We are excited that you gain the very most from this experience without any unnecessary concerns. We have done all we can to make advance preparations for each one of you.
We expect a smoothly run trip. However, there are times when circumstances are beyond our control and patience is needed! Please be aware the schedule is subject to change due to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
As you prepare, there are lots of little things that you should be aware of to maximize the blessings from this great journey.
We are going nearly halfway around the world and back. We will be in a strange land. It will be tiring. There will be things that irritate us. Though we have tried to make this time perfect, any experienced traveler knows some things won’t "click" exactly as planned. Pray for extra love, patience, cheerfulness and grace.
There will be real opportunities to show Christ’s love in irritating circumstances. We expect to laugh, cry, sing, and pray together through this journey. We will be experiencing many incredible sights and it will be mentally exhausting.
Millions have visited Israel and enjoyed a spiritually rewarding experience in the Holy Land. Occasionally questions arise, particularly from all of us who have never been to Israel. If we had any major concerns that we were going into a hostile environment, we would not be going. We are under God’s protection. Israel is also heavily dependent on tourist dollars which translates to extreme tourist safety. Please ask your circle of friends to include us in their prayer time as we travel…this will provide a little extra protection.
GET FIT! (That goes for ME more than you)
Do a lot of exercising and walking before the trip. Get in good physical shape. Take your most comfortable shoes and clothing. (Don’t take new shoes!) You are about to experience an adventure of a lifetime.
Because of time zone changes, if will take a few days for your body to adjust. Use wisdom; eat moderately, and as soon as we arrive we plan to have a quick dinner and get to bed early for a good nights rest.
Due to our arrangement with the airlines we are limited to two pieces of luggage. Each piece is limited to 50 lbs in weight. Purses and camera bags will be considered a carry-on and we are limited to two per passenger. Put your name and address on the inside and outside of each bag. Keep a Xerox copy of your passport in each suitcase. Do not pack your passport, airline tickets or boarding cards. Carry them on your person.
Plan on having your baggage opened and inspected as we travel in and out of the country. Not all will be subjected to baggage inspection, but it happens with such frequency we all need to prepare for it. Chalk it up to the need for safety and security.
The electric current in Israel is 220 volts AC, single phase, 50 cycles. Sockets are usually three-pronged, and foreign-made appliances require adapters for plugs. This will be needed for any electrical piece of equipment we take including our phones. We certainly don’t want to run out of battery power while we are traveling. We recommend you purchase a Convert Kit before we leave for Israel. These kits can be purchased at places like Wal-Mart, Target or any luggage/travel store. Hair dryers are usually furnished in the hotel rooms, but you will need the Converter Kit for any other appliances or electronics you might bring.
General Weather Description:
The nicest season of the year, with very comfortable weather. Temperature in Tel Aviv is usually between 16 to 24 Degrees centigrade which are 61 to 75 Degrees Fahrenheit. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approx. 3 degrees centigrade colder (5.5 Degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature will be a little cooler in the early mornings and evenings so plan accordingly.
What to Wear:
On some of the days you may want a long t-shirt and light jacket, while on other days a short sleeve t-shirt will do. So, bring a good range of clothes. Casual attire is appropriate for both men and women. Walking shorts are fine in some areas. (Some religious sites require long pants and sleeves to the elbow.) Remember that Moslems and Jews are much more modest than we are. We will inform you each day what will be considered appropriate for that day’s activities. A sweater is quite useful for the evening and early mornings.
Shop first in your own closet!
Remember, your comfort is most important when you are traveling. Clothes that you know in advance “perform well” will be the most enjoyable to travel in. Comfortable shoes are a necessity. Be sure that new shoes are well broken in before you leave. Easy care fabrics that can be washed in the sink or tub, dry quickly (in humidity) and need no ironing will save time, energy, unnecessary expense and keep you looking and feeling fresh. If the hotels provide a laundry service – it will be very costly!
Suggested Additional Items to Pack
Small Bible (light weight)
Snack foods like nuts, candy, gum, etc.
Refillable water bottle
Travel alarm clock
Dark sunglasses – A Must
Sun hat – A Must
Chapstick – A Must
Antibacterial Wipes or lotion
All prescription drugs labeled
Large plastic bag for dirty clothes
Laxative & Imodium AD
Camera & Batteries (charger must have adapter!)
Small notebook & pencil
Phones and related equipment
For those who desire to be baptized in the Jordan River, bring a swimsuit to wear underneath the baptismal robe. For swimming in the Dead Sea, bring an old swimsuit, as all the salt and minerals can ruin a new suit. Water shoes or flip flops help protect your feet in the Dead Sea.
The Shekel is the legal tender of Israel. Since all basic travel arrangements are covered, there is no need to carry large amounts of currency. U.S. Dollars, traveler’s checks, credit cards and even personal checks are accepted in most places. However we suggest you do not use your credit card(s) when shopping in the Old City of Jerusalem. Value Added Tax is refundable at the airport upon your departure from Israel for items purchases in approved shops. Please be sure to ask for the “V.A.T.” Refund Form” when you make your purchases. Most of the major ATM networks are available to you in Israel.
We suggest you carry extra cash in $1.00 bills. Most shops take American dollars.
To avoid "throwing money away" we suggest you carry a pocket calculator to figure the real cost of items when you shop.
Israeli shops carry a wide variety of gifts ranging from exclusive jewelry and diamonds to modern art, ceramic work and antiques. Food:
Israeli / Mediterranean food takes the best of Oriental and Western cuisine and adds its own flavor. Israel is known for its famous Israeli Breakfast buffets, which will be a sight for hungry eyes in the morning. We will be able to sample such delicacies as Falafel, Hummus, Shishlick, Kebab and strong Turkish coffee.
The water in the hotel is safe to drink, but we recommend you buy bottled water. We will make sure the bus operator keeps a big cooler on the bus and loaded with water and other sorted beverages for our journey. You can also buy bottled water in many of the shops in Israel.
Telephone Calls and Internet:
Local and long-distance telephone calls are very expensive from your hotel room. Before you leave home, contact your long-distance carrier for information on how best to call back to the U.S. or ensure that you have a device that has international capabilities if we need to call back. We will have at least one phone with an international feature in case of emergence.
There is plenty of free Internet access in Israel via WIFI.
How to Contact You:
You will receive a list of the hotels and phone numbers where you will be staying. Be sure to leave copies of these with family and friends. Hopefully this will not be needed but you never know given that we will be halfway around the world.
Israel Standard is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time and 8 hours ahead of Central Time (USA).
Here are a few of the more common expressions you will encounter during your stay in Israel.
Kin = Yes
Lo = No
Shalom = Hello, Good-bye
Bo’ker tov = Good Morning
Li’lah tov = Good Night
Be-var-kah-sha = Please
To-da Ra’ba = Thank-you
Ha-yom = Today
Ma’char = Tomorrow
Et-mohl = Yesterday
Ka’mah = How much?
Yo-tair Me-die = Too much
Hopefully this will help you get started in your preparations.
Please always feel free to call with any questions 615-881-9125!