Israel Trip Tips

(Printable copy here)

  • 1) Your airline on Lufthansa allows one (1) checked bag up to 50 lbs. with an overall combined length of 62 inches [arrived at by adding the length, width and depth of your bag]. A second checked bag is $100 (one way). An overweight bag can cost at least $70. (Maximum weight for checked bags 60 lbs) A bag that exceeds the allowed dimensions can cost up to $200. It may be cheaper to pay for a second bag than to exceed the size and/or weight of one bag.


  • 2) You are also allowed one (1) carry on bag (or garment bag) which has a maximum weight of 17.5 lbs. This can fit in the overhead compartment & should not exceed 50 inches. 


  • 3) You are allowed a “personal item” (purse, backpack, laptop bag, etc.) which can fit under your seat and be accessible to you during the flight. If there is room overhead, you can put it there to give more room for your feet. 


  • 4) If you anticipate purchasing souvenir items to bring home - You will need to allow room & weight in your luggage for those on the return flight. Another option is to pack a smaller suitcase inside your big one on the way over & use that for your souvenirs on the return trip. Just remember the $100 fee for a second bag would apply coming home. Friends can share a “souvenir bag” to cut costs. 


  • 5) Concerning the weather and temperatures in Israel for the second half of February - It will be the end of the rainy season so a possibility of showers will exist most days but they should not be heavy. Plan on taking a lightweight, rain resistant jacket. Average temps during our trip are 49-67 F in Tiberius/Galilee; 56-72 F at the Dead Sea; and 60-70 F in Jerusalem. It is probably best to dress in “layers”. Due to weight limitations in your bags for the flights, it is wise to take clothing that is as lightweight as possible. Having clothes that are quick drying is also an advantage. 


  • 6) Going through security at DFW airport - You will have to empty all your pockets, remove belts, watches and anything with metal & take out laptops/tablets to go through the scanners. You will then have to retrieve all these separate items after you go through the body scanner. With all the other passengers grabbing for their items at the same time, it can get confusing and pressured. Sometimes items get left on the conveyor belt. It simplifies the process if you will totally empty your pockets & remove all of these items before you get to the scanners. Place all you can in your backpack or purse to pass through the scanner so that you only have to retrieve as few items as possible. Your laptop/tablet and shoes will have to be placed separately outside your bag. It is just easier to only have to retrieve shoes, tablet & carryon bags w/o having to find coins, watches, belts, etc., also. Any liquids you take on the plane will have to be in small three (3) oz. bottles & placed in one (1) quart size zip lock bags to be scanned separately to that is one more item with which to keep up. 


  • 7) When the opportunity to select seats on the flights becomes available in January - It would be nice if everyone could select seats as close to the front of the place as possible on that first flight from DFW to Frankfurt. We only have a 75-minute connection time between landing & the take-off of the next flight. That should be adequate since we are scheduled to land in the same terminal as our next flight BUT it does take time for everyone to deplane. Anyone at the rear of the plane will have a little less time to find the group & get ready for the next leg of the journey to Tel Aviv. 


  • 8) You will need an electrical adapter (with a different plug end) for your electronic devices in Israel & a converter for hair dryers, curling irons, etc. 


  • 10) Modest clothing is encouraged in Israel with a little nicer clothing on Shabbat (Sabbath). A scarf or shawl may come in hand for the women (especially if we do get to go on the Temple Mount, as we will be passing by the Moslem Al Aksa mosque and the Moslem Dome of the Rock shrine). It is always good to be respectful of others’ beliefs & not do anything which might create an issue. 


  • 11) Most hotels in Europe, Asia and Africa do not furnish wash cloths & facial towels – You will probably want to pack some. I assume laundry can be done overnight at hotels there in case you need that in an emergency or just want to plan on doing laundry every few days so that you can pack fewer clothes. 


  • 12) If you plan on taking a credit card w/you just in case you need it (a good idea) – Be sure to call your credit card company before leaving home & tell them you will be in Israel so they will allow charges from there. Most Visa cards do not charge a fee for each international purchase, but other cards do. Check yours to know which card is best to take. 


  • 13) Be sure that you have enough of your prescription medications to last the whole trip. 


  • 14) Make a photocopy of your passport to take with you just in case you should lose yours. It would make it easier to get a replacement. Leaving another copy with a family member here is a good idea, as well. 


  • 15) Sometime name tags & IDs get ripped off of suitcases in transit. You might want to place a piece of paper inside each of your bags identifying to whom the bag belongs, where & when the bag should be (a copy of our itinerary) and your home address. This way your bag can be returned to you if it gets lost. 


  • 16) All of our hotels should have WIFI – You should be able to access the internet every morning & evening. You also should be able to make telephone calls using the WIFI at no cost (or use Skype or something similar). If you desire to be able to communicate with the USA all day, every day, you can purchase or rent phones in Israel or check with your local carrier here about international plans. 


  • 17) As soon as you can, please get a copy of your passport to Rebecca in the church office so that paperwork can be completed for you over the next few months for airline tickets, hotel rooming lists, etc. Your full legal name, birth dates, home address, phone number, etc. will come in handy. 


  • 18) Since the cost of your daily lunches is not covered in the cost of the trip, you will be responsible for that. If saving money is important, you might pack items in your bag for that purpose. Otherwise, you can sample the Israeli cuisine wherever we stop to eat. Some hotels will allow you to take some fruit off the breakfast buffet to have for lunch, but I would not count on that. A friend who has led many Holy Land tours recommends that you take about $25/day for lunches snacks, drinks, etc. for the touring. 


  • 19.) When you pack your carry on bag, be sure to put in a change of clothes in case your suitcase gets lost or there should be an interruption in the trip or you should spill food or drink on the clothes you wear. 


  • 20) As we travel, remember that we are the guests in a foreign land. We need to be gracious to those who live in Israel and respectful of their ways and customs. Just because they do things differently does not mean they are wrong. Realize that most of the Jewish people are not believers in Jesus. Being kind, gracious and respectful will be a good witness. Not everyone you see will want to have their picture taken just because you think it will be a good shot. Be discreet & respectful of their wishes. Again, WE are the foreigners in Israel. You will have plenty of opportunities to be gracious and thankful to the wait staff at the hotels where we will stay and the restaurants where we will eat. Don’t forget that Jesus said that those who serve others are the greatest in His eyes. Honor those who will be waiting on you. Don’t give other Americans and Christians a bad name by being unkind or condescending. 


  • 21) The cost of the trip includes all your tips for the tour guide, bus driver and wait staff at the hotels. Your host will take care of that. However, you might consider doing something special for the guide and driver who will be with us for 10 days. Taking them some special little gift from AR would assure them that you value them and that they will not forget you. That is just something to think about, not a requirement. 


  • 22) Pickpockets and thieves live in every culture and look to take advantage of tourists so you might want to be careful about wearing expensive jewelry, displaying large wads of cash, or keeping your wallet or purse where it could be easily taken.


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