Travel Information

Weather

ISRAEL – Plan for hot weather during the summer days; Israel is very hot during the summer, the coastal areas are humid as well as hot. The other three seasons, in contrast, have absolutely beautiful weather. In spring and autumn the temperature is near-perfect every day and nearly all days are sunny (the ancient Jewish pilgrimage holidays were scheduled in Autumn and Spring to take advantage of this weather). Winter is a mixture of cold rainy days and cool, sunny days which are great for hiking and touring.

EUROPE – You can plan for hot weather during the days and evenings are sometimes cooler. Temperatures will range from 50 to 80 degrees.

GREECE AND TURKEY – You can plan for hot weather during the days and perhaps cool evenings. Temperatures will range from 40 to 80 degrees.

Money

ISRAEL – Currency Exchange Rates change daily. It is not necessary to change money in Israel/Palestine, Jordan or Egypt. Major credit cards and traveler’s checks are accepted in most places. Automatic Teller Machines are available throughout the Middle East for your convenience. By using the ATM you avoid commission charges for currency exchange. If you ask for a special favor from the hotel staff you should tip them as you would at home. A voluntary Love Offering for our Guide and Driver will be taken as an expression of our appreciation for their services. Suggested amount is $10/ daily per passenger.

EUROPE – The Currency exchange rates will change daily. Your Major Credit Cards and Traveler’s checks are accepted in most places. Your foreign currency can be purchased in advance through Travelex. For your convenience, you will find that Automatic Teller Machines are available throughout Europe, which includes United Kingdom, Ireland, and Italy. By using the ATM you avoid commission charges for currency exchange. Please remember, if you ask for a special favor from the hotel staff you should tip them as you would at home. A voluntary Love Offering for our Guide and Driver will be taken as an expression of our appreciation for their services. Suggested amount is $10/day per person.

GREECE AND TURKEY – The Currency exchange rates will change daily. Your Major Credit Cards and Traveler’s Checks are accepted in most places. Your foreign currency can be purchased in advance through Travelex. For your convenience, you will find that Automatic Teller Machines are available throughout Europe, which includes United Kingdom, Ireland and Italy. By using the ATM you avoid commission charges for currency exchange. Please remember, if you ask for a special favor from the hotel staff you should tip them as you would at home. A voluntary Love Offering for our Guide and Driver will be taken as an expression of our appreciation for their services. Suggested amount is $10/day per person.

Passports

Passports should be valid for 6 months after the return date of your trip. All international air travel requires a U.S. passport book for re-entry into the United States. Both commercial and private planes and other aircraft must follow these guidelines.

To obtain a passport, visit the US DEPARTMENT OF STATE WEBSITE>>

Luggage

You have paid porterage for one suitcase. The airlines will allow one suitcase (not to exceed 30” x 21” x 18”). Be sure all of your bags are clearly marked with your name and address. It is always advisable to pack any medicine and valuables in your carry-on bag which will always be with you. Please remember that you are responsible for your passport and carry-on at all times.

Credit Cards

Credit Card companies must be notified of travel overseas. Some companies will not process charges made in other countries unless notified ahead of time for security reasons.

Packing Tips

BE COMFORTABLE! Pack clothes which can be worn in layers and colors which allow you to mix and match. Note that in many of the Holy Sites, shorts and sleeveless outfits are not permitted. Consider the following when you pack:

Instructions

  • Pack loose-fitting, lightweight clothes for summer visits. Cotton and linen garments will keep you comfortable and can be easily laundered. Layer with a sweater for cool summer nights.
  • Take long shorts, skirts, long- and short-sleeved T-shirts, khakis, button-down shirts, sunglasses and a hat for visits between May and September, when the sun is most intense.
  • A travel alarm, camera and batteries, and a journal are also helpful.
  • Bring a jacket, a few sweaters and long pants for visits between October and April, when temperatures hover between the high 40s and high 60s. Rain Showers may fall during this period, so an umbrella is wise.
  • Pack comfortable walking shoes or sandals for sight-seeing. Darker colors will hide any dust or dirt.
  • Stash a bathing suit and sunscreen in your bag for your visit to the beach.
  • Remember insect repellent.
  • Take an electric converter and adapter.

Electrical Appliances

The electric current in the Middle East and Europe is 220 volts. To operate small American appliances you will need both a Converter and Adaptor Plugs.

Identification

Please place luggage tags on suitcases and wear name tags at all times.

Telephone Calls

Calling from the Middle East can be costly. It is more economical for friends and family to call overseas than for you to call home.

Beat Jet Lag

Jet Lag is a normal occurrence but there are a few things you can do to avoid this disruption to your trip.

  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Plan to sleep in-flight. Don’t assume that you can’t sleep on the plane. Tell yourself you can and know that even dozing is good.
  • Plan in advance and eliminate stress on your travel day.
  • Eat a full balanced meal high in carbohydrates and avoid caffeine the day before you leave.
  • Avoid sugar-filled foods on the day you travel (like pastries, snacks and candy) as well as coffee and tea (caffeinated or decaffeinated).
  • Drink lots of fluids, but only fruit juices, vegetable juices and water (no carbonated drinks).
  • Set your watch to the time at your destination upon boarding the plane.
  • Watch the movie, listen to music, get comfortable with a pillow and blanket and sleep.
  • In the morning (just before the plane lands) get up and go to the lavatory to wash, brush your teeth, shave – it’s a new day.
  • Drink some Orange Juice to replenish your Vitamin C and eat/drink as you normally would for breakfast.
  • Resist the temptation to nap after you arrive. Be active and make your body work.
  • Soak up the sunshine if possible – light helps your body adjust to time.
  • Don’t look back. Don’t give a thought to what time it is at home.

Is it Safe to Travel to the Middle East

The Holy Land, the region of the Middle East that is home to sites deemed holy by three world religions–Judaism, Christianity and Islam–encompasses some of the most disputed land in the world; Visitors by the thousands continue to tour the region. By following security guidelines and using an experienced travel guide, tourists in the Holy Land can enjoy a safe and memorable journey. Many precautions are taken to insure a safe and enjoyable trip. Travelers often say that they feel safer on their Holy Land journey than a trip to NEW YORK CITY OR WASHINGTON, D.C.

What Safety Precautions does Friends Tours and Travel Take?

  • Friends Tours and Travel maintains contact with the Jerusalem Office.
  • The location of our passengers is always known.
  • We use a private bus company
  • Only our passengers and staff are allowed to board the buses
  • Stay in contact with other buses throughout the country
  • Our guides and drivers know the area better than anyone
  • Your Tour guide and our representative will be with you at all times

What Makes you Safe on this Trip?

  • Security on planes, bound for the Middle East, go through several additional security precautions and procedures. The staff with the airline is trained to look for tale-tell signs, and they are very good at their job and they take it very seriously!
  • Security within Israel and Palestine is much more strict than within the USA
  • The crime rate, statistically, is lower in Israel and Palestine than in a typical US city, including your home town.
  • Israel is a small country, size wise it is no bigger than the state of New Jersey, which makes it easy for our office to keep a watchful eye on situations in various regions of Israel and Palestine.
  • Since our first Holy Land trip, more than 20 years ago, we have never had a major incident

Travel in Groups

Taking a Holy Land tour with an experienced travel guide is the best way to visit the holy places. The Holy Land is a complicated place, and guides are aware of local customs and sensitivities. They also know the intricacies involved in visiting the many different Holy Sites.

What About the News we See on TV?

Much of what is seen on television is reporting in areas which are not places on the Christian Pilgrim route. Our Spiritual Pilgrimages do not travel into Gaza and cities such as Ramallah, Nablaus and Hebron.

Did you Know…

Tourism is one of the greatest incomes for both Israel and Palestine. A record 3.45 million tourists visited Israel in 2010, up 26% from 2009. Although the people of the land cannot agree on everything, they do agree when it comes to welcoming tourists to their land. Great care is given to tourists.

CONTACT INFORMATION

RON BEACH HOTEL, SEA OF GALILEE, TIBERIAS ISRAEL
E-mail: info@ronbeachhotel.com
TEL: 972-4-6791350
FAX: 972-4-6791351

KING SOLOMON HOTEL, JERUSALEM
32 King David Street, Jerusalem 94101, Israel
Phone: +972-2-5695555
Fax: +972-2-6241774
Email: reservationjeru@kingsolomon-hotel.com
USA toll free: 800-345-8569
Fax: 718-429-5764

LEONARDO HOTEL, DEAD SEA
86910 Dead Sea
Tel: +972-8-9553333
Fax: +972-8-9553350
Email: reservations.leods@leonardo-hotels.com

ISRAEL OFFICE
011972505284470
011972587663300

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To Obtain a Passport, visit the US Department of State website »

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