Is Now the Best Time to Visit Egypt?
The ongoing tumult in the Middle East has done more than drive gasoline prices up, it's also driven tourism down. In Luxor you can have entire areas of the temples to yourself. In Cairo there are sometimes more camels looking at the pyramids than tourists. Fewer tourists also means lower prices. Top hotels in Luxor have rooms for $60 a night, and tour guides are eager to make a deal. However, the question is, is it safe to visit now?
The answer to that is Yes and Probably. Yes, the tourist sites in Egypt are very safe right now, and Probably, they will be safe when you visit in a few months. Since Probably may not be good enough to book a $1000 nonrefundable plane ticket, we suggest booking a trip with frequent flyer miles that allow you to cancel at the last minute ( we assume all Tango in Tahiti readers follow our blog and had a stash of American Airline miles from their 3 Citi Credit cards).
The other option is to visit Egypt on a cruise ship. We suggested this earlier in the year and even posted a link to a cruise that was $399 (Yes, just $399) from Dubai to Europe with stops in Egypt and Jordan on a top notch Royal Caribbean ship. The advantage to visiting the Middle East on a cruise ship is that you can check the US State department website in the morning and if things look dicey, simply stay on the ship.
Traveling by cruise allows you plenty of time to see the sites. Check out ramsestours.com to see all the options for day trips from the ports to the pyramids, temples, and bazaars.
For a Tango in Tahiti reader who has followed our blog advice on frequent flyer miles and cruises, the costs of an Egypt trip by cruise ship would be something like this:
Flight to Dubai: 40,000 AA miles and $50 booking fee
Hotel, Taxis, Food for one night in Dubai: $250 (for two people)
Cruise: $399 plus $250 taxes = $650
Shore Excursions to Temples and Pyramids: $300
Tips and Misc on Cruise: $200
2 days exploring Rome at end of trip: $200 per person
Flight Home: 25,000 miles and $50 booking fee
Total cost per person: 65,000 AA miles and $1700 for one person
Total cost for 2 people: $3400 for 20 days and 3 continents on a top cruise line and 4 and 5 star hotels in Rome and Dubai....