Take a look around and browse all of the resources available to you, your friends, and your church.
Don’t wait until April to start figuring out your plans. To most, this will be a trip of a lifetime so we highly encourage you to spend several months reading, discussing, researching, and learning about Israel. Especially, historical Israel as seen in the Bible and what it looks like now in the 21st century.
This website will continue to be updated based on questions that people have so, please, don’t forget to check back often and utilize all of the resources we’ve put together to make this an incredible experience for you.
Since you are allowed 1 suitcase, pack carefully. Don’t over pack…leave some room for souvenirs. Think layers…it will get cool in Jerusalem in the evenings and will be hot in the Dead Sea region. Temps will be between 60-95 degrees. Check the weather in Jerusalem right before you depart…it will be coolest there. Having comfortable shoes is a MUST (tennis/hiking shoes.) Shorts at the knee are acceptable. Jeans are OK for cool evenings. Some may want a pair of lightweight zip pants/shorts.
No COVID-19 or other vaccines are required for this trip or entry into Israel.
Israel uses the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Each shekel is divided into 100 Agorot, which are like pennies. Many stores accept US dollars, so make sure you know whether any prices you are being quoted are in dollars or shekels. You are expected to barter in the shops in the Old City (except Jewish Quarter). Prices are generally fixed outside the Old City. MasterCard and Visa are usually accepted for larger purchases (Amex and Discover are not as readily accepted). I wouldn’t give my credit card to most shops in the Old City…use cash only. ATM machines are available in the Old City, but I would only use one in the Jewish quarter (ATMs distribute shekels only). ATMs recognize your card as being issued from a bank in an English-speaking country so instructions should display in English. Do not exchange money into NIS before you arrive in Israel…you’ll get a poor rate. We have a trusted relationship with a store owner in Jerusalem who gives a fair exchange rate and recommend exchanging your money safely with him. Pickpockets are at work in the Old City. Consider the use of a money belt worn under your clothing or zippered pockets. Guard your passport, money, and other valuables very carefully.
Each day we will leave the hotel by 8 a.m. and return in time for dinner. You will want a smaller daypack/backpack to carry your stuff during the day. Many times, you will leave this backpack or certain items on the bus while we get off and tour a site. You may want a secondary bag for the items you leave on the bus. Sometimes you will carry the backpack with you when we leave the bus for 3 hours at a time. This back pack will hold your water, camera, snacks, Bible, tour notebook (8.5 x 11), meds, modesty kit etc… You need something that isn’t huge, but that you can cram a lot of stuff into and carry with you for a few hours comfortably.
Only bring one checked suitcase and a carry-on. Check airline for weight limit. Usually has to be under 50 lbs. Mark your suitcase and carry-on bag so you can recognize them clearly in a pile of 25+ suitcases. Do not pack cameras, medication, or other valuables in your checked suitcase. Pack them in your carry on. Bring a small combination lock for your suitcase so you can lock up any valuables when we leave the hotel room each day.
Israel requires all visitors to have passports that expire at least six months after their scheduled visit (This means your passport must have an expiration date after November 2023).
Israel also requires a visa to enter the country. Passport holders from the USA will get a visa for no charge upon entry into Israel. There is nothing to do before you land in Tel Aviv. If your passport is from another country, you need to check Israeli visa requirements online.
Israel has decent cellular coverage in the more populated areas. Although not necessary, if you would like to be able to make calls, text, or use data, you will need to check with your provider. Many Cellular providers have additional (temporary add-on) plans for international travel. Some providers include many international counties in their normal text messaging plans without an addition plan. If you are not planning on using the cellular features on your phone, it is advisable to turn off your cellular function on your phone to prevent your phone from roaming (wastes battery) or connecting to an international cellular provider and paying for service (expensive). Most of the hotels we will be staying at will have free wireless internet which you can use on your Wi-Fi enabled devices (including your phone). So, you will not want to turn your Wi-Fi off, just your cellular data.
Israel uses 220-volt AC. Most modern electronics are designed to work within a range from 100 – 240 volts so a transformer is not typically necessary, although consult your specific electronics to be sure. If your appliance is rated for only 110 volts, you will also need a converter or transformer, which will change it from 220 into 110 volts. (If you plug your 110 appliances into 220, it will work at twice the speed for a few seconds and then never work again!). Once you have converted the electricity you still need to be able to plug the appliance into the socket, since the outlets are a different size. Go on-line and look at the adaptor plugs used in Israel to see what you need for your appliance (search “electrical adapters for Israel”). Most outlets accept the 2-prong small round adapter that is used in Europe. NOTE: You can buy 2-in-1 converters with outlet plugs. Read carefully to see if that’s what you have.