Egypt

Egypt

by Paul Chapman — Posted on June 29, 2015

EGYPT

I went backpacking around Egypt for 3 months here’s a little about my trip that may help you one day.

I started in Hurghada only booking 3 nights in hostel because I have been told its easy to rent a flat in Egypt. On my 2nd day I met a local who knew some nice flats available for rent and that evening I had moved in for £160 month. It was a  2 bedroom flat just a short walk away from the beach! This was a great base for me. There are many westerners living in Egypt so no problem in meeting people, hanging out on the beach and in the bars at 5 for happy hour!

I have been backpacking many years but Egypt is one of the best. The golden sand and blue sea diving. It’s an amazing place.

The best way to get around is by the white mini buses that go around. Just stand by the road and they will stop, 50p will get you a 5 mile return! Taxis are ok but a bit a little more pricey.

If you want to travel further then there are bus stations at every town. It cost me £30 for a return trip to Cairo.

The weather is amazing, it never rained in my 3 months at all and I was there January through to March and in January the temperature was 23 every day!

If your just passing through then hostels are probably the way to go but I wanted to do a lot of diving and relax so for me it was nice to have a flat. Would definitely recommend.

The best way to get around is by the white mini buses that go around. Just stand by the road and they will stop, 50p will get you a 5 mile return! Taxis are ok but a bit a little more pricey.

If you want to travel further then there are bus stations at every town. It cost me £30 for a return trip to Cairo.

The weather is amazing, it never rained in my 3 months at all and I was there January through to March and in January the temperature was 23 every day!

If your just passing through then hostels are probably the way to go but I wanted to do a lot of diving and relax so for me it was nice to have a flat. Would definitely recommend.

9 Comments

  1. Top 10 Cheap Backpacking Tips
    Pack Light. With backpacking, your mantra should always be pack light. …
    Camp Out. …
    Get a Hostel with a Kitchen. …
    Bring Your Own Snacks. …
    Buy a Train Pass. …
    Walk, Don’t Take a Cab. …
    Be Careful of Pickpockets and Scam Artists. …
    Visit the Liquor Store.

  2. Backpacking Africa Cost: Can You Travel on a Budget?
    While memories might be priceless, making them often requires a visa card.Or at least it did for me. To be honest though, my backpacking Africa cost was much less than I have spent in many other parts of the world. The cost of living while I was traveling was even less than what I spend at home in the US.

    So for those wanting to go, but are afraid of how much it will cost, just relax. It can be done for a very reasonable amount of money. My exact backpacking Africa cost after seven months is here broken down per category to help you better plan your own budget. But for general cost information, please realize that how much you will spend depends on where you go, what you do, and how you travel.

    Where You Go
    Where you go will dramatically affect how much backpacking Africa costs. For example, I spent almost as much in South Africa as I do back home. However, I could eat a huge dinner with a beer for $1.50 in Ethiopia and perch my tent beside the lake in Malawi for only $3 a night. So there is a huge gap in expenses depending on where you land on the map.Overall, West African countries do tend to cost more than those in East Africa. Also, a country less developed will be cheaper than a more Westernized country such as South Africa.

  3. Here’s a rundown of what should go in your suitcase:
    Clothing
    Shirts/blouses. Bring up to five short-sleeved or long-sleeved shirts or blouses (how many of each depends on the season) in a cotton/polyester blend. Shirts with long sleeves that roll up easily can double as short-sleeved. Look for a wrinkle-camouflaging pattern or blended fabrics that show a minimum of wrinkles. Synthetic-blend fabrics (such as Coolmax or microfiber) often dry overnight.
    Pants/shorts. Bring two pairs: one lightweight cotton and another super-lightweight pair for hot and muggy big cities. Jeans can be too hot for summer travel (and are slow to dry). Many travelers like lightweight convertible pants/shorts with zip-off legs. While not especially stylish, they’re functional in Italy, where you can use them to cover up inside churches while still beating the heat outside. Button-down wallet pockets are safest (though still not nearly as thief-proof as a money belt). If you bring shorts, one pair is probably enough. Shorts can double as a swimsuit for men when swimming in lakes or the sea.
    Underwear and socks. Bring five sets (lighter dries quicker). Bamboo or cotton/nylon-blend socks dry faster than 100 percent cotton, which lose their softness when air-dried.
    Shoes. Bring one pair of comfortable walking shoes with good traction. Mephisto, Ecco, and Rieker look dressier and more European than sneakers, but are still comfortable. Sturdy, low-profile tennis shoes with a good tread are fine, too. For a second pair, consider sandals in summer. Flip-flops are handy if you’ll be using bathrooms down the hall. Whichever shoes you bring, make sure they are well broken in before you leave home.
    Sweater or lightweight fleece. Warm and dark is best — for layering and dressing up.
    Jacket. Bring a light and water-resistant windbreaker with a hood. Neutral colors used to look more European than bright ones, but now everything from azure blue to pumpkin orange has made its way into European wardrobes. A hooded jacket of Gore-Tex or other waterproof material is good if you expect rain. (For summer travel, I wing it without rain gear — but always pack for rain in Britain and Ireland.)
    Tie or scarf. For instant respectability, bring anything lightweight that can break the monotony and make you look snazzy.
    Swimsuit. To use public pools, you’ll need a swimsuit (men can’t just wear shorts; and in France, men need to wear Speedo-type swimsuits — not swim trunks).
    Sleepwear/loungewear. Comfy streetwear — such as shorts, leggings, T-shirts, tank tops, yoga pants, and other lightweight athletic gear — can be used as pajamas, post-dinner loungewear, and a modest cover-up to get you to the bathroom down the hall.
    Documents, Money, and Travel Info
    Money belt (or neck wallet). This flat, hidden, zippered pouch — worn around your waist (or like a necklace) and tucked under your clothes — is essential for the peace of mind it brings. You could lose everything except your money belt, and the trip could still go on. Get a lightweight one with a low-profile color (I like beige). For more, see my article on money belts.
    Money. Bring your preferred mix of a debit card, a credit card, and an emergency stash of hard US cash (in $20 bills).
    Documents. Bring your passport; plane, train, and rental car documents or vouchers; driver’s license; and any other useful cards (student ID, hostel membership card, and so on). Photocopies and a couple of passport-type photos can help you get replacements more quickly if the originals are lost or stolen. In your luggage, pack a record of all reservations (print out your hotel confirmation emails). Bring any necessary contact info if you have health or travel insurance.
    Guidebooks and maps. Pack the travel info you’ll need on the ground (or download it into your ereader). I like to rip out appropriate chapters from guidebooks and staple them together, or use special slide-on laminated book covers.
    Small notepad and pen. A tiny notepad in your back pocket or day pack is a great organizer, reminder, and communication aid.
    Journal. An empty book to be filled with the experiences of your trip will be your most treasured souvenir. Attach a photocopied calendar page of your itinerary. Use a hardbound type designed to last a lifetime, rather than a floppy spiral notebook. My custom-designed Rick Steves Travel Journals are rugged, simple blank books that come in two sizes. Another great brand, with a cult following among travel writers, is Moleskine.
    Small day pack. A lightweight pack is great for carrying your sweater, camera, guidebook, and picnic goodies while you leave your large bag at the hotel or train station. Don’t use a fanny pack — they’re magnets for pickpockets.

  4. I must confess, when you are born in KENYA you can take everything around here for granted. Like you may sometimes find no reason to backpack, after all, you have been to all the nice places. The truth is, no matter how much you travel in Kenya, you will always find new things. I have organized trips for backpackers in Kenya and love the experience all over again with every trip. Here is information that is useful to anyone backpacking in Kenya, or Africa in general, and I have the guiding tips on my fingertips.

    If you haven’t backpacked to Kenya (yet), it’s up to me to let you know what you are missing out on. A safari experience, beautiful sandy beaches, and deep culture, to name but a few is what you will forever talk about after your Kenyan visit. Here is all that you need to know about backpacking in Kenya.

    About Kenya

    Kenya is located on the Eastern part of Africa. It is bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Indian Ocean. Its capital city is Nairobi, other cities in Kenya include Mombasa and Kisumu. Kenya is famous for being the roots of US president Barrack Obama, actress Lupita Nyong’o and also some of the best marathoners in the world. It is the heartbeat of East and Central Africa, hosted the 2015 Global Entreprenuers Summit and its now termed as the Silicon Savannah. Oh, and of course, the wonder of the world, wildebeest migration.

    Currency: Kenyan Shilling (Ksh.)

    Time Zone: GMT +3

    Language: Most Kenyans speak fluent English, Swahili and respective tribal languages.

    Kenya is probably one of the easiest place to backpack compared to other African countries. If you are an English speaking person, you will find Kenya easy to pass through as many Kenyans speak English (don’t be irritated if you have to say something twice for them to understand, it has a lot to do with your accent).

    The Cost of Backpacking in Kenya

    Africa is one of the cheapest places for a backpacker. I have interacted with backpackers who have traveled to other parts of the world, including Asia and South America, and they agree that they find backpacking in Africa much cheaper.

    For accommodation, depending on where you want to stay, you can find a dorm bed in hostels for around $10-15 depending on which part of the country you are at. Around a city like Nairobi there are several havens of cheap hotels where you can stay at. A double or twin private double room can cost about $20-30. A nice hotel room, clean with basic amenities can cost from $50 to $90. For a guide on accommodation, you can check out what I wrote about Cheap Hotels in Kenya. While in Nairobi, my backpacking guests stay at Khweza Bed and Breakfast.

    Where to eat

    Most hostels for backpackers and hotels will provide breakfast, and for lunch and supper you can eat at the hotel or out, as you tour the places. For a decent meal in Kenya you will have to pay at a sit down restaurant for $5-10. You can have some Chinese food, Japanese, Indian or any other cuisine at some upper end hotels for around $15 to 50. A litre of bottled water will cost $0.5-0.8.

    A night out

    Kenyan nightlife is vibrant, we a really good at partying. Don’t miss out on the night life especially if you are in Nairobi or Mombasa. Depending on where you go out, a bottle of beer will cost between $1.5- $4. You can buy alcohol from supermarkets and drink at your hotel room, or take along in your safari.

    Transport

    When you mention transport in Kenya, you will be told of the notorious ‘matatus’ especially in Nairobi. The local way to commute through Nairobi is also to use ‘matatus’ or buses, which are much cheaper than taxis but not as convenient. They can be noisy sometimes; but will help you move within the city, especially during the day. Plus it is one of the unique Kenyan experiences, why not try something new?

    You can use a taxi if not traveling for a long distance, say while commuting in Nairobi. When traveling out of Nairobi, you can take a long-distance bus, a train, or a plane. There are local cheap flights that you can use, like Flight 540, or Jambo Jet- local flights that are economically priced. Alternatively, a tour firm can drive you to your destination especially if you are going on a safari. Most hotels offer excursions and tours; these are best because they provide transport, and you travel with other backpackers.

    What you will spend your money on

    Accommodation

  5. I must confess, when you are born in KENYA, you can take everything around here for granted. Like you may sometimes find no reason to backpack, after all, you have been to all the nice places. The truth is, no matter how much you travel in Kenya, you will always find new things. I have organized trips for backpackers in Kenya and love the experience all over again with every trip. Here is information that is useful to anyone backpacking in Kenya, or Africa in general, and I have the guiding tips on my fingertips.

    If you haven’t backpacked to Kenya (yet), it’s up to me to let you know what you are missing out on. A safari experience, beautiful sandy beaches, and deep culture, to name but a few is what you will forever talk about after your Kenyan visit. Here is all that you need to know about backpacking in Kenya.

    About Kenya

    Kenya is located on the Eastern part of Africa. It is bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and the Indian Ocean. Its capital city is Nairobi, other cities in Kenya include Mombasa and Kisumu. Kenya is famous for being the roots of US president Barrack Obama, actress Lupita Nyong’o and also some of the best marathoners in the world. It is the heartbeat of East and Central Africa, hosted the 2015 Global Entreprenuers Summit and its now termed as the Silicon Savannah. Oh, and of course, the wonder of the world, wildebeest migration.

    Currency: Kenyan Shilling (Ksh.)

    Time Zone: GMT +3

    Language: Most Kenyans speak fluent English, Swahili and respective tribal languages.

    Kenya is probably one of the easiest place to backpack compared to other African countries. If you are an English speaking person, you will find Kenya easy to pass through as many Kenyans speak English (don’t be irritated if you have to say something twice for them to understand, it has a lot to do with your accent).

    The Cost of Backpacking in Kenya

    Africa is one of the cheapest places for a backpacker. I have interacted with backpackers who have traveled to other parts of the world, including Asia and South America, and they agree that they find backpacking in Africa much cheaper.

    For accommodation, depending on where you want to stay, you can find a dorm bed in hostels for around $10-15 depending on which part of the country you are at. Around a city like Nairobi there are several havens of cheap hotels where you can stay at. A double or twin private double room can cost about $20-30. A nice hotel room, clean with basic amenities can cost from $50 to $90. For a guide on accommodation, you can check out what I wrote about Cheap Hotels in Kenya. While in Nairobi, my backpacking guests stay at Khweza Bed and Breakfast.

    Where to eat

    Most hostels for backpackers and hotels will provide breakfast, and for lunch and supper you can eat at the hotel or out, as you tour the places. For a decent meal in Kenya you will have to pay at a sit down restaurant for $5-10. You can have some Chinese food, Japanese, Indian or any other cuisine at some upper end hotels for around $15 to 50. A litre of bottled water will cost $0.5-0.8.

    A night out

    Kenyan nightlife is vibrant, we a really good at partying. Don’t miss out on the night life especially if you are in Nairobi or Mombasa. Depending on where you go out, a bottle of beer will cost between $1.5- $4. You can buy alcohol from supermarkets and drink at your hotel room, or take along in your safari.

    Transport

    When you mention transport in Kenya, you will be told of the notorious ‘matatus’ especially in Nairobi. The local way to commute through Nairobi is also to use ‘matatus’ or buses, which are much cheaper than taxis but not as convenient. They can be noisy sometimes; but will help you move within the city, especially during the day. Plus it is one of the unique Kenyan experiences, why not try something new?

    You can use a taxi if not traveling for a long distance, say while commuting in Nairobi. When traveling out of Nairobi, you can take a long-distance bus, a train, or a plane. There are local cheap flights that you can use, like Flight 540, or Jambo Jet- local flights that are economically priced. Alternatively, a tour firm can drive you to your destination especially if you are going on a safari. Most hotels offer excursions and tours; these are best because they provide transport, and you travel with other backpackers.

    What you will spend your money on

    Accommodation

  6. 1. START OFF BY STAYING IN A HOSTEL
    Hostels are the cheapest accommodation, and you will meet like-minded backpackers who can give you tips and recommendations. Often times you will even end up travelling with a few of them when you decide to move on.
    Tips for choosing a hostel: compares reviews and prices and make sure it’s in an area that’s centrally located and has public transportation nearby, or is walking distance to key places. ALSO, look for deals. Typically hostels offer incentives such as ‘Stay 6 nights and get your 7th free,’ meal deals, and include free breakfast.
    ***Lots of hostels offer ‘Work for Accommodation.’ This pretty much means that if you work at the hostel the agreed upon amount of hours, you can live there for free. Ana and I did this in Cairns for our first couple months, it was a great way to figure out our next stop.
    2. WATCH YOUR SPENDING ON ALCOHOL
    This is probably the most important way to save money while traveling here. Unlike many top backpacking destinations, alcohol in Australia is very expensive. VERY. If cutting out alcohol isn’t your thing, I would recommend drinking in your hostel, sharing travel stories, and splitting the costs with other fellow backpackers. Or look for bars that have ‘Backpacker Deals’ as well, usually offering drink specials.
    3. GROCERIES INSTEAD OF RESTAURANTS
    This was the next biggest shock upon arrival, how expensive the food was. Chances are your accommodation will have a fridge/cupboard space that you can utilize, do it. Buying your groceries for the week instead of eating out/getting takeaway saves tons of $$$ and allows you to eat healthier.
    4. MAKE BACKPACKER FRIENDS
    If your travels are flexible, a great way to explore is by making friends and splitting costs. Road trips, activities, and food costs are much more reasonable with a group. Plus, half the fun of travelling is meeting people and hearing their story! Chances are you will meet some lifelong friends along the way.
    5. FIND A JOB
    Hospitality jobs and farm work are the easiest jobs to get if you are on a Working Holiday Visa, and employers understand that you are looking for short-term employment. Also, working in a remote area typically has a higher wage, free accommodation, and allows for ‘off the beaten path’ travels. I did this and it was the best decision of my life.
    6. LOOK FOR FREE ACTIVITIES
    Australia has endless amounts outdoor activities to offer that involve spending no money, indulge in this! Experience the beauty nature has to offer here through hiking, beach-hopping, waterfall chasing; there’s just so much. You don’t need to spend money to have fun!
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