Before you leave

  • Check your passport for empty pages. Keep your passport with you at all times - in a plastic bag.

  • Make sure you don't need to apply in advance for a visa. At this point, US citizens only need to pay $20USD at the port of entry for a tourist visa.

  • Check your state department website for travel warnings. And check your CDC for any alerts.

  • Print out your itinerary, carry it with you - they ask to see it before you can get into airports. Literally, you can't enter an airport without proof of a ticket and a passport.

  • Bring cash to exchange at the airport in Cairo. Check exchange rates. And keep the receipt from the bank with you.

  • I'd also recommend getting some essential oils, grapefruit seed extract and prep your gut with probiotics.

  • If you're going on the dolphin trip, get a good waterproof video camera.

Book your tours - use Noorya Travel

I loved working with Noorya travel. Although I had to pay via wire transfer - which is a pain - they took care of all airport transfers, hotels, boats, everything. You can take the 1-week temples of the Nile tour with Mohammed and Monique and then the Red Sea Dolphin tour on the Noorya with Pati and Ibraham. Noorya Travel

What to wear - if you're a woman

Cover up, girlfriend! Cover your legs, arms (down to the elbow), shoulders, belly, and don't show cleavage. Basically, act like you're going to a Hindi temple, and you'll be fine. If you want to draw attention to yourself in a not good way, wear a tank top and short shorts. Kidding - please don't - it's offensive.

I wore wide-legged linen pants, light cotton kurtas (like a shirt dress), and always had a scarf with me.

On covering your head: There is no need as a tourist to cover your head - phew!

Jet lag tip

And after a 24ish hour journey, you arrive. Try to stay awake during your travel so you arrive on local time. Trust me, it works.

Food and water

Don't drink the water or eat raw street food. I learned my lesson and lost about 5 lbs. in the process. I brought peanut butter packets, dried fruit and nuts and am very thankful that I did. It's hard being vegetarian in Egypt - they put stock or meat in most things. So ask bluntly if there is chicken stock in the soup, pasta sauce, rice because there probably is.

What to buy

​Essential oils - wow - this is heaven if you like oils. They have entire shops dedicated to essential oils. Sit down, have a smell, ask for a tea. Take your time. Smell the rose oil - amazing.

Negotiate down by at least 30%.

Oil bottles - so pretty.

Scarves, of course.

Spices.

Some buy jewelry  - not me.

I picked up a kurta and a dress - both acceptable to wear locally and at my temple.

Story here

Pictures and videos

Always ask if you can snap a picture - especially in remote areas and especially with women. Please, just do this, it's respectful.

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