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Travel Tips

Business hours

Business hours and weekend closures are different from those in the Western world.  Most Jewish businesses are closed on Friday afternoon and Saturday (Shabbat); Muslim businesses on Friday; Christian businesses on Sunday.  In Muslim areas, working hours are reduced during the month of Ramadan. Also to look out for the major Jewish and Muslim holidays.(example: [...]

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Communication

Cell Phones are becoming increasingly popular. Your service provider can advise about international roaming; other options are to buy a local SIM card, or rent a cell phone, on arrival in each country. If you take a cell phone, you will also need a charger (and a transformer if the charger cannot handle 220 volts). If [...]

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Documentation

Make sure your passport will not expire until at least six months after you return home. You may need a pre-arranged visa/entry permit. Visitors from most Western Countries do not require a pre-issued visa.   If you intend a later visit to any of these countries, ask the passport officer on arrival in Israel not to stamp your [...]

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Etiquette

Dressing and acting in a manner that shows respect for the host country’s social and cultural values should be the pilgrim’s aim. Some social rules to be aware of are: Avoid public displays of affection between people of the opposite sex. During Ramadan, the month when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, eating or drinking in public in Muslim [...]

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Food

Nutritious breakfasts and ample dinners are usual in tourist hotels, though hostels offer simpler meals. Seasoned travelers usually eat a hearty breakfast, and perhaps take a piece of fruit or bread roll to eat at lunchtime (if lunch is not being provided). Falafel, a fried ball or patty made from chickpeas or fava beans, is [...]

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For the flight

Get your packing done early so you can rest for a day or two before leaving, especially if you are travelling to the Holy Land from the other side of the world. Wear comfortable clothing. On the flight, drink plenty of water but go easy on coffee or alcohol. Don’t eat more than you need. Be sure to [...]

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Health

No shots or vaccinations are required to visit most tourist destinations. If you haven’t seen your dentist in ages, a check-up might avoid toothache on the trip.  If you are on regular medication, bring enough for the whole trip and carry at least a week’s supply in your cabin bag. Bring a copy of a prescription, or [...]

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Money: Currency

The New Israeli Shekel (NIS) is divided into 100 Agorot. Foreign currency (especially United States dollars or Euros) are usually accepted, though change will often be given in shekels. Paying in foreign currency on items such as accommodation and car rental avoids Value Added Tax of 18% (VAT). ATMs are widespread and credit cards are widely accepted, but sometimes [...]

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Money: What to take

A mixture of cash, credit card and traveler’s cheques is advisable for visiting the Middle East. It can be useful to take some local currency for each country, for use on arrival, but United States dollars are universally accepted. How much should you take? That is very much related to personal spending habits. Prices in the Middle [...]

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Photography

If you use a digital camera, take several memory cards rather than one big one (then, if your camera is lost or stolen, you won’t lose all your pictures). If you use rechargeable batteries, you will also need a charger (and a transformer if the charger cannot handle 220 volts). Photography (or the use of flashes) [...]

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