The local currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Most Israeli businesses will accept Credit Cards, but we always recommend exchanging some cash to local currency, which can be done at any of the Money Exchange offices throughout the country. Traveler checks are usually not accepted in Israel, and you can use the many ATM machines available everywhere in Israel. It is not recommended to change currency at the hotel or airport as you will be charged a much higher rate. Keep in mind if you are traveling with credit cards, some countries do not accept American Express, so it is recommended to take MasterCard or a Visa Card.

We do recommend traveling with some US currency.

The Jewish holidays are celebrated in Israel officially and nationally and vacation days are set in accordance with them.

Judaism has its own calendar, the Jewish calendar, which has 12 lunar months based on the cycle of the moon. The Hebrew month starts with the first appearance of the new moon, the 15th of the month is when the moon is full and the month ends when the moon disappears (prior to its reappearance).

Here is a list of some of the major holidays:

Chanukah
Holocaust Remembrance Day Independence Day
Jerusalem Day
Lag ba-Omer
Pesach
Purim
Rosh Hashanah Shavuot Simhat Torah Sukkot
Tisha B’Av
Tu B’Shvat
Yom Hazikaron Yom Kippur

If you are doing an extension as part of your tour to Jordan and or Egypt, a visa will be required. Currently the visas can be obtained upon arrival. However keep in mind that government policies are subject to change, so please make sure to re-check the policy at least 45-60 days prior to departure.

Hebrew is the official and spoken language of Israel, and Arabic is also spoken in many parts of the country. All of your tour guides and hotel services fluently speak and understand English. A majority of Israeli citizens speak English as well, which is very helpful while touring and visiting cities and towns.

Keep in mind that during your trip to Israel you will be walking and moving around every day. Casual clothes are recommended for touring, along with good walking shoes. For example jeans and a t-shirt / pullover sweater would be great for both men and women. Despite the temperature being cool you may begin to warm up as you move around. Miscellaneous items include…

  • A hat is suggested to provide protection from the weather.
  • A Shawl or scarf is advisable for women (for wrapping bare arms/legs around in holy sites and/or for additional warmth).
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen during summer months.
  • Umbrella and rain gear during fall and winter months.
  • Swimming trunks/bathing suit and Sandals/open toed shoes for pool or water activities (Dead Sea, baptism)
  • For the Dead Sea float, due to the high salt content it is recommended to bring an extra pair of swimming trunks/bathing suit you don’t mind discarding afterwards.
  • Dress jackets and ties are not necessary for men, unless you are planning a formal dinner.

A valid passport is required for U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling to all international destinations. Passports must be valid for six months after the return of your journey and should also have sufficient blank pages for entry and exit stamps. Please note that it is the guests’ sole responsibility to acquire the appropriate valid travel documents.

If you do not have the proper documentation, you may be denied boarding or entry without refund.

For non-U.S. Citizens, please let us know if you or any tour members are non-U.S. Passport holders, at the time of booking. Citizens of other countries should contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements pertaining to their journey.

Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath, begins every Friday evening at sundown and ends on Saturday after the sun sets. At this time all government services, public transportation and banks close as do most retails stores. Some restaurants and places of entertainment remain open. Meals and services during Shabbat may be limited; however some restaurants outside of the hotel may serve a regular menu. Check with your guide or the front desk of your hotel for more details.

Most restaurants in Israel, including those located within hotels, observe Kosher dietary laws which forbids the mixing of meat and dairy products in the same meal/restaurant.

Israeli shops and market places have many souvenirs and gifts that can be purchased, at almost every location. However, if you would like to set time aside for shopping outside of the tour, please let us know and it can be arranged.

If you are taking a tour by tour bus, it is customary to give an expression of thanks to your guide (around of $10-$15 per day per person) and your driver ($3-$5 per day per person). It is common to tip the wait staff at restaurants (about 12-15% of the bill) and bellboys at hotels ($1-2 per bag). Apart from hairdressers and hotel chambermaids, other suppliers of services do not expect to be tipped.

Israel does have pharmacy’s and medical facilities where you can purchase over the counter medicine. In some cases, prescriptions can be given from a doctor. We recommend packing your own everyday medicines (cough drops, cold/flu medicines, stomach medicines, etc.). Check with your guide or the front desk of your hotel if any medical need arises during your trip. It’s also recommended to bring bug spray or bug repellant for places like the Dead Sea.

To encourage tourism in Israel, tourists having purchased certain goods during their visit are entitled to a VAT refund when they depart Israel. When purchasing your items, ask the store clerk to complete and stamp the special VAT Refund form you must present at the VAT counter at the airport prior to boarding your flight. Receipts must also be presented with the unused/unworn goods to the clerks at one of the designated VAT Refund counters. Items must be in their original packaging. The refund will be returned in the unit of currency requested. Conditions do apply.

U.S. citizens currently do not require a visa for travel to Israel.

For non-US Citizens, please let us know if you or any tour members are non-US Passport holders, at the time of booking. Citizens of other countries should contact the appropriate consular office for entry requirements pertaining to their journey.

If you do not have the proper documentation, you may be denied boarding or entry without refund.

Temperatures are based on yearly averages. We recommend checking the weather before taking off

December – January – February: winter. Temperatures are between 5°-18° Celsius in Tel Aviv, which is 41° to 65° Fahrenheit. It may get colder around Jerusalem and Golan Heights to a level of 0° Celsius (32° Fahrenheit), especially at night.

March – April – May: spring. Temperatures in Tel Aviv are usually between 16° to 24° Celsius, which are 61° to 75° Fahrenheit. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approximately 3° Celsius colder (5.5° Fahrenheit); Eilat is usually 3° Celsius warmer.

June – July – August (and sometimes September): summer. Temperatures in Tel Aviv are usually between 24° to 35° Celsius, which is 75° to 95° Fahrenheit. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approximately 3° Celsius cooler (5.5° Fahrenheit); Eilat is usually 3° Celsius warmer. Desert areas (Jerusalem/Negev/Dead Sea) are very dry, while the rest of the country is humid.

September – October – November: autumn. The temperature in Tel Aviv is usually between 16° to 24° Celsius, which is 61° to 75° Fahrenheit. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approximately 3° Celsius colder (5.5° Fahrenheit); Eilat is usually 3° Celsius warmer.

Religious sites require modest dress (i.e. shoulders need to be covered and clothing should reach elbows and knees) and some churches require the men to wear long pants. Your guide will give you an advanced notice if there are any clothing recommendations for the sites you will see that day.

Think Israel. Visit Israel. Let’s Explore Together.

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