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1. Apply for an e-Visa.

As a UK passport holder, Brits can visit Sharm el Sheikh, Dahab, Nuweiba and Taba Resorts for up to 15 days without a visa. However, I highly recommend you escape the hotel resorts to see the wonders this country has to offer!

If you stay in Egypt longer than 15 days or go outside of the above places, you’ll need an e-Visa. You can apply easily for an e-Visa online and it will cost $25. It usually only takes a few days and is valid for 3 months. Check if you’re eligible for an e-Visa here.

Keep a copy handy.

When I checked in at the airport to fly home, the check-in desk tried to hold me up because they said I needed to pay a penalty for overstaying my visa, despite it saying 'E-V' clearly in my passport. As soon as I showed them a copy of my e-Visa, they let me check in. But it did cause me to panic and wonder if I had the wrong visa!

They will ask you to specify a host in Egypt and you can put the address of your hotel or hostel.

You’re able to get a visa upon arrival but having it beforehand will make your entry into the country a lot easier.

2. Leave the drone at home!

I researched this a lot as I rarely travel without my mine nowadays. Egypt has a strict drone policy. You’re only allowed to enter with one if you have permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and they rarely give out permits to tourists. If you try to enter the country with a drone and they spot it on one of their many scanners at the airport, they will confiscate it. If you think you’ve managed to sneak it in, you have to pray they don’t confiscate it on the way out too!

3. Be prepared to be pestered but be nice

When I visited Egypt in 2009, everyone and their children pestered me, trying to sell me trinkets I didn’t need. Things haven’t changed. In 2023, I experienced the same annoyances at the Pyramids of Giza and other tourist attractions.

A simple 'La shukran' (no thank you) is enough.

And don't let them annoy you - smile and you'll come out with good vibes only.

Be aware of people befriending you just to take you to see their shop.

They may not be aggressive but it’s just a waste of time unless you actually want to buy something. Outside of the tourist areas, for example in Dahab, the deserts, and in the streets, the locals were genuinely friendly and helpful without an ulterior motive.

4. Travel insurance

Lost gadgets, missed flights, medical emergencies… need I go on? It’s better to be safe than sorry!

5. Pack appropriate attire

Dressing conservatively will help you feel more comfortable when travelling in Egypt.

Egypt is an Arab country which means that shoulders and legs are not normally on show when it comes to dress code. Although you’re not expected to dress exactly like the locals, you’re less likely to offend them and attract unwanted attention if you dress conservatively.

Cover your shoulders, legs, and if you want to attract less attention, you can always use a scarf to cover your hair.

6. Take some USD

Most accommodation and organised tours price their services in USD. Holding USD in cash will save you from withdrawing huge wads of EGP notes from the ATMs.

Obviously, depending on where the market has moved this could work for or against, you but I wish I had taken some just to pay for the more expensive bills like hostels and tours.

7. Get a multi currency account

Ahead of my trips, I regularly check the exchange rate between GBP and the currency of the country I’m heading to. This gives me an idea of how to calculate costs, and I can exchange small amounts of cash if the rate is in my favour in the run up to leaving. I used to be a banker after all ;)

I, personally, use Wise. They give the option to open a digital account in EGP and it was SO useful! Half way through my trip, the EGP plummeted. Due to the volatility of the market at the time, the banks wouldn’t transfer large amounts for me. However, I managed to transfer enough for the rest of my trip and it meant that a ticket (to the Nefertary tomb) that used to cost $100 ended up being only $45!

For a fee-free transfer of up to £500 (banks will often charge a fee for exchanging currency), click here for my referral link. Disclaimer: I'll also gain rewards on these clicks.

8. Hit the books!

If you’re really interested in learning about the ancient Egyptians, I’d highly recommend you dig into some books, podcasts or videos before travelling. There is SO much history to absorb that you’d only scratch the surface by hiring a guide around the tombs. The hieroglyphics are amazing and I wish I were able to understand all of them, but if you can identify some, it will make your visit that much more special.

My personal recommendations:

The Kane Chronicles - Rick Riordan

Okay, I know they're children’s books but I learnt SO much about the Greek Gods whilst reading the Percy Jackson series when island hopping in Greece and I was able to identify them in the museums!

When reading the Kane Chronicles, I slowly learnt about important Egyptian Gods (e.g. Sobek Horus and Osiris) and Pharaohs that I was able to remember who was who and rather than squeezing facts into short-term memory.

Egypt - Lonely Planet

The back of the book contains an express history lesson as well as a list of Gods, pharaohs along with a pharaonic glossary.

9. Pack necessities!

If you’re going on a short trip, it’s better not to waste time shopping for necessities if you can bring them from home. For example, wet wipes, hand sanitiser (I didn’t see ANY in Egypt), etc. Click here for my packing list.

10. And finally, plan an itinerary

Consider the time of year when planning your trip. Summers are incredibly hot and uncomfortable. The best time to visit is in the winter when the days are warm and the nights just require a light jacket (unless you head into the desert for camping). Spring and autumn are also good times to visit if you can stand the heat.

Avoid going during Ramadan as many places, especially restaurants, close during the day.


There are so many wonders to see in Egypt that not many people visit with enough time to see everything. However, with a bit of planning, you can maximise your time there.

This was my third time in Egypt and each time I visited, I did something completely different.

Have you been to Egypt? Are there any other tips you'd share when planning your trip? Please share!


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