There are a few procedures you must put into consideration before you declare your move towards the beautiful country of Egypt. You will need to prepare your passport and make sure that it is valid before you take any further actions. After you made sure that you have a valid passport and is acceptable for travelling then it is best that you apply for a travelling visa (or having a work permit in case you are coming to Egypt for work), the right vaccinations and having the common knowledge among the cultural habits, find a suitable apartment etc.
When you start to prepare for the trip to Egypt, you should also put into further consideration to make a small investment towards your health by purchasing an affordable travel insurance policy for your trip. Not only does this travel insurance policy covers you if your travel baggage is lost/stolen or if your flight has been delayed/cancelled but you will also be covered for all the medical and injury related issues that can happen as well. Do yourself the favor and get the coverage that you need now so that you can be rest assured that you’ll be taken care of in case if a serious emergency happens in Egypt.
VALID PASSPORT / VALID VISA
Keep in mind that your passport must be valid for at least 180 days on the day of arrival. Some people who are not used to travelling usually end up purchasing an e-visa. You can buy these visas almost anywhere on the internet just make sure that the visa is legitimate and acceptable. There are companies that sell the visa online and charge you additional service costs and will waste a lot of your time and effort which will require you to send a copy of your personal information (passport data, ID card, social insurance or security) which in most cases it will be much easier to get the visa yourself and not having to deal with the hassles of services online.
NO VISA REQUIRED
For the country of Egypt, citizens from the following countries can stay in the country for 3 months without a visa and can enter the country under certain conditions. This list can also be found HERE:
United Arab Emirates
VISA ON ARRIVAL
Most citizens coming from Western countries can enter the country by an entry visa on arrival. For example, when you arrive at Cairo International Airport, there is a counter before they check your passport, where you can pay with dollars and euros. A visa on arrival should cost around 25 Euros which is equivalent to almost 28 USD. This can be applied for all the countries from the European Union as well as:
United States Of America
You will need a business visa and a working permit if you are looking forward to travelling for business or as a student to Egypt. If you are a student looking to enroll your next school year in Egypt, there are many different ways to receiving your student visa such as going to extend your entry visa every month or trying to apply for a residential visa for three month. When you are working for a company and looking forward to applying for the business visa, it can be quite complicated as it can differ from each company. They will probably tell you to contact the company or university, which would lead you to asking the legislation department about the in-depth details if you are facing any problems. It can take more time than you would expect, for some it can take months if the proper documents and paperwork is not present to arrange it, which is then recommended for you to contact your embassy that is located in Cairo if they can offer assistance along the way.
TRANSIT VISA AND EXEMPTIONS
For most citizens with international citizenship there is a transit time of 48 hours that is applied. There are also few exceptions. Furthermore, there are some exemptions for some that meet these requirements. You will find good information HERE.
If you want to save some money for direct flights to Cairo, it is recommended to use Egyptian Airlines. For quality luxury flights, you have to stick to the bigger flight companies such as Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates. When you are travelling in Egypt or any close destination like Istanbul or Amman, Nile Air also offers affordable flights. When you are looking towards cheaper tickets to Cairo, the best way to search for flights is to find flights with one or two stops along the way. Personally, this way of travelling is very exciting especially when I am going around Europe. Sometimes you can even take a day or two off and enjoy a visit to Athens or Istanbul if you have the proper documentation with your passport and travel visas. One of the tricks to finding affordable tickets, is by booking as soon as possible on either Tuesday or Wednesday. When booking the flight tickets, it would be better to look up the flight with their search engine and book the ticket on the website of the flight company. This also applies when you are using other flight search engines. Using this method will save you a lot of time and avoid any unnecessary booking costs that can be taken.
CONSIDER HIRING A TOUR GUIDE
The beautiful country of Egypt is well known for its touristic history and wide variety of ancient properties to visit so planning a trip to Egypt isn’t as easy as you might think. From accommodations to be made and transportation routes to be taken, planning to visit all the places you would like can almost always disconnect you from anything that can attract your eyes along the way. I am a person who likes to travel often and it is not common for me to recommend hiring a tour guide but when it comes to the historical country of Egypt, it would be best to hire a well-known tour guide. Egypt is well known for being a country that can be on anyone’s bucket list of places to visit and if you don’t have any prior experience you might not enjoy everything that you might have planned. When it comes to having a tour guide by your side, they can easily save your time from one place to another knowing how to deal with locals and which is the best way to go to the next destination without having to face much trouble not to mention showing you and describing to you the best locations of Egypt and the history that is behind this unique country.
VACCINATIONS AND MEDICINE
When it comes to cleanliness, Egypt is not well known for being the top countries when it comes to that category so it is best to take your own precautions before visiting the country. In most areas, people won’t mind littering among the street as much as you will notice that the hygiene factor in most places aren’t taken so seriously so if you are looking forward to staying in local places for a long time or even having a meal, you would want to be sure that you are well protected. Vaccinations can be expensive, but risking being sick for a long period of time will definitely not be worth it either. When you need any kind of vaccinations, be sure to be on time when it comes to your appointments because for some vaccinations it can apply that you will need more than one dose that is spread over several weeks. When you are planning your vaccinations, don’t forget to contact your insurance company as well. Sometimes they have a contract with a specific vaccination institute where you can get the vaccination for free or even with a discount. In the end, you must remember that it is for the best interest for the insurance company that you are well protected.
There are no vaccinations that are obligated in Egypt. The only exception is when you are travelling from a yellow fever country to Egypt. Click HERE if you want to know more about yellow fever countries. You will need to show your vaccination passport at the border. The following vaccinations are highly recommended:
- Hepatitis A
These vaccinations provide long-term protection as much as they are common in most developing countries, so when you are travelling, it’s definitely worth it in the long run. It would be recommended that Hepatitis B is handled with serious care because the virus is transmittable by having sex or by blood to blood contact which includes insect bites as well so there is high chance that you can get infected. Not every vaccination will subscribe a vaccination against Hepatitis B but there is a Hepatitis A & B combination vaccine that is available and it is just a little bit more expensive than either A or B but it is suggested that both are taken.
Another vaccination that should be taken with serious consideration is Rabies. Rabies, when untreated can be 100 percent fatal and has to be treated as soon as possible. The virus can be transmitted by infected animals, which in the country of Egypt would be a very high risk because it is not rare to see a street dog or cat. However, the Rabies vaccination is a little bit more complicated than most of the other vaccines available.
The pre-exposure vaccination which consists of 4 doses vaccinations that are spread over the period of two weeks. Even when you are vaccinated, you have to get another vaccination immediately after exposure. If you did the pre-exposure vaccination, you will just need two doses of the vaccination but if you didn’t take the pre-exposure vaccination, you will need 4 doses and a shot of Rabies Immune Globulin. You will not need the Rabies Immune Globulin when you are vaccinated before exposure. This obviously makes a big difference, because Rabies Immune Globulin is often not available in developing countries. Summarized, the Rabies vaccine is expensive and will cost you time. However, when you are staying for a longer period, you should definitely consider this one.
A last vaccine that you might want to consider, is typhoid. This is caused by the salmonella bacteria and is able to keep you in your bed for several weeks, fever, headache, and other symptoms are included. Especially during the summer there is a higher chance of infection. However, the vaccine is only giving protection for 2-5 years and protects in general only 70% of the population.
If you have a disease or if you are using medicines that are suppressing your immune system, always contact your doctor before you start vaccinating. If you want to read more about vaccinations, click on the following LINK.
TRAVELLING WITH MEDICINE INTO EGYPT
When you are currently under a prescription of medicine, you should consider to check with the Egyptian Drugs Authority about if your medicine can be accepted in the country and will not be seen as a drug of choice. You can find a link to their website HERE. Most medicines will cause no harm but when it comes to certain painkillers, they can be seen differently and cause you some problems. For example, if you are using medicines such as Tramadol or codeine, you can get into trouble with authorities to the point of serving jail time if you don’t have the right prescription or valid medical passport present. Punishments for carrying illegal drugs can be up to 25 years in Egypt so it is best that you ask your doctor for a medical passport and eventually other evidence that can prove your right of this possession of your medicine.
USE OF TRANSPORTATION
One of the major culture shocks for most people visiting or coming to move to Egypt is the difference in driving and going around the city. The driving in Egypt is just as difficult as the traffic, that why it is best to leave it to the locals for now until you are accustomed to the situation. Sometimes people have issues even crossing the street in fear of anything happening to them from a nearby vehicle but after you get used to it, you’ll be crossing the streets without any issue at all. Don’t bother yourself getting any assistance from the “Tourist Police” when crossing the roads because it is definitely not needed. It is best to wear comfortable shoes or walking sneakers when you are planning a trip to Egypt because you will be walking most often if you are planning to visit most of the touristic areas. Obviously the most comfortable footwear in the Middle East is wearing flip flops or sandals if they aren’t needed for anything formal, but also put into consideration that majority of the Egyptian streets can be filthy, therefore you don’t want to return back to your home or hotel with a pair of dirty feet as well.