Is Egypt Safe for Travelers?

Egypt Sphinx PyramidEgyptian Sphinx
Courtesy Citypeek/Wikimedia Commons

It's no riddle: The U.S. State Department is advising that folks cancel their Egypt travel plans. Sites like the pyramids and the Great Sphinx will have to wait until the political turmoil simmers down.

Egypt is an amazing travel destination, with must-sees like the Pyramids at Giza and Great Sphinx at Luxor, museums and historical sites in Cairo, and the beautiful Lower Nile (a growing favorite locale for river cruise ships). As recently as February, I gave Egypt a "go" in Budget Travel's annual "To Go or Not to Go" roundup, with the caveat that visitors should stick to well-trod tourist sites like Luxor and Cairo.

Of course, things have changed. The U.S. State Department has urged citizens to stay away—going so far as to suggest that you cancel Egyptian travel plans in the face of political unrest and violence across the region following the one-year anniversary and subsequent ouster of President Mohamed Morsi.

If you have Egypt travel plans, you'll save yourself a world of trouble—and the slim chance of being injured—by postponing. Many package tours will likely cancel upcoming trips to the region, saving you the trouble of deciding what to do, or the companies will waive cancellation fees as they often do during natural disasters, political turmoil, or terrorist attacks (though that's not guaranteed, of course). While Budget Travel in general discourages travel insurance as an unnecessary expense, in the case of visiting Egypt later in 2013 it might be wise to look into a policy that allows you to cancel your trip for any reason—you can research travel insurance options at

TALK TO US! Have you visited Egypt lately? Did you feel comfortable and secure? Share your honest answers and you may be included in an upcoming Budget Travel story.

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