There is so much information on the web to read about traveling to Egypt. There are DO’s and DON’T’s, traditional customs and even what you should pack! But none of those could have prepared us for the adventure we took. Here are a few things we learned about traveling to Egypt.
Don’t believe the hype
It is just as safe in Egypt as it is in America. If you mind your business and don’t bother anyone you will be fine. There are so many security measures put in place, I wonder what their crime rate is. To go through the airport they are checking your bags and passport a minimum of 4 times. Which was pretty aggravating but appreciated. Inside the hotel there is a metal detector and outside of the hotel there is a security booth with armed guards and bomb sniffing canines.
This idea that Americans will be kidnapped or hurt while in Egypt is also false. Actually they are fascinated by Americans and very interested in our culture. For the most part the men were wearing clothes you would see New Yorkers wearing.
Money, money, money…
The more the american dollar is valued, the more money you spend! One American Dollar is about 8 Egyptian Pounds and in the streets of Cairo you could actually get as many as 11 Egyptian Pounds. This was bad business. You immediately think you are rich and just think “oh that’s only $5 or only $10” but it adds up. The Egyptian Pound has lost a lot of value and they are slowly no longer using their $5 and $10 bills.
Leave your American Tastebuds at home
We tried. We definitely tried to embrace their culture and eat their food but it just wasn’t working. We were already terrified about the water (which at the end of the trip we were right to do so) and were nervous to even use ice in our beverages. We thought that you couldn’t go wrong with basic things, like fried chicken but everything had an Egyptian taste to it. We tried Pizza Hut and KFC which looked good on the commercial but had to be made with Egyptian seasoning we couldn’t handle! One thing I can say is that french fries are the same everywhere as long as they are cooked all the way you are good to go! Needless to say we were on a french fries diet.
Fast & Furious
Do not rent a car in Cairo, unless you starred in Fast & Furious. The driving habits are not ones that we are use to in America. Although they have highway lines in the road, they don’t mean anything. Cars drive in any lane, in between lanes and in two lanes. There is no reason for a turning signals as everyone just merges with traffic. If you are looking for stop lights, make sure you have your magnifying glass. There’s about 1 every 5 miles. Doesn’t matter if there were 1 on every block, no one pay attention to them. And pedestrians think they are made with 3 tons of metal like the cars the way they just walk into the middle of the street.
Read more about Cairo here. Whose ready to go to book their trip to Egypt?