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Airports & Travel Documents (11)

What travel documents do I need?

  • You will need a valid return Airline Ticket to Tel Aviv
  • All travellers need an international passport from their own country to travel outside of their country.  This also includes infants and children.  Please ensure that your personal details given at registration corresponds with the details printed in you passport.

**   with at least two blank pages for stamps

**   the passport has to be valid for at least six (6) months after the date of your return flight

  • An unabridged birth certificate for South Africans under age 18.
  • Make a copy of your passport and have it certified.  Keep is separate from the original
  • Upon entering Israel your passport will be stamped with a 3 month visa.

CHAI TIP – Make a copy of the photo page in your passport and have it certified. Keep it separate from the original.

When should I book my domestic flights?

If we are arranging your international flight ticket it is best to wait until you have received your international flight from us as there might be unforeseen circumstances from the airlines which may result in changes to the flight times.

What travel documents does South African minors need?

For minors traveling from and to South Africa a unabridged certificate is required.

If both parents are not accompanying a minor additional documents are needed.

Please visit the South African Department of Home Affairs website to familiarise yourself with these specifications.

http://www.dha.gov.za/index.php/civic-services/traveling-with-children

 

Do I need to arrange for a visa to visit Israel?

For the following countries a visa will be issued to you upon arrival in Israel. Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your departure date from Israel.

1)  Africa – Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, the Central African Republic.

2) America – Uruguay, the Bahamas, El Salvador, Ecuador, Argentina, the United States, Bolivia, Barbados, Brazil, Guatemala, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, Surinam, Nevis and Saint Kitts, Panama, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Canada, St. Lucia.

3) Asia and Oceania – Australia, the Fiji Islands, South Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, New Zealand, Micronesia, Singapore, Mongolia, Vanuatu.

4) Europe – Austria, Italy, Iceland, Ireland,Belgium, Britain, Gibraltar, Germany (people born after 1.1.1928), Denmark, Holland, Hungary, Greece, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, Monaco, Malta, Norway, Slovenia, San Marino, Spain, Portugal, Finland, France, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia.

If you do not have a passport from one of the countries listed above, please apply for a visa from the Israeli Embassy in your country of residence.

When will I receive my flight ticket?

We will send you your electronic flight ticket 14 days before the tour together with our final information letter with travel tips to help you prepare.

What time must I be at the airport for my flight to Tel Aviv?

Check in usually starts 3 hours prior to your departure time at the international departure hall. Please ensure that you are at the check in counter no less than 2 hours prior to your departure time.

How much time should I allow between my international and domestic flights?

When booking a separate domestic flight from somewhere, please bear in mind that you have to be at the International Airlines Check-In Counters at least three hours before departure of your International flight. It is thus prudent to allow for a time buffer between the arrival of your domestic flight and the departure of your international one. Also take care not to book your domestic return flight within three hours from the arrival time of your international flight.

What restrictions does the airline have?

  • It is important to note that flight safety regulations these days are extremely strict.

South Africa has joined the countries prohibiting departing passengers from carrying on certain items such as liquids, creams, etc. of a certain size in their hand luggage, as is the practice in EU countries, China, Hong Kong and the United States.

This also applies to passengers with continuation flights, that is, passengers from Ben Gurion Airport to Johannesburg with continuation flights to another destination, who have purchased products in duty free shops and/or on the plane during the flight, that are forbidden to be carried in hand luggage. These products will be confiscated by the local security authorities.

Passengers from Ben Gurion Airport to Johannesburg and passengers on continuation flights can take one piece of hand luggage on board.

They are allowed to bring on board drinks, liquids, sprays of up to 100 ml per product.
The package size of the product should be up to 100 ml.

  • The products must be stored in one sealed transparent bag of up to 1 liter in volume (15 x 20cm).
  • Only one bag per passenger may be taken on board.
  • Taking baby food and necessary health products on board requires special approval.

How does the security at the airport work?

Leaving your home country:

  • Arrive at the international  terminal of your local airport 3 hours before departure.
  • The safety and protection of you and your fellow passengers are top priority and therefore you can expect routine security checks.
  • Some of the questions that you may be asked:

**   Have you been to Israel before

**   Who packed your bags

**   Since packing your bags have they been out of your sight at any time

**   Has anyone handed you a package to take along

**   Is everything in your luggage owned by you

**   Are you traveling on your own or in a group

**   Do you have family in Israel

**   Where will you be staying

These questions are being asked for your protection.  Be honest at all times.  Say yes or no.

  • CHAI TIP – Do not accept any packages or unknown items from anyone before or after arriving at the airport.

Leaving Israel:

  • Arrive at Ben Gurion International Airport 3 hours before departure.
  • You will be asked many of the questions as above.
  • Stay calm and be honest
  • Your luggage might be examined – don’t panic it is standard procedure and for your protection

 

What can we expect at the Border Control in Israel?

Upon arrival in Israel you will go through Passport Control after collecting your luggage.  Have your passport ready.  You will most likely be asked some of the following questions:

**   What is the purpose of your visit

**   Have you been to Israel before

**   Do you have friends/family in Israel

**   How long will you be staying in Israel

**   Where will you be staying.

You should get a 3 month visa stamped into your passport.

  • Barukh haba!  (Welcome in Hebrew!) Now you can proceed to the reception hall where you will be met by your Israeli Tour Guide.
  • CHAI TIP – Draw money at Ben Gurion Airport and buy a bottle of water

Who will meet me at the airport in Tel Aviv?

For group travellers:

We, your tour guide or driver will meet you upon your arrival at Ben Gurion Airport. We will have a sign with your group’s name on it.  Once you exit the baggage claim and customs area, you will enter the arrival hall. Continue walking to your right, where you will see a jewellery stand (Swarovski) to your right in the middle of the floor close to Exit 1. We will be waiting for you in that area.

For individual travellers:

There is transport available from the airport to Jerusalem with a company called “Nesher”.  They are located at entrance number 2 on the ground floor at the arrival hall.  It is a 10 seater minivan which is yellow and white with a gold line.  They charge ₪65 (€14) for this service per person.  You can give them the address in Jerusalem where you need to be and they will take you there.  If you are coming directly to our house, you need to give them the following directions:

8 Rav Kook Street Jerusalem

If the driver has any doubts, he can phone us on 02 6223814.

When the driver drops you off in Rav Kook Street, walk downhill towards the end of the street until you come to Yaffo Street (the street with the light rail tracks) then turn left.  Our house is the second building after you turned. The entrance is a white frame glass door and the number 42 in red at the top of the door.  We are on the second floor – number 4.

Please ensure that we have your flight itinerary so that we can know when to expect you.

Communication & Electrical matters (4)

How can I stay in contact with my family?

You can stay in contact with your friends and family in the following ways:

Cellphone:

  • If you make use of Whatsapp, iMessage or other 3rd party messaging service, you will be able to connect using WiFi. Most hotels and busses have WiFi available free of charge.
  • Before leaving your county contact your mobile service provider regarding your roaming options. Please bear in mind the roaming cost can be high especially data roaming.
  • You can purchase an Israeli sim card in Israel if your phone is open to all networks.  This will enable you to have your own cell phone number in Israel. The cost of such a sim card varies from network to network. You should be able to get a sim card for around 20-50 Shekels. Please ask the store keeper to explain the options of calling abroad.

CHAI TIP – If you have chosen roaming for your mobile whilst being away, you have to activate this service before leaving your country.

Laptop or Tablet:

  • Most hotels and busses have WiFi available free of charge.
  • You will be able to Skype, FaceTime, update your Facebook page and send emails.

Hotel phone:

  • Hotels have phones in all the rooms.
  • You can make calls from the phone at your own cost. Please pay the bill upon check out.
  • You can also give your family and friends your room number at the hotel along with the telephone number of the hotel.

Will I be able to connect to the Internet?

  •  Many hotels have free WiFi available for its guests. Some hotels have pay-for access in their rooms, or have service available in the lobby or hotel business center. Many of the busses also have free WiFi available when travelling to sites. Some coffee shops also have free Internet access.

CHAI TIP – Internet is available in Israel – when unsure – ask

Will my electrical appliances work in Israel?

  • Two-pronged rounded tip plugs used for most charging devices usually fit the Israeli wall sockets.
  • Adaptors between the other two-pronged plugs and the Israeli wall sockets can be purchased in Israel.
  • All hotel rooms are equipped with hairdryers
  • You are welcome to bring your laptop.  Most hotels have internet facilities

CHAI TIP – You are on holiday – let your hair down!  Don’t be too concerned about electricals.

How does the Postal services work?

  • Stamps, envelopes and postcards may be easily purchased at your hotels and local post office.
  • The post office sells phone calling cards and can help with money transfers as well.
  • Post offices are closed on Shabbat and major holidays.

CHAI TIP – Surprise your loved ones and friends with a beautiful post card sent from Israel.

General (8)

Where can I find a day to day program for my tour?

There are two ways for you to access a day to day program for your specific tour:

  1. On the home page click on the tour information button on the slider of your particular tour
  2. Scroll down on the home page to your tour and click on the read more link

How much should I budget for lunch?

On average, lunch with a beverage costs between 15 to 65 Shekels per meal. Most cases it will be around 30 Shekels.

Can I be baptised in the Jordan River?

Yes, if your tour itinerary includes one of the two baptism sites in the Jordan River, you will be given an opportunity to be baptised if you wish to.  Please ensure that you bring a bathing suit or short and t-shirt to be baptised in. You may also need to bring a towel from home.

For a detailed article about baptism please click on the link below:

Infant Baptism or Baptism of the Believers​​​

Can I get a VAT refund on items that I purchase?

  • Purchases can be made in Israeli Shekels or U.S. dollars. Tourists who have purchased items with a value exceeding 400 Shekel (including VAT) on one purchase in stores that are registered with the Ministry of Tourism or in stores participating in the VAT-refund plan are entitled to a refund of VAT when they leave the country.
  • Stores that offer VAT refund service have a special sign.
  • To receive VAT refund, ensure that you get a receipt with a list of all the items you have purchased and details of the purchase. The receipt and purchases must be put into a sealed bag.
  • Tourists must then go to the “Change Place” at Ben Gurion airport or other exit port. If you wish to send the items that you purchased with your luggage, you must declare the purchase at the security check, and present your passport, flight ticket, purchases and receipts at the counter. The attendant will open the bag, examine the contents, sign the receipt, and refund the VAT in any currency minus a commission. The VAT refund can also be sent to your address abroad for an additional charge.
  • There is no VAT refund for the following items: food, drinks, tobacco products.

CHAI TIP – Before you buy expensive items ask the store attendant if you will be able to claim vat. Sometimes it is possible to buy an extra small item to get above the threshold.

What about travel insurance?

  • Check with your Medical Insurance if you are covered for medical conditions should you be travelling abroad.
  • Ask your Medical Insurance to send you a document confirming your cover and keep this with your travel documents.
  • Travel insurance covers lost baggage, cancellation of your trip due to unforeseen emergencies or serious illness and emergency assistance coverage.  It is worthwhile getting a quote.

CHAI TIP – You can get a quote from many online travel insurance companies.

How does the accommodation at Beit Chai(in Jerusalem) work?

We have a large house with 11 bedrooms and can thus accommodate 24 guests.

If your group is booked to stay at Beit Chai – The first 23 people to register for a particular tour will stay with us in our house while in Jerusalem.  The cost of this accommodation as well as breakfast and dinner is not charged at a fixed rate.  Our ministry is based on faith.  As such we do not ask a fixed fee for any of the services we render, including the above accommodation, the two meals as well as the teachings and explanation at the sites we will visit.    This is done on a free will gift basis.  You are, however, welcome to sow into our ministry as you feel led in your heart.

Once the 11 bedrooms are fully booked for a particular tour, we will arrange alternative accommodation for all further registries according to the relevant seasonal rates.  Please note that such accommodation will unfortunately be charged at an additional cost over and above the fixed tour price.  We will inform you upon registration as to the situation around accommodation for the particular tour.

How does the public transportation work?

CHAI TIP – Being part of a tour group you should not be too concerned about public transportation

I have so many questions!

Visit our Practical Tips section for information on the following:

  • Handicapped Facilities
  • Health and Medication
  • Hebrew Phrases
  • Jewish Holidays & Shabbat
  • Special Meals
  • Useful Information
  • Useful Websites

Luggage & Packing (7)

What are the regulations regarding liquids in my hand luggage?

It is important to note that flight safety regulations these days are extremely strict.  We suggest that you familiarize yourself with the regulations of your departing airport.

Most airports regulations is in line with the following

Passengers are allowed to bring on board drinks, liquids, sprays of up to 100 ml per product.
The package size of the product should not be more than 100 ml.

  • The products must be stored in one sealed transparent bag of up to 1 liter in volume (15 x 20cm).
  • Only one bag per passenger may be taken on board.
  • Taking baby food and necessary health products on board requires special approval.

What should I pack?

Frequent travellers have some valuable advice on packing for an overseas trip: place everything you wish to take on your bed. Now take half of that and put it back in your closet. The half remaining on your bed is still much more than you will need on your trip. We tend to agree with these wise words. Travel light stay free.

Please remember that most airlines have weight restriction of 20-23 kg (unless otherwise stated on your flight ticket) for your luggage. The hand luggage restriction is 7-8kg. Please always check your flight ticket.

Bear in mind that you will also be buying gifts in Israel, which will add to your luggage on the return flight. A stiff penalty fee is charged for every kg that your luggage is over the restriction.

We suggest that you bring informal, comfortable clothing. As we will do quite a bit of walking, make sure that your shoes are comfortable and fit well. The last thing you want spoiling your tour is a blister! Keep in mind that some of the areas included on the itinerary may require men to wear long trousers and ladies to cover their knees and shoulders. Rest assured that someone will inform you every evening what to expect from the following day and if the itinerary calls for special clothing requirements. To be on the safe side, we suggest that ladies pack a large scarf/shawl and have this handy at all times.  We advise that ladies pack at least one full length skirt to be worn when visiting the more religious areas or when celebrating the Shabbat meal. Please note that men are required to wear a hat or cap when visiting the Western Wall.

Summertime Travel in Israel – April to November

  • Cotton and linen garments are comfortable and are easily laundered.
  • May to September can be extremely hot and uncomfortable – dress light
  • For a visit to Hezekiah’s Water Tunnel we recommend you bring closed water shoes.

Winter – October to April

  • Pack a rain jacket of some kind as well as other layers – long pants, sweater, fleece jacket, hat and gloves.
  • Umbrella

CHAI TIP  Unfortunately, luggage occasionally gets lost or misplaced. Include the following in your carryon luggage – a change of clothes, all medications, toothbrush and toothpaste, spare contact lenses or glasses, all forms of money and any important documents.

Packing checklist

□     Passport
□     Airline tickets
□     Itinerary
□     Wallet/Handbag
□     Credit Card (plus back-up)
□     Bank plastic bags (for findings)
□     Bathing suit (old one for Dead Sea)
□     Belt(s)
□     Camera / Video Camera
□     Comb / brush
□     Cosmetics
□     Deodorant
□     First Aid Supplies / Medication
□     Hat / cap
□     Marker pen
□     Labels
□     Ladies scarf
□     Mobile Phone
□     Needles and thread
□     Notebook
□     Old Towel for Dead Sea
□     Pyjamas
□     Pants
□     Pen / pencil
□     Plastic zip seal bags
□     Prescriptions (with Dr’s practice stamp)
□     Raincoat
□     Razor & shaving cream
□     Safety pins
□     Shirts (casual / dress)
□     Skirts / dresses
□     Soap (laundry/bath)
□     Spectacles / sun glasses
□     Suntan lotion
□     Sweater / light weight jacket
□     Tooth brush / paste
□     Umbrella (for sunny summer or rainy winter)
□     Underwear
□     Walking shoes/boots/sandals

Can I bring “food stuff”?

Should you wish to bring food items such as nut, dried fruit or cured meats e.g. biltong, jerky or ‘droë wors’, please have such items vacuum sealed and packed in your checked-in luggage. Israel is not too strict about food stuffs if you stick to the above guidelines. Most commercially sold items are also not a problem.

Should I bring a hairdryer?

All hotel rooms are equipped with hairdryers. It is therefore unnecessary to pack a hairdryer of your own.  If you are making use of the alternative accommodation please note that there might not be hairdryers.

Should I bring towels?

If your tour itinerary includes sites where you can go swim or be baptised it is recommended that you bring a towel along. Your hotel room will have towels and if there is a pool at the hotel where you are staying at, they will supply you with pool towels. Guest staying at Beit Chai don’t need to bring any extra towels as we will supply you with a towel for excursions.

Should I bring my swim suit?

If your tour itinerary includes sites where you can go swim or be baptised it is recommended that you bring your swim suit along. If there is a pool at the hotel where you are staying at you might want to go for a swim.

Can I bring a pocket knife to Israel?

It depends on the knife.

Penal law section 186, subsection B.
a folding knife, with no locking mechanism (or other ways of turning it into a fixed blade) and with a blade no longer then 10 cm is classified as an “Olar” (pocket knife) and is legal to carry provided you have a reasonable reason for carrying it.

You are forbidden from carrying any knife in to sites with security, educational places, shopping malls, and government offices. Should you be caught with the knife it will be confiscated by the security or police. If it is a long bladed knife there might be possible holding time.

CHAI TIP – Leave such items at home.

Potential Tour leader (8)

Who can take a tour to Israel?

Anybody! If you have a love for Israel and you have a desire to share that love with others – then you qualify.

What will my function be?

You will be the tour leader (not the tour guide).  You will be the link of communication between Chai tours and your group.

How long before the time do I need to start planning my tour?

The longer the better but at least 6 months before the time.  This gives us enough time to negotiate the best rates with the Airlines and it gives your group time to save to be able to join the tour.

What will it cost me?

You can, as the tour leader, incorporate your costs for the tour into the tour price that is given to your group to ensure that your tour is paid for.

Who will put the itinerary together?

Chai tours will do that for you.  You can tell us where you would like to go and because we have many years of experience in bringing tours to Israel we will ensure to put together a tour which is both practical and has a natural flow to it.  As our head office is in Israel we have easy access to bookings of sites, guides, accommodation and transport.

What is included in the quote?

  • Depending on your needs international flight tickets.
  • Meeting and assistance at Ben Gurion Airport
  • Accommodation according to your needs and affordability on a shared basis
  • All dinners and breakfasts except if you requested to be accommodated in hostels
  • All transfers and transportation in modern air conditioned coaches
  • Entrance fees to all included sites
  • All site seeing as requested on your program
  • Full time service of a certified Israeli tour guide

What is not included in the quote?

  • Domestics flights
  • Lunches
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips for bus driver and tour guide
  • Laundry, drinks and items of a personal nature
  • Any sightseeing not mentioned on the program

Who do I contact?

Click on the button below and fill out our tour quote form. You will be required to fill in your details and we will get back to you asap. (business hours apply)

Request a quote

Registration & Payments (7)

How do I register for a tour?

Click on the button below and select the tour you wish to join. You will be required to fill in your details and we will try get back to you within an hour. (business hours apply)

Register Online
 

Is it important to give the correct details when registering?

Yes, any incorrect name or surname information given (names and surname exactly as per your passport) will result in a penalty from the airline if they have to make a change to your name on a ticket which has been issued.  We cannot be held responsible for these costs.  Please make sure that you supply us with your details as it appears on your passport.

What deposit needs to be paid?

We need a  “non-refundable” deposit of R3 900 (travellers from  South Africa) or 200 Euro (travellers from Europe) within 14 days of your registration to secure your booking.  Should we not receive your deposit within 14 days your provisional booking will be cancelled.  Only upon receipt of your “non refundable” deposit will your place on the tour be secured.

What is included in the tour price?

  • Accommodation in a hotel, on half-board basis (breakfast & dinner included).  All accommodation is shared accommodation. Should you require single room accommodation the price will be adjusted accordingly.
  • Entrance fees to all the sites included in the tour itinerary
  • Air-conditioned tourist bus for the trips not within walking distance.
  • Depending on your tour package your flight tickets may also be included.
  • Depending on your tour package an Israeli tour guide.

What is not included in the tour price?

  • Travel insurance
  • Health insurance
  • Any type of personal expenses
  • Lunch
  • Depending on your tour package your flight tickets may not be included.
  • Tips for the bus driver and Israeli tour guide if applicable. This works out to approximately $8 per day per person
  • Donation for any teachings received

By when is the balance of the tour price due?

90 days before the departure date we will need 50% of the remainder of the  tour price and 45 days before the departure date the full outstanding amount needs to be settled.

What happens should I cancel my booking?

Should you cancel your booking the following terms apply

– Cancelation 30 days before the tour we will refund you 50% of the tour price

– Cancelation 14 days before the tour we will refund you 25% of the tour price

– Cancelation 7 days before the tour there will be no refund

Time & Weather (2)

What is the time difference in Israel?

 Current time in Israel
 

The time in Israel in the summer months is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2) but the following applies in winter:

  • Israel operates Daylight-Saving Time which is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+3). One thing that is entrenched in law is that there must be at least 150 days of Daylight-Saving Time annually.
  • Daylight Savings Time starts at the last Friday before April 2nd and ends on the last Sunday before the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur (mid-September to beginning of October).
  • At that time the clock will be moved forward one hour, from 2:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.

What is Daylight Saving Time?

  • Daylight Saving Time is enforced in areas where there is a great difference between daylight hours in summer and in winter. In Israel, for example, there are 10 hours of daylight in winter and over 14 hours of daylight in the summer. In countries where there is such a difference, Daylight Saving Time is enforced and the result is more daylight hours during waking hours.
  • Near the equator, daytime and night-time are nearly the same length (12 hours); therefore, Daylight Saving Time is not helpful and there is no point in using it.

Reasons for Enforcing Daylight Saving Time

  • Savings in Energy – Daylight Saving Time gives us an additional hour of daylight in our waking hours. That is, one hour less a day to use lighting.
  • Maximum use of the workday
  • Daylight Saving Time causes people to change their sleeping hours so that they rise closer to sunrise and make better use of their working hours.

Chai TIP – Be on time at all times during the tour.  Being late can cause a huge frustration for the Tour Guide and Bus Driver.

How is the weather in Israel?

  • For a weather forecast of Jerusalem, and other parts of Israel, click on the link below.  The website provides you with a forecast for 15 days.
  • www.weather-it-is-israel.com

CHAI TIP – High summer temperatures in certain parts of Israel can reach 40+ degrees Celsius but nights can cool down. Always bring a light sweater along.



Handicapped facilities    

  • Israel is reasonably well equipped for catering for travelers with special needs. Airports, public transportation and many tourist sites are wheelchair friendly and most hotels have special rooms designed for handicapped travelers.

CHAI TIP – Do not forget to mention your handicap to us well in advance!


Health and medication

  • Before you travel to Israel, ask your doctor to write a prescription for any medications you may be taking with you in the event they are lost.  Ensure that your doctor puts his practice stamp on the prescription.  Keep all of your medications in their original bottles or packaging and in your hand luggage.

CHAI TIP – Israel is a leading country when it comes to health and medication.  There are many pharmacies around.  If you have forgotten the odd vitamin, etc – don’t panic.


Jewish Holidays & Shabbat

  • Shabbat and all Jewish Holidays begin at sundown and end the following evening when it gets dark.
  • All banks and businesses are closed at these times except in major cities.
  • All transport except taxis come to a halt.

CHAI TIP – Take time to walk the streets of Jerusalem during this time and experience what true Shabbat rest means


Special meals

  • If you require special meals, please let Chai Tours know at least 60 days prior to your departure so that the airline and travel office in Israel can be advised.

CHAI TIP – Israel is full of healthy food and vegetables.  Make sure you try something traditional while in Israel. 


Useful information

  • Keep your medication in the original packaging
  • Keep important documents with you at all times.
  • Do not pack valuables into your check-in luggage
  • Declare any electronic equipment such as cameras, laptops, etc. before leaving the country so that, upon your return you can prove that you did not buy it in Israel and will be held for import taxes.
  • Ensure that your luggage is clearly tagged.
  • You have to be at the airport 3 hours before departure of your international flight.
  • Never leave your luggage unattended
  • Do not accept any parcels from strangers
  • Ensure that there are no sharp items in your carry-on luggage
  • Take something to read or to do on the airplane – it is a long flight.
  • Dress comfortably for the flight.
  • Drink water rather than alcohol during the flight.
  • Have a moisturizer/hand cream handy as the air in the cabin is extremely dry
  • Stretch your arms and legs occasionally during the flight.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as some of the streets in Jerusalem can be hilly and uneven at places.
  • Never leave valuables in your hotel room unless you lock it in the safe.
  • Wear modest clothing when visiting any religious shrine.
  • Take a small back pace for every day touring to hold your notebook and pen, purse, a snack, cap, water bottle etc.
  • Most breakfast and dinners are included on any tour.  You do not have to spend money buying lunch every day.  Take little zip seal bags and stock them with nuts and dried fruit for a lovely lunch.
  • Pack your underwear in one or more zip seal bags.  If security decides to unpack your suitcase your underwear will not be all over the counter.
  • Take little bank bags, labels and a marker along.  You may collect some stones or findings at various sites that you would like to bring home.  If you put it in a plastic bank bag, and mark it you will not struggle to remember what you collected where by the time you are home.

CHAI TIP – Leave a copy of the following with your family:  passport, itinerary, hotel names and telephone numbers


Useful websites

CHAI TIP – Gather as much information as possible before your trip to ensure your trip will be an eventful one


Local Currency & Money Matters

  • The currency in Israel is the shekel (NIS), sometimes called the new shekel.
  • Shekels consist of 100 agurot.
  • Shekel coins are available in denominations of 0.1, 0.5, 1, 2, 5 and 10
  • Shekel banknotes are available in denominations of 20, 50, 100 and 200.
  • Foreign currency may be exchanged in Israel at money changers, any bank and many hotels.
  • Bank operation hours are usually from Sunday – Thursday 8:30 – 12:30 and 16:00 to 18:00.
  • Since the majority of your normal expenses are covered in your fixed tour cost, we suggest that you bring the minimum cash and/or traveler’s cheques.
  • We would like to suggest that you rather draw money in local currency at the Tel Aviv Airport or at one of the ATM machines located in the areas that we will be visiting. Most foreign bank cards work in Israel and it is more cost-effective to draw money here in Israel than to exchange money in your home country.
  • It is advisable to increase your daily withdrawal limit on your bank card with your local branch to its  maximum.  This will prevent unnecessary bank costs on limited smaller withdrawals.
  • Should you exchange money in your home country it will be at a less favorable rate.  Moreover, you will pay commission on the transaction.  The exchange rate when drawing money in Israel is more favorable and no commission is charged.
  • You can also use your credit card to pay at most shops.

CHAI TIP – Before you leave your home country –inform your bank that you will be taking a trip to Israel so that they can make a note on their system and not be alarmed when transactions from a foreign country appear on your account.


  •  It is fun and exciting to be able to address local Israelis in their own language even if it is just a word or two.  Below are a few Hebrew phrases that you may find helpful during your visit to Israel.

Hebrew-Phrases-1

 

CHAI TIP – Go to www.kolkallah.com and order a full series of Hebrew Learning DVD’s