Go it alone or private tour with agency

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Go it alone or private tour with agency

Last Post This thread is marked as being about Egypt
1. Posted by DiverTammy (First Time Poster 1 posts) 11w 1 Star this if you like it!

Hello fellow traveler’s,

New poster here. My husband and I are going to Egypt in October of this year, 2021. We got a screaming deal on flights, so we are going! We have traveled some (Europe), but this will be our first time in a predominantly Muslim country and also so different culturally.

I have my itinerary done and have submitted it to several different agencies based in Egypt to give me quotes on our trip.
What we want is a private tour. I have gotten 2 quotes back and I am a bit shocked at the prices being quoted to me. I thought using a local agency based in Egypt, that it would be less expensive. I am not finding that to be the case.
I have heard back from EgyptandBeyond Travel and Memphis Tours. I have a couple more I am waiting to hear back from.
My question is, should we go it alone? Should I just book all hotels myself, and use Uber or taxi’s once we get there to get around.

What would people here suggest?

[ Edit: Edited on 4 Apr 2021, 16:19 GMT by DiverTammy ]

2. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1511 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

It's not difficult to go it alone except for the hassle of dealing with touts, etc. I was there again in 2019, this time with a friend. We arranged a private guide/driver who took us around for two days in Cairo, visiting several places that were off the beaten path, such as Manshiyat Naser. But we also visited the pyramids at Giza again and the City of the Dead and took a felucca on the Nile.

I searched online for the guide and found him. He previously had recommended on Tripadvisor a guest house operated by the Anglican Diocese of Egypt, (http://allsaintsgardencenter.com/guest-rooms/). After calls to the guest house, we decided to stay there. I also called the guide, who was identified on Tripadvisor (he's not affiliated with the guest house). After discussing terms and what we wanted to see and experience, we hired him.

It's not difficult to find guides/drivers. One way is through your accommodations. That is how we found guides and drivers that took us around Azerbaijan, Lebanon and Tunisia on that same trip in 2019. Fellow travel enthusiasts on a private Facebook group, Every Passport Stamp, recommended a guide in Belarus that we hired.

I prefer hiring guides and drivers for private trips instead of taking organized tours. I find the experience usually is better and the cost is less. But the planning takes time and effort. In some cases, it's better to go with a group, particularly to remote destinations or to troubled lands. I've joined groups to Papua New Guinea, Kamchatka, Burkina Faso and the reserved zone of Peru's Manu National Park, for example.

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4. Posted by DAOonVT (Full Member 2032 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

I would recommend a Nile Cruise through popular websites you can find on-line. I did and it was fantastic. You can then add-on extras like a flight to Cairo. Cairo and the Pyramids is a day trip. You see the Egyptian Museum and Pyramids all in the same day.

North Africa is challenging for even experienced tourists. Sellers of anything launch themselves at you. Look at 'budget' type guidebooks for recommendations on tour outfits.

Have fun!

5. Posted by capisco (Budding Member 24 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

I would suggest doing it alone most travel agencies here charge huge ampunts specially for foreigners, uber is very easy to use here the most important is to put the exact location, saving that amount would be good so that you stay in prime locations in great hotels, be sure to decide what you want to do in Egypt exactly as going to the beach is in a city and going to see the monuments are totally different place, October is the best month to visit in.

If you need any help, I am here.

6. Posted by capisco (Budding Member 24 posts) 11w Star this if you like it!

Oh I have forgot to mention something which is very important, if you are a member of hilton hhonor or marriott bonvoy, here in Egypt sometimes it's very cheap if you buy points and book with points especially when hilton make points offer in which 20k are just 100 usd those 20k can get you 2 nights in many hotels.


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