I am not really a seasoned traveler. But I have picked up some things. First, don’t worry if your bags are a little over the weight limit. Most airlines won’t charge you for a pound or two. And whatever you can’t fit in your checked luggage try to throw it into your carry-on. I think typical allowance is up to 45lbs! Sure, you’ll end up carrying it around, but you won’t have to pay extra. I’ve even seen people carry more than two bags onto the plane, without any penalty. They might just ask you to put one in plane-side check-in, but I don’t think you’ll have to pay. Another thing not to worry about is those small connector planes. You know, where the overhead luggage is too small to fit anything in? They’ll just check it for you, and hand it back to you when you exit the plane.
Use the bathroom in the beginning of the flight. Especially for long international flights. It starts looking like a pig sty after a while.
Try and learn the terminology on your ticket. It’ll let you know whether or not you get extra screening before you actually get in line.
If you are traveling from Egypt, try and get a multiple reentry visa. That’ll let you get back into Egypt without buying a temporary visa at the airport, and your current visa will be good till it expires. It costs 61LE and you can get it in about 3hrs from Mugamma.
Once you get back in Egypt, there are travel companies offering rides from the airport, but they are extremely expensive. I was told 57LE for about a 15min trip. If you don’t mind walking out a bit you can find a black and white taxi (they are forbidden from waiting directly outside of the terminal). You might want to negotiate terms first. Even if it’s a short trip, drivers expect more if you are coming from the airport.
My last trip, a driver ran up to me, offering a ride. I was leery at first, cause I didn’t see his taxi right away. The last thing you should do, especially as a woman alone, is get in an unmarked car with some guy offering a ride. Anyway, I asked him how much he wanted, and he waved the question off. My mistake. On the way out of the airport ( and Cairo airport is a city itself), he picked up an elderly couple. They negotiated a rate of 20LE to Misr Jedida (Heliopolis). I took note of this and when I got out, I handed the driver 20LE. Misr Jedida is farther, no way was I gonna pay more for a shorter ride. He jumps out of the car, of course he wanted more, 40LE to be exact. I said, NO WAY. A crowd is forming now. That’s what happens in any dispute here. A bunch of people crowd around to mediate, or just to watch. I complain that I never agreed to 40LE, and ask why are the Egyptians paying 20LE, he says ‘malish dawa’ (sp?), or none of your business, lol. We finally agree on 30LE, which is not bad, considering with the travel companies you pay around 60LE.
I’ll add more stuff as I think of it, inshallah.
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