Practical FAQ's

   

Practical Frequently Asked Questions

This page provides answers to some of the most frequently asked questions we receive about visa's, important traveling documents, discounts and our travel services. If you don't find what you're looking for you visit our Egypt General FAQ's page or contact us.

 

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Table of Contents

  1. When is the best time to travel in Egypt?

  2. Do I need a Visa to travel in Egypt?

  3. Where can I get a Visa to travel in Egypt?

  4. What other important papers do I need to travel in Egypt?

  5. What should I know about airport customs in Egypt?

  6. Is it okay to travel with children in Egypt?

  7. Are children entitled to any discounts?

  8. Can students get discounts on travel services in Egypt?

  9. Can you assist me with flight reservations?

  10. Can I choose specific travel services I want from your company?

  11. What type of transportation is available in Egypt?

  12. Do you offer VIP travel services?

  13. How do I get to Egypt?

  14. How do I get from Cairo to Hurghada?

  15. When I arrive in Egypt how do I get to my hotel?

  16. How can I book my holiday with you?

  17. How much will my holiday cost?

  18. Does it cost more to personalize my travel itinerary?

  19. How can I pay for my holiday if I book with you?


When is the best time to travel in Egypt?

Avoid high seasons for tourism in Egypt when possible! If your travel dates are flexible we suggest you book your vacation in shoulder or low season. If you must travel in high season plan as far in advance as possible, especially if you want to have the best choices and options of hotels, cruise ships and domestic flights. Shoulder and low season rates are cheaper, tourist sites are less crowded, services are better and there's far less chance for last minute changes in your program itinerary or cancellations due to over bookings.

 

High, low and shoulder seasons are different for land tours and Nile cruises Red Sea diving or liveaboard safaris; some periods may even overlap.

 

High Seasons

In general, high season for tourism and Nile cruises are January through April (Easter) and again in December (Christmas holidays season). Christmas season is one of the highest peak periods, followed by New Years and Easter.

 

September through November is high season for liveaboard safaris. Easter is also high season for liveaboard safaris. If you want to avoid crowded dive sites, have a better selection of boats, if possible, avoid these periods. Again, if your travel dates are not flexible plan well in advance! All other months throughout the year are generally considered shoulder or low season.

 

Local Holidays

The longest, and what most people consider the most important local holiday in Egypt, is Ramadan. It comes every year, at different times each year, and last about 4 weeks. Then, right after Ramadan comes the feast (the following week). During this time most everybody fast during the day and business hours are limited including all government offices, banks and all major businesses. Some travelers find Ramadan very interesting to experience while others may find it problematic and inconvenient.

 

During Ramadan it can be difficult for travelers; there may be longer than normal delays, most tourist sites close early so it usually means guided tours must be stick to a rigid schedule and there's less time for independent exploration.

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Do I need a Visa to travel in Egypt?

The Egyptian government requires all travelers to obtain a tourist VISA when visiting Egypt. Tourist visa's are valid for one month from the day it was issued. The average cost for a tourist visa is about $15 US dollars and most nationalities can purchased at Cairo or Hurghada international airports upon arrival. Exceptions to this policy are travelers from South Africa, India and China. They must obtain pre-arrival Visas from their embassy.

 

With restriction to a few nationalities, visitors can obtain Visas upon arrival at the airports. For more information on Egypt Visa and entry requirements including a list of embassies click here.

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Where can I get a Visa to travel in Egypt?

We strongly recommend you check with your embassy in your country regarding Visa requirements. If you don't get a Visa before arriving in Egypt, most nationalities can get one at the international airports upon arrival. Travelers with South African, Indian and Chinese passports must obtain pre-arrival Visas from their embassies at home to clear passport control and customs in Egypt airports.

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What other important papers do I need to travel in Egypt?

Citizens of Commonwealth, USA and most European countries require a Visa and must have a valid passport that is valid, won't expire, for at least six months from the date of arrival.

 

To participate in any diving activities with us we require all divers to show us their diving certification card; it must be from a recognized certifying agency and proof of logged dives. We strictly adhere to this policy for all divers who want to go on liveaboard safaris.

 

Although we don't require you to present a health statement from your doctor, we highly recommend you carry one when you travel to Egypt. In the unlikely event of an emergency, it may be helpful for medical treatment especially if you have a pre-existing medical condition or have serious allergies.

 

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What should I know about airport customs in Egypt?

Passing through customs at International airports in Egypt is conventional. Upon arrival at the airport the first thing you must do is present your passport and visa to the customs authorities. Then, continue through to the baggage claim area to pick up your luggage. Once you have your luggage proceed to the last check point where they sometimes ask questions concerning the contents of your baggage.

 

To re-enter the airport you must have your passport and boarding ticket.

 

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Is it okay to travel with children in Egypt?

Absolutely, however special care for infants and smaller children should be taken into account.

 

In the summer months it can get very hot in Egypt and the sun rays are very strong year round. They must be protected from the sun at all times.

 

When making hotel reservations or Nile cruises be sure to inquiry about sleeping arrangements. Be sure also to select appropriate activities that are suitable for children; avoid long trips in the deserts, take special care with meal preparation (avoid contact with local water for their food) and if you plan to visit the Red Sea for water activities take additional care for their safety in and around the water.

 

The best advice we can offer is to use common sense when traveling with children and bring along a good supply of not so easy to find items.

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Are children entitled to any discounts?

With most hotels, domestic flights, ground transportation, Nile cruises and entrance fees for sightseeing tours, children 10 years old or less are entitled to discounts. Sometimes in high seasons children discounts are invalid. Any time children are entitled to discounted rates, we inform you.

 

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Can students get discounts on travel services in Egypt?

In order to receive student discounts, an International Student Identification Card (ISIC) must be presented. If you're a student, you can get many discounts as an ISIC holder, including half-price entrance to most archaeological sites and museums. You also can get discounts on rail and air travel, accommodations in most hotels, many restaurants and even some local merchants.

 

Valid in 85 countries throughout the world, the benefits of an ISIC card are well worth the cost which is about $15 US dollars. If you're no longer a full-time student but are under 26 years old you may qualify for an International Youth Travel Card (IYTC), which offers similar benefits. Alternately, if you're a full-time teacher the International Teacher Identity Card (ITIC) may be best for you.

 

In Egypt, you can obtain any one of these cards from the Cairo office of the Egyptian Student Travel Services. Their office is located in El-Roda, directly above the National Bank of Egypt, two blocks south of El-Roda Square, near the el-Giza bridge. It is within walking distance from El-Malek-El-Saleh metro station. There's another issuing office at the Campus of the AUC just off Tahrir Square.

 

The address for the main office in Cairo is:

 

Egyptian Student Travel Services - Headquarters

El-Mamalek Square - 23 El-Manial Street

El-Roda, Cairo

 

Telephone: +20 2 53 10330

 

Be prepared to provide a legitimate student identity card and a letter from your college or university professor as verification of student status. Your passport and two passport-sized photographs may also be required. Then, all you need to do is complete an application form and a card will be issued for you. This usually takes around half an hour if the office isn't busy.
 
The office is open Saturday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. The current cost for an ISIC is about 50 Egyptian pounds.
 
There is also an issuing office in Alexandria, in front of El-Raml police station; telephone +20 3 58 44324. In Luxor you can now obtain an ISIC card in Ahmed Orabi Street. The office is located beside the Hotel Institute; telephone +20 95 382163.
 
For students of archaeology who are serious about seeing many sites, especially those which are not usually open to visitors, it may be helpful to apply for an antiquities permit. This can be obtained from the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Abbassiya in Cairo, if you provide an introductory letter from your college or university. It is advisable to contact the SCA before you go to make an appointment. You also will need three copies of a letter from your college or university.
 
Their office is open (in the morning) Saturday through Thursday. With an antiquities permit students may be given free entry to many sites and museums but you'll still need travel permission from the tourist police as well for some out of the way regions.

 


Can you assist me with flight reservations?

We only book domestic flights (inside Egypt). If you book your holiday plans with us and require domestic flights inside Egypt we're happy to make  your reservations on Egypt Air for you.

 

If you need international flights we suggest that you contact your local tour operator or travel agent for assistance. Be sure to inquire about any flight / hotel combination package specials available. Another source to check for international flights is the Internet. Many companies advertise online special rates or packages.

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Can I choose specific travel services I want from your company?

We offer a full range of travel services inside Egypt, including Red Sea diving and liveaboard services. You can book a fully personalized VIP holiday package with us or let us make reservations only for specific travel services such as domestic flights, diving, snorkeling, Nile River cruises, sightseeing tours, hotel accommodations, ground transfers, desert safaris, mountain trekking or a combination of the above travel services you need.

 

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What type of transportation is available in Egypt?

Various transportation services are available throughout Egypt; domestic flights between most major cities, trains (between Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor and Aswan only), public buses to nearly all cities in Egypt, and the fast ferry boat between Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada. Private ground transfers are also available and, although we strongly advise against it, you can rent a private car from major car rental companies in most major cities in Egypt.

 

For additional information including schedules and rates on various options to get around inside Egypt visit our Transportation page. Our Egypt General  FAQ's page also has a section on how to get around in major cities in Egypt.

 

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Do you offer VIP travel services?

We specialize in private VIP travel services. We can arrange deluxe hotel accommodations, private liveaboard diving holiday on the Red Sea and Nile cruises as well as privately guided sightseeing tours. Our VIP services include chartered private jets if requested. Most importantly, we respect the privacy of our VIP clients. For additional details regarding our VIP services please contact us .
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How do I get to Egypt?

Most travelers come to Egypt via international flights, this is the quickest and easiest way to get here. It's also possible to get here by train from Europe or by boat from the Mediterranean Sea and you would need to make your travel arrangements independently because this type of travel is out our scope of services .
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How do I get to Hurghada?

The easiest and quickest way to get to Hurghada is via a direct charter flight from many European countries or if you fly into another major city in Egypt, a domestic flight on Egypt Air.
 
If you're in Cairo and want to transfer to Hurghada you can take a modern A/C public bus, a domestic flight or private transfer by mini-bus. Trains are not available between Cairo or Luxor and Hurghada .

 

Hurghada has an international airport. It's feasible to get flight reservations on charters and major airlines from most major European countries. If you want to book a flight or flight/hotel package we suggest you check with your local tour operator or last-minute travel specials on the Internet.

 

The only option to transfer between Luxor and Hurghada is public bus or private transfers by mini-bus.

 

The public bus is available between Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada but we do not recommend this journey because it is very long (over 10 hours). The most feasible way to transfer between Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada is the fast ferry boat. We suggest you visit our Transportation page for current schedules and rates on transfers options to Hurghada.

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When I arrive in Egypt how do I get to my hotel?

If you booked your vacation with us, complementary round trip transfers from the airport to your hotel are always included.
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How can I book my holiday with you?

We've made it easy for you to send us your travel request. The fastest and most reliable way is our online inquiry forms. These forms allow gives us all the necessary information we need to create an accurate price quotation for you. You also can contact us directly via e-mail .
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How much will my holiday package cost?

The cost is going to depend a lot on what you want to do during your holiday, what standard of  hotel accommodations you need, your group size and what time of year you plan to travel .

 

Our goal is inform, guide and help you create the best holiday itinerary that meets your personal travel needs and is within your budget. Our online inquiry forms are a great place to start and designed to help us collect the information we need to give you a free price quotation.

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Does it cost more to personalize my travel itinerary?

In general, a personalized vacation package will be slightly higher especially for individuals however, the major advantage of personalizing your holiday is you get exactly what you want. You can choose your hotels, see the places you want and you'll not be joining large groups of other tourists. You can take your time at the places that interest you most and overall your schedule is much more relaxed and flexible .
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How can I pay for my holiday if I book with you?

The most common form of payment for goods and services in Egypt is still cash however, there have been major improvements in the past few years to offer travelers more choices, including credit and debit cards.
 
A deposit is required to confirm any reservations and the balance is due upon arrival before your program starts. We accept MasterCard or Visa, bank wire transfers or Western Union cash transfers. As a general rule our representative will reconcile the balance of your invoice after you arrive, in the reception of your hotel soon after you're checked in.
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