The Travel Detective is never one to lead people into danger, nor is he willing to buy into fear-mongering. A frequent traveler to Egypt, Peter reports on travel safety on the ground in Cairo and throughout the country.
I’ve been traveling to Egypt since I was 24 and I can never get enough of it. One thing is consistent: Every time I tell friends I’m going to Egypt, they always say: “Be careful,” “Be safe” or, quite recently, “Are you nuts?”
I am not crazy. I’ve always said that the best time to visit a destination is immediately after a civil disturbance or a natural disaster. The worst four-letter word starting with “f” is “fear,” and Americans know no shortage of it when it comes to making their travel choices. They are directly motivated by it. I put my money where my mouth is…and I go.
From the moment most Americans land at the airport in Cairo, there is a certain anxious feeling that surrounds visitors. For the few American travelers visiting the Egyptian capital, the questions are somewhat obvious: Is it safe? Will the streets be occupied by Army troops?
But, it’s the first question that YOU are asked that sets the tone: “Where are you from?” Guess what, when you say America, a smile emerges from the person who asked you. “We are honored that you are here. Thank you so much for coming to our country. Thank you…we NEED you!”
Within minutes, it becomes clear that Egypt is, indeed, safe. That the streets are only dangerous because of the usual chaotic Cairo traffic, and you’re in for a treat. And that, ever since the revolution started January 25, 2011, not a single American tourist has been killed.
What does that tell you? That when the going gets tough, the smart travelers…..travel. And they then have an amazing, affordable, life-changing experience. It’s more than just being the beneficiary of a buyer’s market. It’s seeing a place the way it was meant to be seen, with no crowds, better deals and better service.
People are truly happy to see you, and they show it. And from the moment I arrived, I knew I had made the right decision to come.