NEEDED TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
You must have a valid passport with expiration date not less than 6 months prior to your return date. No visas are necessary for individuals with U.S. or Canadian passports. Keep your passport with you at all times.
We need a photocopy of the picture page of each tour member's passport. If you have not sent us this copy, please do that immediately. No visas or shots are necessary for this tour.
Do not pack your passport and airline ticket in your luggage. Photocopies and a couple of passport-type photos can help you get replacements more quickly if the originals are lost or stolen. Carry photocopies separately in your luggage and keep the originals with you. Also, leave a copy of your passport at home.
WHAT IS THE FOOD LIKE?
Breakfast and dinner are buffet-style at the hotels with many selections of meat, fish, vegetables, fruits and desserts to choose from. The food is great!
IS THE WATER SAFE?
Yes, the water in Israel is safe — especially at our hotels. For the most part you don’t have to worry about water or food. If you’re not sure or want to play it safe, you can buy bottled water.
Bring your journal, extra pen, Bible, water bottle, a rain shell, etc in a daypack. The bus will be securely locked when we are away touring.
The electric current in Israel is 220-volt A.C., single phase, 50 cycles, which requires special adapter plugs with round prongs. If you take appliances (hair dryer, electric razor, etc.) that are suitable for both 110 and 220 volts, you will need a set of adapter plugs. If your appliance is for 110 volts only, you will also need a converter. Please check your appliance before going to verify its voltage. Don’t assume that it will work unless it clearly indicates that it will run on 220 volts.
Your tour will be an intensive learning experience. Those who prepare will get more out of their tour. Some recommended books for study are: Your People Shall Be My People by Don Finto, Mountains of Israel by Norma Parrish Archbold and Why Care About Israel by Sandra Teplinsky. A full list is located in the packet we mailed you.
In preparation for the trip, we recommend that you walk, get some sun and drink extra water. Dehydration is a big concern—so start drinking extra water early, and we recommend drinking at least 2-3 bottles a day while you are there.Dehydration begins on the plane.We recommend that you stop drinking caffeine 24 hours before you leave and stick to water and juices on the plane—this will also help with jet-lag.
U.S. Residents returning from countries other than the Caribbean countries or U.S. insular possession you are entitled to an $800 duty-free exemption and the next $1,000 worth of the goods you purchased is subject to a flat rate of 3%. If the value exceeds $1,800, the remaining duty will be determined based on duty rates in the harmonized tariff schedule, which are generally between 0-10% (except for clothing and textiles, which can be much higher, up to 25%).
PHONE & INTERNET
To call Israel from the U.S. dial 011 + 972 (Israel’s country code) + local area code number (single digit number; delete 0 if it appears before a number such as 02 for Jerusalem would be just 2) + local number.
Rates to Israel from the US vary greatly. To avoid unpleasant surprises, have your family and friends check with their long-distance carriers before calling and ask the rate they will charge you for a call to an Israeli cell phone. Many carriers have international options that will give lower rates.
To call the U.S. from Israel, dial 00 + 1 (U.S. country code) + area code + local number.
Wi-Fi is available at each hotel. You can use Skype or FaceTime for free if connected to Wi-Fi. We also recommend What’s App for calls and texts through Wi-Fi.
The time change from Easter Standard Time to Israel is 7 hours.
It’s important to have an alternative in case one money method doesn’t work. It’s important to have an alternate cash source. We recommend bringing at least two of the following money options:
We strongly recommend that you bring at least one ATM debit card. To use your card overseas, it must have a Cirrus or Plus symbol on the back. You also need to know your four-digit PIN code. Many Israeli machines do not accept longer codes and may not have alphabetical equivalents marked. Check with your bank for overseas transaction fees and daily withdrawal limits before you leave. It is important to alert your bank or credit card company that you will be traveling overseas, so they do not put a hold on your card!
A Visa or MasterCard credit card also offers excellent exchange rates, as well as important fraud protection. Use your credit card for hotels, meals, souvenirs, and other major expenses. While many credit cards can also be used for "cash advances" at ATMs, steep interest rates and fees make this an option for emergencies only. (Before you leave, get a 4-digit PIN code for your card just in case, and find out about fees and interest charges.) As at home, save all receipts until you can verify your statement.
lthough credit cards and ATMs are widely used throughout Israel, we recommend that you bring an emergency stash of cash (in U.S. dollars) as a backup for those rare times when your card is eaten, the computers are down, or you simply can’t find the right type of ATM.
Getting foreign currency before you go: It is unnecessary for you to convert dollars to shekels before you go. Most merchants accept the dollar and will give you change back in shekels. Shekels can also be obtained through ATM’s and exchange booths.
Current exchange rate: 1 US Dollar = 3.55 Israeli Shekel
Be careful in crowds. Watch for distraction tactics such as dropped coins, “accidental” spills, and cute little kids who seem too friendly! Thieves thrive on fresh-off-the-plane tourists. Keep your hands on your bags, sling your daypack across the front of your person.
PACK LIGHT! Do not bring any more than you can carry.
Pack versatile, comfortable clothing that you can layer for coolness.
Pack a light jacket or sweater. While daytime temperatures should be pleasant, evenings can be cooler and dry, especially at higher elevations such as Jerusalem.
Most churches and orthodox holy sites require respectful dress. This generally means shoulders and knees must be covered for both men and women. On days that we visit these sites, we will warn you to dress accordingly. Nylon pants or pants with zip-on/off legs provide an easy, quick cover-up. Women could also pull on a light, non-wrinkle skirt over shorts and use a scarf to cover the head and/or shoulders.
If you like to use a washcloth—bring your own! Israeli hotels often do not provide them. Hint: purchase a 15-pack of inexpensive ones at Wal-Mart or Target. These can be thrown away as you go.
Do NOT pack your passport or airline ticket in your luggage..
We will be keeping you busy every day and you will not have time to do your own laundry except in your room. Laundry can be sent out but you must make sure there is enough time to get it back before we pack up and leave. Bring clothing that can be washed in your hotel room and will dry quickly
Comfortable walking shoes/sandals
Bible and journal
Women — bring a scarf as some holy sites require your head to be covered
*Note: Shoulders and knees must be covered when attending holy sites and official meetings
If you medical prescriptions, you must pack these in the original containers and carry these on the plane with you. Request your local pharmacy to complete their standard travel form that states that these medicines are prescribed by your doctor. Bring this form with you in case you were questioned.