Backpacking Through the Land of Pharaohs: Tips and Tricks for Young Travelers

Backpacking Through the Land of Pharaohs: Tips and Tricks for Young Travelers

Embarking on a backpacking journey to Egypt, the mystic land of Pharaohs, presents an adventure of a lifetime. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Egypt offers an unparalleled experience for the intrepid traveler. However, navigating through this ancient land can be daunting for the uninitiated. Herein, we’ve compiled essential tips and tricks to help young travelers maximize their Egyptian backpacking adventure, while also ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip.

1. Planning Your Itinerary

Start with the Classics: No trip to Egypt is complete without visiting the iconic Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, and cruising along the Nile. However, Egypt has much more to offer beyond these wonders. Luxor’s Valley of the Kings, the temples of Karnak, and the vibrant bazaars of Cairo are must-sees.

Off the Beaten Path: For those seeking less touristy experiences, consider venturing into the Siwa Oasis, exploring the White Desert, or diving in the Red Sea. These locations offer unique landscapes and a closer look at Egypt’s natural beauty.

Seasons Matter: The best time to backpack through Egypt is during its cooler months, from October to April. Summers can be extremely hot, especially in Upper Egypt and desert areas.

2. Budgeting Wisely

Accommodation: Hostels and budget hotels are plentiful in major cities and tourist locations. Booking in advance can save you money, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Transport: Egypt’s train network is an affordable and comfortable way to travel between major cities. For shorter distances, consider local buses or shared minibuses, which are cheaper than taxis.

Eating Like a Local: Street food in Egypt is not only cheap but also delicious. Don’t miss out on trying koshari, falafel, and ful medames. However, ensure the food is freshly prepared to avoid stomach upsets.

Entrance Fees: While major attractions have entrance fees, purchasing a student card can offer significant discounts. Always carry your student ID if you have one.

3. Cultural Sensitivity and Safety

Dress Appropriately: Egypt is predominantly a Muslim country, and dressing modestly is a sign of respect. This is particularly important when visiting religious sites.

Stay Informed: Keep up-to-date with local news and travel advisories. While Egypt is generally safe for travelers, it’s good to be aware of any regional tensions.

Respect the Locals: Learn a few basic phrases in Arabic. Even a simple “Salam” (hello) can go a long way in showing respect and friendliness towards the locals.

Travel Insurance: Don’t skimp on travel insurance. It’s essential for covering any unexpected medical issues or travel disruptions.

4. Making the Most of Your Adventure

Pack Smart: Egypt’s climate varies, so pack a mix of lightweight clothing for the day and warmer layers for cooler evenings. Sun protection, a good pair of walking shoes, and a sturdy backpack are must-haves.

Stay Hydrated: The Egyptian sun can be unforgiving. Always carry a bottle of water with you and stay hydrated throughout your adventures.

Capture Memories, Respectfully: While it’s tempting to capture every moment on your camera or smartphone, be mindful of photography restrictions, especially in sacred or historically significant sites.

Connect with Locals and Fellow Travelers: One of the best parts of backpacking is the people you meet along the way. Engage with locals and other travelers to share experiences and tips.

Recreating the Egyptian Experience at Home

For those who’ve returned with a longing to relive their Egyptian adventure or for aspirants gathering inspiration, recreating the essence of Egypt at home is a journey in its own right.

1. Cook an Egyptian Feast: Explore recipes for traditional dishes like koshari, molokhia, or mahshi. The process of cooking and the flavors can transport you back to the bustling streets of Cairo or a quiet Nile-side cafe.

2. A Night of Egyptian Cinema and Music: Egypt has a rich cinematic history and a vibrant music scene. Spend an evening watching classic Egyptian films or listening to the tunes of Umm Kulthum, Abdel Halim Hafez, or contemporary artists to capture the cultural vibrancy of Egypt.

3. Reading and Research: Delve into Egypt’s history and mythology through books and documentaries. Understanding the stories behind the sites you’ve visited or plan to visit adds a layer of depth to the backpacking experience.


Q: Is it safe to backpack through Egypt?

A: Yes, with proper precautions and awareness of local customs and current events, backpacking through Egypt can be a safe and rewarding experience.

Q: Can I drink the tap water in Egypt?

A: It’s advisable to stick to bottled water or water that has been filtered and treated. Avoid ice in drinks unless you’re sure it’s made from treated water.

Q: How easy is it to get around without speaking Arabic?

A: In major cities and tourist areas, English is widely spoken and understood. Learning a few basic Arabic phrases, however, can greatly enhance your interaction with locals.

Q: What should I pack?

A: Along with culturally appropriate clothing and your usual travel essentials, include sunscreen, a hat, a reusable water bottle, and any medications you might need.

Backpacking through Egypt is more than just a trip; it’s an immersion into a land that has shaped human history in myriad ways. With the right preparation and mindset, young travelers can ensure their Egyptian adventure is both enlightening and enchanting. From the majestic Pyramids to the tranquil Nile, Egypt awaits with open arms and countless stories to tell.

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