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my very 1st trip

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East my very 1st trip

1. Posted by MissAshley (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

I just turned 18 a few months ago and I just graduated from high school and I need help planning a trip to either Egypt or Morocco in December. I've never been outside of America, so I need as much advice as y'all can give me about the 2 countries and which one I should go to first (even though I'm leaning more towards Egypt). I wanna make sure that I don't offend anyone while I'm there. also, I like trying all kinds of new things, so please don't hesitate to list fun and exciting activities for me to do! also, I'm almost positive that I'm going to be doing this whole trip by myself and I'm not sure if that'll make a difference or not.

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

I recommend going to Egypt to you. In Morocco the second most important language is French, not English as in Egypt and unless you are fluent in French you will have a slightly harder time in Morocco. Plus the weather in December is much nicer in Egypt.

Travelling in Egypt is easy, everybody in the tourist industry speaks decent enough English. Cheap hotels, tours and restaurants are readily available. Budget around 25 USD per day and you'll have plenty. Decent clean rooms with private shower are usually 10 USD or less, a meal in a local snack bar will cost you between 1-3 USD. There is no need to pre-book, most places are walk-in. Check out the Lonely Planet Egypt, most of the info you need is in there.

Clothing: A lot of people will tell you that you can wear anything you want and you'll see a lot of tourists in shorts and strappy tops. However I've found it to be more sensible to wear conservative clothes - long flowering skirt down to your ankles and baggy t-shirt (men's style), sunglasses and leather sandals. If you wear pants, make sure that they are loose and that your shirt covers your bum. You'll be recognised as a girl who plays by the "arab rules" this way. This results in less sexual harassment, especially for a young girl travelling alone. Note though that your behaviour is a lot part of it too - you need to be a lot more reserved than you usually are especially regarding your behavour towards men. The sunglasses help not making eye-contact.

Flight tickets: See if you have an arab community nearby and check if they have any newspapers. These newspapers frequently feature adds for flights to the ME. Also ask around there locally on what is the cheapest way to get to Egypt, what would be a low air fare, etc. I and others also might have some suggestions if you are stuck - just post where in the US you live.

Hope that helped a bit!

3. Posted by MissAshley (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

thanks so much! that helped alot.

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 9y

Hello MissAshley:)

T_Maia is right. A lot of tourists wear and do what they like. But if u want to experience what the locals are really like, it is necessary to be seen in a way that they will interpret positively. It will also score u more help and protection, from the local women.

Here is what I usaully tell women who want to visit Egypt, or any muslim country, for that matter.
Women Travelling in Egypt
Wear loose, long-flowing clothes, that are non-transparent and that cover your legs and arms. Carry a scarf so that you can cover your hair with it if a man tries to get too familiar with you or too physically close to you. Wearing a headscarf will be seen as a symbol of respectability.
Don't let any man touch you in any way.
Always sit next to women if you can.
If you want to go to a hair dresser, go to a female one.
Don't smoke cigarettes in public, even if somebody offers you one. This gives the wrong impression. It is OK to smoke water pipes in the caf├ęs, even though there are usually no women in there. It will amuse people to see you doing it, but it is generally acceptable.
Don't be seen drinking alcohol by any Egyptian person.
If a man is bothering you, move towards older Egyptian women. They will look after you if they see what is happening.
Don't allow any man, even a fellow traveller, into your room, even if you leave the door open. This will upset the hotel staff, and give them the impression that you have bad morals.

Mel