Plan With Me: Christmas Holiday

How exactly do I plan my trips? What options are out there? What are ways I save money?

In this post, I will think out loud for everyone as I go through the motions of planning my holiday.

Where in the world do I want to go?: For this trip, I don’t want to wander too far or travel for too long as I don’t want to spend too much money and want to return to Brighton promptly for work and New Year’s. However, I would very much like to go outside of Europe. With that, I consult my travel bucket list (which, admittedly, has changed a bit since it has been published) and the top 250 global attractions I wish to visit and go from there. Right off the bat, Egypt and Jordan look most appealing to me for scuba diving and seeing the pyramids and other archaeological sites.

Getting there and other transport: I recall that my choice budget airline, easyJet, has flights to Egypt, but I can’t quite remember where. Let’s take a look…

easyJet flies to Hurghada, which borders the Red Sea and consequently has critically acclaimed scuba diving I found out from a quick Google search. easyJet flights leave every few days, so I look at the best options with a three week view…

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Departing on Tuesday the 19th looks most promising at £245. On the off chance a different airline might be cheaper, I check Kayak using more flexible parameters such as airports within 50 miles and a wider date range…

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Aside from the one screaming deal from Thomas Cook, easyJet seems to be the most affordable option. With that, I will likely go with easyJet, but double check Kayak once I have a more approximate plan in place. This is just a quick taste test for airline prices. Below is what the flexible date price chart for a return trips looks like:

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Now, how much it will cost to journey between cities? I mentioned in my Camino post that I find Rome2Rio very helpful for finding transport options, so let’s consult the website…

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Boom! What a deal! The most expensive price I could find was about £12 for a bus from Hurghada to Cairo. Now from Cairo, Egypt to Petra, Jordan…

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Ouch. I don’t think that will happen. Upon some more toggling around, I found that this bus line has buses from Cairo to Amman and then from Amman to Petra for £35 and £20 (return), respectively.

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Finally, flights from Amman back to London hover around £250.

In total, my flights and transport from London Hurghada to Cairo to Amman to Petra to Amman to London (including train, baggage fees and a bit of a safety net) will be about £650.

Hostels: I’ve previously written a piece on how I personally select my hostel here, so I’ll just dive right in…

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Decent hostels in Hurghada go for about £7 per night, Cairo go for about £7 per night and Amman go for about £10 per night.

So on average, if I want to spend ten days on this holiday, I will be spending a total of £80 on accommodation.

Activities: With a quick toggle around TripAdvisor, I found some things that interest me…

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  • Three days diving with equipment rental in Hurghada: £100
  • Pyramid daytrip in Cairo: £40
  • Petra daytrip in Amman: £20 (already accounted for in transport)

Plus other small activities, I bet I will spend about £175 on activities.

Food: I usually eat about £10 worth of food every day on travel, so over ten days that would be £100.

Visas: It’s important to check if there are any visa you need to sort before you travel. In this case, both Egyptian and Jordan visas are issued at the airport upon arrival for both countries. For U.S. citizens visiting, the visa fees for Egypt and Jordan are $25 and $55, respectively, for a total of $80 (£60).

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This original plan would have cost me £1065 ($1,400). A bit too rich for me, so I’m going to postpone Jordan for now and just stay in Egypt.

Change of plans: I will base myself in Hurghada and go from there using the similar process as above, but narrowing my priorities. Here’s what the new cost would be:

  • A return flight from London Gatwick to Hurghada: £250
  • Accommodation for a week at £7 per night: £50
  • Three days diving with equipment rental in Hurghada: £100
  • Day trip to the pyramids from Hurghada (because I’m still dying to see them): £110
  • Food for a week: £70
  • Egypt visa: £20

New total: £600 ($785).

Much better, I will book my trip promptly! I can’t wait to share Red Sea scuba diving and seeing the pyramids with you guys in December!

I hope you found this journey into my meticulous planning useful. Happy trails!

4 thoughts on “Plan With Me: Christmas Holiday

  1. I’m really impressed with the flight accommodations/fares in and out of London. SW is always full because they give the most competitive fares BUT they only offer so many “deals” and when they’re gone, tough luck! My 2 friends going to Costa Rica with me both paid about $625 for a RT trip from PHX to CR. I called SW 10 mins. after one of the gals sent their RT flight info and the exact same trip cost me a little over $900. I’m still bummed about it but still going.

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  2. Hi!! So happy to hear about your upcoming travels!!! How fun!! Please know I am thinking about you and sending all my love!!
    Auntie

    Like

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