HOLY LAND TOUR REMINDERS
Here are a few items you want to be sure to pack before leaving on your trip of a lifetime. Information on credit cards, CPAP machines and more found below.
- Copies of Passport
- Second form of ID
- Flight information
- Name tag
- Power Converter/Adapter
- Money (small bills encouraged)
- Small umbrella
- Eye Glasses
We strongly recommend checking www.weather.com before you travel for the most accurate predictions. Afternoons will usually be warm, while evening will be cool. Please consider the below averages for the region:
Spring: Low 55° High 77°
Fall: Low 60° High 85°
Summer: Low 65° High 87°
Winter: Low 48° High: 70°
The best recommendation we can give is to dress in layers and be comfortable. Many days will involve a long bus ride or a lot of walking, so please make sure to bring a pair of comfortable shoes. You will not need to dress up for dinners or any events unless stated otherwise in your brochure.
NOTE: At many holy sites, both men and women are expected to have their shoulders and knees covered. Your tour guide will let you know if there will be any clothing restrictions for the following day.
Call your credit card company to let them know when and where you will be traveling. This can prevent your credit card company from viewing your charges as suspicious and declining them because they are made in another country. Your pre-departure conversation with your credit card company is also a good time to ask about foreign transaction fees and a phone number that will work internationally if your credit card is lost or stolen.
KNOW THE CURRENCY
U.S. money is widely accepted in Israel. We encourage you to bring a lot of small bills (vendors may not be able to break large bills). ATMs are available but fees are usually high and you will receive funds in the local currency. Be aware that other places may have additional criteria around credit card acceptance. For instance, some merchants and machines may only accept “smart cards” encrypted with a chip or personal identification number (PIN), which most U.S. card companies don’t offer yet. This could limit the ATMs you can use, again we suggest you carry cash instead. Also look into the current exchange rate so you know what you are paying in U.S. dollars.
It’s easier to keep track of one credit card and store a second back-up credit card in a separate place in case you lose your primary card. It’s also wise to store financial information on an encrypted USB flash drive along with your passport. That way, if your card is lost or stolen, you’ll have access to account numbers and toll-free customer service numbers. When you go out, consider carrying your wallet in your front pocket or using a hidden belt, as your back pocket is an easy target for pickpockets.
There is a voluntary love offering collected at the end of the tour for the Guide and Driver. The suggested amount for Israel is $6 per person, per day for your guide and $3 per person, per day for the driver.
At the airport, CPAP machines will need to come out of their case and be placed in a bin prior to being sent through the X-ray, the facemask and tubing can remain in the case. We realize the X-rays bins aren't exactly sterile, so you may want to place your CPAP machine in a clear plastic bag before you put it in the bin. After your CPAP machine is X-rayed, it may need to undergo an Explosive Trace Detection test where a small white swab will be run over your machine and then analyzed for trace amounts of explosives.
Make sure to keep all medicine in their original containers, along with a copy of your prescription, as well as the generic
name. If you have a medication which needs to be refrigerated, please advise our office at least 105 days prior to departure so we can make the necessary arrangements with the airlines and hotels.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of handicapped accessible facilities in the Middle East, those needing wheelchairs or ambulatory assistance will find traveling quite difficult and may find many sites to be inaccessible. Guides will inform the group of the difficulty of some sites and those with mobility problems may choose to stay near the bus.
Once you have gone through customs, an ETS representative will meet you outside of the baggage claim at your destination airport. En route to the hotel, you will be told the procedures for checking in and handling
TRAVEL TIPS & FAQs
Here are a few travel tips and FAQs that will help make you tour go more smoothly:
- Make sure you pack light, and save room for souvenirs.
- Israel, is 7 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time.
- Be on time for the bus, and be prepared to rotate your seats daily.
- Notify the bus captain and guide if you will not be on the bus for touring.
- Remember that you are a guest in another country, and customs and food may often be different than what you experience at home.
- Many hotels will offer internet access at an additional charge. See the front desk for the current rates.
- If you plan on using your cell phone, contact your provider before your trip to inquire about using an international plan and the rates they provide. We do not recommend using a calling card, as most hotels will charge to use one.
- On most days, the group will depart the hotel between 8 – 9 am and will return around 5 – 6 pm.
- Expect to walk approximately 1-3 miles daily over varying terrain.