Located in the most Northeastern corner of Africa, Egypt is a beautiful and interesting country bordered by the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. For many years Egypt has been a popular holiday destination for many Northern Europeans, as not only is every day bathed in a warm and golden sunshine that we do not see very often at home, there is also so much to see and do. Doing a little bit of travelling whilst you are there is almost inevitable and whilst this is generally easy to organise and hassle free, there are a number of key safety issues that you should always keep in mind whilst you are exploring this fantastic country, especially when in the bigger cities. So to help you on your way to being a savvy traveller and to make sure you get the most out of your trip to Egypt, here are the top ten tips on how to be a street wise and safety conscious tourist…
First of all, although you will need a visa to enter Egypt it is best to buy one on arrival rather than organise it before you leave, as this is much cheaper. When in Egypt you must remember that Egypt is a Muslim country and whilst the local people are more than happy for you to be visiting, they will expect that you respect their religious beliefs and adhere to their cultural conventions. This means refraining from any public displays of affection and women should certainly avoid wearing revealing clothes. In fact it is a very good idea to take a shawl with you in case you decide to visit any places of worship. Women in particular should wear trousers when visiting the pyramids.
If you decide to organise your own excursions then always let your hotel know about your plans before you leave in case you get lost. Also make sure you have a note of the hotel`s name and number with you at all times. When walking through the streets it is likely that many people will try to sell you things as there is a belief that all tourists are wealthy, so for such situations it is very helpful to learn the phrase `La Shukran` which means `no thank you`. When you do decide that you want to buy something, do not be afraid to haggle. This is a local custom and if you do not haggle you will end up paying far more than you need to! When haggling, however, make sure your English money is out of sight, as if stall holders know you are carrying sterling or dollars they will often demand payment in that currency as it is worth more.
If you need to get from one side of the town to the other then taking a taxi is a far better idea than taking a local bus, which although cheap is often a rather trying experience. When looking for a taxi avoid just hailing one in the street, as this can be both dangerous and expensive. Instead ask your hotel to arrange one for you and if possible arrange for the same driver to pick you up later. Pick-pocketing can also be a big problem in Egypt, so make sure you take a bag with you that can be securely fastened and has a sturdy strap that cannot be easily cut off of your shoulder. Many tourists wear a money belt for this reason.
There are numerous different international airports throughout Egypt, to which flights run from a variety of different airports across the UK. This makes getting the Egypt rather easy, with a flight time or around 5 hours. There are many different popular holiday destinations throughout the country, though it is fair to say that you are unlikely to find anywhere better than Sharm El Sheikh hotels.