1. It is advisable to wear long pants, long skirts, short, elbow-length or long sleeves, and flat shoes.
Covering up is the custom in Upper Egypt. By dressing in this way you show your respect for the tradition and avoid attracting undesired attention. And there are practical reasons too: you are protected from the sun by day and the mosquitos by night. Paths and walkways may have unexpected potholes, missing or irregular paving stones that are tripping hazards. And curbs may be almost 20 inches high – hard to negotiate elegantly in a tight or short skirt.
2. Before you take pictures, ask “mumkin sura?”
This means “May I take a photograph?”
Many people here do not like to be photographed. They have their reasons; creating the image of a person is against their faith, and they have no control over what these photographs will be used for.
3. Give tips
The magic word is ‘baksheesh’.
A tip is recognition for the provision of a service, a way of saying thank you. While compliments are welcome, a good tip is always highly appreciated in Luxor. Check your bill. If a bill includes a service charge, simply round up the total. If service is not included, add 20% if the service was good – and nothing if it was not.
4. There is no such currency as a “Nubian pound”
Some dealers quote a price in Nubian pounds. This is a trick! There is no such currency. Make sure the prices are always quoted in Egyptian Pounds.
Haggling is a part of life! Negotiating prices is a game that everyone can play. Sip the tea you are offered and chat for a while – and then offer around half of the price the sellers asks. He will complain loudly, but you can be sure that he will not sell anything at a loss. Be bold and pay only as much as the pretty box, jewelry or scarf is worth to you.
6. Always take toilet paper (TP) or paper handkerchiefs along!
Many toilets do not have a supply of TP; Egyptians use water to cleanse themselves. So bring your own TP or packs of paper handkerchiefs. You will find women, or sometimes small boys, selling them for 1 LE a pack.
7. Drink plenty of water!
This is vital! After all, you want to stay fit to get the most out of your holiday. Dehydration can make you feel dizzy, give you a headache and make you feel faint. Drink lots of mineral water. When you travel with us, we will give you a bottle of mineral water for free when you go on a tour.
8. Eat where the Egyptians eat
These places will offer the best food at the lowest prices. Traditional Egyptian food is delicious. But eat only cooked food or fruits that you peel.
9. Keep your eyes open on the roads
The traffic is hell. Cars and motorbikes are unlikely to show consideration when you want to cross the road, and they do not even stop at red lights. In Cairo it's best to wait until locals cross the street and tag along with them. If traffic police is at an intersection, they will help you if you ask.
10. Conmen and touts
These tiresome people are a pest. They accost you and try to sell you something in order to earn commission on the sale. Say “La, shukran” (No thank you) and keep walking. If they persist, threaten to call the Tourist Police – that will work!