We booked our flights to Egypt last week. It was quite an ordeal – Jim and I spent hours and hours researching what was not only the cheapest, but what had the shortest flight time and layovers. A lot of the flights that connect in Europe had very long layovers, making the entire trip like 20 hours! Then we were very close to actually spending a few days during a layover in Rome. It became so complicated we finally said, forget Rome, forget a layover, we are doing Egypt so let’s focus on that!
We found a good fare through Royal Jordanian airlines – about $900 (which, for our dates, was a decent fare). We called American Airlines — their partner– to ask some questions since Jordanian was closed for the day. American quoted is $737 for the flight! I thought it had to be a mistake but it wasn’t. So that flight was straight up $250 cheaper than ANY other flights we could find. The downside is that we arrive in Cairo very late. And when we leave, we fly to Amman then have an OVERNIGHT layover before we fly from Amman to NYC. We inquired and it turns out Royal Jordanian provides a free room at the airport hotel for people like us on that flight.
I haven’t heard from things about Royal Jordanian, but they can’t be that bad… although they don’t have any entertainment systems on their planes whatsoever. So that will be boring…
We also needed to book our first night in Cairo at the airport hotel. It hurt to pay $100 for a room that we will only spend 5 hours in – and that’s if none of our flights are delayed. Jim had the insane idea of bringing a cheap air mattress and sleeping on it at the airport. After I notified him that the airport was not air conditioned, he finally gave in to getting the hotel.
Very, very early the next morning – our first morning in Egypt – we have a short flight to Aswan. Jim also wanted to go to see Abu Simbel immediately, another 3.5 hour bus ride. I told him he was crazy and needed to chill – we are going to be exhausted after a long travel day and not having had a full nights sleep…and to go straight to a big attraction in 100 degree weather is just crazy. A big argument ensued, him calling me a wimp and me saying this is our vacation and we have plenty of time; no reason to kill ourselves. And, in addition, logistically it would be tough. So we will spent the first day in Aswan and go to Abu Simbel the next day.
Here is our intended travel itinerary in yellow.
We fly into Cairo and immediately fly down to Aswan.
From Aswan we’ll visit Abu Simbel.
Then travel up to Luxor.
From Luxor, train or fly to Cairo to see the sights.
Then, fly to Sharm al-Sheik and take a taxi to Dahab for all our water fun.\
If there is extra time, we will visit Mount Sinai or Petra in Jordan (marked as a P).