How to Pack for a Trip to Egypt

Egypt is a fascinating country, with a history stretching back 4,000 years. Best known for its towering pyramids, it also has fine museums, an exciting nightlife, and some of the best beaches and diving centers in the world. Follow these tips to be prepared for your trip.


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    Make sure you have all of your documentation:
    • A valid passport with an Egyptian visa.
    • A student ID card (if you have one). This will help you get discount in hotels and tourist attractions.
    • A slip of paper with contact information for the nearest embassy of your home country. While Egypt is generally safe, you may get in trouble, and will want to be able to find your embassy quickly.
    • An antiquities card. These are useful for gaining access to certain sites that are off the beaten tourist trail. You may be able to get one by approaching the archeology department of a local university.
    • Medical history records, in case you are in an accident. This is especially important if you have a medical condition or require certain medications.
    • Business cards. These can be printed out cheaply, but they still hold a lot of weight in highly stratified Egyptian society. A business card can serve as a letter of recommendation, and gain you access to people and places that you might otherwise miss.
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    Be prepared for Egyptian weather and terrain.
    • Bring Sunscreen. Egypt is a desert country, and it is very difficult to get high SPFs there.
    • Pack a canteen or water bottle. You will find yourself drinking quite a bit in the heat to avoid dehydration. In addition, many tourists have problems with the local tap water, so make sure you buy bottled water there. If possible, however, do not drink Baraka, as it has been rumored to have mercury in it.
    • Bring hats to protect yourself against the sun.
    • It is okay to bring flip flops to wear on particularly hot days. However, it is also smart to bring comfortable, strong quality shoes that will resistant against damage if you will come across an opportunity to do some rock or mountain climbing.
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    Remember that Egyptian culture is different than that in the west.
    • Men should wear long pants. Egyptian men do not wear shorts, and you will generally be denied access to mosques and other religious sites if you are wearing them. However, capris are okay.
    • Women should bring at least two shawls or long scarves. Egyptian women tend to cover up more of their bodies than women in the West, and exposing shoulders, legs, or in some instances, hair, can looked down upon. A shawl can easily be pulled out of a backpack to cover yourself up when appropriate. It is okay not to cover your hair, but never wear tanks or camisole tops unless you're on the beach (however, remember that it is not appropriate for older women to be jumping around like children running with bikinis). If you stick to wearing long pants, a long short-sleeve shirt or a long-sleeve shirt, you will be fine.
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    Bring anything else you may need.
    • It is a good idea to bring a flat drain stopper. This can be used for taking a bath, but also to stop a sink so that you can do some hand laundry.
    • 6–10 feet (1.8–3.0 m) of thin rope. This can be used as a quick laundry line, as well as a way to tie a torn backpack.
    • A sturdy lock to protect your possessions when you stay in hostels.
    • An extra pair of glasses.
    • Contact lens solution.
    • Contraceptives—the local brands are not as effective as one may want, and birth control for women is much more difficult to come by than in the West.


  • Egyptians can be very traditional, and will often expect visitors to act the same way. Be respectful of their opinions, and do not come into conflict with them.

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Categories: Middle East | Travel Packing