Final Comments and Tally
Trip Start Aug 04, 2009
17Trip End Aug 22, 2009
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Total Planned Budget [Tour, Airfare, Spending $]: $4083
Total Actually Spent: $4142
Some things I had planned to do I did not, such as the optional camel ride and hot air balloon excursion [canceled]. Then there were other things that I did extra and did not account for such as a second scuba dive and extra tipping.
Major Costs Breakdown:
Local Payment: $300
Food: $300 [estimate]
Scuba Dives: ~$130
Excursions and Temple Fees: ~$500
This was with eating out at tourist restaurants most of the time, taxing taxi's occasionally, a full taxi for the day to Saqqara, Memphis, and Dahshur split in two, layovers in Athens and New York City [long time at the airport in NYC due to rain], and doing most of the reasonable excursions.
Overall my costs in local currencies were $360 USD, 46.8 Euro, 3559.5 Egyptian Pounds, and 270.4 Jordanian dinars.
For those using GAP for Egypt/Jordan:
For people taking this GAP Adventures tour, the only USD that you would need to bring is $15 for the visa at the airport, and $300 for the local payment. Although the excursions are listed in USD on the GAP website, the guide will accept local money at the proper exchange rate. Most of the excursions on this trip were horribly over priced compared to what you can get on your own, but some of them are reasonable to pay just for convenience and lack of time to plan it on your own. Your guide will arrange your visas in Jordan, since you are arriving in Aqaba there are some waivers that can be done to avoid the fee. There is supposed to be a 10 dinar exit fee, but when I left it was not collected. I thought that it was included in the cost of the airline ticket, but no one could confirm for me, and I was not about to ask someone at the airport for fear they would charge me after. Do not worry when someone wants to collect your passport on the ferry. They should be employees and will take it to the passport office when you get off. Once you get off a bus will be coming to pick people up, get on quick because it fills up with locals and tourists, and takes you down the block to the office where you meet the guide and get your passports back.
Internet in Egypt/Jordan:
Only some of the hotels utilized on the tour had free wifi, but most had pay internet or an internet cafe located near by for much cheaper. Internet cafes in Egypt run about 10 pounds for an hour. I did not get on at any cafes in Jordan to check prices, but the hotel prices ranged from 2-3 dinar for an hour, so it was substantially more. Some of our hotels in Egypt wanted to charge 30 pounds for an hour, but a two minute walk next door found cheaper places. McDonalds in Egypt all have free Wi-Fi and they are in close walking distance to most hotels in Aswan and Luxor.
I have a valid student ID from my university that I used at most major sites to get a student discount. I would say that ISIC cards are probably not necessary for most sites in Egypt. Our guide took care of everything in Jordan so I could not try and see if there was a discount. Your guide in Egypt might be nice enough to give you money back for using your ID at sites that are included in the tour price, but it would probably depend on the guide. Most places were more than willing to accept my ID even though it wasnt ISIC. One person on our tour got by with even using a business card with his schools logo on it at many places, although was turned down at sites like the mummy room at the Egyptian Museum.
Most all photos in this blog were taken on a Nikon D80 and the underwater pictures were taken on an Olympus 1030SW dive rated camera [up to 10 meters, however I took it to 19 with minimal problems]. I have an 18-55mm and 55-200mm VR lens for the Nikon. Night shots were done with a tripod and remote control on long exposure of 10-30 seconds depending on the location.
I'll update this more as I think of minor advice and summarization topics. If there is anything you would like to know, please let me know. I will be more than willing to add it on here and to talk in private about the trip. Thanks for reading!