Thanks to its fascinating ancient history and stunning landscapes, Egypt is a popular travel destination. There are plenty of historical and cultural sights to exploring Egypt, with the famous pyramids being the main attraction. Miles upon miles of dreamy beaches rest against tropical oceans – perfect for water sports, underwater expeditions (maybe not a submersible to the Titanic, but you’ll still be exploring the deep), and soaking up the year-round sunshine. Some months you may be able to fry an egg on the sidewalk; others, it’ll be just right, so make sure you keep up with the best months to visit. December to February for the weather so you don’t melt, but May to September to avoid the crowds in Africa.
While I usually talk all about solo traveling, as it is what I do, occasionally I’ll talk one of my very reluctant friends into dragging out their passport and credit cards to join me along the way. Vacationing to this magical country with your friends can make for the trip of a lifetime but take note of these five top tips to ensure your Egyptian adventure goes without a hitch.
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1. Establish a Plan and a Budget that Works for Everyone When Exploring Egypt
Like any trip and most groups of friends, you will have budgets that match the personalities of all of your friends: some crazy wild and some very modest. Ensuring the trip includes enough fun things everyone can enjoy and not feel left out is vital for a good girls’ trip! Egypt is a very affordable country, which is one of the reasons it makes such a great destination to visit with a group of friends. Traveling in Egypt for as little as $20 per day is possible if you avoid overindulging in the more luxurious options (only a one-humped camel for you).
Remember that, as with any destination, accommodation, food, and drink prices vary significantly between establishments. Some resorts in Egypt are designed to provide a more lavish experience, and naturally, their prices reflect that. The Four Seasons may not be on your budget, but the Eight Seasons is. As a trip planner, you absolutely should provide full transparency to all of the friends that are traveling with you. Things can get ugly really quickly if anyone feels slighted or if they don’t get what they believe they are paying for.
So, when it comes to affordability, it’s important, to be honest with each other about what you’re prepared to spend. First, designate a chair; second, create a budget and a plan for who’s booking the trip; and definitely not last, define how the money will be collected and when to avoid miscommunication.
2. Understand Laws Around Room Sharing When Exploring Egypt
One thing that many of us from the Western side of the world may not even start to think about is that while exploring Egypt and many other Muslim countries, there are laws forbidding unmarried couples of the opposite sex from staying in the same room. This applies only if one or both parties are Egyptian. If your entire group is traveling to explore Egypt from overseas, you “shouldn’t” have a problem booking rooms with couples or friends of the opposite sex sharing rooms, but it may be good to check if you’re staying at one of the more local hotels. If you choose a Marriott/Four Seasons, etc., this generally won’t be a problem wherever you go, but it’s something to pay attention to.
I ran into this issue in Dubai, and we had to rent two rooms with an adjoining bathroom. It made me shake my head a few times, but it’s a different culture/mindset, and that’s probably why we’re exploring Egypt in the first place (to learn and understand). However, if you plan to meet and stay with Egyptian friends in a hotel or resort, you must remember this law when booking rooms.
3. Book Private Tours for a Unique Experience
To make the most out of any trip where you have no idea where to go or what to do, it’s always a good idea to book a private tour. Traveling with friends provides an excellent opportunity to book private tours with local guides for a far more affordable price than when traveling solo or as a couple. I often go into the tour resources listed on my resource page, and they will provide a price, but it’s for two people. The problem arises when I drop it to one person, and the price remains at the two-person price. I’m like, hey… my butt is not that big; I’d like only one seat, please.
So, if you have a group, most certainly take advantage of the tours. Private tours to famous sights like the Pyramids of Giza could also help you beat the crowds, as the guides know the best times to miss the rush, and you can often customize the tour to suit your group’s interests. Plus, they usually involve private cars or minivans that are more comfortable than the coaches used for large public tours, and you can throw on your very own playlist to keep you entertained along the way.
Create a Balanced Itinerary
Sure, Egypt is known for its mind-blowing historical sites like the pyramids and temples, but let’s not forget to add some spice to the mix. We want everyone in your group to have a damn good time, whether they’re history buffs, relaxation gurus, or market wanderers.
4. Try Living Like an Ancient Egyptian
There are hundreds of fascinating attractions in Egypt, but a particularly fun one for groups of friends is to head on over to the Pharaonic Village. It’s an open-air resort near Cairo where you can dress in traditional clothing and taste what life was like in ancient Egypt. If you like playing dress-up and being a little silly, exploring Egypt is definitely for you. You’re bound to create great memories and capture enjoyable photos when you spend a few hours here.
Now, let’s embrace the adventurous side of Egypt. The vast deserts are calling your names, my daring souls. Picture this: a desert safari or a camel trekking expedition through the Sahara. These landscapes will take your breath away, quite literally, because the beauty will leave you gasping for air. And hey, why not camp under the stars in the enchanting White Desert? You’ll feel like you’re in a scene straight out of a fantasy movie. Oh, and don’t forget about taking a hot air balloon ride over Luxor. It’s like floating on a cloud while admiring the wonders of ancient Egypt. Trust me, these shared adventures will create unbreakable bonds between you and your friends as you conquer the wild beauty of the Egyptian wilderness together.
5. Watch Out for Busy Traffic
One of the other significant points I really need to mention for you all to be fully prepared while taking a trip and exploring Egypt is to watch out for the traffic. In busy cities like Cairo can be hazardous, and you, my friend do not have the right of way. At home, there are stop lights, signs, and cars that yield to pedestrians. In Cairo or Egypt’s other busy cities, it’s essential to be cautious when crossing the street, and when you’re wandering around with friends and deep in conversation, it’s easy to become distracted and forget that you are but flesh and that car is well, not!
On a similar note, avoid hailing taxis in the street while exploring Egypt as it can be unsafe and result in unexpectedly high fares. While throwing an arm or a leg out there to catch a ride may seem easy and convenient usually better to book taxis in advance. You could ask your hotel to arrange this for you, as they’ll likely have a reputable taxi service they work with regularly or use a rideshare like Uber, which ensures you’re charged a fair fee for every journey. With rideshare services, it’s also essential to find out if they will charge for traffic delays. I found that one out the hard way in France as the amount of Uber changed significantly once we arrived. The additional fees for sitting in traffic almost doubled the fare.
Utilize Local Transportation
Now, here’s a tip for truly immersing yourself in the Egyptian experience: utilize local transportation. Yep, that means getting on some feluccas (traditional sailboats) along the Nile or cruising through cities in horse-drawn carriages. This isn’t just about getting from point A to point B, my friends. It’s about living like a local, discovering hidden gems, and maybe even making some unexpected connections along the way. Sharing these unique transportation experiences with your crew will create memories and stories that you’ll be recounting for years to come.
Popular Places To Explore in Egypt With Friends
The Pyramids of Giza
- The Pyramids of Giza, including the Great Pyramid, are located just outside Cairo.
- Explore the Great Sphinx, a colossal statue with the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh.
- You can enter the Great Pyramid and explore its interior, but it’s a steep climb.
- The Pyramids are best visited early in the morning to avoid the heat and crowds.
The Egyptian Museum in Cairo
- Home to over 120,000 artifacts, including the treasures of Tutankhamun.
- The museum offers a fascinating insight into Egypt’s rich history.
- Don’t miss the mummies in the Royal Mummy Room.
- The Karnak Temple Complex is the largest religious site in the world and boasts a stunning hypostyle hall.
- The Valley of the Kings is where many pharaohs were buried in elaborate tombs, including King Tutankhamun.
- The Luxor Temple is beautifully illuminated at night and is a must-see.
Nile River Cruises
- Cruises offer a comfortable way to explore ancient temples and villages along the Nile.
- Stops may include Edfu, Kom Ombo, and Aswan, among others.
- You can relax on the cruise ship’s deck while enjoying the scenic views.
- The Aswan High Dam is a marvel of modern engineering and provides electricity and controls flooding along the Nile.
- The Philae Temple is a beautiful temple complex dedicated to the goddess Isis.
- Take a boat ride to explore Elephantine Island and the Botanical Gardens.
So, Have Fun and Enjoy your Egyptian Adventure with Friends Already.
Now, listen up, shutterbugs and selfie enthusiasts. While capturing moments in Egypt is a must (I mean, who wouldn’t want bragging rights for visiting such an incredible place?), remember to put down that camera or smartphone occasionally and actually be present in the moment. Take a break from the paparazzi life and engage in genuine conversations with your travel buddies. Soak up the surroundings, immerse yourselves in the wonders of Egypt, and create mental snapshots of the beauty all around you. Let’s be honest, those mental snapshots and connections with your friends are what will truly make this trip unforgettable. Because hey, memories are great, but memories combined with being present in the moment? That’s where the magic happens.
Overall, Egypt offers a travel experience like none other. It’s an enchanting and exciting place to go sightseeing with your friends to discover the modern-day and ancient cultures. Use these tips to help you make the most of Exploring Egypt with friends, and always remember to Travel Till You Drop!