How should I pack for Egypt?

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Answered by: Michael, An Expert in the Tips for Traveling Category
Your vacation request is in, your plane tickets are purchased and tomorrow you'll be winging your way to the land of pharaohs. Standing next to your bed with an empty suitcase waiting to be filled you look at your closet and realize you're not ready for this. Egypt isn't just a place, you think, it's a whole other world. An oasis on the river surrounded by endless stretches of white sand and empty landscapes. It is a desert city vastly different from anything you've experienced before.

How do you pack for Egypt?

Pack Light:

The first rule is always pack light. No, that doesn't mean you should leave your curling iron behind. What it does mean is that your clothing should be light and airy. No heavy cottons and no thick pants designed to keep the wind from biting in to you. It's hot in Egypt, with highs in Cairo averaging in the mid 90s. You're going to want to focus on clothes that will stay dry when you're not. Linen clothes are popular in Egypt for this reason.

Light doesn't just apply to the weight of your clothes though, it should apply equally to the color. When you're sitting astride a camel with the sun beating down on your back light colors are going to keep you cooler than that black t-shirt you wear everywhere.

These Boots are Made for Walking:

You'll be doing plenty of it. Getting around by car in Cairo is practically impossible if you're not used to driving there and a taxi is no way to see the city. A reliable, comfortable pair of walking shoes or boots will make the time you spend walking the famous Cairo Bazaar or exploring the Pyramids of Giza all that much more pleasant.

Whatever you do, don't forget to wear comfortable socks that will dry quickly. The same rules apply for socks as for clothes, anything that is going to hold in moisture or making you sweat worse should be left at home.

Dress Modestly:

Don't try to dress like a local, you certainly won't pull it off and you probably won't be comfortable trying. Both men and women should wear clothes that cover their legs and shoulders, as this may be required when entering Muslim holy sites in and around Egypt. Women are not required to cover their hair, but modesty is an important part of Egyptian life.

Wear Sunscreen:

There isn't a lot of shade in Egypt, and whether you're exploring the pyramids of Saqqara or enjoying the beaches of Alexandria you will be in the sun. A wide brimmed hat is a must for long treks, but sunscreen is essential for even the shortest jaunts around the countryside. If you're going to be spending an extended period outdoors consider an SPF 30+ broad spectrum sunscreen for maximum protection.


Now that you know how to pack for Egypt you're all set to begin your adventure. Don't forget to take pictures, you'll want to remember your time there.

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