Egypt Travel Plan

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A fun and practical aspect of the Seminar in Global History: Egypt was creating a travel plan for a trip to Egypt.  I created an itemized budget, detailed itinerary, and chose sites and museums that were of the greatest interest to me.  I hope that one day this will serve as a great tool for planning a personal vacation or research trip to Egypt.

The Travel Plan is as follows:

Egypt Travel Plan: Katie (and Guest)’s Egyptian Adventure 2011

March 7 – 17

Itinerary

Monday March 7

  • Leave Memphis, 12:05 PM[1]
  • Travel time: 18 hours, 20 minutes
  • Take snacks and food for plane

 Tuesday March 8

  • Arrive Cairo, 2:25 PM,
  • Hotel Shuttle from airport to Check into Windsor Cairo Hotel.  Rest and relax in Cairo, dinner at hotel restaurant or walk to restaurant. Prepare for next day’s adventures!

Wednesday March 9

  • Egyptian Museum in Cairo all day
  • Coptic Museum
  • Lunch at museum
  • Dinner at local restaurant

 Thursday March 10

  • Catch up on sleep as best as possible then
  • Day trip to Giza and Pyramids – Entry to Khafre’s pyramid
  • Nile Dinner Cruise[2]

 Friday March 11

  • Day trip to Saqqara and Dashur
  • Evening – Explore Cairo and markets[3]
  • Last night in Cairo before heading to Luxor

Saturday March 12

  • 8am Train to Luxor Area 448 miles from Cairo[4]
  • Around 9 hours travel time
  • Arrive in Luxor around 5:45 Settle in to Saint Joseph Hotel and explore the town/settle in

Sunday March 13

  • Day trip to Valley of Kings,
  • Tomb of Tut

 Monday March 14

  • Travel around Memphis/Luxor
  • Karnak Temple
  • Luxor Temple
  • Luxor Museum
  • Mummification Museum

Tuesday March 15

  • Deir el-Medina
  • Hatshepsut temple
  • Last Night in Luxor then back to Cairo

Wednesday March 16

  • 10:10 am Train from Luxor to Cairo
  • Around 9 hours travel time
  • 9pm – Back for one last night in Cairo before heading to airport at 1am.
  • Not bother with a hotel this night – explore then head to airport early to prepare for 4:40am flight

Thursday March 17

  • Leave Cairo,  4:40 AM,
  • Arrive Memphis, 4 PM Thursday March 17

Budget  TOTAL: $3850.42

  • Passport for Katie – Passport and book application – $165[5]
  • Airfare for 2, Continental Airlines – Base Price: 1,009.00 Taxes & Fees:  169.80  Total: $ 2,327.60[6]
  • Baggage fees: First bag checked free.  One bag each = no cost
  • Health Insurance – $10.23/person for 11 days coverage each person = $20.46[7]
  • Hotel in Cairo, March 8-12 – $73.81/night for 4 nights – $295.24
  • Hotel in Luxor, March 12-16 – $33/night for 4 nights – $132
  • Museum and site admissions[8]: Total for 2 People:
    • Egyptian Museum in Cairo  30 (Student) x 2 ~$5.20 US x 2 = $10.40
    • Coptic museum 50 Egy ~$8.66 US x 2 = $17.32
    • Giza 60 – ~$10.40 US x 2 = $20.80
    • Khafre pyramid entry – 35 ~$6 US x 2 = $12
    • Saqqara 60 ~$10.40 US x 2 = $20.80
    • Dashur 50 Egy ~$8.66 US x 2 $17.32
    • Karnak Temple in Thebes 60 ~$10.40 US x 2 = $20.80
    • Memphis 50 Egy ~$8.66 US x 2 $17.32
    • Luxor temple 50 Egy ~$8.66 US x 2 $17.32
    • Luxor museum 55 Egy = US $9.53 x 2 $19.06
    • Mummification museum 50 Egy ~$8.66 US x 2 $17.32
    • Valley of the kings – plus train – 85 EGY=  $14.72 x 2 $29.44
    • Tut’s tomb – 80 – $13.85 x 2 $27.70
    • Hatshepsut temple – plus train – 41 $7.10 x 2 $14.20
    • Deir el-Medina – 15 (student) $2.60 x 2 = $5.20
    • Nile River Dinner Cruise – $65/each, plus $25 for drinks/gratuity = $155 – for 2 people[9]
  • Food –  Breakfasts Included at Hotels – Free
  • Lunches – 10 days –  $3/day average/person = $6/day = $60[10]
  • Dinners –  9 days – $4/day average/person = $8/day = $72[11]
  • Train to Luxor – $17 x 2 = $34  Train from Luxor to Cairo – $17 x 2 = $34
  • Souvenirs and gifts – $200
  • Local transportation/Gratuity – $100
  • Extra spending money for anything we forgot or emergencies – $150

TOTAL: $3850.42

The trip I have planned to Egypt is an extended spring break for me and a guest.  One of the first things I had to do to prepare is get a passport, which is around $165, according to the state website.[12]  I then chose the dates for the trip around school and work schedule, and I researched airline tickets using cheapoair.com.  With specials and taxes included, I found flights with Continental airlines for $ 2,327.60.[13]  According to their website, international travelers get their first bag checked free, so including a carry-on and one bag each, we should have no extra cost for baggage.[14]  After researching health insurance costs for oversea travel, I found that for both my guest and I we could be covered for eleven days for $10.23 each.[15]

After covering the basics for traveling overseas, I began to plan for our stay in Egypt.  I used Travelocity.com and customer reviews found there to find what seems to be a well-rated, reasonably priced hotel.[16]  Upon arriving in Egypt on Tuesday March 8, the Windsor Cairo hotel will send a driver to pick us up at the airport.  The hotel also includes breakfast and wi-fi internet in the lobby, which will help save money on meals and internet throughout our stay in Cairo.  The cost per night at the Windsor Hotel is $73.81 per night.[17]   We will stay in Cairo from Tuesday until check-out on Saturday.

While in Cairo, I have planned several day-trips and activities.  The first day we will check into the hotel and try to rest and acclimate to the time change.  We will likely have dinner in the hotel restaurant or walk to a nearby restaurant.  After resting and preparing for our Egyptian Adventure, we will wake up Wednesday morning for a day of museums.  I could probably spend two or three days in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo from everything I’ve heard about it, but I have considered my guest in this plan, and will instead only spend half of a day or so at the museum.  After lunch in town, we will visit the Coptic Museum to learn more about early Christianity in Egypt.  Again, we will have dinner and lunch around the museum and hotel.  I also worked travel fees into the budget with an estimate for cab fares around the city.[18]  On Thursday we will travel out to Giza to visit the pyramids, and I included entry into Khafre’s pyramid in the budget.  After a day at the pyramids, we will head back to our hotel and prepare for a Nile dinner cruise.  The cruise includes transportation from the hotel to the docks, dinner, and entertainment on the boat.   Drinks and gratuities are not included, but I added $25 to the cost in my budget to account for these.[19]   Friday includes another day trip, this time to Saqqara and Dashur to see the Step Pyramid and other local sites.  Upon returning to Cairo, we will spend the evening exploring Cairo a bit more, and maybe visiting the Khan el Khalilli to experience modern-Egyptian culture.  Friday will be our last evening in Cairo until our return from Luxor.

Saturday morning we will take the 8 AM train from Cairo to Luxor.  The trip will take most of the day, and we should arrive in Cairo by around 6 PM.  The train to and from Cairo and Luxor includes a seat in air-conditioned first-class for around $17 per person, one way.[20]  A driver from the hotel will pick us up, and we will settle into our hotel after a long day on the train.  If we feel up to it, we may walk around Luxor some before resting for the next day.  As with the hotel in Cairo, I explored Travelocity.com to find a reasonably priced and safe hotel.   The Saint Joseph Hotel had great reviews and a great location, includes breakfast, and the pictures show a pretty great rooftop pool.  Prices are reasonable, at an average of $33 per night for a suite with bathroom. [21]

In the Luxor area, we will spend Sunday visiting the Valley of the Kings, and hopefully be able to enter King Tutankhamun’s tomb.   Monday will be another long day of traveling around the area to visit Karnak and Luxor Temples, and if time allows, the Mummification Museum.   Tuesday I hope to go to Deir el-Medina and the Hateshepsut complex nearby.  Tuesday evening will be our last in Luxor before returning to Cairo to fly back to Memphis, Tennessee.   If we are well-rested enough, we will explore Luxor more that evening.  Wednesday morning we will take the 10:10 AM train from Luxor to Cairo, again a long day-trip.  We will arrive in Cairo around 9 PM, and probably not even bother with getting a hotel for the few hours between arrival and departure to the airport.  Because we will be flying internationally, we will get to the airport quite early for our 4:40 AM flight back to the United States.   Hopefully, this will help us sleep on the plane and maybe even fight a bit of jet-lag.  Our flight is scheduled to arrive in Memphis, Tennessee at 4pm on Thursday March 17.

My budget also included money for souvenirs and extra spending money for emergencies or discrepancies in the plan.

Some interesting resources I found for this exercise included:


[1] Continental Airlines, Flight 3046.

[10] Could buy food at market, grocery stores to save money

[11] Also depends on how our stomachs are faring on the trip.

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