Useful Pre-Tour Info

Get general info you’ll need for your trip!

OVERVIEW – JUST THE FACTS, MA’AM.

  • Area: 20,770 sq km
  • Currency: New Israeli Shekel [NIS]
  • Languages: Hebrew/ English/ Arabic
  • Capital: Holy Jerusalem
  • US​D$1= 3.3-3.5 [NIS]
  • ​​Population: 9.4 Million

ESTIMATED INCIDENTAL COSTS

  • Newspaper: 20-25NIS
  • Maccabee Beer: 30-40NIS
  • Falafel Sandwich: 20-40NIS
  • Water Bottle: 6-10NIS
  • Souvenir T-Shirt: 40-80NIS
  • Shwarma Sandwich: 40-60NIS

INTERESTING READING


MORE USEFUL INFO


WHAT SHOULD I PACK?

Packing can be such a drag! Fear not – we are here to make your life easy! Grab a coffee, sit back, and check out our super basic recommended packing list.

WEATHER

*Remember to check the 10 day+ weather forecast 1-2 days before you leave for Israel!

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 RECOMMENDATIONS

  • 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!

LAUNDRY

​​​Although the hotels do not offer DIY laundry, the hotels in Tel Aviv & Jerusalem offer service to send out clothing. Please keep in mind that laundry services in Israel are not available on Fridays or Shabbat.


MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS

  • 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!

ELECTRONICS

The electrical current in Israel is 220 volts AC.   Laptops/tablets/phones are able to covert the voltage and you only need a plug tip adapter.  Smaller electronics such as electric shavers or curling irons are not recommended as they require an actual power converter (220V/110V).  Plug tip adapters are easily purchased on Amazon.com (click) as just one example.

CREDIT CARDS & CASH

Israeli shops, cafes, etc. accept major credit cards such as Visa/MasterCard/Amex.  There are many ‘apps’ available which will give you the exact daily exchange rate or you can google USD to ILS for the daily rate. For cash we recommend to use bank-front ATM’s to withdraw shekels without fee’s (on the Israel side). Your hotel will also exchange money but their offered rates tend to be less uncompetitive.


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 with remaining validity for at least six months from the date of travel (departure from Israel).

All tourists who enter Israel are given a small blue ticket/slip at passport control, please keep this ticket/slip for the duration of your time in Israel.


VAT REFUNDS

Per government export policy, items purchased in Israel are eligible to re-collect the 17% VAT tax built into the pricing.​

Prior to ticketing and baggage check-in, you need to present the formal documents and the purchased goods (in-hand) at the VAT Refund counter located in the Departure Hall at Terminal 3.

Purchases must be more than 400 shekels and have been made at a store that formally participates in this refund, and you will need to receive from the store the original copy of the government approved invoice/receipt/ form for the item purchased. Simply having the receipt of an item will not guarantee a refund. When you make a purchase, ask the store clerk for a special tax-refund invoice.

You will need to have the purchased item in-hand with you when applying for the refund. The item must be shown to the VAT refund authorities in person to claim the refund.​


TIPPING RECOMMENDATIONS

Suggested tipping on a group tours is recommended at $10-15 per person per touring day for the guide and $5-10 per person per driving day for the driver.
Suggested tipping for guides on private tours is recommended at $50-100 per tour day.

And Remember, if you have any questions, please contact us:

Email Us or Give us a Call (800) 763-1948

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