Planning your Vacation to Israel

Planning vacations usually take a lot time, effort, and patience.  Planning a trip to Israel is no different.  Whether you’re using a travel agent or going online to find the best prices and hotels in Israel, you’ll have to do your homework.  Listed below are some considerations to keep in mind when planning your vacation to Israel:

1. Time of year:  Do you enjoy outdoor activities?  Israeli summers are warm, predictable, and ideal for hiking, swimming, outdoor shopping, and site seeing. With over 50 national parks and a coastline filled with whitewashed sandy beaches, you’ll have plenty to choose from.  If it gets too hot outside, most shops and hotels in Israel have excellent air conditioning.  Spring and fall are also suitable for outdoor fun, as rain is minimal.  Even winter is a possibility because of the mild weather.  

2. Type of tour:  Is this your first trip to Israel?  You might consider a group tour, as all activities and day trips and destinations have been pre-arranged.  Group tour operators usually know the best hotels in Israel and can also assist with the language barrier.  If you’ve been to Israel before, you might consider planning your own tour with your friends or family.  

3. Expenses:  Prior to booking your trip, decide how much you can spend.   Don’t forget to include such costs as gifts, transportation extras such as taxi or bus rides, and entrance fees to tourist attractions.   Keep in mind that if you’re renting a car, gas in Israel is about the same as in Europe.  Prices for hotels in Israel are equivalent to those in most European or American countries.  

4. Getting around:  If you’re planning on going on a group tour, you won’t have to worry about your transportation needs.  If you’re going on your own, you have the option of either taking public transportation (bus, train, or taxi) or renting a car.  Public transportation is reliable and relatively inexpensive.  Most hotels in Israel have train schedules and can call you a taxi in a matter of minutes.  Renting a car, on the other hand, offers you more independence and convenience, but can be costly.  

Travel documentation:  Make sure you have a current passport, and if you plan to drive, an up-to-date driver’s license.  Health insurance coverage is extremely important as well as valid credit cards.