Marsa Alam - Egypt Tips and Tricks

RED SEA: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO

Red Sea - Coral Reef

Have you ever dreamed of exploring Red Sea? If that is your dreamy holiday but you still have some doubts, you’re in the right place 🙂

Today we’re dispelling some of the most common prejudices about this wonderful place. Keep on reading to find out many practical tips about: drinking water, food, Internet availability, how to choose your trip and much more.

If you have any question, contact us on Instagram! We’ll be glad to answer!

Red Sea - Coral Reef
Red Sea - Coral Reef

SOME INITIAL TIPS

Choose wisely your Red Sea destination

To figure out what your ideal holiday would be like, let’s start with some questions. For instance, do you love swimming? Or do you prefer sunbathing? Would you like to explore new places? Or you’d like to relax by the swimming pool? Do you like big towns? Or are you ready to experience life in the desert? 

Answering to these few questions will help you to determine your ideal Egyptian holiday. A desert tour, a cruise on Nile, a resort by the Red Sea…there are many different options that you can evaluate! 

Our dream was to see the coral reef and its inhabitants. Therefore, we chose a wonderful hotel next to the sea. Our review of Fantazia Resort will soon be available on our blog. Stay tuned!

Coral Reef in front of our Hotel
Coral Reef in front of our Hotel

Travel agency is a must

We love planning our holidays indipendently but for some destinations you must rely on a travel agency. Why?

First of all, staff can help you to find the best solution for your needs and wishes. In Egypt hotels usually offer all-inclusive but there are different tour operators (both national or international) among which you can choose.

Moreover, booking with travel agency is safer. You will be offered different insurances that will help you reduce costs in case of cancellation, health diseases, flight delays or delations and fuel. Moreover, staff will give you catalogues and brochures. Information about attractions and excursions sometimes cannot be found online.

You will spend a little more but it’s definetely worth it!

We chose Italian tour operator (Bravo Club) which offered Italian entertainment. Our aim was to relax and explore the Red Sea so this was the perfect solution for us! Here you can find our detailed review of Fantazia Resort.

Fantazia Resort - Marsa Alam
Fantazia Resort - Marsa Alam

DRINKING WATER AND TUTANKHAMON’S CURSE

Drinking water’s availability is a concrete issue in Egypt. However, hotels usually offer a bottle of mineral water per day (double check that the hotel you book does this for free). You can use it to brush your teeth and of course for drinking.

Make sure not to drink sink water consistently. Pay particular attention when showering, especially if you’re travelling with kids.

Intestine diseases are known as Tutankhamon’s sickness. It seems that the pharaon suffered from some similar illness and therefore symptoms are friendly called “Tutankhamon’s curse” 🙂 . From our experience, water and food are not the main cause of sickness. Air conditioning and too light clothing (especially in the evening) are the main factors that lead to health diseases. 

But don’t worry, we’ll soon publish the packing list for your Red Sea holiday!

Red Sea - Hamata Islands
Red Sea - Hamata Islands

MOBILES AND WIFI

Question: can I use my mobile phone?

Hotels usually have a WIFI area (probably the hall or the restaurant) where you can easily use your phone with your standard card. Make sure that this service is free in the resort you choose. Connection can be a bit slow but to use social medias, Whatsapp and make a few calls it will work. 

If you don’t have Internet on your phone, you can buy an Egyptian sim card. Messages and calls cost a lot and this is the only solution to pay them less.

Also double check if you need adapters for your battery charger. If you’re travelling with two phones, we suggest to charge them alternatively just to avoid any possible inconvenient.

Anyway, we’d reccomend you to just close your phone inside the suitcase and enjoy your trip on the Red Sea! 🙂 

Red Sea - Dolphins
Red Sea - Dolphins

TIPS AND COSTS OF A RED SEA HOLIDAY

Egypt’s official currency is Egyptian pound. Just to give you an idea, 1€ is about 16 Egyptian pounds. That’s why small tips are so appreciated.

Inside hotels tips are voluntary. We’re not used to them in Italy so it might be hard to understand if/when/how much you should give. But there’s no rule. We decided to give a few coins to boy that cleaned our room daily and to our waiter.

Workers might ask you to exchange some coins with banknotes. That’s because Egyptian banks can change only € banknotes in their own currency. 

All inclusives’ offers don’t take into account excursions, which are the most expensive activities. So we earmarked a budget to sea excursions. If you’re planning to take part to these activities, make sure to bring more money or a credit card (VISA and MAESTRO will work).

Quad tour in the desert
Quad tour in the desert

WILL FOOD BE GOOD?

This is Italians’ main worry 🙂

If you love good food, select an hotel with Italian cooks. We really enjoyed food at Fantazia Resort. Fruits and vegetables were fresh and there was a good variety of food (meat, bread, fishes, sweets, pasta, rice…). During themed days you can also taste some typical food like cous-cous, karkadé, herb teas and sweets based on honey and dried fruits.

If you suffer any intolerance or allergy, make sure to alert the hotel before your arrival. The travel agency can verify if it’s possible to have a dedicated menu.

Restaurant next to the pool
Restaurant next to the pool

DANGEROUS ANIMALS OF THE RED SEA

Just kidding 🙂 

In Egypt, like in any other country, you might find some insects inside the villages. Flies and beetles are the most common. Hotels are oasis in the middle of the desert and that’s why they attract insects. But structures get cleaned everyday also with specific products anti-beetles.

As far as the Red Sea is concerned, you don’t have to worry. There are some species that can be dangerous but they are rare to find. You will see many jellyfishes, though. But since they don’t sting it’s perfectly safe to touch them.

Red Sea - Manta Ray and fish
Red Sea - Manta Ray and fish

If you’re looking for the perfect location for your holiday, have a look at our review of Fantazia Resort, where we spent two entire weeks. Also, don’t miss the list of our favourite Red Sea activities.

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram to discover our next destinations! If you have any comment or suggestion, DM us. We’ll be glad to answer.

Se you soon!

Sara & Loris, @TravellingMeerkats