egyptian pound in Egypt Better rates of exchange are usually available overseas, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise using ATM/debit cards and credit cards, both of which are accepted in most countries. We suggest that you inform your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they won’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges. International banks and businesses primarily accept debit and credit cards that work with the EMV chip system. If you do not already have at least one debit or credit card with a chip in it, we strongly recommend requesting one from your bank prior to your tour. Any shipboard purchases are directly added to your room account. Purchases made from on-board shops can be paid in USD or Egyptian pounds.
Wi-Fi is available in most hotels, though some charges may apply. There is no Wi-Fi on any of the motor coaches. Please contact your mobile service provider for information on roaming charges.
Egypt is one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and nine hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (PST). When it’s noon in California, it’s 9 pm in Cairo