WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO EGYPT

WHAT TO PACK FOR A TRIP TO EGYPT

If you ended up on this blog page, you’re probably wondering what to pack for a trip to Egypt.

Egypt is a beautiful albeit challenging country to visit, and you’ll encounter hot days, which is why it’s important to carefully consider what you’ll pack.

You’ll want to be prepared for all sorts of different weather and terrain while also following local customs on dress.

Here’s what to pack for a trip to Egypt.

What Were My Egypt Packing Must-Haves?

A Note on Customs

When I went to Egypt, I did prior research on local customs.

A big part of travel is making sure you’re respectful to the locals.

Of course, you want to be comfortable with what you’re wearing in terms of the weather, but you’ll be more uncomfortable if you’re not dressed appropriately in whatever room you’re standing in.

Think about it this way.

If you wear jeans and a t-shirt and you walked into a room where everyone was dressed in black tie attire, wouldn’t you feel uncomfortable?

The same goes for travel.

While you can opt into the type of activities you partake in, you’ll always need to keep modesty in mind.  

The official religion of Egypt is Islam and 90 percent of those Muslims are a sect called Sunni Muslims.

The women in this sect dress very modestly and cover shoulders, knees, and often their hair.

Although this isn’t always the case, it is helpful to be aware of this when packing.

You’ll find more progressive views on attire in some upscale Cairo neighborhoods, but it’s often helpful to gear your own dress towards the lowest common denominator.

If you make sure you’re reasonably modest, then you won’t get as many stares or catcalls as you may otherwise.

And yes, this may seem unfair.

No one should be catcalling any woman regardless of what she’s wearing, but unfortunately, you won’t change the culture based on your week in Egypt and what you choose to wear.

And you’re not here to.

You’re here to experience a different culture and part of that comes with experiencing something different than you’re used to even if that includes dress.

Two-females-sitting-on-benches-in-Cairo-Egypt

Weather in Egypt

The weather is generally pleasant in Egypt year-round except during the summer.

Here’s a breakdown of the weather throughout the year if you’re looking for specifics.

  • November to March: This is the best time to visit Egypt if you’re looking for cooler weather. Winter is mild, but you’ll generally see quite a bit of rain.
  • April to May & September to October: This time of year is generally the best time to visit, especially if you’re planning to visit both North and South. The weather is warmer but nowhere near the scorching summers.
  • June to August: Only head to Egypt in this time frame if you don’t mind the heat. This is when you’ll want to go to the beach and the pool. In fact, the Red Sea sees its peak tourist season. However, because temperatures reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, Cairo, Aswan, and Luxor all see fewer tourists.

What to Wear

Okay, so now you know what you’re in for.

Egypt is a conservative country with warm weather.

If you’re like many other travelers out there, you’re probably thinking, “Well, what the heck do I pack?”

You’ll want to bring clothes that cover your chest, shoulders, and knees (ideally mid-calf).

This goes for both men and women.

Additionally, for women, it’s often a question of whether they should cover their hair.

After all, many locals do it.

Is it disrespectful not to?

As a visitor, you do not have to cover your hair but doing so shows that you’re sensitive to their culture and the locals (both men and women) will be appreciative of your gesture.

Besides, if you’re looking to experience the indigenous culture first hand by participating in local activities, covering your head will earn you brownie points and will increase your chances of being invited to local events and functions. 

Moreover, there may be certain sites that require you to cover your head, and thus it’s often a good idea to have a scarf on hand (I suggest some below!).

However, this isn’t something you have to worry about day to day.

And although tourists won’t get called out for not adhering to the “dress code,” the goal is to be respectful of local customs.

Remember, if you’re desperate to wear what you want, you can always stick around your hotel.

Hotels geared towards tourists are often more accustomed to foreign dress.

Female-standing-in-front-of-the-Bent-pyramid-in-Giza-Cairo-Egypt

What Clothes to Pack for Egypt

If you’re looking for a list of what to pack for Egypt, this will help you get started.

However, the quantity will vary depending on the season in which you travel.

Best Items for Egypt:

  • Temperature regulating t-shirts
  • Insect repellant top
  • Long-sleeved temperature regulating top
  • Blouses/shirts
  • Cardigan or light sweaters
  • Lightweight, loose pants
  • Jeans or nicer pants (not necessary in summer)
  • Long skirts
  • Long dresses (below the knee, cover shoulders)
  • Undergarments (for 7 days)
  • Fleece (hikes, bus rides, camping trips)
  • Packable down jacket (best for a winter trip)
  • Pajamas

Here’s a breakdown of quantities that you may consider depending on which season you’re traveling in:

For warm weather…(3) temperature regulating t-shirts, (3) blouses/t-shirts, (1) insect-repelling long-sleeved shirt, (2) pairs of loose-fitting pants, (1) pair of jeans/nicer pants, (2) skirts, (1) dress, everything else in the “other” category below. No down jacket necessary.

For cool weather…(2) temperature regulating t-shirts, (2) temperature-regulating long-sleeved shirts, (3) blouses/lighter sweaters, (1) pair of loose-fitting pants, (2) pairs of jeans/nicer pants, (1) dress, everything else in the “other” category below.

You can mix and match based on your own preferences!

That should just give you an idea of what you may need.

What Luggage to Use for Egypt

In the interest of both time and convenience at the airport, I recommend using luggage that you can easily recognize at the baggage carousel.

Pick something that is instantly or distinctly identifiable such as, brightly colored bags or suitcases or ones you can pick out of a crowd.

If purchasing different colored luggage is not an option, a smart alternative that frequent travelers typically use is to tie a patterned or unusually colored scarf, band, or a tiny piece of cloth to the handles of the luggage so it can be easily located, even from the other end of the conveyor belt.

If you don’t have a go-to suitcase for international travel, check out this article from Travel and Leisure, The Best Luggage for Easy International Travel, for suggestions on the best products to order before you head to Egypt.

I’d also recommend purchasing some packing cubes.

If you’ve never used packing cubes, you probably don’t understand the hype.

It probably sounds like a bag within a bag.

Yet, there’s a reason why so many frequent travelers love packing cubes.

They help keep the inside of your suitcase organized so that you know exactly where everything is.

Whether you need additional space and opt for compression packing cubes or you just can’t stand when you open your suitcase and everything falls out, packing cubes can make all the difference in your travel game.

Male-looking-out-the-window-at-a-plane-taking-off-while-sitting-on-a-chair-at-the-airport-with-his-legs-on-his-luggage

Other Clothing Essentials to Pack for Egypt

Scarves

Secret pocket scarf – Traveling light is often convenient, yet how do you make sure that you don’t look the same in all your photos?

How do you not get sick of wearing the same thing every day?

Accessorizing differently can be one of the best and easiest ways to mix and match your outfits.

This secret pocket scarf can be carried and added to virtually every outfit.

However, be sure to pack thin scarves of cotton or other light materials – thick woolen winter scarves are a complete no-no here unless you want your head to be drenched in sweat in the hot climate! 

Large scarf – This item is perfect for visits to the mosque or for protecting your skin when the sun is feeling strong and you need to cover up.

Again, packing a large but thin scarf is mandatory.

Swimwear

What you bring in terms of swimwear is ultimately up to you.

You may swim in the Red Sea or at your hotel’s resort.

And although you can bring a bikini, it’s often most respectful to opt for a one-piece swimsuit.

You’ll also want to bring a cover-up, sun hat, and sunglasses.

Protect your skin from the strong Egyptian sun!

Shoes

Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to shoes.

Pick shoes you know you can walk around all day in and that minimize sweating (if possible).

    • Sneakers
    • Sandals

Moisture-wicking socks

Enough said – it’s going to be hot!

Other Essentials – What Else to Pack for Egypt

Given the scorching sun in the country, the list of “what items to pack for Egypt” isn’t complete without the usual summer essentials.

Here’s a list of items to pack for the warm weather and other scenarios:

  • Sunscreen – Protect your skin from the sun at all times to avoid sunburns! As the weather is quite hot here, get a sunscreen cream with a high SPF (at least 70 or above) and don’t forget to carry a tube in your purse wherever you go.
Pocket-Scarf-with-passport-half-in-pocket
  • Hat – Sun protection doesn’t feel adequate without the right hat. Don’t forget to pack wide, large brimmed hats. Shop if you have to but find one that adequately shelters you from the hot rays.
  • Sunglasses – Don’t forget polarized sunglasses – a summer must-have – to protect your eyes from the damaging and blinding effects of the sun or you’ll find yourself squinting from morning to evening!
  • Medicines – The warm weather aside, food poisoning is another concern when traveling to beautiful Egypt. Taking into account the fact that it is one of the most common stomach ailments experienced by foreign tourists here, it wouldn’t hurt to be prepared for a worst case scenario – consult your general practitioner on what medicines to carry.
  • Toiletries and Sanitizing Products – Perhaps one of the most useful “what to pack for Egypt” tips is to carry a travel-size bottle of liquid soap whenever you step outside, as most public restrooms are not equipped with soap. Similarly be armed with a pack of wipes and tissues, which are also a great multi-purpose travel item to have. Finally don’t forget a hand sanitizer – one of the best weapons against bacterial or stomach infections.

Final Thoughts

Knowing what to pack for a trip to Egypt can feel challenging.

Yet, learning more about the place you’re going to can help you feel prepared as you’ll need to take the culture, weather, and activities you’ll be doing into consideration.

However be sure to also account for your specific needs and comfort while simultaneously keeping in mind the cultural sensitivity of a place, especially when considering what to pack for Egypt.

And, don’t worry, if you learn you forgot something or don’t have something you need, you’re always able to buy the things you need once you’re there.

For the most part, tourists find good bargains on clothes and Egyptian cotton while they’re visiting Egypt.

Before you head to the airport, read our blog on Travel Tips for Long Flights: How to Survive.

You may want to pack a few extra things to make your flight comfortable!

Do you have any additional tips on what to pack for a trip to Egypt? If you do, comment below!

If you are looking for a step-by-step guide to help you plan your trip to Egypt, check out The Ultimate Guide to Trip Planning.

If you are still feeling overwhelmed, or simply do not have the time to plan your trip to Egypt, why not let us help you? We will create the perfect bespoke itinerary just for you!

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