How To Still Enjoy Gouna On A Budget
7 months ago
Now that it’s starting to warm up again and we have multiple national holidays coming up, Gouna is starting to seem like a good idea. Gouna is not known to be kind to one’s wallet, but if you play it smart from the beginning, you too can have a great few days there without paying a bomb or sitting in a sad Hurghada chalet by yourself.
1. Take Go Bus or go in a friend’s car.
When it comes to getting to Gouna, those on a budget can kiss flights to Hurghada goodbye. The good news is that now that they’ve finished the new Galalah road, you can get to Gouna much faster (and it’s now much safer).
Driving yourself will cost you gas there and back (around 300-500 EGP), so it’s cheaper to either take Go Bus or hitch a ride with a friend (if you go with a friend, you’ll also save money on tuk-tuks there).
2. Stay in a cheap hotel or rent an apartment with your friends.
First of all, avoid public holidays like the plague because you’ll find hotels jacking up their prices sky-high. The cheapest hotels in Gouna are usually Arena Inn, Turtle’s Inn and Ali Pasha, and the cheapest way to book them is on elgouna.com – sometimes they have deals or give Gouna vouchers. In either case, it’s still cheaper than booking on other online sites.
If you’re in a big group, then it’ll probably be much cheaper to rent an apartment or villa. You can find a bunch on AirBnB or various Gouna real estate offices.
3. Eat breakfast in the hotel or the apartment’s kitchen.
Eating in restaurants in Gouna is the quickest way to burn through your budget. While you’ll obviously want to eat in nice restaurants sometimes throughout your trip, you don’t need to have every meal in a restaurant. Most hotels will have breakfast included in your room rate, so even though it’s annoying to drag yourself out of bed and to the breakfast buffet by 10.30, you’ll appreciate it when you save around 200-300 EGP a day due to that alone.
If you’re staying in an apartment, make use of the kitchen: buy groceries from one of the the many Best-Way supermarkets in Gouna, cook breakfast daily and split the cost of the groceries between you and your friends. It will cost marginally less than eating out.
4. Bring your own bottles.
And that goes for both alcohol AND water. Gouna’s prices are higher than Cairo’s, so hit your friendly neighborhood koshk before leaving Cairo and stock up on water, soda, juice, cigarettes or whatever you need on a daily basis. You can stash it all in your hotel’s mini-bar or your apartment’s fridge.
As for alcohol, bringing your own alcohol and drinking before/after you go out will save you a pretty penny on buying drinks (The Bartender in Abu Tig Marina’s prices are frankly quite frightening). If you’re in a group, it’ll be relatively cheap for you to divide a bottle’s bouchon between all of you.
5. Stick to the beaches that you have free access to.
Every hotel and apartment in Gouna has a beach that allows them free access. So while it might be tempting to go spend a couple of hours at Moods, they’ll charge you an entrance fee if you’re not a homeowner or staying at the marina hotels. Why spend an extra 100 EGP per day if you can spend zero?
6. Not all Gouna restaurants will cost you an arm and a leg.
It’s true, if you’re hungry you don’t have to drop 500 EGP in Pier 88 or Saigon. There are other affordable options: places like Nathan’s, Eish Baladi, The Snack Shack, Malu’s Deli and Bob’s Hotdogs will cost you less than 100 EGP if you keep your order simple. And of course, you want to REALLY save, then hit up Zomba for foul and taameya sandwiches or Shatta w Da2a for koshary.