Egypt on a budget

Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (Creative Commons)

While the phrase ‘cheap Egypt holidays’ might seem like something of an oxymoron, if you know how, it’s actually very possible to enjoy a sunny break in the north African country without breaking the bank.

Time of year

What month you head to Egypt can make a huge difference to both the cost and the temperature.

Summer in Egypt is not only incredibly hot and uncomfortable, with average highs of 35C, but is also the most expensive time of year to visit. This part of the world is sunny all year round, so by travelling in the winter or spring you’ll still get to soak up plenty of vitamin D, but in more comfortable temperatures in the low 20s, as well as saving money on accommodation.

Depending on when you travel, you can find hotels in popular resorts like Sharm el Sheik for as little as £10 per person per night on a bed and breakfast basis.

As well as hotel costs, ticket prices for the flights over to Egypt will also fluctuate throughout the year, so make sure you make your comparisons before booking.

Eat street

You shouldn’t have any problem eating cheaply in Egypt thanks to the wide range of street food options available. Popular dishes include koshary, which is an expensive but massively filling combination of pasta, rice, lentils and chickpeas mixed with onion and garlic. Order one of these and you certainly shouldn’t need to eat again for a good few hours!

Egyptian falafel made from fava beans – called taameya – is another delicious option.

Taameya (Creative Commons)
Taameya (Creative Commons)

Haggle hard

While you can fix your accommodation costs before you travel, one thing that could make or break your budget in Egypt is your haggling ability.

Touts, street vendors and guides will all be after your money, so you’ll need to make sure that you know how to play the game to avoid losing your shirt. With pretty much everything having a negotiable price, you’ll need to drive a hard bargain to keep costs low.

Try to keep a smile on your face and enjoy the process of haggling, otherwise you’ll quickly tire of the process and end up either getting ripped off or not having a good holiday.

You can even negotiate on the price of popular attractions such as Nile River cruises, but be sure to check out the vessel you’ll be travelling on before you part with your hard-earned cash.

Enjoy the outdoors

One of the advantages of visiting a sunny country is that you can spend plenty of time outdoors. If you decide to holiday in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el Sheikh you can spend many a relaxing hour simply chilling on the beach, which won’t cost you a thing.

You also don’t need to shell out on a scuba diving course to enjoy the underwater wonders of the Red Sea. With a snorkel and flippers you can get up close to the marine life for a fraction of the cost.

Ultimately, enjoying a cheap holiday in Egypt is about two things: looking around before you book and then being savvy once you’ve arrived. There’s really no excuse for not doing your research, but becoming a successful haggler might take a bit of practice. If you pay over the odds for something one day, there’s always the next day to make up for it and secure yourself a bargain.