1. Do I need a visa and / or a passport to travel to Israel?
For U.S. citizens, visas are not required for travel to Israel. For citizens from other countries, however, a visa may be required. For a list of countries requiring visa for entry to Israel, please visit >>
Passports are required for entry into Israel and for checking into hotels. Please ensure your passport is current. Its expiration must reflect a date that is a minimum of six (6) months after your expected return from Israel. If the expiration date is sooner, you will need to renew your passport. Under normal conditions, the renewal process takes less than a month to complete.
2. Can I use U.S. dollars in Israel? If I want shekels, how can I exchange money in Israel?
You may use U.S. dollars for tipping in Israel. However, Israeli shekels are needed for purchases in local stores and for taxis.
Restaurants, hotels, stores and entertainment centers accept most major credit cards (American Express, Discover, Visa and MasterCard). Before you travel to Israel, however, we suggest that you contact your credit card company to inform them of your travel dates to Israel. This will enable you to avoid potential fraud alerts or the freezing of your cards.
U.S. dollars may be exchanged at post offices, banks, change places or hotels. If changing at hotels, the exchange rate is usually lower than elsewhere. It is recommended to use post offices if changing large amounts of foreign money as there are usually lower commission charges.
3. Can I easily charge my computer, tablet and cellphone in Israel? Can I use other small appliances?
Electrical outlets in Israel usually supply electricity at between 220 and 240 volts AC. Typically, voltage converters are not necessary, but the required plugs (see images) are different from those used in the U.S.
4. What’s the weather like in Israel?
December – January – February: winter. Temperatures are between 5°-18° centigrade in Tel Aviv, which is 41° to 65° Fahrenheit. It may get colder around Jerusalem and Golan Heights to a level of 0° centigrade (32° Fahrenheit), especially at night.
March – April – May: spring. Temperatures in Tel Aviv are usually between 16° to 24° centigrade, which are 61° to 75° Fahrenheit. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approximately 3° centigrade colder (5.5° Fahrenheit); Eilat is usually 3° centigrade warmer.
June – July – August (and sometimes September): summer. Temperatures in Tel Aviv are usually between 24° to 35° centigrade, which is 75° to 95° Fahrenheit. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approximately 3° centigrade cooler (5.5° Fahrenheit); Eilat is usually 3° centigrade 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° centigrade, which is 61° to 75° Fahrenheit. Jerusalem and the Golan Heights are approximately 3° centigrade colder (5.5° Fahrenheit); Eilat is usually 3° centigrade warmer.
5. What kinds of clothing should I pack for my trip?
Israel is a casual country. Casual clothes recommended for touring, along with good walking shoes. Religious sites require modest dress (i.e. shoulders need to be covered and clothing should reach elbows and knees); some churches require the men to wear long pants.
- A hat is suggested to provide protection from the weather.
- Jeans are appropriate.
- A Shawl or scarf are 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.
- Dress jackets and ties are not necessary for men.
6. What are the procedures for my arrival in Israel?
When you land in Israel, come through the gate area and follow the signs to passport control. You will receive a blue entry form in lieu of a passport stamp. Please keep this in your passport until your departure from Israel.
Then, exit the turn-style and collect your luggage at the proper baggage carousel. You will depart the baggage area by exiting through the greeting hall. You will be told in advance where to meet your guide and / or driver If you have coordinated a pickup service.
7. What are the procedures for my departure from Israel?
For national flights to / from Eilat – you should be at the airport for security check about 1.5 hours prior to your departure.
For international flights – you should be at the airport for security check about 3 hours prior to your departure. Passengers flying business class or first class need to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure.
Upon arrival at the airport, you will see check-in kiosks. You must use them to check in and print your boarding card.
Once this has been done, proceed to the line for the appropriate airline desk, pass the security check, and from there to the airline desk to drop off your luggage.
To speed up airport check in procedures, we recommend you check in online or via an air carrier app, if possible, before arriving at Ben Gurion Airport!
8. How do I travel and get around in Israel?
Buses / trains:
All buses and trains stop operating an hour before sunset on Friday, and resume one hour after sunset on Saturday. Ask your hotel bellman or concierge for specific information.
From Ben Gurion Airport, proceed to the taxi stand outside the arrival hall. All rates are set from the airport to a specific town and no meter will be switched on.
If you need to take taxis elsewhere in Israel, be sure to ask the driver to use the meter. All licensed taxi drivers use white cars with a yellow ‘taxi sign’ and have their name and license number inside the car. Your hotel bellman or concierge can help you secure a taxi.
9. Do I need to secure insurance for my trip?
Fees or premiums to cover personal items, health coverage, and trip cancellation are not included. Before you register for your trip, we recommend acquiring insurance for these items through your local provider prior to your upcoming trip.
10. What do I pay and when?
Deposits. Deposits are required to register for your tour so our operators may reserve hotel accommodations, book various activities, and/or secure guide(s). Once made, deposits are non-refundable.
Final Payments. Final payment guidelines are group specific. Please discuss individual situations with your operator.
11. What if something changes and I must cancel my trip?
Cancellation guidelines are group specific. Please discuss individual situations with your operator.
12. How does tipping work in Israel?
Tipping Guidelines (U.S dollars are preferable).
- Driver: $5 per person per day.
- Guide: $7 to $10 per person per day.
- Hotel Staff: $3 per person per day.
- Restaurants: 10-15% of total bill (Israeli shekels are preferable).
13. What’s Shabbat (Saturday) like in Israel?
Shabbat starts approximately 40 minutes before Sunset on Friday afternoon and ends one hour after sunset on Saturday evening. All public offices in Israel are closed on Shabbat, as are most private businesses. Public transportation (trains and buses in most cites) do not operate and in many cities and towns it is not easy to find an open restaurant. Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual.
In areas where most of the population is secular, such as Tel Aviv and most of its surroundings towns, Shabbat is expressed mainly in minimal business activity and transportation. Many secular families leave the cities on Shabbat, for relaxation and recreation in natural surroundings. In religious neighborhoods (including large sections of Jerusalem), the religious character of Shabbat as a holy day is observed to its fullest. Many streets are closed to traffic and alternative bypass routes must be found to travel from one place to another.
14. Will I have Internet access in Israel?
Internet is widely available and Wi-Fi is commonly found in cafes, hotels, and even on tourist buses.
15. What do I do about telephone service in Israel?
In today’s day and age, there are many options. First, check with your current cell phone carrier. They may offer an inexpensive international rate that will allow you to use your phone for voice and data needs in Israel.
Since Wi-Fi is readily available in Israel, many travelers use smartphone apps (i.e. Skype or WhatsApp or FaceTime) to make international calls over Wi-Fi.