#DreamTrip: Turn $10 a Day into an Egyptian Trip of a Lifetime
Scenes from a dream… the people, places, sights, and sounds of Egypt. (All photos: Paula Froelich)
Fact: Trips do cost money.
Fiction: Once-in-a-lifetime trips can only happen only once in a lifetime.
Yesterday I revealed some of our readers’ #DreamTrips — from a beachfront villa in Mustique to a culinary binge in Stockholm to hiking in the Himalayas — and today I’m going to share some strategies on how to make those dreams a reality.
Real Talk: You just need to prioritize your dreams (a little).
I challenge all of you to save $5-10 a day for the next six months. In a cookie jar, old school. Five dollars will turn into $910 and $10 a day will gain you $1,820. For those amounts you can afford a really nice getaway — and we’re here to prove it. Over the next few months in a new #DreamTrip column we’ll be showing you what adventures $910, $1,820, and $3,600 can buy (in case you want to save $10 a day for a year for a super duper #DreamTrip).
First up: Egypt. I went there In October for 10 days for under $2000 — airfare included. Not kidding. And I did it first class. If I’d done a three- instead of four-star trip, it would have been even cheaper. And yes, it was safe.
I had always wanted to see the pyramids, and I decided that, despite the political turmoil, I was going to start the second half of my life the way I wanted to finish it: bold, adventurous, and doing things I’d always wanted to do but made excuses for (“It’s too expensive,” “Maybe next year,” “I can’t go now…”). And besides, a little bit of turmoil means cheap cheap cheap! All joking aside, there have been horrific attacks on tourists in the past few months and the political situation is explosive, but as long as you stay away from the Sinai Peninsula, visiting Egypt can be relatively safe. Because it’s so cheap, five-star hotels are now running at Howard Johnson prices — and they include security in your stay. People who once made their living off of tourism (and have now been broke for years) will treat you like Cher.
Here’s how I did it:
1. I went on Kayak.com and got a cheap flight from NYC to Cairo — with $200 off from points via American Express.
2. I hired a local Cairo travel agent, SEEgypt, used by many of the embassies in town. It’s owned and operated by two women, May Sedky and Susan Torgersen. They booked me into a tour that, at the time, was $1,495 for 10 days, which included transportation to and from airports, internal flights, a room on the Sun Boat III, the most luxurious boat on the Nile, and guides in each city.