Is it SAFE to take your kids to Egypt?

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Everyone told us that we had to take our kids to Egypt…but really just to see the pyramids. We were warned we would be hassled and harassed and bombarded with people vying for our attention and money. We were cautioned that getting sick was almost unavoidable. Yet our family trip to Egypt was one of the best trips we ever took.

But Egypt has a history for being dangerous, unclean, and chaotic…so the real question is, “Is it safe to take kids to visit Egypt?” We’ll dive into all the specific below, but yes, we feel like Egypt is safe with kids. In fact, not only is it safe, but it’s one of the best family adventure trips for kids.

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Yes, it is safe to go to travel to Egypt, especially with kids!

You see, Egypt has been on our list of must visit places since we moved to the Middle East, and with pretty cheap tickets and an hour and a half plane ride, we knew the time to go was now. We planned our trip months in advance and spent a good amount of time learning about Egyptian History to prepare for the trip.

I mean, let’s face it – Egypt is a place that almost everyone has dreamed of visiting since elementary school, because it’s one of the few ancient civilizations that kids actually study. 

What To Know Before You Take Kids to Egypt

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Our family was welcomed, the weather was fantastic, and the sites simply blew our mind.  We saw pyramids (and even climbed inside of one), explored temples, visited ruins, crawled into tombs, sailed on the Nile River, took a hot air balloon ride, ate lots of yummy local food, examined ancient artifacts, and so much more.  

The thing that you need to know, before planning a family trip to Egypt is that Egyptians LOVE KIDS!  Our kids were treated so incredibly well during the entire trip and I actually believe that Egyptians were more friendly to us because we had our kids with us than if we were there without them.

What that looks like is that everyone will want to touch your kids hair, grab your baby’s hand and pat their cheeks. If you’re coming from North America or Europe this can feel like a bit much, but I encourage you to just lean into it a bit. We were pretty used to this sort of behavior since we were living in the Middle East, but if you’re not, it can feel VERY FORWARD! People are not trying to be creepy, but this is how they show love and affection. We found that when we reciprocate with kindness, strangers are beyond kind to us!

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Safest Places to Stay in Egypt

Egypt has some really incredible deals, but don;t just book the cheapest place you find. We stayed in a 5 star hotel, which weas really more like a nicer 3 star hotel by US Standards. Book the nicest place you find, since the pictures are often better than the hotel is in real life. We only recommend booking 4 and 5 star hotels when traveling in Egypt with Kids.

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Safest Places to Stay in Luxor

Steigenberger Nile Palace – for an excellent hotel that’s right on the banks of the Nile River, you’ll love staying here. The suites are perfect for families and the sunsets here are AMAZING!
Sonesta St George Hotel – The kids will LOVE the incredible hotel pool here and mom and dad will feel a little bit spoiled by luxury.
Luxor Winter Palace
– If you want a hotel with a side of luxury, you’ll love the Luxor Winter Palace. The architecture is amazing and all of the details here are so well done.

Safest Places to Stay in Cairo

Conrad Cairo – this gorgeous hotel is beautiful on the inside and we love that they have family rooms that sleep 5!
Kempinski Nile Cairo – If you’re looking for the best views of the Nile Rive, you’ll find if from the rooftop pool at the Kempinski. This hotel is absolutely stunning and security is top notch!
Mena House Cairo – If you want a beautiful view of the pyramids from your hotel, you can’t go wrong with the Mena house. This is one of the safest places to stay in Giza, and is very family friendly.

Prepare your kids for a trip to Egypt

If you’re taking your kids to Egypt, make sure that they do their homework before you go.  Luckily, Egyptian history has no shortage of books and movies that your family can use to learn all about Egyptian culture and Egyptian history.  We homeschool our kids, so we took advantage and did a whole unit study about Egypt before taking a family trip to Egypt. 

Regardless of whether you homeschool or not, if you’re planning a trip to Egypt, take some time and actually study the history and culture before you go. It’s fascinating and you’ll learn just as much as a parent as your kids will.

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For starters, we had all of our kids who were competent readers, read this book series. It’s fictional, but really brings to life so many of the places and practices that were around Ancient Egypt. The books are super engaging and for kids who aren’t quite good enough readers, the audio books are incredibly well done and our kids have listened to them several times.

For a historical base, we use Story of The World. There are several chapters dedicated to Ancient Egypt and it’s very accurate. To get more background of what was happening around that era, read the surrounding chapters as well.

For books with great photos (so helpful for learning about Egypt), we loved this book and this book for the lovely images inside.

Of course, what is a study of Egypt without studying Egyptian Mythology? Kids will understand so much more about what they’re seeing in Egypt if they have a good understanding of Egyptian Mythology. This book about Egyptian Mythology is really well done and covers all of the main myths.

Also, make sure that your kids are prepared to handle the long flight, since getting to Egypt from almost anywhere is FAR.  We’ve shared all our tips on how to handle jet lag and if you’re traveling with young kids an inflatable footrest for the airplane can really make them a lot more comfortable.

Do I Need a Tour for Egypt?

If you’re looking to have the best experience and also the safest trip to Egypt, plan on booking some tours. You don’t need to be on a tour the WHOLE TIME (unless you want to, but it’s much more expensive), but do plan on taking lots of day tours. Truthfully, unless you’ve done a lot of studying, you’ll want a tour guide at almost every stop you take in Egypt. There are some cases where you can find tour guides at the entrance of famous sites, but you’ll typically get higher quality guides (with better language skills) if you book from a reputable tour company.

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Booking an Egypt tour in advance is one of the best ways to stay safe in Egypt. You’ll have a guide watching out for you and helping you along the way so that you don’t go anywhere that you shouldn’t be (since it’s VERY EASY to get lost in Egypt). Here are some of our top recommended Egypt with Kids Tours, most of them are shockingly affordable:

Best Luxor Tours with Kids

Luxor East and West Bank Tour}
Valley of the Kings and Queens tour + Hatchepsut Temple
***Luxor Hot Air Balloon Ride*** – Our Kids FAVORITE

Best Cairo Egypt Tours with Kids

Egypt Food Tour – SO GOOD!!
Giza Pyramid Tour
Nile Dinner Cruise
Coptic Cairo Tour

How cheap is it to travel in Egypt?

Right now is an amazing time to visit Egypt since tourism is SO LOW.  What that means is that visitors can get rock-bottom prices and avoid many of the crowds that Egyptian sites are known for.  While you can schedule things on the fly, it can be a bit of a gamble on what you get.

Hotels and restaurants are incredibly affordable. We had no problem feeding our family for less than $40 for dinner and we could get a cheap lunch for under $20. If you’re looking for cool Egyptian souvenirs, and are willing to bargain a bit, you can get great Egyptian souvenirs for rock bottom prices.

Honestly, if all I heard was those reports, I’d be jumping on that bandwagon too.  Quite frankly, if all I did was listen to and believe the media, I’d probably never venture much past the grocery store EVER.  Remember that the media’s job is to sensationalize and often exaggerate every situation, which almost never gives you an accurate picture of what things are REALLY LIKE.  

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I’ll admit I was a little hesitant about our trip too.  I had my guard up high.  However, even before we landed, our fears were calmed as other passengers and flight attendants started giving us tips and suggestions for things to see and do (as well as the “local” cost for doing them that we should aim for).  

Longs story short – WE LOVED EGYPT!  So so much.  In fact, I really want to go back and stay longer next time so we can enjoy more of the friendly people and fascinating culture.

Things you need to know before you go before you go to Egypt:

Everyone will love your children in Egypt – though sometimes too much.  Make sure to keep your kids nearby at all times and if someone is touching them too much or making them uncomfortable, just ask them to stop.  They are probably not trying to bother you or your child, it’s just a difference in cultures.

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You need US dollars in Egypt to buy your visa (or another foreign equivalent).  When we went they wouldn’t accept the local currency from the ATM and their credit card machines were broken so we had to scramble to get enough for the 6 of us ($25 US per person).  The ATM’s at the airport do not dispense USD so be prepared.

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Everyone in Egypt will expect a tip (even for really small things) so just be prepared.  Most bathrooms have someone standing there asking for a tip (baksheesh) and pretty much anyone who helps with anything will ask for a tip.  Pay them if you want to (though just remember that mostly they’re just asking for about 10 cents so decide before hand if it’s really a big deal to you or not).

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The water in Egypt is not safe to drink for foreign visitors.  Plan on only eating hot meals, don’t take your drink with ice, and avoid salads or unpeeled fruits as they likely have been contaminated with tap water.  We still ate mostly at local places (which tasted great and were super cheap) so don’t feel like you have to be limited to the expensive tourist restaurants.  We took the advice of a friend and shortly after arrival stopped by a pharmacy and picked up a local anti-diarrhea medicine that friends of ours claimed would be more effective than our Immodium.  We carried it in our pack the whole time and even though we didn’t need it, it gave us peace of mind knowing we had it on hand, since we know that diarrhea is a common problem for Egyptian tourists.

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Make sure that you always carry toilet paper with you, since most restrooms won’t have any (unless it’s someone handing it out asking for a tip).  Before you leave your hotel for the day, grab a bunch and have it on hand…also, make sure to pack your hand sanitizer.  

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egypt with kids, great pyramids, giza pyramids with kids

This post was first published on April 23, 2016

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egypt with kids, luxor temples, great pyramids, camel ride
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About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

13 thoughts on “Is it SAFE to take your kids to Egypt?”

  1. I backpacked through Egypt alone back in 2004. Everyone told me that it was dangerous to do alone as a woman, that I would be constantly harassed at best, and you can imagine the worst. I went anyway and I had an awesome time. Was I harassed? Sure, but no more than any other tourist not in a group tour. I never felt unsafe; annoyed, yes, but not unsafe. Would I do it again? Absolutely, and now I’d take my kid, and I suppose my husband too 🙂

    There are places that I would absolutely not go to right now, but those situations are fluid. I think that people who tout danger and try to dissuade others from going to certain places are people who are not naturally adventurous and who rarely leave their cocoons.

    Reply
  2. Looks like a great trip! We have 4 kids also and just got back from India. Seems pretty similar. EVERYONE wanted pics of our kids! Egypt is on the list now! Thanks for the article!

    Reply
  3. Hi there,

    Thank you for this wonderful article!
    We are looking at taking our family to Egypt and its great to know that your family had such a good time.

    I was wondering how you went about booking your accommodation to get such great prices? Did you book online? Would you mind telling me the hotels that you stayed in?

    We live in Australia and planning an affordable holiday in Egypt is a long standing dream!
    Any advice on what and where the best places to book for accommodation in and tours would be much appreciated!

    Thank you,
    Ann

    Reply
  4. Thanks for the insight!!
    We’re thinking of going to Egypt later this year with our little one, he’s going to be around 20 months by then. I’m more concern about his diet there, he’s still limited to steam veggies, bread, fruits etc at the moment; no salt, spice nor oil . Will he be able to eat the local food?

    Any other advice for taking a toddler? Thanks a million!!

    Amanda

    Reply
  5. I also, am thinking of a Egyptian trip in a few months, with my husband and boys who will then be 7 and 9. I am always interested in affordable options and local experiences….(I am definitely not a resort traveler!). Would love recommendations of all sorts! We would likely be there 2 weeks or so?

    Reply
  6. Hi, my family and I are going to Egypt February 2018. Our son will be 6 months by then? We want to do the camel ride will we be able to take him on that? Also the hotel we are staying at has day care we want to do a few hours at the spa would you feel safe to leave your kids with someone?

    Reply
    • I would always check with the State Departments recommendations, because things can change often, but when we went almost 2 years ago, it was just great!

      Reply

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