How to Plan an Educational Trip to the Pyramids
Imagine yourself standing at the base of one of Egypt’s pyramids and marveling at its ancient magnificence. Now, imagine standing there holding your child’s hand and watching awe fill their eyes as they see this magnificent piece of art. That’s the moment when you realize that taking this trip to the pyramids was one of the best decisions you've made to date.
How to Plan an Educational Trip to the Pyramids
Here are a few ways that can make your pyramid trip educational and magical.
Choose a Place to Stay
You should choose a place to stay that fits both your budget and what you want to do on your trip, especially if you intend for there to be some educational perks. If you want to see Cairo's culture in action up close, choose a hotel in a downtown district. However, if you want a more serenity during your stay, pick a hotel in Giza that is close to the Pyramids. Zamalek is a classy and convenient area, but it has limited options for hotels. Tripadvisor.com offers more guidance on how to choose the neighborhood for your visit. You can also figure out which area has the most history and turn your stay into a bit of an educational game!
Plan Your Transportation
To reach the Pyramids of Giza, you can take a taxi, which is a fast and easy option. One travel guide points out that there are both metered and unmetered taxis in Cairo. If you end up in one of the unmetered ones, you may face the hassle of a driver who wants to divert, wasting your time by making stops along the way. Haggle to get a fair price.
Going to the pyramids by bus is another option. This is cheaper than going by taxi. However, if you plan to go beyond Giza to visit other pyramids, a taxi is your best option. You may also want to investigate taking a guided tour that includes transportation arrangements.
Explore all the Pyramids
Giza’s pyramids include the Great Pyramid of Khufu, truly one of the world’s wonders, but you can see so much more on your tour of Egypt’s pyramids if you are willing to travel a bit more. Not far away are the Queens Pyramids. Also, only 15 miles from Cairo is Saqqara, where you can feast your eyes on the Pyramid of Pepi II and the Pyramid of Djoser. A little beyond Saqqara is Dahshur, where you can see the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid.
The pyramids showcase the richness of an ancient culture, so before you go on your trip, do some research on them. Perhaps, you can also give your little one the ability to do their own research before heading over to visit the structures. It will give them a deeper perspective when they finally see them in person.
Enrich Your Trip
Certainly you’ll want to stroll around the pyramids, take some photos, and let your imagination take you back centuries to when they were in their prime. You can do even more than that on your trip to Egypt though. Take a horse ride around Giza’s pyramids (riding a camel around the pyramids is also an option, though not highly recommended). Be picky about which stable you ride from; choose one with a good reputation and whose prices you clearly understand.
The Pyramids Sound and Light Show puts a modern twist on an ancient marvel, and it’s a unique way to get a basic education on the history of the Giza Plateau.
There are plenty of ways to explore Egypt and the Pyramids. You can search classified ads in Egypt for deals on tickets to events to enrich your trip. Of course, it is always wise to research events and shows ahead of time so your experience is well planned and you don’t end up wasting money or time on something that was not worth it.
Beware of Potential Threats
Familiarize yourself with Egypt’s current political state. Egypt’s recent political turmoil means that a visit to this country is a risk. Violence in Cairo due to unrest is becoming less common, so you’re unlikely to sustain injuries in a riot, but don't disregard the possibility. One Condé Nast expert says, “The very determined, savvy tourist could probably come here now and have a great trip, if they also kept a very close eye on the news during their stay and avoided areas with unrest.” This would also be an excellent opportunity to explain world news, politics, and current events with your child depending on age. Hands on experience at a distance tends to be more easily accessible in the memory banks than just reading about it.
Caution is also in order when you are dealing with vendors. The recent downturn in Egypt’s tourism industry motivates ambitious salespeople to push too hard, and facing such people may put a damper on your trip. Avoid talking to or making eye contact with anyone who seems like they are out to harass you.
A visit to the pyramids will stand out in your child's memory and your scrapbooks for a lifetime. Plan carefully, take precautions, and enjoy these marvels from long ago.
Where are some of your favorite places to travel?
Image by Matthew Knot via Flickr
Jennifer is a freelance writer who enjoys hanging out with her over-sized pup on the weekends. Often times, she can be found at the beach running amok with the mutt when she doesn't have a pen and paper in her hand. Follow her on Google +.
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