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.

HEALTH REQUIREMENTS

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.

MEDICATIONS

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.

ATTIRE

Bring comfortable shoes and active ware for outdoors, walking, hiking, and swimming. Nicer clothes for evening events if you’d like, though Israel is very casual. Dress modestly and respectfully when visiting Orthodox communities and areas. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship. We recommend dressing in layers so that you can easily peel some off as the day warms up.

PACKING

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.

 LAUNDRY

Services available at hotels for extra charge.

VALUABLES

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.

SIMPLE ESSENTIALS

Documents (passport); Camera; Notebooks and pens; Hats and other accessories; Sunscreen; Sunglasses; Comfortable shoes; Power adapters; Medication of continuous use and Sewing Kit.

TOILETRIES

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.

COMFORTABLE SHOES

Wear very comfortable shoes. The streets of Jerusalem can be hilly and uneven in places.

PACKING

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.

LAUNDRY

Services available at hotels for extra charge.

CURRENCY

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:
Israel: SHEKEL
Jordan: Jordanian Dinar
Turkey: Turkish Lira
Greece: EURO

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

TIPPING

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.

SHOPPING

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.

ATTIRE

When entering a mosque, be sure to take your shoes off. Be sure to wear modest clothing when visiting any religious shrine. Avoid jeans for holy sites – slacks or skirts and long sleeves are appropriate. Three languages are spoken in Israel: Hebrew, Arabic and English. Communications should not be a problem.Israel meets western standards of sanitation and no special precautions need to be taken. Both the water and food are safe to consume and medical facilities, while not quite up to US levels, are more than adequate. If you are planning to travel on to Egypt or Jordan from Israel, you will need a visa which is obtainable at the borders of these countries. Have your passport stamped on a separate piece of paper when leaving Israel.

FOOD

Cuisine in Israel is delicious, fresh, healthy, and you’ll have many selections to choose from. You will receive 3 meals per day with the exception of the day off.When traveling with a group, most meals are included. When you travel through Israel on your own, again, check with the front desk at your hotel for suggestions (be sure to mention the price range you are looking for).

GUIDES

Professional and experienced Israeli guides will accompany your group from the moment you enter Israel until your departure. They will provide the historical, biblical, cultural, and archeological perspectives for the sites and places we’ll visit, as well as be available for any questions or issues arising during our travels, etc.

SECURITY

During the last 24 years of serving Christian pilgrims, Genesis Tours has never had to cancel a Tour due to security concerns. You will be safe 24/7 under the care and guidance of qualified and experienced Israeli professionals.

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.

PHOTOCOPY ALL IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS

Please pay close attention to safety and security matters regarding yourself and your possessions while abroad. Please keep your passport, airline tickets and any other valuables in a safe place as it is very difficult, costly and time-consuming to get a new passport issued in a foreign country. Please also keep photocopies of your passport, air ticket, credit cards, traveller’s check numbers and any other important personal documentation in a separate part of your luggage.

CHILDREN

Young travelers fit into two discount categories, Infant (0-2), and Child (2-12 sleeping in parents’ rooms). Contact us for details.

SIGHT-SEEING

Sight-see with your hands free! No one wants to walk around the city holding a soaking wet umbrella and ten different shopping bags. A rain hat and poncho (or rain coat) are a lot easier to deal with than an umbrella. Keep your purchases in your day pack. You’ll be less tempted to spend and spend as the pack gets heavier and heavier.

LEARN SOME OF THE LANGUAGE

Learn some local language and don’t be afraid to use it – simple greetings will help break the ice.

BE CONSIDERATE OF ISRAEL’S CUSTOMS, TRADITIONS, RELIGION AND CULTURE

Remember to be respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It’s important to remember that what may be acceptable behavior, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while traveling.

BRING YOUR BIBLE

Bring along the Bible. It could well be the best guidebook for Israel.

SECURITY

During the last 24 years of serving Christian pilgrims, Genesis Tours has never had to cancel a Tour due to security concerns. You will be safe 24/7 under the care and guidance of qualified and experienced Israeli professionals.

PASSPORT

Most foreign countries require a valid passport to enter and leave. Some countries may allow you to enter with only a birth certificate, or with a birth certificate and a driver’s license, but all persons, including U.S. citizens, traveling by air, must present a valid passport to reenter the United States.

If you are traveling by land or sea, you must provide evidence of both your U.S. citizenship and your identity when you reenter the United States. For many land or sea trips this means you can travel using the new U.S. passport card instead of the normal passport book. If you do not have a passport, you must apply for one. When you apply, you must present an original document as evidence of U.S. citizenship (which will be returned to you after your application is processed), photo identification, and a photocopy of that identification. Please note passports can take as long as eight weeks for processing. Visit http://travel.state.gov/ for more information.

VISAS

Visas are not required for United States citizens traveling to Israel. All non-US citizens must contact their local embassies regarding visa requirements for Israel.

TIME

The Middle East is 7 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time – when it is 6pm (evening) in Tel Aviv, it is 11am (morning, same day) in New York.

Temperatures in Israel could be between 50-80 F during the spring and fall, and 70-90 F during the summer with cooler nights in the mountains and a hot day by the Dead Sea (earth’s lowest point). Possible rain showers.

TEMPERATURE

Temperatures in Israel could be between 50-80 F during the spring and fall, and 70-90 F during the summer with cooler nights in the mountains and a hot day by the Dead Sea (earth’s lowest point). Possible rain showers.

PRE-FLIGHT

Leave your Israel travel information with a family member or friend, include a copy of your passport, your flight itinerary, travel itinerary, hotel names and phone numbers.

Most airlines restrict passengers to one piece of carry-on luggage (in addition to your purse, laptop, camera case). Sizes and weight of carry-on luggage are determined by airline, so be sure to check with airline on dimension requirements before you leave.

Keep important items and documents with you at all times. Medicines should be carried in their original packaging (if you have a copy of the prescription, bring it with you). Do not keep travelers checks, money, valuables or travel documents in your luggage.

Make sure your luggage is clearly tagged on the inside as well as the outside.

Check-in time for international flights is normally two hours prior to departure. When checking in at the airport, a US passport (valid for six months after your return date) is needed as proof of identification to enter Israel. No visa is necessary. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible to fulfill appropriate entry requirements of the destination country. Contact your local consulate for information.

Do not leave your luggage unattended for any length of time (no matter how short) or accept packages from strangers to carry on to the plane for them.

Clearing customs in Israel may take a little longer than in most foreign countries. Keep in mind that upon arrival Israel you will need to go through customs and exchange money. Therefore, it is wise to give yourself plenty of time between landing and connecting to another form of transport.

FLIGHT ATTIRE

Dress comfortably for the flight. Wear comfortable clothes that allow freedom of movement as you will most likely be trying to sleep on the flight. Wear shoes that slip on and off easily.

In order to avoid jet-lag, do not drink alcohol, caffeine or carbonated beverages. Choose natural fruit juices and water.

Before you leave, choose a good book that will keep you occupied for most of the flight. Before your return flight, buy another – not only will it pass the flight time quickly but it will become a souvenir of your trip.

Store your coat and anything you are not going to use in the overhead compartment. You’ll be much more comfortable with a minimum of things to shift around.

Take off your shoes and make yourself as comfortable as possible right away.

Bring along a moisturizer as the air in the cabin is extremely dry.

Get up once in a while and stretch your arms and legs.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Many seasoned travelers are not aware that their health insurance will not cover them outside of the country. For a minimal amount of money, travel insurance is a must. If you need to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen emergency or serious illness, most of your trip may be non-refundable. In the event you become ill during your travels, finding and receiving medical care may be very frustrating. Travel insurance also covers lost baggage, and worldwide emergency assistance coverage.It is each passenger’s responsibility to purchase their own health and travel insurance. Israel has excellent health care facilities should anyone require assistance. We recommend Safe Travel, and you can find out more at Travel Insurance 888-885-7233.

AIRPORT SECURITY

Be especially alert at all airports both in the and abroad. It is easy to be distracted at busy airports where pickpockets abound. Remember you are not aware of the pickpockets or muggers – but they watch you. When placing hand luggage through Security be aware that the security staff could unwittingly be part of a scam. Wallets can be removed from purses as pickpockets see what’s available in your hand luggage, follow you to the Security and quickly remove an item when you are distracted. Lock-up handbags or purses are recommended. Also be alert for security staff/those posing as security staff possibly creating disturbances as a smokescreen to withdrawing articles from your hand luggage while you are distracted. As you go through the Security each time make sure one of you goes through first and the other follows only when you are on the other side and ready to look out for your items on the Security conveyor belt. Never take your eyes off your hand luggage and keep your hand luggage in front of you at all times even after you leave the security area. All the professional pickpocket/mugger needs is a brief second to steal some of your treasured belongings and ruin your vacation. Never leave your personal belongings unattended at any time once you leave home and finally return. Be careful at all times, check at all stages and be alert – this is the only way you can outsmart the muggers. Be careful of bags/cameras slung over shoulders. Belt bags, money belts and passport pouches (tucked under your clothes to prevent someone cutting the straps) are the best.

DEPARTING ISRAEL

Israel’s airport security is probably the tightest in the world, so it is vital that you arrive in plenty of time to board your flight. Be aware that you will need at least two hours for pre-departure screening and even more time for check-in.