Includes a free family packing list for Egypt!
Egypt is known for its long hot summers and sweltering sightseeing, but don’t be caught off guard when packing, as the winters – when most tourists travel to Egypt – are comparatively quite cold. You really need to be packed for the seasons when it comes to preparing for Egypt
Whatever time of year you visit Egypt, you’ll find plenty of sunshine, and you’ll be doing a lot of walking!
This packing guide focuses specifically on family travellers, but many of the suggested items are applicable to all travellers. There’s a great guide and some insights for solo female travellers here.
Don’t forget to check out our comprehensive guide to planning a visit to Egypt with kids here and a detailed look at Egypt travel safety.
Egypt Clothes Packing – What season are you travelling in?
Before we dive straight into the packing list, we strongly suggest you look at what season you are travelling in to make the right choices – you can read more on the weather in Egypt here.
The big variance between summer and winter packing is the need for layers. It can surprise many just how cold the early starts can be in winter, you will likely want a jacket, if not gloves and beanies too. However, as you get trekking during the day, you will start stripping down and maybe reaching for the hat and sunscreen by lunchtime.
Alternatively, visiting during the hotter months (you can count anything from about late March through to October!) you are going to want light, breathable cotton. And several changes of clothes, you will sweat through at least one outfit per day if the general dustiness of the desert doesn’t get you first.
If you are worried about what to wear in Egypt from a cultural sensitivity point of view, pop over and first check out our Egypt Dress Code Advice
Ladies’ Clothing for Egypt
- Jeans or cargo trousers – winter
- Cotton trousers – summer
- Sensible footwear
- Long sleeve shirts
- t-shirts (avoid tank tops)
- Long maxi-dress
- Ladies’ headscarf/wrap
For winter in Egypt: You may want a large wrap or warmer jacket to enjoy sundown if you are on a cruise boat or at a resort, or you could use the pool towels. (Don’t expect to be using your cruise boat pool in the cooler months; they are not heated!! More on Nile cruise boats here.)
Extra tips for women travellers to Egypt – what to wear
Whilst it is not necessary for women to be completely covered or wear a hijab in Egypt, you will find locals dress very conservatively. By all means, dress for the weather, but leave the short-shorts at home.
When out in town or away from the main tourist sites, it’s strongly suggested that you don’t wear anything too clingy or revealing (you will be stared at regardless). Keep to long legs and long sleeves if possible, and a scarf never goes astray, either for the wind or quickly pull over your head.
Entering any sort of religious building – Islamic or Christian – you will want to be fully covered.
Different rules apply WITHIN YOUR RESORT ONLY if you are staying at a beach resort in Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh. Feel free to wear your normal beachwear, but if you are heading out on a shore excursion, it’s wise to cover up more – Learn more in this detailed guide to the Egyptian Dress Code
Footwear in Egypt
Although a lot of walking is involved, a full hiking boot will likely not be necessary for most travellers to Egypt. For most travellers, you will find a good trainer sensible for winter and a comfortable walking sandal appropriate for summer. You will also want to throw in your flip-flops for a beach stay.
Men’s clothing for Egypt
Oh really – they even have to think about this?!! OK, in case they need any help too:
- Jeans or cargo trousers
- Long shorts
- Sensible footwear
- A nice evening shirt
- Swim shorts
- Cap or sun hat
- Jacket/pullover in winter
Kids’ clothing for Egypt
- Leggings, track pants
- Long sleep top
- Trainers / solid sandals
- Girls dresses
- Cardigan / Sweaters
- Summer hat
In the winter, depending on what temperatures your kids are used to they may also want a beanie/gloves/scarf.
The rules in terms of being covered up really don’t apply to young children, but as your girls reach adolescence, it would be sensible for them to dress a little more conservatively than they might at home if they want to avoid the inevitable stares. As my girl is also quite the explorer, I always have her wear leggings under dresses, no matter the season.
Gadgets, Electronics and Guidebooks
- A money belt is a great way to secure your cash. Only take out what you will need for the day, keep as little as possible in your pockets and use your hotel safe when possible. It’s best to travel with both local currency and USD.
- Electric plugs are Type C (2-pin European). Voltage is 220W, from the US you will need a wattage converter – see our full guide to Middle East power points and electronics here
- SD cards
- Power bank & USB cords – whilst hotels/cruise boats all have power points, a long day of photographing and long train or bus journey, you will want that extra power backup.
- Books/Kindle – you will hopefully get a little downtime!
- A thermal water bottle for keeping drinks cool
- Easy-to-move luggage like a wheeled backpack would work great for regular switching accommodations.
Egypt guidebooks for all the family
Regardless of whether you are hiring a tour guide for your trip or travelling independently, you will likely want a guidebook for extra background reading (believe me, you will have information overload at many points!)
There are a plethora of choices when it comes to guidebooks on Egypt, it really depends if you have a preferred guidebook brand. Some people are Lonely Planet through and through, whereas others prefer the more pictorial DK Guides – we find these are more adaptable with the kids as they gain more interest in wanting to follow along.
Most of the Egypt books we found for children were not suitable for travelling with (as in they’re too big for their daypacks!), but they are great for doing some pre-reading and understanding before our travels.
Medicines & toiletries for Egypt
Although you will find pharmacies all around the country, they won’t necessarily speak English or stock brands you are familiar with. There is no harm in asking to open up the packaging to read the English instructions, but as your timetable is likely to be tight, it is one of those countries to come best prepared for minor ailments.
As well as packing your own prescription medications, if you know, you are particularly prone to, say, motion sickness or travellers diarrhoea, it is wise to bring supplies with you. Here are some hygiene and health-suggested items you could pack.
- Hand sanitiser
- Bandaids / Plasters
- Panadol / Ibuprofen
- Anti-diarrhoea medication
- Rehydration Salts
- Insect repellent
- After bite cream
- Motion sick tablets
- Corn pads
- Lip balm
- Face Wash
- Women’s sanitary items
- Wet wipes
You can find a comprehensive guide to family first aid items here.
Kids backpacks For Egypt
For the journey over on the plane:
- Small backpack
- Cards / small games
Family Day Pack For Egypt
For day trips, we find it easier to carry one bag for all the family; we include in our day pack
- Water bottles
- Hand sanitiser
- Wet wipes
- Lip balm
- Loose change
- Small snacks
- Power bank
As we noted above, some sort of money belt or concealed way to carry your cash is strongly recommended and keep passports and any extra cash in the hotel safe if at all possible. Women may also like a cross-over bag for keeping tickets/cameras close to hand (and let’s be honest, you inevitably end up carrying all the family’s bits and pieces).
Printable Egypt Packing List
To make it easier for you and your family to decide what to pack, we have included here a downloadable packing list for Egypt – just remember to leave some space for your return journey, too, and all those Egyptian souvenirs!
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