The Egypt Packing and Culture Guide for Solo Female Travelers

By SoFe Travel Editors
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Egypt is exciting, confronting, hot, rich in preserved pieces of history, and an absolute must see destination for every solo female traveler. While it’s perhaps not the best country for the brand new solo traveler, it’s still a relatively safe place to travel with some extra precautions. It’s also very safe and an even richer experience to go with a group – a perfect way to explore with a safety net and see all the best places.

Like many countries in the world, there are cultural rules and expectations on what women wear and how they represent themselves. We believe that women should wear what they want and do what they please, but our ideal world just doesn’t exist. Ignoring the culture of a country can not only really ruin the experience of your trip, but it can even be dangerous. 

Egypt is a conservative Muslim country, and at a glance, that means it’s best to leave the string bikini at home and get into light fabrics, loose fits, and shirts with sleeves. Cairo and tourist hotels and resorts are less conservative where tank tops and bathing suits will be just fine (although erring on the conservative side is better), but the more off the beaten path you go, the more you should cover up and have a headscarf in your bag when you need it. Think breezy, cool fabrics with a loose fits that let your skin breath in the heat.

If you are coming with us on The Egypt Global Meetup Tour, feel free to bring whatever you want to wear for our hotels and resorts, where we can feel free to relax the dress code with a cold beer in hand. 

When we are out and about throughout Egypt, don’t be that one gal on the trip in crop tops and booty shorts bringing unwanted attention to the whole group. The only attention we want to attract are chats with locals over tea, and smiles from curious kids.

Camel in Egypt solo female tour

Solo Female Traveler Egypt Packing List

Essentials

  • Sunglasses
  • A towel for random dips in the Nile
  • Copies of your travel documents- passport, flight itinerary, travel insurance policy and contact info.
  • A pair of breathable, solid walking shoes like Keens or Teva, our favorites.
  • Loose-fitting pants 
  • A casual dress or nice outfit you can dance in
  • Short sleeve tops, tank tops, at least one shirt that totally covers your shoulders
  • A lightweight scarf to cover your head
  • A sports bra, especially if you are riding the ATV
  • A swimsuit and bathing suit cover-up
  • Don’t forget underwear 

Toiletries

  • Sunscreen
  • Body soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner, hairbrush
  • Body wash
  • Period essentials
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
solo female travelers on a boat in Egypt

How much should you pack?

We always recommend sticking to a carry on in almost all of our travels. In countries like Egypt, where sadly, scammers in the airports and city of Cairo are everywhere, it’s best to have a bag that’s always with you and easy to carry. This is much less of a concern on our Egypt Global Meetup Tour, but even though you’re safe with us, it’s good practice to travel light. You will be hauling your stuff here and there sometimes, so it’s important you can carry it. 

Invest in a comfy, breathable, walkable pair of sandals for this trip. Trust us, you’ll need them.

Keep in mind that in mosques, you will have to take off your shoes. There are strict rules about conservative clothing while in a mosque, and if you aren’t dressed appropriately, you won’t be allowed inside. Always keep a scarf stashed in your bag just in case, because you will need to cover your hair and your shoulders. 

Women traveling solo in Egypt tours

Harassment

If you haven’t yet grown a thick skin for street harassment, a walk through Cairo (especially if you are not dressed in a culturally sensitive manner) can leave you rattled if you aren’t armed with the right attitude. While most catcalls, stares, and creepy leers are harmless, it can still be pretty uncomfortable. Don’t accept unsolicited help from strangers and follow the advice below.

Here are some tips to ward of harassment: 

  • Ignore. Don’t even bother smiling. Just keep about your business.
  • Wear sunglasses to avoid eye contact.
  • Ignore. We mean it, so we said it twice! Ignore them but also ignore your internal commentary on it all. Let it roll off your back and walk on focusing on all the amazing things around you.
  • Dress respectfully and you will find both men and women will respond to you in a more respectful manner.
  • While it probably won’t happen, especially if you are with us on The Egypt Global Meetup Tour, do feel free to stand up for yourself if you feel threatened. Egyptian men you do not know should not be touching you at all and if you’re in public, people will come to your aid if you make a fuss.

Tipping

People depend on tips to feed their families and they deserve to be appreciated for a job well done. Both tourists and Egyptians are expected to tip for almost every service. Luckily, most tipping expectations are lower than Western countries, especially America. When you tip, do so discreetly and directly to the person you are tipping.

 

Here are minimum, yet respectful, amounts to tip.

Tips can be in dollars, euros or Egyptian notes but not coins, because foreign coins cannot be exchanged or used to buy anything. 

Tour related tips

  • Tour Guide: $10 per day or 160 Egyptian pounds
  • Hotel Housekeeping: $3 or 50 Egyptian pounds
  • Drivers: $3 our day (included in our Meetup Tour)

Once off

  • Restaurant server: 5%-10% of the bill
  • Porter or Baggage Handler:  20 Egyptian pounds or $1.25 usd (included in our Meetup Tour)
  • Toilet Attendant:  5 Egyptian Pounds or $.35 usd

If you are coming with us on The Egypt Global Meetup Tour, the tips for all of the porters and drivers are included, but the rest is up to you and at your discretion.

Solo Female Travel Quick Guide:

  • Go to Egypt. It’s a magical country that will surely take your breath away.
  • Dress culturally sensitive to maximize your experience.
  • Wear loose, lightweight clothing.
  • Have a scarf for extra modesty with you at all times.
  • Leave the booty shorts and string bikinis at home, but do feel free to swim and relax the rules in hotels.
  • Egypt is a tipping culture for Egyptians and tourists alike

 
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