There was a time when packing was nothing to me.  In fact it was rather fun.  I would lay everything out on the bed in the spare room a few days prior to travel, look at it, make a list of missing items I considered important and go shopping.  I used to travel quite a bit between the US, Egypt and Ireland so when I would arrive back in Ireland I would take two bags from the top shelf of the wardrobe – one marked “US” and the other marked “EGYPT” and into those bags would go the various items such as power adapters, currency etc that I would not need again until going to either country.  In those days I was super organised.

Recently I find it stressful to look at the wardrobe and bathroom seeking answers to “what to take and what not to take”.  I get tired just thinking about it.  I find myself wishing I could just get up, get dressed, grab my laptop, money, passport and drive to the airport – no packing for travel is now my dream. 

In an effort to help you travel lite when packing for Egypt, reduce stress about forgetting “must haves” and avoid hassle with airport security, we are now going to keep a stock of products which you can buy here at Mara House instead of packing them.  In some cases in the following list, I am giving a brand name – shampoo for example, taking the brands available in Egypt into account, I really prefer to stick with L’Oreal as being the best here.  I want you to be aware we are not selling cheap products to make a profit.  This is simply to help you travel lighter.  None of these products are complimentary apart from soap.  I have noted over the years that many people do not want to use hotel provided products, fearing they are not of good quality.

TOILETRIES which guests may buy in Mara House.  If something you need is not on the list you can ask us to stock it before you arrive.

If you are flying into Cairo first, just send me a list of what you want and we will bring it with us when we meet you at the airport.

  • shampoo and conditioner – L’Oreal, combs, hairbrushes
  • shower gel, loofah
  • toothpaste – Sensodyne or Colgate, toothbrush, dental floss, mouthwash
  • tweezers – how many times has airport security taken you best tweezers?!
  • nail clippers, nail cream, nail polish remover, clear nail polish
  • hand cream – Vaseline Intensive Care
  • face moisturizer – Nivea.  Getting a great product in the duty free or from the plane duty free might be a good spend.
  • face masks, peeling and moisturizing, makeup wipes
  • body lotion
  • Talc – Johnson’s Baby Powder
  • deodorant for men and women – Nivea
  • aftershave – Lynx, shaving foam, disposable razors
  • lip balm
  • insect repellent – Off
  • antiseptic cream for insect bites – Antisan
  • hand sanitizer,
  • peroxide
  • ear-buds
  • tissues
  • bandages, plasters, dettol
  • feminine personal hygiene products, tampons, pads and mini-pads
  • sunscreen
  • medicine for Tummy Bug – Antinal
  • pain relievers – Panadol
  • lubricant eyedrops – Systane Ultra
  • vitamins – let us know what you want.
  • foot spray for tired feet –
  • nappies – pampers

Other items you can purchase in Mara House instead of packing

  • T-Shirts, scarves, baseball caps, hats, rucksacks and ladies’ bags
  • personal water bottle
  • plug adapters
  • flip-flops – for use in-house and in bathrooms.  We wear non-slip flip-flops in the bathrooms while showering to avoid slipping also we ask our guests to leave their shoes on our shoe rack inside the front door and put on their flip-flops as it is more sanitary not to take the street dust around the house, onto carpets etc.

MASKS – please note the only masks available at Mara House with be boxes of disposable ordinary masks.  Because of the myriad of different materials available and any possible adverse reactions you may experience in the heat here while wearing a mask, we cannot be responsible for providing you with something which may adversely affect your face or health.

Wi-Fi 24 hours

I am putting this in here because some of my guests still have to be available to business or family members 24/7 and they ask about getting a SIM here.  This information changes depending on security measures here.  We used to be able to buy them quickly and cheaply then the law changed and it was impossible without ID.  Taking foreigners to sign up was an ordeal.  Then it changed so you can buy a SIM on arrival at the airport but I won’t cover that here because on your arrival some requirements could have changed. 

The alternative we offer is that we rent you a small mobile internet router with data.  This is something you need to let us know well before arrival as we have to go outside to Vodafone main store to top up the device for you.