Preparing for your trip

Package: Best of Egypt & Nile Cruise, 2018 Season

Print this page and refer to it as you prepare for your trip!

Printed 12/12/2018. Please check back for the latest updates.

Checklist

Item Due
Complete your tour registration. A link to this secure form will be included in your booking confirmation email. Within 24 hours of booking
Ensure you have a current passport valid for at least six months after your trip, and that the name on your booking matches your passport exactly. Immediately
Request any additions or changes you may still want to make to your trip. (Fees and/or additional charges may apply.) 75 days prior to travel
Make your final payment, if any balance is due.
75 days prior to travel
Book connecting flights to your departure city, if necessary. (Please confirm your international flight schedule first!) 75 days prior to travel
Make advance seat reservations for your international flight, if you have a preference. After receiving your e‑tickets
Obtain required travel visas and review any requirements for entry. See below
Print your itinerary and other final documents, which we will send you via email 14 days prior to travel. Prior to travel
Print your policy documents, if you purchased travel insurance, and carry with you. Prior to travel
Enroll in The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) if you're a U.S. citizen or national, so the State Dept. can locate and assist you in case of an emergency. Prior to travel
Call the airline to confirm your flights and any special meal requests. 72 hours prior to travel
Arrive at the airport, ready for the trip of a lifetime! 3½ hours prior to departure

Documents

Passport, Visa & Entry Requirements for Egypt

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid at the time of entry, though we strongly recommend it be valid for at least six months after your return date. U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Egypt, which will be issued upon arrival. You may also apply for a visa prior to travel at an Egyptian embassy or consulate or through a fee-based visa service such as our preferred provider VisaHQ. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

Passport, Visa & Entry Requirements for Jordan

U.S. citizens must have a passport which is valid for at least six months after your return date. U.S. passport holders must have a visa to enter Jordan, which will be issued upon arrival. See the U.S. Dept. of State website for more information.

If you do not hold a U.S. passport, you are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas and meeting all entry requirements. If a visa is required, we recommend using a fee-based visa service, such as our preferred provider VisaHQ.

General Requirements & Guidelines

  • It is the responsibility of each traveler to determine passport and visa requirements and comply with them and to secure the proper travel documents. To avoid disappointment and unnecessary expenses, please carefully review the requirements so that you can obtain all necessary documents well before your trip. Requirements are subject to change, often without notice, and we suggest you verify requirements with the relevant embassy or consulate. Airlines and cruises may deny boarding and your trip may be disrupted if your passport and visa are not in order. We will not be held responsible for any charges, trip interruptions, or cancellations due to incorrect or missing visas, nor will travel insurance cover your lost expenses.
  • Any changes in names or passport information should be reported to us immediately.
  • Minors (age 17 or younger) departing and/or returning to the U.S. without parents or with only one parent may be required by U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) to present a notarized parental consent letter and/or unabridged birth certificate (more information). Many other countries have similar entry requirements, especially for minors traveling with a parent/guardian with a different surname; check with the consulates of all countries you'll be visiting to learn more.

Final Documents

Your final travel documents will be sent to you via email by 14 days prior to departure. These will include your daily itinerary, hotel and emergency contact information, and other relevant information. Please print your documents and take them with you. If you're departing in less than a week and haven't received your documents, let us know immediately!

Travel Protection Plan

If you purchased travel insurance, please print your policy documents. If you purchased our travel protection plan by Travelex, you can find the full policy here, which varies slightly by state. Carry these documents with you when you travel, as they include contact information for emergency travel assistance and instructions on how to make a claim.

Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP)

We encourage all U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). This free service allows you to receive important updates about safety and security issues in your destination, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy, as well as family & friends, to contact you in case of an emergency. To enroll or get more information, please visit the STEP website or any U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Flights, Transfers & Arrival

Flight schedule: please review the flight schedule. After we issue your tickets, we will send your actual confirmed flight schedule. Please be aware that airlines may change schedules even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes.

Need to arrange connecting flights? While you may want to book these as soon as possible, we strongly suggest waiting until 75 days prior to departure (and after you make your final payment) to ensure materialization. In addition, your international flight times may change—airlines sometimes change schedules even after flights have been booked. When you purchase connecting flights, always confirm the schedule for your international flights first. Leave at least 3½ hours connecting time between flights, and if you're traveling within a few weeks of Daylight Savings Time changes (in March and November, when flight schedules may change even more dramatically), allow 5–5½ hours between flights. Nobody likes waiting around the airport, but missing your flight is far worse!

Questions about your flights before you depart? Contact our air specialists at 800-555-5765 ext. 208 or air@friendlyplanet.com.

Want to reserve specific seats?

That depends on the airline. You can usually request a window or aisle seat, and sometimes specific seat numbers (but not exit row and bulkhead seats) ahead of time. Many airlines now charge a fee for this, and such fees are not included in your package price. If you have a seat preference, let us know when you book, in the special requests section, or email us at air@friendlyplanet.com after you book. Then:

If your airline does not charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll happily pass along your seat request to the airline and confirm they received it (though we cannot guarantee it will be honored).

If your airline does charge a fee to pre-assign seats: We'll let you know. You'll need to contact the airline directly to request your seats after we have issued your flight tickets, and fees are payable directly to the airline.

If you do not request specific seats: The airline typically assigns them within 24 hours of departure. If you do not like your assigned seats, you may be able to change them, subject to availability, when you check in online or at the counter. Learn more about Advance Seat Reservations.

Want to request a special meal?

You can enter special meal requests when you book with an agent or complete your online registration, shortly after booking. We will relay your requests to the airlines and our representatives abroad, but we cannot guarantee they will be honored. Please double check meal requests with your airline 72 hours before departure, and with our representatives upon arrival.

Looking to earn frequent flyer miles?

You may be able to earn frequent flyer points for your flights on this package. Contact the airline directly once you receive your tickets to enter your frequent flyer number in your flight record, or enter it when you check in. As you travel, check your tickets or ask the check-in or gate agent prior to boarding each flight to ensure the number has been entered properly. And just to be safe, keep your boarding passes and passenger receipt as proof that you have actually flown the miles you want credited to your account.

Interested in upgrading to business class or premium economy?

Cabin upgrades may be available on this package. Ask us about price and availability when you book online, in the special requests section, or contact our air department after you book. Please note that our special contracted airfare rates generally do not permit upgrading with frequent flyer points, and that upgrade requests may incur change fees if tickets have already been issued.

Airport Transfers

Scheduled group airport transfers at the destination are included with this package. When you exit customs, please look for our representative holding a Friendly Planet sign, who will cheerfully escort you to your transfer vehicle and assist with your luggage. In most cases, private transfers are also available for an additional fee—contact us for price and availability. Or you may instead arrange your own ground transportation to the package start and end points. (Note that there is no discount for any unused included transfers).

Arrival Complications

We make every effort to ensure our tours run smoothly and trouble-free. We don't expect any problems, and nor should you. But when things don't go as planned, here's what to do:

  • You miss your flights, or your flights are cancelled: Please call us immediately. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox, with a phone number at which to reach you, and we'll get right back to you.
  • Your flights are delayed and you're worried about missing your included transfers: Please contact us to let us know about the delay, and we will notify our partners in destination. They will be tracking your arrival and will plan accordingly.
  • Your package includes transfers, but you can't find our representative at your destination: Don't panic—they may have been unexpectedly delayed. Wait up to 30 minutes. Then contact our local partners in destination, listed on the emergency contact page of your final documents. If you can't reach them, call us. If it's outside our normal business hours, leave a message in our emergency mailbox. If all else fails, make your own way to the starting hotel (or cruise port), and we'll refund you the cost of your transfer.

Flight Schedule

The flight schedule(s) below are for general planning puposes, and we try to keep them up-to-date. After we issue your tickets, we will send your actual confirmed flight schedule. Airlines may change schedules at any time, even after flights have been confirmed, and we are not responsible for such changes. Please confirm your flight schedule prior to booking any connecting flights and again prior to departure.

Questions about your flights before you depart? Contact our air specialists at 800-555-5765 ext. 208 or air@friendlyplanet.com.

EgyptAir's (MS) toll-free number is (800) 334-6787.

 Sample Flight Schedule for Main Tour 

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
MS 986 New York (JFK) Cairo (CAI) 6:30 PM 12:05 PM (next day) 10.35 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
MS 985 CAI JFK 9:35 AM 3:15 PM 11.40  hrs

Sample Flight Schedule with Jordan Extension

DEPARTURE
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
MS 986 New York (JFK) Cairo (CAI) 6:30 PM 11:00 AM (next day) 10.35 hrs
TO JORDAN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
MS 719 CAI Amman (AMM) 6:45 AM 9:05 AM 1.20 hrs
RETURN
Flight From To Depart Arrive Flight Time
MS 740 AMM CAI 6:00 AM 6:30 AM 1.30 hrs
MS 985 CAI JFK 9:35 AM 3:15 PM 11.40 hrs

 

Packing & Luggage

Baggage allowance: On this program you are permitted one carry-on bag, not to exceed 17lbs, per person and two pieces of checked luggage not to exceed 50lbs. The carry on must fit under your seat or in the overhead compartment.

Learn more about Baggage Allowances on your international flights. Note that our baggage allowances may be less than those for your international flights. If you exceed the baggage limits, you may be subject to excess baggage charges levied by the airlines and/or by Friendly Planet.

Regardless of the limits—we recommend a smaller size and weight for both your checked and carry-on bags than what airlines typically allow. It's so much easier and faster to get around when you have fewer, lighter bags! For your carry-on, consider a soft-sided bag such as a duffel rather than a hard clamshell-type case, which may not fit as easily into overhead compartments or under your seat.

Luggage tags: We will mail you Friendly Planet luggage tags with your invoice. Fill in the luggage tags with your name and contact information and attach to each bag, including carry-ons and camera cases, so that your luggage can be identified should it get misplaced during your trip. However, we are not responsible for lost or damaged luggage.

What to pack: Check out our blog post on our Top 10 Must-Haves for International Travel. Pack smart: put your travel documents, medications, one change of clothing, and other essentials in your carry-on, in case your checked baggage is misplaced. And pack light, for your own comfort and convenience. For clothing, we suggest packing a variety of separates with climate and comfort in mind.

What not to pack: U.S. law forbids you to carry hazardous materials aboard aircraft in your checked or carry-on baggage or on your person, including explosives, compressed gases, flammable liquids & solids, loaded firearms, poisons, corrosives and radioactive materials. Common examples include paints, lighter fluid, fireworks, mace/tear gas and oxygen bottles. Restricted materials may vary by airline and destination. Some items, in quantities of no more than 70 ounces total, may be carried within baggage, including medicinal or toilet articles such as hairspray, perfume and certain medicines that are necessary during your journey. Please check with the airline and/or visit the FAA website prior to travel if you have any questions.

While on Tour

What to Expect

This fast-paced, escorted tour includes a reasonable amount of walking or hiking and requires an average level of physical fitness. Expect early wake up times and very long days in order to fit in all included visits. The Nile cruise portion of this tour can total up to 100 passengers.

Meals

The meals included with your package are listed in the itinerary. For all other meals, you're at liberty to dine where you like. Your hotels will have several dining choices, from coffee shops to specialty restaurants.

Please see above for special meal requests.

Special Needs & Requests

Please see above for special meal requests and seat requests. If you have any other special requests, including wheelchair or electric cart assistance, please mention your request when you book with an agent, or in the special requests section when you book online,. We will do our best to accommodate them!

Country FAQs

Fast Facts about Egypt

Overview

Capital: Cairo
Population:  95.69 million
Currency: Egyption pound (LE)
Languages: Egyptian Arabic
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: EET (UTC +2)

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

According to the Center for Disease Control, “A limited risk of malaria exists in parts of Algeria, Egypt, and Morocco. Taking an antimalarial drug is not recommended as the risk for travelers is considered to be extremely low. However, travelers should use insect repellent to prevent mosquito bites.”

Do not swim in fresh water or ocean water, as parasites are prevalent. Skin infections are common; even the smallest wound should be disinfected and covered with a bandage.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

Egypt has two seasons: November thru March which is the cooler season, and April thru October which is its hot season. However, October is a good month to visit off-season. Late March to Early April bring sandstorms which reduce visibility.

Tipping

A 12% service charge is included in the bill in most restaurants, but add a little extra since that 12% does not necessarily go to the waiter. Doormen receive a 1 pound minimum as well as other servicers.

Money

ATMs are widely used and can be found at most large hotels, in front of most banks and in some stand-alone locations.

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

Egypt's most famous items include jewelry, brassware, leather goods, carpets, shisha water pipes, carvings, rugs, gold, silver and copper ware, perfumes, herbs, and Egyptian clothing. Don't forget to visit the bazaars! Do remember to bargain!

Electricity & Power Adapters

220 volts. Plug C. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Fast Facts about Jordan

Overview

Capital: Amman
Population:  7.595 million
Currency: Jordanian dinar (JOD)
Languages: Arabic
Drives on the: Right
Time zone: EET (UTC +2)

Health Precautions & Vaccinations

There are no health requirements to enter Jordan. See your doctor about possible typhoid medication. Take along bug repellant as mosquitoes are prevalent, but do not transmit malaria.

Center for Disease Control
World Health Organization

Weather

In Jordan, the months of May and October are the most pleasant, with temperatures ranging in the 70’s and 80’s during the day and from the mid 50’s through the 60’s at night. During the rest of the year, the temperatures vary from a daytime high in the 40’s through the 60’s to lows at night from the 30’s through the 50’s. Typically, some rain can fall during the December through February period, while May through October is virtually rain free. The contrast between night and day is dramatic, so take a sweater for chilly nights, even in summer.

Tipping

A 10% service charge is normally included in hotel and restaurant bills; if service is very special, tip an extra amount. Tip 8% to taxi drivers and porters.

Money

Always notify your bank prior to departure to avoid any problems using your credit or debit card abroad.

Shopping

In Jordan, shop for pottery, bronze, baskets, wood inlay, straw goods, embroidery, glass, leather, Madaba rugs, spices, and etchings. Bargain only in markets, not in fine shops. 

Electricity & Power Adapters

230 volts. Plugs C, D, E, F, G, & J. You will need a voltage converter and plug adapter in order to use U.S. appliances. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit. View more information about electrical standards around the world.

Cell Phones & Internet

Want to take your cell phone, tablet or laptop, but not sure how to get cell service or wifi? See our blog posts on using your cell phone abroad and the top 5 ways to get Internet abroad.

Fine Print

Terms & Conditions: Please check out the terms & conditions for this package.

Cancellations: If something comes up and you need to cancel your trip, please let us know as soon as possible. All cancellations must be made in writing. Cancellation fees vary by package; please see the cancellation fees for this package.

Materialization: This package may require a minimum number of passengers to operate. In the unlikely event that your departure must be cancelled due to lack of participation, we will notify you prior to the final payment due date, and offer alternate dates of travel or a full refund. Please do not purchase any domestic connecting flights, or other services which are dependent upon the operation of your package, until this time.