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I really need help planning this

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Mesa, Arizona
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3,796 posts
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I really need help planning this

My sister and I are planning on going to Egypt in Nov. I'm trying to keep our budget under $1500 US for the trip not including airfare. What I am looking at doing is Departing the US on either the 13th or 14th of Nov (not sure yet) Spend a couple days doing the usual suspects in Cairo. Returning on the 27-28th.

We can get a hotel at the Le Meridian Giza for $30 a night since my sister works for the Sheridan company. So hotels not an issue.

My problem is finding some type of order in which to do things. We would like to do a nile cruise and found a nice 5star for 4 nights at about $600 pp. Sorry I don't have the paper with the name right now.

We would also like to do a couple nights in Luxor, visit Aswan, Abu simbel, and we would like to spend about 3-4 nights in Sharm El Sheik to scuba dive and relax. Maybe spend another day or two in Cairo after that to shop Then we'd leave from Cairo. I need to be back by Nov 27th or 28th.

I'm just having a really hard time trying to put this in some sort of organize fashion. Looking at guides, tours vs private tours ect. I found some great prices on viator.com which I have used before and had no problems.

I had originally put my sister in charge of this trip but she's failing in her planning duties.. So any type of itinerary or suggestions would be great.

I'm usually quite good at putting trips together but this one is being complicated. We do have a travel agent helping us out but she's nearly impossible to get ahold of.

Thanks in advance! And sorry so long of a post. Also being a semi pro photographer is it safe to carry my huge dsl around my neck all the time? I don't care if I look like a tourist, because I am one ;)

Adana, Turkey
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1. Re: I really need help planning this

Hi,

It sounds like you will have time to hit all of the sites. I am no travel expert, but I would suggest.

Arriving in Cairo and doing that first, 2-3 days.

Then heading down to Aswan, for a few days, including your trip to Abu Simbel.

Depart Aswan for your 5 day cruise,

Arrive in Luxor, spend at least a few days there,

from there head to the beach, and return to Cairo.

I checked out Viatour before I left, and you can get things much much cheaper from a local based guide(while knowing that 100% of your money is staying in the local community.)

Did you check out the recommended tour guide list? It will require a little extra effort on your part if you decide to use a tour guide, but the flexibility was really worth it to me.

Liverpool, United...
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2. Re: I really need help planning this

Agree with what Jillinabq has said.

There are flights from Luxor to Sharm El Sheikh, but they are not frequent, you will have to check that.

I believe booking the local guides yourself will be cheaper and better, I would not rely on anything external as there is always a cut for the middle man.

You can check out our list of recommended tour guides, at the top of the Cairo Forum.

Are you thinking of using an American Travel Agent ? you can of course, but somehow I think an Egyptian has much more local knowledge and of course better prices.

You have plenty of time to plan this - so there is no need to panic, being in a rush can sometimes lead to the wrong choices, and later you say, why did I do that ?

You could look at member trip reports - they with teah you a lot. Member Aquable planned her own trip and wrote honestly about the planning stage and they final results (7 reports), it makes good reading.

Hope that helps

Wendy

Mesa, Arizona
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3. Re: I really need help planning this

I've read some of the tour guide lists and have noted down the names. I've read about 10 trip reports and have talked to about 3 people who have gone already. I just like to get everything booked before the 6 mo deadline to help save money.

Are there any recommended Nile Cruise companies? It doesn't have to be 5 star I'm not that picky just clean and safe.

And also has anyone flown with KLM airlines? They are having a great promo special which includes a 9 hr stop in Amsterdam which would be fun and I can visit friends there too for a few hours.

Wendy do you have any recommendations for an Egyptian Travel agent?

My 28 days trip in Australia with 4 people wasn't this hard to plan lol..... I think I need a vacation from my vacation planning ;)

Adana, Turkey
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4. Re: I really need help planning this

Hello again Dragonflylady,

Somewhere on the forums is a recommended cruise tread, maybe under Luxor, or Nile valley?

I flew KLM/Northwest, and will fly them again. It was not the best service ever, but also not the worst.

I sent you a PM with guide recommendation, or also see several more at the Recommended Guide sticky on the Cairo forum.

I know that planning that first trip was really overwhelming in a way that I have never expereinced before, so many sites! so much to do! Of course I did it the way i do every trip, by cramming in as much as possible, and needing a holiday more when I got home than when I left.

No need to do it that way though. Don't worry the extra foot work on the front end will really pay off, as far as getting the tirp you want at a really affordable price.

Liverpool, United...
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5. Re: I really need help planning this

Continental Tours are good, and they can arrange the ile Cruise and Abu Simbel visit too, you do not really need a guide at Abu Simbel, the transportation is the main thing.

As Jill says you can get some recommendations for cruises on the Luxor forum.

Glad to hear that you have been reading the trip reports, they are interesting and useful too.

Regards

Wendy

Mesa, Arizona
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6. Re: I really need help planning this

This is great stuff Wendy you should really consider writing a practical guide book for Egypt. Make some real money from this. My sister is suppose to be mailing me a Rough guide of Egypt since I can't find one near where I live. LOL

7. Re: I really need help planning this

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Atlanta
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8. Re: I really need help planning this

Dragonflylady,

I feel your pain on this travel planning. I am planning a trip May 1-8. I normally do my own trip planning (gotta love the internet!)very well throughout the caribbean but THIS is something totally different!

I wanted to let you know that I am currently living/working in Amsterdam and have traveled (personal and business) quite a bit. KLM is the airline I will be taking to Egypt and my preference while here in the Netherlands!

Hope the planning is going well!

Cairo, Egypt
13 posts
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9. Re: I really need help planning this

Hello DragonflyLady,

Hope all is going well. I know what you're going through, but this should be part of the fun :)

Although I am not in the tourism business, not even close, but let me know if you need help from somebody on the ground. I just moved to Cairo from California a couple of years ago.

Egypt is fun in November, you picked a perfect time!

Enjoy

Sherif

Orlando, Florida
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2,671 posts
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10. Re: I really need help planning this

Hi dragonflylady,

You've already received some good info, however I will offer my $.02 anyway. First, let me comment that I visited Williams, Arizona to take the train to the Grand Canyon. Did not realize that there were residents who lived there (lol)

I just returned from a tour of Egypt. I had made a reservation through Viator, however found much cheaper options. Fortunately, they allowed me to cancel without penalty.

I took a 4 night cruise on the Nile with Spring Tours' Ms. Sapphire. It claimed to be 5 star, however not sure what other ships were like. Although it did not have sliding glass doors in the cabin, the cabins were spacious with large, picture windows; the meals were magnificent; wonderful sun deck and entertainment...plus, all of my excursions were included in the price of $375.00 per person (this includes tax).

I agree with Wendy on www.continentaltours.com. You may contact Amani at countour100@gmail.com to make arrangements anywhere around Egypt. Much less than what Viator charges.

Sounds as if you and your sister will have a wonderful time (Yes, I also have a sister who doesn't always follow through when I want :-). Have fun.