What I would like some advice on is whether to do the full service tour companies (pick up at airport, book hotel and domestic flight, tours etc etc) OR do just the tours with whomever to all the sites, or to not even bother with tour guides.
Some info: both young and fit, we went to Turkey last summer and did Istanbul on our own, traveled on the buses/trams and everything or just walked! Didn't mind it at all-it probably added to the experience. The only tour we did was a group one at the Blue Mosque and Haga Sofia since we felt we wouldn't get as much out of the visit without one.
-Is there any benefit to having these companies book hotels and/or domestic flights, or would I be better off doing that on my own?
-Is it that much of a pain to get around Cairo by taxi to the various places? I have no problems being firm and negotiating, and have read enough to know to make sure the fare is for the cab, not pp and is in E£, but the boyfriend is worried it will get old catching cabs all the time.
-Would we get 'hassled' less if we had a guide with us? We were talked to and approached non-stop in Istanbul, which didn't really bother us but might be nice to have a bit more peace if that makes sense.
-Can you hire local guides for the day ie someone to take us to the west bank attractions for the day and take us back to the hotel and just that, no lunch etc etc. If there are local guides available are they as good, safe, well priced? Where would I book one?
-Are there worse lines to get attraction tickets if you don't have a guide?
-Balloon tours in Luxor...is it worth it?
Apologies for the looooong post, I would appreciate any feedback!!!