Do I need to think about anything else when going to Egypt?
We want you to have a great time and we’re sure you’ll want to know as much as possible about how the land lies. So here are some helpful tips that should make your holiday to Egypt as smooth as possible and one that you’ll remember forever (for all the right reasons of course).
Visa: Brits travelling to resorts in Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba receive a permission stamp on arrival – this is free and valid for 15 days. If you’re staying for more than 15 days, you’ll need a visa. You can get a visa when you arrive at the airport for which there’s a small fee – you’ll see authorised kiosks at the airport if you do need one.
Currency: The Egyptian pound (£E) is the official currency but some hotels and tour operators prefer US dollars or Euros (although technically trading in these foreign currencies is illegal). You can use credit cards in some instances and there are cash machines in the larger cities although they may not be reliable. Plus, as a general rule, cashing travellers’ cheques can be a nightmare so avoid if you can.
Language: The main language is Arabic, but English is spoken in most resorts and hotels.
Vaccines: It’s recommended that you have a Hepatitis A vaccine (usually free on the NHS) but you should see your doctor about two months before you travel just to make sure.
Tipping: Many Egyptians live on just £50 a month, so tipping is much appreciated and in some ways – expected of western tourists. Living off tips is also a way of life in Egypt so it’s worth appreciating that even £E1 is a tip worth having for many.
In terms of tipping in restaurants, you’ll usually be expected to give a certain amount rather than a percentage of the total bill. So in a café you might leave up to £E2, a cheap and cheerful restaurant might expect between £E3-5 and smarter places would expect up to £E25.
Egypt has a fascinating history (did you know that ancient Egyptians mummified animals as well as people – archaeologists once found a 4.5m long mummified crocodile) but if history’s not your thing, then just sit back and enjoy the sun – of which there’s a lot of, only about 2.5cm of rain falls per year – scorching.