Egypt - the currency unit in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (EGP), divided into 100 piastres.
Jordan - the currency unit in Jordan is the Jordanian dinar (JD or JOD), which is divided into 100 piastres.
Israel - the unit of currency in Israel is the Israeli new shekel (ILS or NIS), which is divided into 100 agorot.
British pounds, Euros and US dollars are easily exchanged in Egypt, Jordan and Israel and are an alternative to using ATMs. US dollars cash can also be used for some purchases in Jordan. Please note: You may not be able to exchange other currencies.
Cashpoints/ATMs are widely available and are the safest and easiest way to access cash.
Most major credit cards are accepted throughout the region. We recommend that you bring yours along in case you see something special, which you hadn't budgeted for.
Please note: Credit cards cannot be used to pay for Optional Activities.
It is advisable you notify your bank or credit card issuing company of your intention to travel as for security reasons, banks and credit card companies sometimes block cards when withdrawals are unexpectedly made overseas.
Upon arrival at Cairo airport it is advisable to cash up about EGP 200. This will cover any expenditure on your Cairo sightseeing day and give you flexibility until you need to change more money where you can get a better exchange rate.
On your trip you will be given the opportunity to change money at either a bank or hotel.
Bear in mind for the end of your trip that changing Egyptian pounds, Jordanian dinar and/or Israeli shekel back into dollars or other major currencies can be complicated and the exchange rate will certainly be unfavourable. So keep an eye on the amounts you take out so you're not left with a huge surplus at the end of your trip.
Based on past experience, we recommend at least EGP 400 - 500 (approx USD 55 - 70) per day in Egypt and JOD 40 - 50 (approx USD 55 - 70) per day in Jordan to cover your normal expenses including sightseeing, small souvenir shopping and non-included meals. In Israel, budget slightly more than in Jordan, but remember that you are only there for 2 days. If you wish to purchase expensive souvenirs, you will need to budget for more, or use your credit cards for these purchases.
Remember, this is a rough figure only and spending habits vary greatly between individuals according to their budget and habits!
Although you may not be accustomed to tipping at home, tipping is an important way of life in Egypt, Jordan and Israel and is something that is done by locals as well as tourists.
When travelling with Topdeck, tips are already included on anything that forms part of your itinerary, including bus/coach drivers, included meals, hotel staff, local guides, etc. This includes your Topdeck Trip Leader. That means you do not have to tip for any of these included services!
However, you will need to tip for services that are not included, so please take this into consideration when working out your budget. For example, you will need to tip at non-included meals when you pay for the meal yourself, even if your Trip Leader has helped organise it, and you will need to tip for anything you do on your free time. Your Trip Leader can advise you what an appropriate tip amount is. A general rule when tipping is if the service warrants it, tip what you think is a fair amount, and if you do not think so, then do not tip or tip less than normal. Also, do not get bullied into tipping and disregard any comments that you have not given enough.
Topdeck Top Tip: it is a really good idea to hide away somewhere a small amount of cash and/or extra card; this will really come in handy in the unlikely event that you lose your wallet or any other kind of emergency.
It is compulsory for all passengers to take out comprehensive travel insurance before the trip departs covering cancellation, medical expenses including repatriation, loss or damage to baggage and personal belongings, money and personal liability.
You must bring a copy of your travel insurance policy with you on the trip. Your Trip Leader will make a record of your travel insurance details at the start of your trip, e.g. the name of the insurance company, the 24 hour emergency telephone number, and your policy number. These will be sent to our operations team to ensure that if you lose your policy details, they can be easily retrieved.
Passports & Visa
Some countries may refuse you entry if there is not at least six months validity on your passport after your departure date from their country so please ensure your passport complies before you leave home.
Depending on your nationality, you may require a visa to enter Egypt. Some nationals can obtain a visa on arrival at Cairo airport. These are available at all banks at the airport, which are open to meet all flights. The cost of a visa on arrival is currently USD 25 for a single entry visa. You must contact your local Egyptian consulate or embassy to ensure you can obtain a visa on arrival, or if you need to obtain one prior to travelling. Please note: Egyptian authorities alone control entry to their country. Topdeck CANNOT guarantee you will be allowed to enter Egypt.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your booking includes a transfer from the airport to your joining hotel on Day 1. On flight arrival in Cairo,
follow the signs for immigration and baggage collection. You will be met by a Topdeck representative (holding a Topdeck sign)
before you clear immigration who will assist you with obtaining your visa and progressing through customs. On occasion, our
representative is not able to meet you before immigration. If this is the case, you need to purchase your entry visa from
one of the bank stalls just before immigration, then proceed through immigration yourself. NOTE: not all nationals can obtain
a visa on arrival in Egypt (please ensure you check with the Egyptian Embassy before travel).
Our representative will then meet you before you collect your luggage.
The transfer to the hotel can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending
In order to make sure a representative is at the airport to meet you, you will need to contact your Topdeck with your flight
details at least five days before you travel. If you have any difficulties finding the Topdeck representative and you have already
cleared immigration at Cairo airport, please contact us on one of the local Egyptian mobile numbers listed in the General
Information section of this document.
If for any reason you need to make your own way to the joining hotel, the address of our usual hotel is listed in this document. You can take a taxi from the airport to the hotel. However, note that on occasion, we move our groups to different properties. If you need to make your own way, please confirm the hotel location prior to departing the airport by contacting us on one of the local Egyptian
mobile numbers listed in the General Information section of this document.
All visitors to Jordan require an entry visa, however you MAY be eligible to obtain this visa on arrival for FREE at the Allenby Bridge border. To be eligible, your passport nationality must not be from a restricted country (see below). In addition, you will need to provide your departure details from Jordan, including the date and flight. We will collect your passport and departure details in Cairo at the start of your trip. These details will then be passed on to our representatives in Jordan to assist with obtaining your free Jordan entry visa on arrival at the Allenby Bridge crossing.
RESTRICTED COUNTRIES: If you are from a restricted country, you must obtain your Jordan visa prior to arriving or you will be denied entry. You must contact your local Jordanian consulate or embassy well in advance of your departure to determine if your country is on the restricted list and for confirmation of your visa requirements. Topdeck has no authority over which countries are on the restricted list, nor do we have any control over visa requirements and processes. The restricted countries list could change at any time, as could the processes described above, and therefore Topdeck cannot guarantee the accuracy of the above information.
NOTE: Jordanian authorities alone control entry to their country. Topdeck CANNOT guarantee you will be allowed to enter Jordan.
When visiting Israel, most (but not all) nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at the border at no charge. However, if you want to visit other Middle Eastern countries either on the same trip or in the future, it is important that you ask the authorities not to stamp your passport. Instead you will be issued with a loose leaf paper visa that will be stamped and it is important that you do not lose this. You must contact your local Israeli consulate prior to departure to ensure you can obtain a visa on arrival, or if you require one prior to travelling. NOTE: Israeli authorities alone control entry to their country, and you may find Israeli immigration and customs to be more rigorous and thorough than most other countries. Topdeck CANNOT guarantee you will be allowed to enter Israel.
Remember that some visas can take up to six weeks to acquire, so don’t leave it until the last minute.
Also bear in mind that the validity of the visa often runs from the date of issue rather than date of entry into the country.
Please check with the appropriate embassies prior to departure as requirements do change periodically.
In addition to the visa fees indicated above, you will also need to pay the following departure taxes when exiting these countries:
Depending on your trip, you could be travelling in a modern air-conditioned coach or mini-buses, a traditional Nile sailing felucca, or a five-star Nile cruise ship.
Importantly we own all of our coaches, meaning we can be sure they are well serviced and of a high standard. The quality of all other types of transport has been thoroughly checked and verified by our local offices to ensure they meet our specific requirements. All transport is included in your trip price, and will ensure you arrive at each destination feeling refreshed and ready to explore.
Important information about borders crossings between Egypt, Israel and Jordan
Please note: borders can close and/or crossing procedures and fees can change without notice. Topdeck, and our partners in Egypt, Jordan and Israel, have no control over the customs and immigration practices of these countries. Crossing these borders can take more time than you are used to when entering/exiting other nations. On occasion, we may need to make alterations to our itinerary to deal with unexpected temporary changes in border procedures.
Leaving Egypt, entry into Israel is via the Taba border, approximately 2 hours drive from Dahab. This will be a very early morning departure from Dahab! Your Egyptian Trip Leader and Driver will not travel with you to Israel. They can only take you as far as the gate of the Egyptian border. From there, you will walk approximately 200m to the Egyptian border control, where you will pay the departure tax of EGP 2 and will be processed by Egyptian immigration to leave the country.
You will then walk a further 200m to the Israeli border. Once at the Israeli border you walk through Israeli immigration and customs. The entry visa is free, but only if you are eligible to obtain an Israeli visa at the border (always check with your local consulate well before departing from home). However, you should request that your visa not be stamped into your passport, otherwise you could have problems if travelling to other Middle East countries in the future. There are exchange facilities at the border and as you will be crossing on a Friday it is best to change currency here (since many services are closed in Jerusalem on Saturday for the Jewish Sabbath).
Once clear of immigration and customs you will be met by our Israeli crew and vehicle - look for them holding a Topdeck sign. You will drive to Jerusalem where you will spend two nights.
Leaving Israel & Entering Jordan
To leave Israel and enter Jordan, you will drive to the Allenby Bridge border crossing. Your Israeli guide will go as far as possible with you through immigration and customs. On the Israeli side of the border, you will need to go to the first window to pay the Israeli departure tax (NIS 176, approx USD 45) before you go to the next window to clear immigration. Please note that the flow through the process is not like a natural forward progression as through an airport. The windows are beside each other so it’s a bit like queuing for an airline check in and then queuing again right beside the window you were at. Once again ask them not to stamp your passport and instead they will give you a loose leaf paper called a ‘gate pass’. (Do not lose this as the Jordanians will ask for it at their immigration when you obtain your Jordanian visa.)
Once you have passed through Israeli immigration, you walk through the duty free to wait for the shuttle bus to take you to the Jordanian border. You will have to pay a shuttle fee to travel between the two borders (JD 8.5 or approx. USD 12).
At the Jordanian border you will normally be met by your Jordanian Topdeck Trip Leader prior to proceeding through immigration. Look for your Trip Leader holding a Topdeck sign in the immigration building, after exiting the shuttle bus. If you are eligible for a visa on arrival (see Visa section of this document), they will assist you in obtaining your FREE Jordanian entry visa and will take you to your new vehicle and driver to continue on your adventure. If our Jordanian Trip Leader is unable to meet you prior to immigration, due to security controls, you will need to proceed through on your own. Our Trip Leader will then be waiting for you after immigration.
REMINDER: we need your passport details and departure details from Jordan to be able to assist you in obtaining your Jordan entry visa on arrival (if you are eligible). These will be collected in Cairo at the start of your trip.
Health & Safety
We want to make sure you're having the time of your life while travelling with us. Therefore, if you suffer from any kind of medical condition or allergies, we will need to know at the time of booking, or at least six weeks prior to the departure of your trip.
If you require regular medication, you must have a sufficient supply before your trip departs, as it may be difficult to obtain while travelling. You must be able to administer your own medication, as Topdeck Road Crew will not be able to administer it, and there are no guarantees that there will be anyone with first aid training on board.
Strict food and water hygiene is essential to avoid diarrhoea. Make sure food has been properly prepared, drink only boiled or bottled water and keep in mind that ice will likely come from tap water. Also take precautions against insect bites and sunburn. During the hot summer months it is advisable to carry bottled water in your day-pack at all times.
We recommend that you ensure your tetanus, diphtheria, typhoid, polio and hepatitis vaccinations are up to date. Please consult a medical practitioner for the relevant requirements prior to travelling.
If you are arriving a few days before the start of your trip, please be advised not to accept offers from people to visit specialty shops or to take guided tours. These people are not associated with Topdeck and therefore we can't be responsible for the service you receive from them. Your Topdeck trip includes professional guides who will accompany you to all the sites mentioned in your itinerary.
Most hotels in Egypt, Israel and Jordan uses the same two-prong plug as used in Europe (CEE 7/16 standard) and a single adapter will work in all these countries. However, in some Jordanian hotels you might find the British plug socket (BS 1363 'Type G' standard).
Throughout Egypt, Israel and Jordan the voltage is a uniform 220-230v. If the voltage is the same or similar in your home country your appliance will comply. If you have a 110v appliance you will need to use a transformer to avoid damaging your appliance.
Should you encounter any difficulties meeting your transfer from the airport to the starting hotel, depending on which country you are in you can contact a Topdeck representative on the following:
Tamer Adel - Operations Manager
Mobile: +(20) 100 534 0350
Mariam Kamal - Operations
Mobile: +(20) 100 111 4103
Osama Yousef - Topdeck Representatives Supervisor
Mobile: +(20) 122 197 9097
In Israel and Jordan
Al-Thuraya Travel and Tours - Local handlers
Phone: +(962) 6 553 5525
Other emergency contacts:
Ms Sholpan Geegeeh: +(962) 79 606 9393
In Cases of Emergency
While we hope you never have to use it, if for any reason you need to contact someone from Topdeck, whether it be that you have missed a trip departure meeting, have become separated from your trip on the road or any other unforeseeable problem, the following options are available to you.
Our Customer Service team is on hand 24/7 to help*
Please call 1300886332 from within Australia, 0800525366 from within New Zealand, 18006071399 from within North America, 0800982308 from within South Africa, 0362731786 from within Japan, 08452575212 from inside the UK or +44289873305 for the rest of the world. A Topdeck representative will be on hand to help.
* Please note our Customer Service team may be closed over bank holidays. Please check out www.topdeck.travel/about-topdeck/contact-us over these times.
What to bring
The golden rule is to travel as light as you can. Only bring what you really need and leave plenty of space for things you might want to buy. Don't forget you will have to carry your bag around yourself before and after the trip, as well as in and out of where you’re staying while on your trip!
We recommend soft bags, suitcases or frameless backpacks, plus a small day pack or carry bag. No external framed bags please, as they damage other bags on the coach. Please limit your luggage to a maximum of 20kg. Luggage must not exceed dimensions of 70cm in height, 45cm in width and 25cm in depth. Only one piece of luggage is allowed.
Please note: Due to space and weight restrictions on our coaches, passengers with too much luggage on departure morning may be told that they cannot take their entire luggage with them. Luggage storage facilities are usually available at the departure point, if they are not available you will have to make your own arrangements to have it stored or shipped home. Any luggage left behind will be at your own risk and you will be required to pay any costs incurred.
The following is a suggested clothing list only, based on our experience.
1 pair of comfortable walking shoes
1 pair of smart-casual shoes
1 pair of thongs/jandals/flip-flops
2 pairs jeans/trousers
2 pairs shorts/skirts
Smart casual evening wear
1 rainproof jacket
Underwear and socks!
General things to pack:
Optional things to pack:
Travelling in winter
While the daytime temperatures can be mild in the winter months in the region, the evenings are generally cold, especially in Upper Egypt, on the feluccas and in the desert. We recommend that you bring warm clothing including a warm coat for use in the evenings.
The hotels do not cater for winter temperatures as well as they perhaps could so we recommend you bring something warm to sleep in. You need a good sleep at night to enjoy the daytime activities. The winter is not the busiest season, so the mild days can make sightseeing more enjoyable than during the heat of summer, and provided you have some warm clothes, walking through street markets without the crowds is a joy.
A sleeping bag will not be required for your trip.