Whether you prefer the softness of the sand along the North Coast or the kitesurfing spots in Ras Sudr, beach weekends are a great way to beat the hot big-city summers in Egypt. Unfortunately, these trips can get pretty pricey if not planned properly.
If you’re worried that taking a dip might result in your finances doing the same, follow these easy tips for a budget-friendly beach getaway.
1. Create a Packing List
It might seem obvious, but many people end up wasting a lot of money when they forget their flip flops, towels, or phone chargers and are forced to buy more expensive replacements by the beach. Create a customized packing list with everything you’ll need and keep it on hand whenever you decide to escape Cairo for the weekend.
Pro tip: It’s common to forget basic toiletries when you’re packing in a hurry, so buy travel-sized toiletries and keep them in a pouch you can just throw in your bag instead of packing your usual deodorant and toothbrush every time.
2. Bring Your Own Snacks
Swimming takes up a lot of effort, and beach-side meals can get expensive depending on where you’re going. A budget-friendly alternative is to pack snacks that won’t go bad in the scorching heat, such as pretzels, chips, or nuts. If you have access to a cooler, you can also pack more perishable snacks like chopped fruit or sandwiches – plus some ice-cold beverages that’ll keep you hydrated under the sun.
Pro tip: Buy non-perishable snacks from any local supermarket before traveling to avoid higher prices at your destination or the gas stations on the road.
If you’re not renting accommodation, paying for gas might be the most expensive part of your trip. Instead of paying a small fortune every weekend, coordinate with friends or co-workers who are headed in the same direction and agree to split the cost of gas. If the trip is exceptionally long or tiring, you can all chip in and rent a small bus so you can rest and recharge on the way.
Pro tip: For some destinations, like Dahab, there are carpooling groups on Facebook where you can find people offering spaces in their cars. There are also some carpooling applications you can try like Ditto or Raye7.
4. Load up on Games
Partying can be fun, but paying entry fees and minimum charges can take a toll on your wallet over time. Instead, a cheap way to have fun during a beach trip is to bring card games and organize a small game night. You’ll end up enjoying quality time with your travel companions without paying anything beyond food and drinks.
Pro tip: Instead of taking a deck of cards, opt for an Egyptian game like Bee3 Card Game or 2oolameme.
5. Pick Your Destination Wisely
Prices tend to spike during particular times of the year in every beach destination in Egypt. For example, the North Coast is most expensive during the summer, while Gouna is most expensive during the Gouna Film Festival. If accommodation prices seem to cost an arm and a leg, check out the many other beach destinations Egypt has to offer, like Marsa Alam, Ain Al Sokhna, and Hurghada.
Pro tip: Red Sea destinations are generally much hotter during the summer months (June – August) compared to Mediterranean Sea destinations.
Bonus tip: When traveling with friends, consider using an app that can help you track your expenses like Splitwise. That way you can ensure that everyone paid their fair share without having to hastily finish up your finances on the ride back home.
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