Useful Pre-Tour Info
Get general info you’ll need for your trip!
GENERAL ISRAEL DATA – JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM.
|Area: 20,770 sq km||Currency: New Israeli Shekel [NIS]||Languages: Hebrew & English|
|Capital: Holy Jerusalem||US $1= 3.6-3.8 [NIS]||Population: 7.625 Million|
ESTIMATED INCIDENTAL COSTS
|Newspaper: 10-14NIS||Maccabee Beer: 20-30NIS||Falafel Sandwich: 12-16NIS|
|Water Bottle: 6-8NIS||Souvenur T-Shirt: 30-40NIS||Shwarma Sandwich: 24-40NIS|
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
Packing can be such a drag! Fear not – we at Shalom Israel Tours are here to make your life easy, so grab a cup of coffee, sit back and relax, and check out our super basic recommended packing list.
Want your clothes to fit in amongst the crowd in Israel? Casual and comfortable is the way to go. We suggest a pair of comfy broken in sneakers for walking, which you’ll be doing lots of! You’ll also want a cozy sweater for cool evenings in Jerusalem, clothes you can layer, and an all-weather coat [in winter months] so you’ll be ready for anything! Temperatures during the summertime easily hit the whopping high 90’s+ (38-40c) on a regular basis, so in the heat of summer a hat, sunglasses, and sun block are essential!
Note: Please keep in mind that you will be visiting many religious sites. For the sake of cultural sensitivity and an enjoyable experience we strongly encourage that women bring (x2) lightweight shawls to cover their shoulders and legs when required- this is mainly for certain sites in Jerusalem’s Old City, Tzfat, and the Western Wall on Friday night. Men (Jewish and non-Jewish) should have a kippah/yarmulke (or your Shalom Israel Tours baseball hat) handy as well. These precautions will show respect to local and religious custom and ensure a comfortable experience for all!
CLOTHING RECOMMENDATION – PACK LIGHT!
- Pants: jeans or similar pants for daily use and 1 pair of semi-casual evening wear such as dockers.
- Sweatshirt/ Sweater/ Fleece for fall, winter, and spring evenings – even for the desert at night!
- Shorts and shirts suitable for light hiking/nature walking, especially in the summer months!
- Bathing suit for the Dead Sea, rafting, and Mediterranean Coast – you’ll want to cool off!
- Button-down shirts for evenings/dinners out or Friday at the Wall – no suits required*
- *Men may like to have a sports jacket for dinners or Shabbat, feel welcome but not obligated!
- Sturdy sneakers or walking shoes, you will be walking A LOT! Loafers are also good
- Water shoes for visiting the Dead Sea – not required to enter the Sea but they sure help!
- Toiletries (deodorant, toothbrush, shampoo, etc.) and photo copies of any prescriptions.
- Camera – you’ll be taking TONS of pictures, remember extra battery packs!
- Day bag (purse, small backpack, money belt, etc.)
- Sunglasses – it’s bright in Israel, protect your eyes!
- Sunscreen for adults & children – lots of it! This is very important!
- Shalom Israel Tours will provide caps & water bottle carriers- use them and stay healthy!
Having a cell phone in Israel is critical- you can rent a phone with a US# for friends & family to call, receive unlimited free incoming calls, and you can even rent a SIM card with a data package for your iPhone or BlackBerry. Click here details!
The hotels charge an arm & leg for internet access, we recommend renting a USB “netstick” – unlimited internet everywhere in Israel, only $5/day.
The electrical current in Israel is 220 volts AC, single phase, 50 cycles. Most hotels provide converters, and have 110 volt sockets available in the restrooms. Smaller electronics such as electric shavers or curling irons will require an actual power converter (220V down to 110V). Most higher-end electronics such as laptops and iPhones will convert the electricity between 110/220volts, however you will need a plug adapter type H- the little piece that fits on to your plug to fit into the wall. We recommend getting a universal adapter and converter kit.
There are no special precautions required for travel to Israel. Medical facilities are excellent but treatment can be very expensive so it is essential that travelers take out trip insurance to reimburse any medical expenses they may incur. Please contact Shalom Israel Tours for details.
PASSPORTS & VISAS
We recommend to make a copy of your passport and leave it in a separate bag from your actual passport- lest you lose the original having a copy makes the replacement process much easier. Every visitor to Israel must hold a passport valid for at least six months.
CREDIT CARDS & CASH
Download an exchange rate app such as “Israel Money” for your iPhone/Droid and stay informed! Israeli shops, restaurants, gas stations, and other providers of services accept major credit cards such as Visa, Master Card, and American Express. For cash, Israel regulates ‘change points’ and generally tourists get a good exchange rate at money changers through Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. Your hotel front desks will also exchange money but their rates tend to be very uncompetitive.