Packing for a trip to Egypt can feel a little overwhelming at first, especially as a solo female traveler. But don’t worry! We will explain everything you must have on your packing list for Egypt as well as how it’s best for women to dress, so you can travel to Egypt with confidence.
We’ve got you covered with a printable packing checklist, as well as guidelines for what to wear in Egypt as a solo female traveler and a list of things you may not have considered you might need on your packing list for Egypt. Egypt is a Muslim country, but it ranges from very conservative in the countryside and the dress code at mosques to modern in the big city of Cairo. What to wear in Egypt is pretty straightforward once you understand it.
To carry on or not to carry on? Duffel bag, backpack, or suitcase? We get asked this question a lot, but it’s really up to you and what kind of packer you are! There are two limitations to consider for most Egypt trips, including our Egypt Meetup Tour.
Domestic flights save valuable travel time and make for a much more pleasant trip in Egypt, but like most flights they have some weight restrictions for baggage. A check-in luggage must weigh less than 50lbs/23kg and a carry on less than 17lbs/8kg or you may incur some extra charges at the airport. Also, there will be times when you will have to carry your luggage to your room or around the airport on your own. Be sure you can manage it! We ask that when you travel with us, you limit your baggage to a personal item like a purse, a daypack, and a suitcase to be sure everyone has plenty of space to spread out in the mini-bus.
Otherwise, it is a personal choice what kind of bag you pack for a trip to Egypt. We always recommend not to overpack, so you can save space for souvenirs and not feel weighed down. To maximize space in your bags, use compression packing cubes like these. They save space and keep you organized; we never leave for a trip without them.
Day time temperatures in Egypt are fairly high all year round, especially in summer months between May and September. While summer can be very hot, it’s still worth visiting and catching relief from the sun in the premium 4 and 5 star accommodation with swimming pools and air conditioning on the Egypt Meetup Tour.
Evenings can be chilly, especially in the desert, so it’s best to pack some layers. Weather is a big consideration when deciding what to pack, but hot, sunny days don’t equal less clothing in Egypt. It’s important to keep the climate in mind as well as what is considered appropriate dress for women in Egypt. Check out essential items to pack and how women should dress in Egypt below.
Two things will influence your packing for Egypt the most: the heat and how to dress as a woman.
We believe we should live in a world where women can wear what they choose and not be subject to harassment or objectified, but we also know how important it is to respect a local culture and minimize unwanted attention. Dressing to fit in a local culture will go a long way into helping us win local friends and get a deeper look into the country.
Egypt is an overall conservative Muslim country, which means at the very least that women should keep their shoulders and knees covered. This also helps manage sun exposure, just aim for light, airy, and flowy fabrics. Cairo is a much more modern city than the country-side of Egypt, and here local women wear shorts and the same things we do on a night out. We still suggest leaving tank tops and short shorts at home. Inside resorts, there is really no dress code, so any bathing suit or dress code goes.
Aside from the basics (scroll down for a printable packing list that includes things like underwear and socks), there are some necessities that will make you a lot more comfortable in Egypt. Here are some things you may not think of to pack but will improve your experience.
A scarf for a trip to Egypt should be the first thing you throw in your bag! A lightweight and full coverage scarf won’t take up much space and will serve a lot of purposes on your trip to Egypt. Have it handy to protect your nose and mouth from pollution in Cairo, throw it over your shoulders and chest if you need some unexpected extra modesty, keep the desert dust out of your hair, and use it instead of the not-so-clean options they offer at mosques.
A wide brimmed hat and a high quality sunscreen are necessary for any trip to Egypt. Many of the best sites, including the pyramids and Valley of the Kings, offer little protection from the elements. The last thing you want to feel when marveling at the color of ancient hieroglyphics and the majestic pyramids is your skin burning from the sun.
Comfortable, breezy, and very cute for all those Insta photos, a maxi dress is perfect for hot and conservative Egypt. A dress like the one is perfect because it comes in many sizes, covers your shoulders, and is loose, comfy, and still very cute. This dress is also great value with lots of colors to choose from, perfect for those billowing skirt shots next to the Nile. Don’t forget a pair of non-rolling bicycle shorts or Chub Rub, because chaffing is just the worst.
If you aren’t a dress kind of gal, lightweight wide-leg pants are also excellent to add to your Egypt packing list.
The hot, dry heat and strength of the sun is a huge reason so many ancient ruins remain so preserved. It also means that at least couple pairs of sunglasses should make it in your suitcase when packing for Egypt. Whether you are a designer wearing kind of gal or opt for sturdy and inexpensive polarized glasses, be sure to have a pair and even a backup.
An anti-theft, crossbody purse should be a travel staple almost everywhere in the world. Tourists are always a target to thieves, including in Egypt. Some vendors may cover your purse with the goods they are selling, like scarves, to hide their hand going into your bag. A sturdy purse that zips up fully closed, crosses your body, and even better if it is slash proof is a travel must-have. If you can get by on a day trip with even less, a money belt like this one holds the basics like money, your hotel room key, and your phone is even more secure.
If you want to carry a day pack so you can fit more things like a camera and water bottle, buy cheap locks like these so no one can grab stuff out of the pockets in crowded spaces.
From city tours and ancient temples, you’ll be doing a lot of walking in Egypt sometimes on uneven or dusty surfaces. A comfortable pair of shoes that can handle desert dust and city streets is a must. These shoes by Ecco will last you many trips around the world and walks with the dog at home, plus they are super cute and beyond comfortable. If you are after something cheap and easy to replace, these Adidas sneakers won’t break the bank and will cushion your feet all through Egypt.
Like we said, Egypt is hot and also conservative in most of the country. An oversized button down shirt like this lightweight linen one is perfect for donning over a tank top, and it also works great for a nice dinner in the 4 and 5 star hotels on our Meetup Tour.
Also consider a jacket, especially if you are coming to Egypt outside of summer months. Early mornings, like on the Egypt Meetup Tour hot air balloon ride can get a little chilly!
If you are someone who is sensitive to the heat, one of these rechargeable personal fans may be a good idea. Some sites in Egypt like Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple require a lot of walking with little shade. Wearing your hat, staying hydrated, and having this fan sit on your shoulders could help you focus on the sites instead of the heat. This gem of a product came from one of our members who brought it to the Amazon on the Ecuador Meetup Tour. Such a lifesaver, especially if you run hot.
Our goal with this packing guide is to give you the information you need to travel with confidence to Egypt. Pack carefully, but also don’t stress too much. Many things are available in Egypt for purchase if you find you need something you didn’t pack, and you will have a group of amazing, supported women with you to lend you a hand as they are able. As always, when you travel with us on our Egypt Meetup Tour or on the Dahab Meetup Tour, you have a private space in The Network to chat about your packing list with fellow travelers. You are also welcome to email us if you get stuck and need some advice!
Use this Egypt packing checklist for all the necessities including the basics. Of course, everyone’s needs and personal preferences are different, so don’t look at this as an exhaustive list.
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