travelling to Egypt and Jordon in Nov 2019

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East travelling to Egypt and Jordon in Nov 2019

1. Posted by mdconlan (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!
  • Should i try to buy the currency before I leave Australia?
  • I want to buy a sim card to use on my mobile when overseas - should I buy one before I leave or when I arrive in Egypt. - I will be on a tour so time to purchase maybe minimal in the first instance.
  • I'll be travelling in a tour to the normal tourist stops and it looks like it will be hot. Is it customary to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts?
  • what type of footwear do your recommend

I'll be on a boat trip down the nile river for a few days - should I take any insert repellent ?

  • any other general tips would be helpful
2. Posted by leics2 (Travel Guru 2367 posts) 1y Star this if you like it!

>Should i try to buy the currency before I leave Australia?

Whether you buy currency beforehand or not is really up to you. Much depends on how much time you think you'll have when you arrive. Airport exchanges and hotels generally don't give very good rates anyway and, given that you probably won't have time to seek out and get to banks or currency exchanges, those are the only places you'll be able to change money. If you do decide to get EGP and JOD before leaving, only get a small amount. Get a bit more cash in euro or USD, which may find easier to exchange than AUD. For my tours I took the equivalent of 50GBP in local currency and only needed to change once, again a very small amount (though most meals were included and I don't buy souvenirs).

>I want to buy a sim card to use on my mobile when overseas - should I buy one before I leave or when I arrive in Egypt

As you're on a tour imo it's best to buy one beforehand and/or check your provider's roaming charges. Again, it's an issue of having the time to go shopping for a sim.....and an Egyptian sim may not work in Jordan.

> Is it customary to wear long pants and long sleeve shirts?

Some tourists do wear shorts though I (female) wouldn't have felt comfortable doing so outside the hotel: it feels disrespectful. Both countries are well-used to millions of tourists every year so you're unlkely to encounter difficulties but you'll definitely need long trousers and long sleeves if your tour involves any mosque visits. Trousers which can be converted into knee-length shorts via zips are very useful.

>what type of footwear do your recommend

Walking sandals and/or lightweight walking shoes for excursions. The ground can be pretty rough around ancient sites such as Gizeh, the Egyptian temples, Petra, Jerash, the 'desert castles' etc.

>should I take any insert repellent

If insects like to bite you (they like me!) then yes, definitely. I visited in January so insects weren't a problem but water + warmth always = biting insects.

>any other general tips would be helpful

Depending on the time of year, temperatures can drop substantially once the sun sets. Don't assume you won't need a light fleece or jacket (and if you're on a tour you won't have much time for non-souvenire shopping). Check average night-time temperatures before you go.

Make sure you take a decent hat. Baseball caps aren't much use: you need to shade the nape of your neck as well as your face.

Stomach upsets spoil holidays. Most are caused by changes in the mineral content of water, different food and different routines rather than poor hygiens but use commonsense precautions anyway. Stick to bottled water (check the seal is unbroken), including for cleaning your teeth. Keep your mouth closed in the shower. Be very wary of buffet food which may have been standing for a long time. I always avoid meat dishes in those circumstances (especially chicken), never eat seafood and, very often, stick to the vegetarian options.

Always carry some toilet paper in your daypack when you're out and about. I found it was very often lacking in non-hotel toilets. And don't be horrified if, other than in tourist hotels & boats, you have to put it in a bin after use rather than flush it. It's not 'dirty' (it's not you who has to empty the bin!): it's just that there isn't the money to improve the sewage systems.

Drink local alcohol brands in the hotel (much cheaper than the imported stuff) and try local food & drink (mint tea is delicious imo).

Expect to walk a long way when you visit Petra. It's a truly massive site and, unless you're there for two whole days, you'll only see a fraction of it anyway. Don't take a donkey ride up to the monastery: it's cruel. Unless you are very light indeed you should avoid the horses too (you can only ride them from the entrance to the beginning of the Siq anyway, which is a bit pointless imo). There are posters on site advising you to not to ride the animals but the local Bedu have a living to make and you will be offered rides.

I found both countries amazing...especially Jordan, which has a fantastic landscape as well as so much history. I'm sure you'll have a brilliant tour! :-)

[ Edit: Edited on 16-Oct-2019, 07:21 GMT by leics2 ]