Visiting new sites, meeting new people and tapping into knowledge far away from your area is worth an investment. The fun and fulfilment that traveling brings, coupled with the interesting and intriguingly illuminating experience embedded in every trip are part of life’s invaluable experience. Everything in life, however, comes with a price. The best way to cut the negative costs is to equip oneself with necessary knowledge.
Hurghada is generally safe, almost with no risk-prone reputation, but there is no harm in keeping up-to-date with some basic tips before heading to the city. This is what I am going to be helping you with in this post.
Mosquitoes replant, and medication for stomach flu will be relevant on a trip to Hurghada in addition to taking necessary vaccination before the trip. This is more so for persons who react easily to changes in the environment, food or insect bites. In any case, ensure you consult your physician to guide you on the relevant medications to add to your luggage.
Don’t be in hurry to Pay
Starting from the airport, you are likely to meet people offering to help or trying to sell anything to you. If the help involves parting with your money, slow down and find out if you are not dealing with the wrong person or paying inflated price before parting with your money, if you have to!
Change Money in the City
Some travelers like to change money before making their trips. While this is okay, it might sometimes not make a lot of economic sense. It all boils down to where you are coming in from though. Changing currencies such as British pounds and US Dollar will be more profitable in Hurghada as you are likely to get more commission in the city than outside the country.
Women shouldn’t travel alone
Nothing stops a woman from being alone on the beach but it is generally not advisable. The society, while reasonably cosmopolitan, is still predominantly Muslim, and Islam’s tradition especially as regards women being under the care of a man is well pronounced there.
The Three Don’ts
Don’t touch the corals, Don’t touch the fishes when you are diving or snorklling and don’t take out corals! This are meant to preserve the aquatic nature. Tourists police take these don’ts seriously and you might be fined if you are caught violating them.
Avoid booking tours from your hotel
This is simple, just as I have warned you earlier that you should not pay in haste; don’t book any tour from your hotel room. Anybody could claim to be a tour operator or tour guide, except you want to be disappointed or cheated, ensure you double-check and confirm that you are having talks with the right persons while booking your tour.
Here are tips, suggested by piiap a well-travelled finn, if you want to book scuba diving:
Buy diving tickets only at diving centres where you can meet the people that you are going to dive with and see the equipment you are going to use.
Ensure that the rental equipment are clean and well maintained if you are going to use it. Broken gear do not get better 10 meter under the water!
Ask the instructor or divemaster to show you his/her certificate. For a PADI Diving Instructor it should say Open Water Scuba Instructor or Master Scuba Dive Trainer. For a divemaster it should say Divemaster or Assistant Instructor (and these are dive guides, not instructors… so they cannot do your diving course!). if you can, double-check to ensure whatever certificate you were shown is not fake.
Ask how many people there are on board, what certificate they have and where they come from—a diving day with 20 – 30 try divers are not what you want!
Mistrust ANY place where you have to pay your diving in advance. There might be something dodgy about places that do not trust you to be willing to be paying after your diving experience!
If diving is the same price as you pay for snorkeling elsewhere… well… something is not right.
The divemasters should be paid in money, not girlfriends. Report serious sexual harassment to the tourist police.
Do not accept seriously bad behaviour, broken equipment or activities that are dangerous for you and the coral reefs. Ask to get your money back and report severe cases to the police, the Red Sea association and Hepca.
Usifo Mike-Alvin is a creative writer with knack for budget traveling and adventure. He travels across Africa and reports for www.afrotourism.com