Packing for Israel
How much you pack depends partially on how long you stay. During your Israel tour, you’ll probably be moving around a lot and you won’t want to pack and unpack a lot of stuff. Generally, it’s a good idea to travel light and expect that you will need more room in your bags when you go home than when you left to accommodate gifts, dirty clothes and the tendency for clothes to take up more space on the return flight. Also, remember that the power supply is 220 volt AC-50 cycles. Make sure your electrical items can operate or purchase an adaptor kit ( hotels sometimes can spare them ).
You don’t need any shots to visit Israel, but it is good to have your records in case you come down with something or travel to another country.
Every visitor to Israel must have a valid passport to travel to Israel. Note that it usually takes several weeks to obtain a passport, so apply well ahead of time if you don’t have one yet. It’s a good idea to make two copies of the first two pages of your passport. Keep one at home and put the other separate from your passport. This will help speed the process of replacing your passport if it’s lost or stolen. Citizens from many countries, including the U.S., are issued free visitors’ visas when they enter the country.
Travelers have different opinions regarding carrying wallets and purses. Some people believe it’s safer to put valuables in a pouch or conceal them. The kind of pouches and backpacks people wear outside their clothes make you stand out as a tourist and don’t necessarily protect you from thieves. Valuable items are best left in a safe deposit box in a hotel.
As you’ve heard on the commercials, travelers checks are generally as good as cash and can be replaced if lost. It’s best to keep most of your money in this form until you need it. The cost of the checks is usually low (often free) and will save you a lot of trouble and worry.
It is a good idea to have some cash with you for emergencies, transportation and small purchases. One hundred dollars should be plenty. Bring an ATM card and you can get more from local banks without having to worry about exchange rates and fees. If you go inside the bank, or to a post office, you’ll have to pay a fee. Hotels and money exchangers usually have the worst rates and highest fees. Beware of money changers on the street.
Most businesses accept credit cards. It’s always nice if you can put off paying for things until later and the credit card companies usually give you good exchange rates.
Bring important phone numbers with you for emergencies and to contact friends and family in Israel.
Even if you don’t normally keep a journal, bring a note pad or diary to record your feelings and experiences. When you come home, and years later, you’ll be glad you did. Bring a camera and/or video and try to take pictures of people rather than just buildings. The shots will be more memorable when attached to faces.
Getting sick away from home is always depressing. It is helpful to have basic remedies for common maladies; aspirin/Tylenol, Bandaids, etc. Health care in Israel is excellent, but you still want to be safe rather than sorry. The food and water in Israel should give you no trouble, but, just in case, bring medication to relieve the symptoms of stomach problems.
We recommend you bring proper attire for women (shoulders covered and head covering) when going to the holy sites.