Traveling with children is already stressful enough to add on to that you need to know what to bring.If you are traveling to Egypt for the first time, the mere fact of what to put in your luggage in very overwhelming. Stress no more, I am here to share some tricks and tips for traveling with kids so that you can relax and enjoy the ride.
1. Study your itinerary very well.
Mentally prepare yourself before your departure that Egypt is a very chaotic country and things never happen according to plans. Therefore study your itinerary, look over things that you can be skipped and research another potential activity if something doesn’t go according to plans. If you are a perfectionist and get shaken by unexpected events, then I would do some major meditation and mental preparation.
2. Seasonal Wear
If you are traveling in the Summer than know that it will be extremely hot and you need extra sun protection apart from sunblock such as:good sun glasses and a hats for the whole family.
If you are traveling in the Winter time, don’t be surprised by how cold Egypt gets. Defiantly bring a heavy jacket, the temperature between day and night drop significantly about 20-30 degrees difference which can lead for your kids to get sick which leads to next tip.
4. Fight the germs
If you are traveling in the winter time than defiantly get the flu shot for the whole family but also bring a stack of over the counter medication. Cairo is pretty polluted so be prepared if your lungs take some time to adjust to the pollution. If you are like me and don’t trust any medication for your kids than bring the ones that you do trust from back home. As well as wash your kids hands all the time. Pack up some wipes to carry around to clean their faces and hands when out and about. Lastly, have some sanitizer when you can’t find water to wash yours hands.
5. Stroller gear
If you have a child younger than 1 years old, I would recommend a good quality carrier. If your child is older, I would still bring a stroller as all the adventure and heat my tired them out. However, leave your regular big stroller behind and get an umbrella stroller. The umbrellas strollers are light to maneuver around and you can carry the stroller up the stairs without having to take your child out and put him/her back on.
6. Bring your own toilet paper
This sounds like a silly thing to put in your luggage but trust me when I say this! Bring one roll of toilet paper and buy another one here before you run out. Egyptians have a thing about toilets papers, so you will be surprised if you go to a public bathroom and you can find any around you. What will you do then? Oh wait! I have toilet paper on my purse or backpack, not a problem? See, something that could have been a major problem has been avoided due to these traveling tips. You can thank me later!
7. Respect the dress code and the culture
Egypt is very conservative and both men and women tend to dress modestly, regardless of your religion practices. Egypt has about 10% of practicing Christians who also abide by the modesty wear. If you want to prevent less stares I would avoid wearing short skirts and men should avoid wearing tank tops, the stares are real. Don’t panic about the dress wear because if you are in the hotel or some touristic areas such as the red sea, you can wear almost whatever you want. However, in Upper Egypt or even Cairo the locals tend to me more conservative.
8. Try to learn a couple of words in Arabic
You’ll be surprised how many people don’t speak English here in Egypt. Off course, your hotels and most touristic areas such as the Pyramids, Egyptian museums and the Red sea, you’ll find tourist guides and locals that speak good English. But if you are venturing outside of these touristic sites, than you’ll find that the average Egyptian does not speak English. Words such as “how much”, “thank you”, “yes” and “no” can make a huge difference. When I first visited Egypt back in 2008, those were the only words I knew and it helped me a lot.
9. The local currency
Unfortunately the Egyptian currency has inflated and the exchange rate is very low. Fortunate for you, it means that you will get your money’s worth in Egypt. A couple of dollars here can do a lot in a month. However, if you exchange all your money and happened to bring the Egyptian currency back home, I am afraid you’ll be loosing your money.
10. Bargain like a Boss
Don’t be intimidate to bargain in Egypt most sellers set the prize at a higher rate because they are expecting you to bargain back. To learn more about tips on how to bargain, click on my post here How to Bargain Like a Boss.