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Are you planning a long-awaited trip to Egypt? Then you’ll need our comprehensive packing guide

Tracy Kaler November 5, 2019 Published in Egypt
Are you planning a long-awaited trip to Egypt? Then you’ll need our comprehensive packing guide

If you’re planning to visit Egypt anytime soon, you’re probably thinking about the Egypt packing guide and the dress code (what you should and shouldn’t wear in Egypt), which necessities you should pack in your luggage, and which you should leave at home. If you plan to book an Egypt tour package, you should have an itinerary ahead of time, knowing in advance where your travels will take you. That alone will help you make decisions when packing. As with any trip, the weather will play an essential role in what you pack for Egypt. 

Weather in Egypt

Since Egypt’s weather varies depending on the area of the country and the time of year you visit, the dates of your trip will dictate which items make it into your suitcase. With basically two seasons – summer and winter, with the coldest months being November through March – narrowing down your packing list based on the month of your trip and the Egypt destinations you intend to visit should be a snap. 

Before traveling to Egypt, decide on what to wear in Egypt for your comfort.
Before traveling to Egypt, decide on what to wear for your comfort.

Bear in mind the summer months in Egypt can be stifling. Temperatures can soar in the 100s, and humidity can hover around 60 percent in August. That makes for a hot and steamy experience at the Pyramids and other attractions. For this reason, many travelers opt to visit Egypt between November and March when the temperatures are considerably cooler, usually hovering in the 60s and 70s by day and dropping to the 40s and 50s at night. In which case, a jacket should find its way into your luggage. April is also milder than the summer months, but temperatures can still make their way into the high 70s and 80s in the daytime but cool down after dark.

Dress code in Egypt

Egypt is a Muslim country and, therefore, generally conservative. In most places, women will be covered from head to toe. In some progressive areas of Cairo, women may appear more westernized in their appearance. They might not wear abayas or hijabs, but that isn’t typical of Egyptians. Paying attention to wardrobe choices is an excellent way to tell the locals from visitors. Check out our women’s packing guide.

While travelers won’t need to dress like Egyptians, all tourists should respect the country’s culture and dress appropriately. Clothing should be loose-fitting and modest. Leave the tank tops, mini-skirts, short shorts, body huggers, plunging necklines, and sheer clothing at home. Women should be prepared to cover their shoulders outside of resorts and beaches and cover their heads inside the mosques. Mosques should loan the necessary garb for women, but keep a pashmina in your bag just in case.

Photo Credit: A Travel Blog for solo Travellers
Photo Credit: A Travel Blog for Solo Travellers

When you’re at the resort or on the beach, though, the modesty rules don’t apply. Bathing suits (even bikinis) are fine for a day of sunbathing, and strappy sundresses and cut-out pieces are acceptable while in the resort. Be prepared to change clothing for your adventures throughout Egypt, though. Even while you’re on a private tour in Egypt, you should follow the dress code. 

Basic shopping and packing tips for your Egypt trip

To stay cooler in hot months, stick with natural fibers and avoid synthetics. Light-weight, breathable cotton, and cotton/linen blends will become your best friend in Egypt. 

White or very light-colored garments will dirty easily because Egypt is in the desert and quite dusty. Stick with colors and medium-colored neutrals. In summer, avoid black or very dark colors, as those will attract heat and could make you feel warmer.

Comfy flat walking sandals may be better than sneakers in the warmer months, allowing feet to breathe.

Forgo the high heels in Egypt. Old streets and walkways don’t lend themselves to skinny high heels. Stick with flats, low heels, and wedges if you must.

Travelers in Luxor Temple
Travelers in Luxor Temple

In winter months, you’ll need a sweater or jacket in the evenings when temperatures can be 50 degrees or below. Layering may work best.

If you booked a luxury Egypt tour package, some itineraries might include meals at fine dining restaurants. Select a few smart outfits for nighttime outings. Check out our guide about things to know before visiting Egypt.

Now, let’s move on to the essentials to pack for Egypt. Below is a list of wardrobe basics for both women and men. Let’s start with women.

Women’s Clothing Essentials for Egypt

  • Maxi-skirts or skirts below the knee
  • Long, flowy dresses
  • Palazzo pants
  • Cropped pants 
  • T-shirts
  • Three-quarter sleeve shirts
  • Button-up blouses
  • Pashmina or large scarf
  • Bathing suit and cover-up
  • Undergarments
  • Wide-brimmed straw hat
  • Comfortable, cool walking shoes
  • Flip-flops for the beach or pool
  • Breathable tennis shoes
  • Dressier shoes, flats, low heels, or wedges for evenings out
  • Small cross-body purse for evenings
  • Sunglasses
  • Costume jewelry
  • Basic watch 
  • Hair accessories to keep hair back on hot days
  • If you plan to visit in cooler months, add a pair of jeans, a cardigan sweater, a warm scarf, a beanie, and a windbreaker-type jacket.
  • Workout clothing (in case you want to exercise in the hotel fitness center)
  • Tote or day bag

Now, on to the gentleman. You’ll see that packing for guys is a bit easier.

Men’s Clothing Essentials for Egypt

  • Khaki pants 
  • Knee-length shorts
  • Breathable dress slacks
  • T-shirts 
  • Golf shirts
  • Button-up shirts
  • Undergarments
  • Sandals
  • Breathable tennis shoes
  • Flip-flops for the beach or pool
  • Driving shoes or loafers for evenings out
  • Swim trunks
  • Sunglasses
  • Basic watch 
  • Baseball hat (or another hat to protect your face from the intense sun)
  • If you plan to visit Egypt in cooler months, add a pair of jeans, a pullover, a scarf, a beanie, and a windbreaker-type jacket.
  • Workout clothing (in case you want to exercise in the hotel fitness center)
  • Backpack for day trips (optional)
Travelers in Queen Hatshepsut Temple
Travelers in Queen Hatshepsut Temple

Other Essentials to Pack for Egypt

  • Sunscreen (30 SPF or higher) to combat the intense sun in Egypt
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Passport
  • International cell phone and charger
  • Power Bank to recharge your phone during a day of sightseeing
  • Universal travel adapters (I recommend two in case one fails)
  • Camera (You’ll have your phone camera, but invest in a compact digital camera to capture the highlights of your trip.)
  • Earbuds
  • Refillable water bottle (to keep water cooler than throwaway plastic bottles)
  • Travel pillow for sleeping on the plane
  • A fold-up bag to bring back all the souvenirs you’ll find shopping at the souks
  • $25 in cash (USD) to pay for a visa upon arrival
  • Egyptian pounds
  • Debit card for additional currency
  • No foreign transaction fee credit card

You are about to embark on the trip of a lifetime. Enjoy your trip to Egypt!