If it hasn’t been answered elsewhere, you will probably find the answer below:
What does “Private & Escorted” really mean?
It means the best possible value for your tour dollar. “Private” means that, those guests in your own private party with whom you have booked (nowadays we often have ‘solo’ travelers also), you comprise the entire tour group! Even if Egypt Magic has more than one group beginning the same tour on the same day, you are not combined. Not only does this eliminate the hassles and compromises that inevitably occur when a large group tour tries to be all things to all people, but the scheduling is geared totally to your convenience. The tour begins and ends on the days of your choosing, and can be modified throughout to suit your particular preferences. “Escorted” means hassle-free. We’ve done the logistical planning, we get you safely, comfortably and most conveniently from one point of interest to the next, and you are escorted a professional, University-degreed Egyptologist guide who’s there to make sure that your experience in his/her country is the experience you’ve traveled there to enjoy. Our guides are highly trained with excellent English language skills and warm, out-going personalities…who will delight in answering your every question. “Private and escorted” makes your vacation a true holiday.
I live outside North America; can I book a trip with Egypt Magic?
Absolutely! About one third of all our guests reside outside North America; they come to us because of our high level of service and capability to provide an excellent holiday or vacation. We make all arrangements by e-mail or telephone and payment is usually wired to us (with credit card payments possible in many cases). Your vouchers and documents are delivered by via email. There are no additional charges for these services.
What are the advantages of booking with Egypt Magic?
When you book with Egypt Magic you are assured of the highest quality vacation or holiday. We take time to get to know our guests a bit so personalized service comes naturally. We work very closely with our in-country associates, hotels and suppliers and we stay informed of the latest changes and situations which can occur in this part of the world. Our business arrangements with our suppliers are impeccable so they heartily welcome our clients because they know that all financial arrangements are secure. Egypt Magic’ guests are usually at the top of the list for upgrades and special services.
Our clients are similarly secure as we are licensed and bonded by the State of Florida. Your payments are held in escrow until our suppliers are paid. Plus, given our volume, we can offer economies of scale, providing more service at a lower cost. This is true vacation value. Because of the care we take we are proud to say that no client has ever lost money due to problems with Egypt Magic or our suppliers.
Further, our main Claim to Fame is that our Associates both at our offices and at our destinations are the absolute best! Our state-side Associates know the destinations they sell like their own home towns and have the knowledge and personal commitment to help you make the plans to give you the best time possible. Our in-country Associates are also committed to your complete satisfaction and rarely will you encounter a problem or hitch they cannot solve or smooth over. And, believe us, problems in third world countries arise with astonishing regularity.
What hotels are used?
In Egypt our basic tours offer luxury accommodations. All hotels and Nile cruisers have been selected with your comfort and pleasure in mind. However, in order to allow your Adventure to run smoothly, we do reserve the right to change hotels, but you can be assured that any necessary change will be to an equal or superior property.
Nonetheless, should you wish to book a specific hotel or change one or more hotels we would be pleased to do accommodate you . . . just ask!
How soon should I book my trip?
We guarantee daily departures on all of our Egypt tours, so we also guarantee availability. We use a selection of comparable hotels and Nile cruisers so we are always able to confirm your tour. As soon as you are definite on your desire to go and on your dates you should make your land package booking. The most important reason is to help insure getting the flights you prefer at the lowest possibly pricing. The rule of thumb is…the closer you get to the date of departure, the higher the price of the flight.
We are very flexible with changes to bookings. If your circumstances change, we can usually make a complete change of itinerary without charges and without any penalties with 45 or more days notice. Airline restrictions, if any, would still apply.
What about flight arrangements?
You will find Egypt Magic to be most accommodating with flights. We can offer assistance in booking international airfare to/from Cairo or to Cairo and back from Amman (if you’re going on to Jordan after Egypt). When you find suitable flights, please give us the opportunity to advise you before you purchase; occasionally there are problems with the airline, routing or other aspect which may not be widely known. We provide this service without charge. Similarly, if you wish to use Frequent Flyer miles (which must be booked directly with the airlines) we strongly recommend that you coordinate with us before final ticketing.
All tickets for in-country domestic travel are issued by our associates in the respective country, although Egypt Magic makes the booking arrangements. You will receive those tickets either upon arrival or just prior to the flight. Additionally, our in-country associates have excellent connections with their domestic airlines and very simply, can often make things happen that we can’t. This also provides needed flexibility should schedules change.
How can we get the best rooms?
We try to do that for you without your even knowing it! As we have personally visited nearly all of the properties we know which rooms are the best at each.
When we do offer different category rooms at any hotel (for example, Pyramid view in Giza or Nile view in Luxor) we will explain the difference, both in what is provided and the cost. We try to be as objective as possible and you will often hear us not recommending a more expensive room because we don’t think it’s worth what the hotel is asking.
Of course, specific rooms cannot be guaranteed until time of check in. However, if a room in your selected category is unavailable (a rare occurrence) you will be given an upgrade at no charge.
What are the payment arrangements?
If you are making your booking within 60 days of departure we require full payment within one week of your booking. Before 60 days of departure a deposit of US$250 per person plus any international air fare we arrange for you is generally required; and the balance is due 60 days before departure.
Payments can be made by (in order of preference) bank check, wire transfer, personal check, debit cards or credit cards (American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are accepted). All payments must be in US dollars. Personal checks are not accepted within 2 weeks of travel. We reserve the right to require confirmation of credit card ownership and responsibility and the right not to accept certain credit cards.
What travel documents will we receive?
Once fully paid our Documents Department takes over to perform a complete audit of your trip to ensure that nothing has been overlooked. Our Documents Department will prepare a complete package which will contain the following items: a general information letter, your complete trip itinerary, your invoice, vouchers for all services purchased and detailed destination information including visa requirements, hotel and other contact phone numbers, currency requirements and more. Depending on your destination and individual arrangements you may also receive airline tickets, complimentary coupons for various services, optional brochures, and other items.
How are travel documents sent?
If there are no international air tickets we will ship your travel documents to your U.S. address via Priority Mail. If your address is outside the U.S. our usual choice is via email as this is the fastest and surest routing. In either case you will receive an email advising you that the documents have shipped.
If your final payment reaches us without sufficient time for delivery of documents we may elect to email your travel documents. Depending on individual circumstances we may deliver by overnight courier, DHL, airport pickup of tickets (PTAs) or other means. In some cases, where air tickets are issued for us by a third party (such as the airline itself) there may be a fee for delivery directly to you. In summary, our goal is to expedite documents to you at the lowest possible cost.
Once booked, can we make changes to our itinerary?
Certainly, subject to cancellation and change provisions of our suppliers. We are able to make one set of changes without fees (on our part) and do our best to avoid cancellation penalties from suppliers. Small charges are sometimes imposed for additional changes depending on the complexity of the change. See Travel Insurance!
Most airline tickets nowadays are discounted, which brings with it restrictions. Different tickets have different restrictions; your Sales Counselor will have details on any restrictions on tickets you have purchased from us. Under no circumstances are we able to waive airline rules and tariffs.
For tours in Egypt cancellations within 30 days are normally non-refundable.
What’s the scoop on travel insurance?
No matter how carefully a trip is planned, unforeseen circumstances can cause problems. These can range from missing a flight because of car troubles to lost luggage to a medical problem while on tour. Travel insurance is an excellent way to protect yourself from such problems and we strongly recommend its purchase. For this reason, we automatically recommend our excellent Comprehensive Coverage Plan (which we can offer only to North American clients). Full details on this coverage are furnished as part of your formal itinerary/pricing proposal through our website, and there is also an 800 number direct to the Insurance Provider for specific questions.
Does Egypt Magic work with Travel Agencies?
Yes, we do…please email or telephone for specific information.