Packing for a trip to Egypt - and especially Cairo - is no easy feat. While it can be extremely hot there you’ll also have the added worry of thinking about the culture and what is (and is not) appropriate to wear there. Plus, nothing can ruin a vacation like getting to your epic destination and realizing you forgot an essential item.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to dress modestly so forget the jean shorts and spaghetti straps. Below is a list of items you may consider taking with you on your next trip to Egypt. This packing list should be used only as a general guide and was made for most people traveling to Cairo. Even if you are going to different cities in Egypt this packing list will still be helpful. You don't have to take every item on this list - use your best judgement to determine what you will need and try to pack light. It will definitely help you along the way.
I always try and do every trip with a carry on only. Not only is it lighter and easier to travel alone but I save time not having to wait in lines to check my bag and pick up my bag after a flight. You'll be surprised just how much stuff can fit in a carry on!
A quick note on packing light: To help pack as light as possible I try and bring clothes that serve multiple purposes. A maxi skirt that can be work over a bathing suit as a cover-up and also be worn with my heels for a nicer dinner. I also pack the same general colors throughout my bag so that everything matches easily.
Clothing to pack for Egypt
Obviously, you will want to look at the weather before heading out to Egypt. In Cairo, generally the days are pretty hot and whenever you are outside of your hotel you will want to dress as modestly as possible. I have a go-to light weight cardigan that I pack for all modest countries. This means I don’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe. I just add this over my outfit whenever I am sightseeing.
Pack long maxi skirts - you can easily tie these up if the day is extremely hot. Dresses that go to at least your knees, and tops that cover your shoulders. Don't wear anything too low cut, or too tight.
You will want to stick with short sleeve button down, golf or polo shirts (try to get ones that wick away sweat), and bermuda shorts. Also, pack long khakis or slacks for a nice dinner out.
If you’re staying at a hotel (like Marriott Mena House) you'll want to pack lots of bathing suits to lounge in. I love one pieces because then I don't mind indulging in the awesome food and drinks most beach hotels serve.
Sundresses and Going out dresses
These are all fine if you are staying at your hotel to eat or going out to a club on your hotels property.
Other clothing essentials
Best Shoes For Traveling Egypt
Depending on how light you pack, you'll want a versatile shoe. Egypt can get dirty and dusty real quick, or extremely sandy. During a normal trip, I'll pack three pairs of shoes in my carry on: sandals, light-weight sneakers, and nude low heels. Like I stated in the beginning of this article, I try and pack everything in the same color scheme so that I match effortlessly.
Sandals: I try and match all my shoes and clothes together. I wear a lot of white and colors so I find that nude sandals work best. I try and pack ones that have a buckle so they aren’t sliding off my feet. Make sure you test them out before your trip so you don’t end up with surprise blisters!
Sneakers: I stick to black - they hide dirt the best. Also, black sneakers match leggings and a sweatshirt, my normal plane attire. They have to be lightweight though! Look for sneakers that are mesh on top, this will help squeeze them in your bag.
Heels: When it comes to fancy shoes I always carry nude low rise heels. I have linked my absolute favorite ones below. A low heel helps me walk in them and (more importantly) fit into my bag easily.
I’ve linked the exact shoes I carry with me on all my trips. All are bought through amazon.
Toiletries, Medication, Personal Items
Don't forget that if you're only bringing a carry on all of these will have to miniature sized. Also, when it comes to toiletries - the less you pack the better. Anything you don't bring can easily be bought abroad. Often times for cheaper than in the states!
For example, when I recently went to Tulum Mexico my travel sized toothpaste ran out. I went to a store and a full sized Colgate bottle was less than a dollar! (In the states, that same bottle is $3-something.)
Why is this first you ask? Because it is the most important thing that should be in your toiletry bag. I can't even tell you how many times I have been SO THANKFUL I had earplugs on me.
Some of you are going to think I'm crazy but I literally travel with the tiny brush I've linked below. I've found normal brushes take up SO much room and having a tiny one is totally fine. Especially for short trips
If I know I'm staying at a nice hotel I only pack Conditioner to save room. Shampoo and body wash at hotels work perfectly fine for me. Also, stop buying those mini bottles of brand name shampoo. They are so expensive. Buy reusable bottles and fill them up before you go.
You should be wearing sunscreen everyday on your face! This is my favorite for daily use.
Glasses, contact lenses, and contact solution (if necessary)
Tampons or sanitary napkins
First Aid Stuff
Here are some of the things I don't ever pack. I’ll simply buy (or ask the front desk) if I need them:
Shampoo/Body Wash (I wrote about why above!)
Aloe Vera (I try and apply sunscreen so I don't need it but if you do get a bad burn you can simply buy it while you're there)
Great for relaxing or for the long flight to Egypt!
Any converters you need
Pack a long one just in case the plug isn't close to the bed!
I bought this 3-pack of chargers a while ago and I love it because it comes with different lengths. The small one I keep in my bag with my portable charger. The long ones I use next to the bed.
When it comes to documenting your trip, make sure you have all the right gear.
Money and Documents
Credit and/or debit cards
Airline tickets, hotel reservation and car rental info
I use an app called Tripit to store all my travel itinerary information.
One last thing... even though researching ahead of time is great, I definitely recommend bringing a guidebook along with you. Here are some books I recommend...
And of course, if you have any questions DO NOT hesitate to reach out to me via Instagram, Twitter, or just shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).