Purchases can be made in Israeli Shekels, U.S. dollars or Euros. American dollars can be exchanged into local Israeli Shekels easily and locally, and credit cards are accepted by most merchants. Banks are opened from Sunday – Thursday, working hours are from 8:30 – 13:30. Holders of international credit cards can withdraw local at banks which accept their credit cards. There are Automated Teller Machines outside most banks. Many ATMs will provide foreign currency, and you can see at the ATM if that service is provided.Be sure to alert your credit card company before departure that you will be incurring overseas expenses.The currencies of various countries visited are:
Jordan: Jordanian Dinar
Turkey: Turkish Lira
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL YOU NEED ON A DAILY BASIS
On average, $50.00 per day is adequate to cover expenditure on:
Drinks (water, soft drinks, etc.)
Lunch (when not included in your trip)
Extra expenses (souvenirs, phone, etc)
WHAT WILL IT COST FOR A…?
Can of soft drink = 6-8 shekels
One hour in an internet café = 15 shekels
Take-away snack or light lunch = 25-30 shekels
Simple dinner at a café or restaurant = 60-100 shekels
In Israel, it is customary to tip hotel personnel, guides and drivers. When traveling on our tour program, you should give $1.50 per day hotel staff tips to the guide at the beginning of the tour. The guide will then pay the appropriate tips to the baggage handlers and restaurant staff. Please expect to tip your guide $5.00 – $7.00 per day and your driver $3.00 – $4.00 per day (amounts are per person). A 15% tip is the average in lunch restaurants that are not part of the Israel tour package. While tipping is not mandatory for taxi drivers, some visitors choose to do so anyhow. Remember that a tip or gratuity is earned for services rendered in a courteous and professional manner.
In Israel, the market in Jaffa is a bargain-filled institution. All the old towns of Israel, such as Akko and Nazareth, have bazaars, but the ultimate is to be found in the Old City of Jerusalem. Art, fashion, crafts, pottery, olive-wood carvings, hand-blow glass, embroidery and leather goods – these are some of the enormous array of things to buy in Israel. Religious items such as Crucifixes, rosaries, holy cards, statues, etc. will be available in all the places you Unless you are using digital cameras, remember to take plenty of film for your camera from the USA – the cost of film overseas is higher.
All of the old towns in Israel have bazaars but the ultimate is to be found in the Old City of Jerusalem. Favorite times to purchase include leather goods, pottery, crafts, olive-wood carvings and hand blown glass. Vendors are anxious to bargain.
VALUE ADDED TAX
Tourists who have purchased items with a value exceeding $100 (including VAT) in stores that are registered with the Ministry of Tourism or in stores participating in the VAT-refund plan are entitled to a refund of VAT when they leave the country. Stores that offer VAT refund service have a special sign. There is no VAT refund for food, drinks, tobacco products, electrical appliances, cameras, film or other photography equipment.
HEALTH AND MEDICAL INFORMATION
HEALTH AND ACCIDENT INSURANCE
It’s highly recommended to arrange for a Health Accident Insurance before you depart your home state, it should cover the dates of your planned trip taking into consideration time consumed in transportations and difference in time. We advice our dearest pilgrimages and tourists to seek for a comprehensive insurance package that covers hospitalization, pre-scheduled flights, bills settling and reimbursements.
You should bring all the medication you use or need and the quantity that covers the whole period of your stay. Pharmacies will not respect prescriptions from abroad, only pain relief pills such as Advil and Tylenol and similar can be sold without prescription. If you suffer from preexisting medical problem we recommend that you consult your physician to guide you for the appropriate steps.
At present no vaccinations are required to enter Israel or to re-enter the USA but please check with your family doctor or the US state department for an update before you leave.
Before you travel to Israel, ask your doctor to write a prescription for any medications you may be taking with you in the event they are lost. Keep all of your medications in their original bottles or packaging.
INDISPENSABLE ITEMS AND APPAREL
Services available at hotels for extra charge.
We recommend that you deposit you valuables in the safe in your room or in the safety boxes in the hotel.
We suggest you leave all your valuable items such as expensive jewelry or large amounts of cash at home. Place any valuable items (passports, airline tickets, cash, credit cards or traveller’s checks, etc.) in the hotel safety deposit box. Do not leave any valuables in your hotel room. Be alert at all times especially if you are in a crowded tourist area and beware of gypsies or pickpockets. Unfortunately in all big cities – anywhere in the world for that matter including the USA – pickpockets operate so do not have anything on you that could be easily stolen. PLEASE BE ALERT AT ALL TIMES.
Documents (passport); Camera; Notebooks and pens; Hats and other accessories; Sunscreen; Sunglasses; Comfortable shoes; Power adapters; Medication of continuous use and Sewing Kit.
Kleenex; Toothbrush and toothpaste; Baby wipes; Sanitizer gel for hands; Shampoo and conditioner; Band-aids; Pills for muscle pain; Tablets for fever and Tablets for stomach ache.
Wear very comfortable shoes. The streets of Jerusalem can be hilly and uneven in places.
In Israel, plan to dress casually, packing clothes which can be layered if the weather changes. Choose comfort over fashion. If you plan on dining in exclusive restaurants, you may want to pack just one dressy outfit. Bring along a light-weight jacket which will not prove to be too cumbersome if you end up carrying it for a few hours. Do not make yourself a target by wearing expensive jewelry. A good way to conceal your valuables is by purchasing an inexpensive but light-weight travel pouch which attaches around your waist and is worn under your clothes. Do not over-pack…leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs. It is highly recommend to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen as protection against the harmful rays of the sun. Women should wear a scarf to cover their head and shoulders. If you are traveling with a companion, cross-pack. Put half of your items in your companion’s luggage and vice-versa. This will ease the frustration of lost luggage. Don’t forget these travel sized necessities: sewing kit, first aid kit, tissues, travel clock, toiletries, notebook and pen. Purchase your film and batteries in the US.
Services available at hotels for extra charge.