Before my trip to Egypt, I was worried about what to wear. I didn’t want to buy completely new clothes just to blend in a more “conservative” country, but I didn’t want to stand out more than I already knew I would as a white, obviously Westerner girl.
I also was planning on only taking my Osprey Farpoint 40, so I needed items that would fit into my carryon!
I thought I did a good job at minimizing my packing, but as usual, I packed a bunch of stuff I never ended up wearing. Here’s a breakdown of my outfits and things I DID wear!
Day 1: White crop top (that I stole from my best friend, oops, sorry not sorry) and loose pants I got for sale at Nordstrom Rack (because I knew there would be camel riding that day!) Plus my Teva sandals that I wore basically EVERY. DAY. while I was in Egypt.
In retrospect, I probably would have opted against the crop top/spaghetti straps. But admittedly, I was more concerned with looking cute than practical.
Day 2: I don’t have any good pictures of my outfit from this day, but it was fairly low key – a felucca ride on the Nile, perfume shopping, and then to a local marketplace. I wore some loose patterned pants, also from Nordstrom, and a simple V-neck tee that I wore on day 4. And those Tevas!
Day 3: Abu Simbel day! I wore a loose-fitting tank top, and some pants I actually bought at the marketplace the night before. They were so loose and comfortable, it was perfect for keeping cool in the heat! If I hadn’t bought these pants, I would have worn the maxi skirt I brought. Also worn, my Tevas. What other option was there?
Day 4: I wore the off-white V-neck I wore on Day 2 (from Target!), along with the loose fitted pants I wore on Day 1. I actually switched it up and wore my old Vans this day to give those damn Tevas a break! I was dying to wear my maxi skirt again, but I had yet another camel ride this day, so opted for pants.
Weird how I went from having never ridden a camel… to riding two within a week!
Day 5: I FINALLY broke out that maxi skirt! Just a plain black maxi skirt I got from Target ages ago, paired with the crop top I wore on day 1. I almost wore just a regular V-neck but decided it didn’t look good, and was too light and would definitely be showing all my sweat. We were spending the day outside at Valley of the Kings and Karnak Temple, so I knew it would be a hot one. And yes, again, my Tevas! I LOVE these things. The only downside in Egypt was that they got PRETTY dusty, but they were super comfortable and easy to wear throughout the week.
Day 6: So yeah, I wore a pretty revealing bikini while on the Red Sea cruise. This was a bit different from the other days in Egypt, because it was just “us” (as in, my entire Contiki group), out on the ocean (or sea, technically), where bathing suits were expected. I don’t have any photos of my “cover up” but I wore just a T-shirt and shorts for getting on the boat.
Day 7: I finally wore the nice-ish shirt I got from Target a while ago (sensing a theme here), along with those loose-fitted pants I had worn before. Oh, and the Tevas. Clearly. While we went to pretty tourist-y sites in Alexandria, I had heard from some people who had been before the tour started to dress a little more conservatively. We spent a lot of time on the bus, and we did have kids ask to take pictures with us at the Citadel, but I thought this was a fairly appropriate outfit for being more “in” with the locals than I had been all week.
Also, I wore a spaghetti-strap maxi dress during some off-time but don’t have any photos of it! It was mainly just worn while chillin’, and drinking with all my Contiki friends.
Overall, I don’t regret not bringing shorts. But maxi skirts and dresses are a good option! While other girls in our group wore tight pants, shorts, and leggings while out, I felt comfortable and cool in my clothing choices. And I definitely would not bring any other shoes besides my Tevas. Those Vans just took up so much room for almost no use!
To be honest, going with a group didn’t overtly put us with the locals, so there wasn’t truly a reason to dress so conservatively. But I still felt good about what I brought, minus maybe the crop top/spaghetti strap top.
I also packed a cardigan, and never wore it. I only wore my fleece hoodie, both on cooler nights hanging out on the cruise, and on the long-ass plane ride there and back.