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I Highly Recommend Egypt Travel Plans!

#1 User is offline   PHead1223 

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Posted 29 July 2008 - 01:23 AM

My wife and I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Egypt over the 2008 July 4th weekend that we booked through Egypt Travel Plans (www.egypttravelplans.com). We usually like to plan our trips ourselves. However, because neither of us had ever been to Egypt, neither of us spoke/read any Arabic, and neither of us knew much about the details of Egyptian history/sites, we figured it would be in our interests to have a guided tour. We are very active travellers, and the one thing we did not want was to be held up and annoyed by being on a large tour bus with 50 other people. So, we decided to look at private tours.

We are from the USA, so we looked into a few US travel companies. All were way out of our price range, and all appeared to simply be a "middle man" that contracted the tour to an Egyptian tour company anyways. After looking into and contacting several Egyptian tour companies, we decided on Egypt Travel plans. Found below are a lot of details about the decisions we made in regards to the tour. We had a lot of concerns/questions in regards to booking this tour, so hopefully these details may help anyone else with the same concerns.

We chose Egypt Travel Plans for several reasons:

1. They were very friendly and responsive.
2. They had an extremely active itinerary that included everything we wanted to see in the time frame we had (only 3 full days of sightseeing).
3. The itinerary is fully customizable. The itinerary we chose was listed on the website, and it served as the basis for our itinerary. However, we needed to rearrange some of the parts of the tour to fit our flight schedules, and this was no problem.
4. The itinerary was very detailed:
* It listed a detailed explanation and a general timeline of what we would do and see each day.
* It listed the exact hotels we would be staying at during the trip (so we could review them ahead of time and find out what is located around them).
* It listed exactly what was included and not included in the costs.
5. They are a member of the AETBI.

After deciding on Egypt Travel Plans, the booking process proceeded as such:

1. We gave input on the adjustments we needed to the itinerary and selected the hotel class that we wanted to pay for.
2. We received a final customized itinerary and instructions on how to pay.
3. We paid half of the tour up front by personal check. We sent the check via registered US mail and added special endorsement instructions to the check (as recommended by Egypt Travel Plans) to minimize the risk of having someone else cash are check.
4. We received scans of the check and a receipt indicating they had received our payment.
5. We let them know our detailed flight details a few weeks before we left.
6. We paid the reminaing half of the tour with cash in US dollars the first day we arrived in Egypt.

General information about our tour:

1. Our tour manager was George Iskander. George was in charge of the general organization and execution of the tour: he greeted us at the airport for our arrivals and departures, he assisted us with all travel formalities: passport control, obtaining visas, checking in to flights/hotels, etc., he answered any questions we had, and he recommended some great restaurants.
2. We had a private air conditioned van for the entire tour.
3. We had a driver for the van the entire tour (in addition to the tour guide/manager). This freed up the tour guide/manager for more conversation and questions.
4. Upon arrival to our hotel the first night, George went through the itinerary with us and gave us a more detailed timeline on when we would get each day started.
5. George gave us a cell phone for the duration of the tour, and we could call him for anything at any time, if needed.
6. We had a private English speaking Egyptologist guide for each day of sightseeing.
7. We were able to customize the tour as we went: we could stop for water/food if we needed some, skip a planned activity if we were not in the mood, stay for longer at particular site if we wanted, etc.

Specific information about our tour:
1. We chose a 5 day tour package which had 3 full days of guided sightseeing:
* Day 1: arrival and a free day for us to explore Cairo on our own.
* Day 2: Saqqara, Great Pyramids, Solar Boat museum, Sphinx, local arts and craft shops, Sounds and Light show, and other various sites.
* Day 3: Colossi of Memnon, Valley of the Nobles, Valley of the Queens, Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple, and Karnak Temple.
* Day 4: Mosques, churches, synagogue, bazaars, and the Egyptian Museum.
* Day 5: flight home.
2. Our tour guide in Cairo was Eman. Our tour guide in Luxor was Mohammad. Both spoke English well, knew everything about everything, and were very fun to talk to. We highly recommend both.
3. We stayed in the President Hotel in Cairo and the Gaddis hotel in Luxor. Both had a very friendly staff, great location, and everything we needed (in room bathroom, air conditioning, breakfast, etc.). By the standards in the USA, they were probably about a 1 star, but we were not expecting much and didn't need anything better. All we needed was a place to sleep and shower because we were out sightseeing everyday, and both were perfect for our needs.
4. A few pictures should be attached to this post.

Attached thumbnail(s)

  • Attached Image: TourGuide.jpg
  • Attached Image: TourManager.jpg
  • Attached Image: TourDriver.jpg
  • Attached Image: Pyramids.jpg

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#2 User is offline   anne 

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Posted 30 July 2008 - 04:46 PM

Thanks for the report. We are planning to travel with them too this fall for the first time, and it is very reassuring to hear all wnt well with you. Great photos. Yours, Anne from Arizona hilts@comcast.net
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#3 User is offline   home-exchanges 

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  • Interests:Travel, tour, home exchange, vacation, home swapping, holiday tours, holiday travel vacation.
  • User has been to Egypt {Visited Egypt?}

Posted 02 October 2009 - 12:05 PM

Recently i did home exchange while traveling to newzealand .Reciplocation website helped me a lot Using their system, it will become a easier for you me travel to my chosen destination.
Its really great .
House Exchanges - Holiday House Exchange online at Reciplocation.com
House Swap - Home Swap for Holidays Online at Reciplocation.com
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#4 User is offline   FromEgyptWithLove 

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Posted 02 June 2011 - 08:00 PM

View PostPHead1223, on 29 July 2008 - 01:23 AM, said:

My wife and I recently returned from a fabulous trip to Egypt over the 2008 July 4th weekend that we booked through Egypt Travel Plans (www.egypttravelplans.com). We usually like to plan our trips ourselves. However, because neither of us had ever been to Egypt, neither of us spoke/read any Arabic, and neither of us knew much about the details of Egyptian history/sites, we figured it would be in our interests to have a guided tour. We are very active travellers, and the one thing we did not want was to be held up and annoyed by being on a large tour bus with 50 other people. So, we decided to look at private tours.

We are from the USA, so we looked into a few US travel companies. All were way out of our price range, and all appeared to simply be a "middle man" that contracted the tour to an Egyptian tour company anyways. After looking into and contacting several Egyptian tour companies, we decided on Egypt Travel plans. Found below are a lot of details about the decisions we made in regards to the tour. We had a lot of concerns/questions in regards to booking this tour, so hopefully these details may help anyone else with the same concerns.

We chose Egypt Travel Plans for several reasons:

1. They were very friendly and responsive.
2. They had an extremely active itinerary that included everything we wanted to see in the time frame we had (only 3 full days of sightseeing).
3. The itinerary is fully customizable. The itinerary we chose was listed on the website, and it served as the basis for our itinerary. However, we needed to rearrange some of the parts of the tour to fit our flight schedules, and this was no problem.
4. The itinerary was very detailed:
* It listed a detailed explanation and a general timeline of what we would do and see each day.
* It listed the exact hotels we would be staying at during the trip (so we could review them ahead of time and find out what is located around them).
* It listed exactly what was included and not included in the costs.
5. They are a member of the AETBI.

After deciding on Egypt Travel Plans, the booking process proceeded as such:

1. We gave input on the adjustments we needed to the itinerary and selected the hotel class that we wanted to pay for.
2. We received a final customized itinerary and instructions on how to pay.
3. We paid half of the tour up front by personal check. We sent the check via registered US mail and added special endorsement instructions to the check (as recommended by Egypt Travel Plans) to minimize the risk of having someone else cash are check.
4. We received scans of the check and a receipt indicating they had received our payment.
5. We let them know our detailed flight details a few weeks before we left.
6. We paid the reminaing half of the tour with cash in US dollars the first day we arrived in Egypt.

General information about our tour:

1. Our tour manager was George Iskander. George was in charge of the general organization and execution of the tour: he greeted us at the airport for our arrivals and departures, he assisted us with all travel formalities: passport control, obtaining visas, checking in to flights/hotels, etc., he answered any questions we had, and he recommended some great restaurants.
2. We had a private air conditioned van for the entire tour.
3. We had a driver for the van the entire tour (in addition to the tour guide/manager). This freed up the tour guide/manager for more conversation and questions.
4. Upon arrival to our hotel the first night, George went through the itinerary with us and gave us a more detailed timeline on when we would get each day started.
5. George gave us a cell phone for the duration of the tour, and we could call him for anything at any time, if needed.
6. We had a private English speaking Egyptologist guide for each day of sightseeing.
7. We were able to customize the tour as we went: we could stop for water/food if we needed some, skip a planned activity if we were not in the mood, stay for longer at particular site if we wanted, etc.

Specific information about our tour:
1. We chose a 5 day tour package which had 3 full days of guided sightseeing:
* Day 1: arrival and a free day for us to explore Cairo on our own.
* Day 2: Saqqara, Great Pyramids, Solar Boat museum, Sphinx, local arts and craft shops, Sounds and Light show, and other various sites.
* Day 3: Colossi of Memnon, Valley of the Nobles, Valley of the Queens, Valley of the Kings, Luxor Temple, and Karnak Temple.
* Day 4: Mosques, churches, synagogue, bazaars, and the Egyptian Museum.
* Day 5: flight home.
2. Our tour guide in Cairo was Eman. Our tour guide in Luxor was Mohammad. Both spoke English well, knew everything about everything, and were very fun to talk to. We highly recommend both.
3. We stayed in the President Hotel in Cairo and the Gaddis hotel in Luxor. Both had a very friendly staff, great location, and everything we needed (in room bathroom, air conditioning, breakfast, etc.). By the standards in the USA, they were probably about a 1 star, but we were not expecting much and didn't need anything better. All we needed was a place to sleep and shower because we were out sightseeing everyday, and both were perfect for our needs.
4. A few pictures should be attached to this post.


Sorry for the significantly late reply, but I thought that your trip report and photographs of Egypt were quite lovely! I happened to stumble upon this thread while searching for international tourist spots. I'm from the United States myself.

It seems like you really had a fantastic trip! It definitely seems like a place I'd like to venture to! Unfortunately, given the circumstances and what's going on in the country at the moment, it won't be for a while. If you had to do your trip all over again, what sights would you go to first? What would you recommend to me? I want to see all there is to see when it comes to Egypt. Egypt has a rich history that can't and shouldn't be ignored!

Either way, I think I may find myself traveling someplace in the U.S. this summer. Of course, I still want to see historical landmarks. Can you recommend anything in the U.S.? What about the chickasaw tribal preservation? Has anyone heard anything about it or been to it? Thanks, everyone! Hope to meet you all soon! I'm really enjoying these trip reports and photographs. =)
Melissa
Has anyone ever been to the chickasaw tribal preservation

?
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#5 User is offline   JamesJo 

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 07:07 AM

Just wanted to let you know, I read your recommendation and have decided to go with Egypt Travel Plans as Marketing and sales director was amazing and very detailed.
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