When you think of Middle Eastern countries you probably think of desert and heat, and you would be correct. So when I decided to finally visit a country I’ve always wanted to go, I wondered what to wear. Since I live in Qatar now, I figured like most middle eastern countries it had a majority Muslim population. This is correct but what people may not know is that there are also many Christians that reside there. You are not required to cover your head or your entire body in Egypt, but it is respectful to be modest.
I traveled mid April for Spring break, April 11-15. The weather was hot during this time of the year but mostly not oppressive in Cairo. Luxor, however, was very hot especially on the west side where the Valley of the Kings is located.
Here are my suggestions of what to pack to wear for 5 days in Egypt:
Long, thin, black, maxi skirt (versatile and stylish, great for the plane ride)
2-3 pairs of neutral, light colored linen or 100% cotton pants (cool and comfortable)
3 cami’s or tank tops, black, white, tan (cool, small and easy to pack)
2 scarf shawls that you can wrap around your upper body (thin, airy, modest)
1 pretty cotton dress (lightweight and stylish)
Rugged Open toe sandals (safe and comfortable for all the walking)
1 white cotton button down shirt (versatile and modest)
1 pair of comfy sneakers
optional- a few pretty scarves for style and headwrapping
Besides toiletries, a pair of pajamas and undergarments, swim suit, cash, and electronics, this is all I packed. Everything fit in one Victoria’s secret duffle bag. I was comfortable the whole trip. The pants worked out best because there was a lot of flies bothering my son, but I didn’t feel them.
I don’t like the way Birkenstocks look but they are of good quality and are very comfortable. Open toe sandals are better so that you can get the sand easily out of your shoes, and your feet won’t sweat with the heat. Here is a pictures of the Birkenstocks I wore.
I took a pair of khaki colored linen pants and a pair of white and blue ombre linen pants and one pair of lyocell blue slacks. I paired these with my tank tops and threw my shawl scarves on top, that I purchased at Bershka.
A white button down is a staple for traveling. It can be worn with any bottoms, alone as a dress, as a cover-up or over a tank top like I wore mine.
I saved my cotton dress for my tours in Cairo, which wasn’t the best idea. Imagine mounting a camel, legs spread apart on either side, riding through Giza Plateau in a little blue dress and walking through a crowded souk (Khan Al Khalili) with young women fully covered staring at you and whispering amongst themselves. I held my head high but inside I was saying, ugh, probably should have worn the pants today. But it made for great pictures anyway. I’m kissing the Sphinx in my dress.
The point is to travel light, especially if you’re going to travel between cities as I did. Pack cool material items that are ok to be worn wrinkled. Choose light or neutral colors and items that you can mix and match together. Pack cover ups to respect the tradition of modesty. Remember comfort over flashiness when packing for Egypt.