Egypt has one of the oldest and most iconic heritages of anywhere on the planet. Its ancient artefacts and time-honoured traditions continue to fascinate us to this day. Whether it’s touring the Pyramids of Giza on camelback, scuba diving in the Red Sea or dining on fresh seafood in the ancient coastal city of Alexandria, there are plenty of reasons why Egypt has been such a popular tourist destination through the generations.
If you’ve always wanted to visit Egypt, but haven’t quite had the budget for it, here’s a brief guide to doing it on the cheap:
Last-minute holidays to Egypt really are where the savings happen. But although you’ll have to be willing to be a bit spontaneous, you should still have a general idea of when to go and when to book your Egyptian trip.
If you want to visit Egypt over Christmas, research shows that the best time to book a last-minute holiday is any time from the 1st of November to mid-December. However, if you’re willing to travel after Christmas, demand for holidays is at its lowest in January, making this an ideal time to book last-minute. As for visiting Egypt in the summertime, your best bet is to book far in advance, as last-minute deals aren’t as available during this travel ‘high season’.
Take advantage of the exchange rate
As of December 2013, one British pound was equal to 11.27 Egyptian pounds. To put that in context, a litre of milk in Egypt costs about 7.50 Egyptian pounds (66 pence) and three course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant would set you back about 150.00 Egyptian pounds (just over 13 GBP in total).
So, whilst getting to Egypt can be expensive, rest assured that the costs are very low once you get there.
Enjoy two holidays in one
Of course, beyond cost alone, your goal should also be to make sure you get the most value for your money. During your visit to Egypt, consider splitting your holiday between the relaxing Red Sea coast and the bustling, historic streets of Cairo. Ask yourself, ‘when will I ever be in Egypt again?’, and do what you can to explore as much of the country as possible.
Consider taking advantage of last-minute, all-inclusive deals to Red Sea resorts, but then planning your own thrifty tour northwest to the sites and marvels of Cairo. Hostels in the bustling capital cost around 5 GBP a night – leaving you with plenty left for a guided tour of the Pyramids and even a cruise along the Nile.
Keep your eye on travel advisories
The uprisings and turmoil Egypt has endured over the last few years have greatly impacted its tourism industry. It’s important to check the latest travel advice to make sure you only travel to areas of the country that are safe.
Whilst this can restrict your holiday options, it can also help you plan a cheaper holiday. If you keep your eye on travel advisory information and book your holiday directly after travel warnings have been lifted, you can benefit from the low prices. Even once travel warnings are lifted, it can take a while for the word to get out that the ‘coast is clear’. Swooping in at this stage will allow you to take advantage of a tourism market eager to make up for lost sales.
Egypt is experiencing an era of change but nothing can stop the country’s ancient beauty and magic from rising above the fray. The allure of this historic corner of the world will continue to entice adventurous travellers from across the globe. Visiting Egypt is an experience of a lifetime, but you don’t have to spend your life’s savings to make it happen. Booking late and keeping your eye out for bargains will payoff in the form of a holiday you’ll never forget.
David Church writes budgeting and personal finance tips for a number of blogs, and spends his spare time braving the surf on the North East coast of England.
Image by Holger H. used under creative commons license.