In order to help you prepare for this once in a lifetime holiday, the Joe Walsh Tours travel experts have prepared these essential and simple travel tips for your trip to the Holy Land.
From weather and climate to what to wear, culture and health and safety… we answer all your questions and remember, if you are travelling with Joe Walsh Tours, you’ll have the support of our experienced representatives and local guides throughout the trip.
BEFORE YOUR TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND
-Please ensure that your passport is valid for travel for at least 6 months from the date of departure. European, British and USA passport holders should have no visa requirements to enter the Holy Land but holders of other passports should check if specific visas are required.
-If you are planning to visit an Arab country in the future, please request the Immigration official at Ben Gurion Airport not to stamp your passport, as the stamp can be done on a white card instead. It is important you keep this white card with your passport for your departure.
-It will be important that you show your ticket to airport officials.
-Time difference is three hours ahead of GMT.
-Israel operates on a 230V supply voltage and 50Hz, as most European countries. There are various types of sockets, the main one being the H with three round pins which is unique to Israel and the region. Continental Europe appliances sometimes can be used in Israel.
Newer versions of the H socket might also support European C type plugs and many hotels support European C type sockets. Universal adaptors can be easily purchased at the airport.
-English is widely used and spoken in Israel, a very culturally diverse country. While Hebrew is the official language, most citizens speak a second language; while Arabic is used by Israel’s Arab population and has special status.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE IN THE HOLY LAND
-Coastal areas such as Haifa and Tel Aviv enjoy a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, sunny summers. Average temperature in Tel Aviv ranges from 14 °C (57 °F) in January to about 26 °C (79 °F) in July and August.
-In inland areas such as Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the climate is more arid with some cold spells in the winter months. Average temperature in Jerusalem ranges from 9 °C (48 °F) in January to 24.5 °C (76 °F) in August.
-October is one of the best times of the year to visit the Holy Land as temperatures are pleasant throughout the country.
WHAT TO WEAR TO MY TRIP TO THE HOLY LAND
These are some of the items you should pack for your trip to the Holy Land
-We recommend wearing loose and lightweight clothes during the day.
-Take warm clothes for the evening.
-Remember to pack a scarf or shawl for covering up in holy places, as shoulders and knees must be covered.
-Essential sun protection: sun hat, sunscreen and sunglasses.
-Insect repellent cream.
-Comfortable footwear such as trainers, runners or lace up shoes. Good walking shoes are required as there is some walking included in the trip.
-Make sure you dress respectfully at all times, as you may be refused entry to churches and shrines. Shoulders and knees should be covered and shorts are not always accepted.
-Bargaining is vital and expected when out shopping but also when arranging services such as taxis.
MONEY AND INSURANCE
-The currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS) , however US dollars and Euros are widely accepted, as well as all major credit cards.
-We advise to change only small amounts into shekels and don’t carry large amounts of cash during the trip.
-Tips are generally not included in the price. This is a good guideline for tipping: USD $ 3.50 per person per day for guides, $2.50 per person per day for drivers and $1 per person per day for hotel staff.
-Travel insurance is essential (you have the option to purchase it as part of your tour package with Joe Walsh Tours). Make sure you read your policy and you know the procedure to contact your insurer or make a claim, if needed.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
-We recommend you consult with your doctor or chemist who might recommend suitable tables to deal with any possible tummy upset.
-If you are taking medication, remember to carry the amount needed for your flight in your hand luggage and pack the rest in your check in luggage.
-Drinking water at the hotels is safe however we would advise purchasing bottled water (or refilling your water bottle at the hotel) when out and about as we can’t check all cafes and restaurants.
-We don’t recommend buying any type of meat product from street markets or stalls. Fruit should be peeled or washed with bottled water before eating. If peeling oranges, we advise you to wash your hands before eating them.
-Be aware that punctuality is very important as holy places and visits are booked in advance for the group.
-It is important that the group stays together at all times.
-Most Israelis and Palestinians in the regions visited speak English but we highly recommend carrying the name and phone of your hotel, in case you get separated from the group.
If you require more advice and travel tips for your trip to the Holy Land or would like to join our upcoming Holy Land tours and pilgrimages, contact our travel experts.Contact Us