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Old 06-24-2008, 06:27 AM
 
25 posts, read 64,716 times
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I would like to make a trip to Egypt. I understand that to get the most out of this trip (and reduce the forseen hassles) that you should use a tour company. If anyone has any experience with a tour company on an Egyptian trip, I would appreciate your comments/suggestions.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:36 PM
 
2,348 posts, read 3,923,527 times
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Do not use a stupid tour company.

They are all but worthless and will just shuttle you from tourist trap to tourist trap, gift shop to gift shop.

Best thing to do is figure out what you want to do and see, then reserve a hotel room for when you get there, and set off on your way.

When I was there I just hooked up with a taxi driver and he took us where ever the heck we wanted and even to places he knew about when we were not for sure where something was. Worked out great and guarentee way cheaper than a tour company.

We saw stuff off the beaten path that was far better than the tourist traps. and cheesy and over priced gift shops.
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Old 06-25-2008, 07:02 PM
 
48,516 posts, read 83,901,398 times
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Mopentour is expensive but you will stay in the best places and eat the best meals. Tours can save you alot of money and make traveling a much easier thing. But there are cheap tours that are just that cheap. Usually you will find that basically the best tour compaies pay about half what you will for the same hotel and eat at the same places. The best will also take you to historic places and the traps are up to you on you days free;they wouldn.t take you there themselves.The cheaps one will.
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Old 06-26-2008, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,888,349 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by k350 View Post
Do not use a stupid tour company.

They are all but worthless and will just shuttle you from tourist trap to tourist trap, gift shop to gift shop.

Best thing to do is figure out what you want to do and see, then reserve a hotel room for when you get there, and set off on your way.

When I was there I just hooked up with a taxi driver and he took us where ever the heck we wanted and even to places he knew about when we were not for sure where something was. Worked out great and guarentee way cheaper than a tour company.

We saw stuff off the beaten path that was far better than the tourist traps. and cheesy and over priced gift shops.
I did the same. In the hot spots, I would prefer not to be in a large group of inexperienced travelers. Get a Lonely Planet and spend an hour reading it. They slow you down and add nothing to the experience.

Each trip where you plan and execute yourself makes you a better traveler.

Note that depending on where you are flying from, the crossing flight can be a very long traveling experience.
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Old 06-26-2008, 09:34 AM
 
12,272 posts, read 18,397,848 times
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I would usually recommend independent travel as well and have done it all over the world. But Egypt, I've been doing research myself - it's not going to be easy just to go out on your own. The "hiring a guide" idea is a good idea but you really need recommendations because it's a lot of risk in getting a good guide vs getting a bad guide that only wants to take you to certain shops where he gets his "cut" and otherwise acts like a boat anchor. Otherwise excellent idea.

I was researching taking a Nile River cruise and I would recommend that as well although you will be stuck with the tourist crowd.

Warning - Egypt gets unbelievably hot in the summer. So hot that tours generally do not operate between 10 AM and 2 PM.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Assisi, Italy
1,845 posts, read 3,888,349 times
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Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
I would usually recommend independent travel as well and have done it all over the world. But Egypt, I've been doing research myself - it's not going to be easy just to go out on your own. The "hiring a guide" idea is a good idea but you really need recommendations because it's a lot of risk in getting a good guide vs getting a bad guide that only wants to take you to certain shops where he gets his "cut" and otherwise acts like a boat anchor. Otherwise excellent idea.

I was researching taking a Nile River cruise and I would recommend that as well although you will be stuck with the tourist crowd.

Warning - Egypt gets unbelievably hot in the summer. So hot that tours generally do not operate between 10 AM and 2 PM.
Yes. Go in the winter.

It is not that bad going on your own. Just be prepared. A private car is much more flexible than sitting in a crowded bus waiting for the last late person to come back before you move on.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Beautiful place in Virginia
2,658 posts, read 10,475,897 times
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I used Trafalgar for our Honeymoon but that was in 1997. However, it involved multiple types of transportation (tour boat on the Nile, Plane ride to Abu Simbel, Bus ride to the temples, Bus ride to the Cairo Museum, walking tour in Giza, Camel ride in Giza, carriage ride in Karnak). I did hire a taxi to the zoo. But you do get harassed by beggars all over the place. Bakshish (tipping) is what everyone wants for tips, directions, advice, etc. However, in the end, it was an amazing trip.

They did take us to a bunch of 'shops' that I am sure they got their cut. However, it was more convenient that trying to coordinate a bunch of tours in a country whose language I was not familiar with.

If you go to a high end hotel, the concierge can help you coordinate tours.
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:55 AM
 
Location: Aventura, Florida
19 posts, read 48,107 times
Reputation: 12
I'm surprised to read people recommending against tour companies. Granted we were taken to a few shops (4 total in 11 days) but the convenience of having our transportation arranged was more than worth it. We went with an Egyptian tour company (Cinderella Tours) which was very cheap ($400 including all land transport and hotels for 11 days) with great tour guides. Also, it was a private tour for the 4 of us, so no big bus with lots of other tourists, just a minivan.
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Old 07-03-2008, 07:52 AM
 
12,272 posts, read 18,397,848 times
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Many of us are against organized tours and prefer independent travel because it takes us out of some of the wonder and magic of travel - lack of contact with the local population, lack of ability to change the intenerary on the fly, you feel like you are herded around like cattle, you can't see the hidden unspoiled spots of the place you are visiting (just the same worn out tourist spots), and you just miss those accidental moments of cultural enlightenment that can only come about by screw-ups and mistakes during independent travel (i.e. missing a train connection and having to ask the locals for info, and then getting invited to a home made dinner with the locals family).

But it's not for everyone. It takes some research, a sense of adventure as well as a sense of humour, and some risk.
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:17 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,964 times
Reputation: 10
Hello

I'm new to this site. I'm going to Israel in 13 days and I'll have about a week on my own after I'm done there to travel. I'd love to go to Egypt. Do I need special visas, also any recommendations for budget travel for a female solo traveler? I want to spend a few days there, see the pyramids, museums, local culture, maybe a Nile cruise.
Thanks!
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