Using Phones in Israel
Even though no one owned a cell phone before 1990, most people own one today. In fact, no one leaves home without one, even if they’re traveling to a foreign country like Israel. Twenty years ago, most tourists to Israel made calls from either their Jerusalem hotel room or from one of the many pay phones that lined the streets. Today’s picture is much different – the pay phones have pretty much disappeared and practically everyone in Israel uses a cell phone. Even the most exclusive Jerusalem hotels have removed their public pay phones from the lobby areas.
Using your cell phone in Israel
Not every phone can be used in Israel. Speak with your cellular provider to find out if your particular make and model work in Israel. Even if it does, however, it will function on the “roam” mode in Israel using your local number. As you can imagine, your phone bill could be quite high. Still, you might want the convenience of not missing any phone calls while you’re staying at your Jerusalem hotel. In addition, you’ll also have access to your phonebook.
Cell phone rentals
If the expense of using your phone from home is cost-prohibitive, then try renting one when you arrive in the country. Most of the larger phone companies have kiosks at the airport where you can rent a phone for the length of your stay. Your phone bill should still be cheaper than if you brought your own phone due to no roaming charges. If you want to call home from your Jerusalem hotel, try to get a good deal on a calling plan. Besides renting a phone, you also have the option of buying a “SIM” card to replace your existing “SIM” card in your phone. This option is cheaper than renting an actual phone, but not all phones have this possibility – it needs to be a phone without a “SIM” lock.
If you’re too tired to rent a phone at the airport, wait to you reach your Jerusalem hotel. The hotel receptionist can tell you the nearest cell phone shops. Prices should be comparable to those at the airport.
Not renting a phone
You also have the option of not renting a phone and just using the phone in your Jerusalem hotel room. It might just give you the “vacation” you’re looking for!