Important Information for your Egypt Journey
Intention and expectation: Your journey to Egypt will be as magical and inspirational as you allow it to be. Your best preparation is to come with an open heart, an open mind and an intention to fall in love. The sites will inspire and open you, and the Egyptian people will capture your heart. Their warmth and friendliness will disarm you, so be prepared for an “in your face” friendliness that can at times feel overwhelming. Good boundaries, flexibility and a loving presence are your best passport.
The backbone of Egypt’s economy is tourism. Each of you is a treasure to the country and for the most part everyone will want to make you happy. While they can be hard bargainers in the market place, their greatest concern is that you walk away with a good experience.
Egypt has been a destiny for millenium and continues to draw people from around the world. We are delighted to share this magical land and its people with you.
What you need to know to prepare:
Personal Info Sheet: As soon as you have filled out your personal information sheet, which is available on the website, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. You will then be ready for the following information.
Travel Insurance – We recommend that you take out travel insurance in case of any unforeseen incidents. This will cover your costs if something unexpected happens. Once you pay your deposit you have 14 days to purchase your insurance. We use CSA Travel Insurance – (800) 348-9505. Please contact them as soon as you make your payment to make sure of your eligibility. If you have a company that you already use, you may want to make comparisons and let us know if it is preferable and we will pass the information along.
Payments: After your initial non-refundable deposit, the balance is due 60 days prior to departure. If you are not in the United States, we can accept bank checks or money orders in US currency or money can be directly wired into the Presence of Heart account. For US residents we accept personal checks, bank checks or wire transfers. For Paypal there is a 4 % surcharge.
Refund Policy: Presence of Heart will refund your balance excluding the deposit 60 days prior to your departure. Reservations canceled between 30 and 59 days prior to the departure date will receive 50 per cent of your balance due. Reservations canceled less than 29 days prior to departure are non-refundable.
International Flight: As soon as you book your flights we need to have your entire itinerary emailed to our office to email@example.com All information about airfare must be with our agents in Egypt by the 60 day mark so plans can be arranged for airport transfers. You are welcome to come a day or two early if you want to acclimate. Our agents, Quest Travel, will assist you with hotels and transfers. If you arrive on any day except the day of tour travel, a $40.00 transfer fee will be charged for the transfer from the airport by our agents.
When you arrive in Egypt you will be required to buy a visa. Most countries can get their visas at the airport, but if you are not sure, check with the Egyptian consulate online. The cost for visas at the airport are $15.00 and are available at the bank kiosks on arrival in the Egyptair terminal. You get your visa before you go through passport control. After passport control, you will be met by a representative from Quest Travel who will get your luggage and transport you to the hotel where we will meet you and help you check in.
Travel Documents You are required to have a valid passport that will not expire before six months. We recommend that you make 2 copies of your passport and credit card and leave them in a separate part of your travel bags. We will collect one copy of your passport for the hotels and boat. There are safes in all the rooms to leave whatever you don’t want to carry with you. We suggest you also call your credit card company to give them your dates of travel in Egypt so you will not have difficulty using your card when abroad. You may also want to leave a third copy of your documents at home with a family member as well.
We also suggest doing the same with your credit cards.
While Presence of Heart will handle all transfers and most gratuities, you will need to bring money to tip the staff on the Nile cruise boat of $90 US or $10 per day. You will also need about $125.00 to $150.00 to tip your extraordinary Egyptologist. Unless you are a big shopper an additional $400 to $600 should give you enough to enjoy yourself graciously. Debit cards or cash work best. If you bring cash you need to bring new bills that are not marked or torn in any way. Please ask your bank to save some for you before you leave in advance. More and more ATM’s are available but not like in western countries. The exchange is approximately 6 Egyptian pounds to the dollar. We recommend that you change money when you arrive at our first hotel and make sure you get small bills for tipping at restrooms and for small favors done by hotel staff. One pound about 18 cents works in most restrooms and one or two pounds is good for general tipping in hotels. Egyptians love to bargain and having cash will allow you to get better deals. Most traditional stores and hotels take credit cards.
Health Preparations: No shots are required for Egypt. The most common ailment is travelers diarrhea due to different bacterias. While we stay in excellent accomodations, it is not unusual to have some kind of intestinal response. We sugguest taking acidophilus a month prior to travel and throughout the trip. Grapefruit seed extract in tablet or tincture to be taken with each meal is also a good preventative. There are good remedies in Egypt for tummy stuff but preparation helps a lot. Egypt has good doctors and we can access them if necessary. Just make sure you bring whatever medicines and herbs you take when traveling. A good immune booster is helpful as well.
Only drink bottled water. Use it also for brushing teeth. It is found everywhere and much less expensive from street markets and restaurants than in the hotels or boat. You are welcome to bring your own bottle to meals if you have purchased it from another vendor. Drink a lot of water when you are in Egypt.
Most people use digital cameras. Make sure you have plenty of memory cards as you will not have a way to download your photos unless you bring your own computer. Also make sure you have the correct adaptors to charge your camera.
Cameras and Video Equipment:
A: A new policy has recently been put into effect by the SCA. This policy allows for cameras to be used at most sites without charge. However, both regular and video cameras can not be used in the museum or at Valley of the Kings. Please do not bring them or they will need to be stored at the site, and can cause delays.
Clothing & Shopping Most flights allow you to check two pieces of luggage weighing up to 50 lbs. each and one carry-on. With all the wonderful shopping in Egypt, inexpensive duffel bags are easily found to carry home your treasures, so travel light. Dress is casual for everyone. Egypt is a Muslim country and the women are mostly covered, therefore, when in the sites or the markets, we ask the women to dress modestly with long skirts or long light pants or capris with casual short sleeve blouses – please no sleeveless tops or shorts. That being said, you can wear anything you want in the hotels and on our private boat. You will see other tourists wearing shorts and exposed clothing , yet we prefer to be respectful of the culture. Men can wear shorts if they wish as well as jeans, slacks and T-shirts. Bathing suits and shorts are fine for everyone on the cruise and inside the hotels. Many of us enjoy wearing the gallabayas or caftans worn both by the local men and women. They are loose and comfortable and you can find them easily all over Egypt. Shopping is a wonderful way to interact with the Egyptians. Bargaining is expected and fun – and we will give you good shopping tips during orientation. Egyptians love to play. Have fun, shop with a smile.
What to bring: Pack Lightly-Travel Lightly
- Sun block
- Sun Hat
- Insect repellent
- Good walking shoes (tennis shoes or Teva type sandals)
- Light sweater or jacket
- Day pack to carry water, camera etc.
- Ear plugs
- Grapefruit Seed Extract (good for intestinal bugs)
- Any remedies you usually take to travel
- Small packs of tissues
- Wet wipes or Purelle
- No Jet Lag (taken during the flight)
- Power bars , trail mix or protein snacks for long days: Larabars and Raw Revolution are great!
- Purell (a hand disinfectant)
- Electrolytes or Emergen C
- Special supplements – ChlorOxygen, Cell Food – see below *
- Bathing Suits
- International Phone card
- Donations for children and new friends (pens, pencils, small notebooks,hair clips for girls. We are not wanting to contribute to their unhealthy diet so we suggest not bringing candy.)
An antibiotic cream or skin salve
Bandaids or Mole skins
Reading – There is much written on Ancient Egypt and many interpretations. If you wish to have some background before the trip we recommend the following:
|Normandi Ellis||Awakening Osiris, Dreams of Isis, Festival of Lights|
|Jean Houston||Passion of Isis and Osiris|
|Robert Bauval||The Orion Mysteries|
|John Anthony West||The Serpent in the Sky, The Travelers Key to Ancient Egypt|
|Clive Barrett||The Egyptian Gods and Goddesses|
|Murray Hope||Practical Egyptian Magic|
|Jeremy Nadler||Temple of the Cosmos|
|Isha Schwaller De Lubicz||Her-Bak, Chick Pea Vol I|
|Her-Bak, Egyptian||Initiate, Vol II|
|Paul Brunton||A Search in Secret Egypt|
|Joan Grant||Winged Pharoah|
|Zeiny El Hanny||Omm Sety’s Egypt|
|Mohamed Nazmy||The Modern Day Alchemist|
|Peter Tomkins||Secrets of the Great Pyramid|
|Mona Rolfe||Initiation by the Nile|
|Robert Temple||Mystery of the Sphinx|
Phone cards – For personal calls, you can purchase International Phone cards at Costco (by Verizon) or a variety of others from most CVS type stores as well. Make sure to have the international access numbers for calling from Egypt back home. These kinds of cards are also available in Egypt.
Internet – Hotels have email access available and internet shops are also available in many locations. There are dataports in hotel rooms where you can hook up your laptop and the cruise boat has wireless for $10.00 per day.
Electricity: –Egypt uses 220 volts and the plugs resemble European two round prong types. Make sure your appliances have converters in them. Most computers do. If not, bring a converter and to be safe a eurosurge protector as power can fluctuate. Hair dryers are in the hotel rooms and on the boat.
There is laundry service available at the hotels but not on the Afandina. Bring clothes that can be easily hand washed in the sink and hung out to dry. Our boat is our floating home and Temple upon the Nile.
Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions that are not answered here.