We keep an eye on the Foreign Office web site which gives advice to travellers. Check out: www.fco.gov.uk
This web site gives an update on the current political situation and advice on health issues. It is worth looking at.
Currently Cairo appears safe - I have never had any problems with groups. One time, some girls were in the Khan el Khalili when a bomb went off in the locality - they didn't notice anything unusual! I was quickly notified by my network of friends so I could track them down and check everyone was safe.
Turkey is more on the cusp of current politics. I go to Istanbul regularly and have not had any problems. The people continue to be friendly and try to make your holiday as special as possible. If there were specific threats or problems, I would have to re-asses the situation but as things stand at the moment, I feel quite safe taking groups.
I have local friends in most places we travel to. I do check with them constantly as to what the situation is like. I would not knowingly take groups into dangerous situations.
When traveling you might want to pack a spare pair of knickers and your toothbrush in your hand luggage. On rare occasions where luggage is delayed and arrives after you, it is good the have the bare necessities with you!
We advise everyone to get their holiday insurance before they book their flights or they may not be covered if anything happens. You must get your own holiday and medical insurance. Farida is not responsible for this.
Egypt is a cash economy. Banks don't like travellers cheques though will take them if pushed - you must bring your letter confirming ownership with you. ATM's - some work, some don't. If relying on cards, you must inform your bank you will be using your card in Cairo. There is a safety deposit system in the hotel.
Things to take with you.
Bring loose comfortable clothing. Nothing too revealing or, if wearing a low sleeveless top, bring a jacket or shirt to wear over the top. A hat if doing the pyramids or camel riding.
|• Footwear - I am susceptible to insect bites so wear shoes and socks in the market with light trousers. Otherwise sandals are fine.
• A 'dressy' number for the plusher nightclubs.
• Insect repellent.
• Ear plugs, if you are a light sleeper and take them to the noisy clubs.
• Travel kettle / iron - if you want these facilities in your room.
||• Money belt - easier to hold onto than a handbag in the market.
• Books - I recommend The Lonely Planet guide to Cairo. It has lots of interesting facts and a map of the centre. The Rough guide to Egypt also has a comprehensive section on Cairo.
• Anti bacterial hand wipes.
As above - but as we are in 5 Star splendour, you are unlikely to need earplugs.
If you want to perform with the band - a costume.
As for Egypt - though the dress code is far more relaxed.
You have to carry your luggage on and off boats - bring the minimum possible!!!
Light casual clothes, swimming cossie and, if you want to perform in the show, a costume.
As for Egypt. There are plunge pools in the Riad so you may want to bring a costume too.
Check with your doctor as what is recommended varies. Ensure medical cover is included in your holiday insurance. Some of the shows have strobe lights - if this is likely to be a problem, let Kay know.