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> Israel Travel Tips
newstu
post Nov 9 2009, 08:05 AM
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I'd like to share some travel tips that I discovered on a recent trip to Israel.

1) If you're coming to Israel for at least a week, you may want to consider renting an apartment rather than staying at a hotel. You may find that weekly rates are better. Some places to look for apartment rentals are at www.craigslist.com or at www.janglo.com

2) In Israel, you need to stand up for yourself and negotiate whenever possible. At almost any privately owned shop/stand/store, you can bargain for a lower price. Don't be afraid to try, that's the culture here.

3) If you're visiting the Holy Land for a limited amount of time, you may want to consider renting a car. Although in a bus, you can get to most places from the north to the south...expect to spend a few hours to almost an entire day getting there. Car rental agencies often have great deals...you just need to be on the lookout, especially at times like this (near tourist season). Some good car rentals deals can be found at www.bestisraelcarrental.com or at www.israeltravelsavings.com

4) Don't forget to enjoy the trip. Dont be so absorbed in your photos that you pass up the opportunity to just "take it all in" Put the camera down for a minute and remember that you're in the HOLY LAND. smell the smells/taste the tastes/see the sights.

5) Enjoy the trip

Happy travels,
CMA
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starlagurl
post Nov 9 2009, 04:51 PM
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Good tips, CMA.

I would definitely say check out vacation rentals as well. No matter where in the world you are staying, you can usually get a better deal if you stay longer.


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dlynnfontanini
post Jan 29 2010, 10:47 AM
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QUOTE(newstu @ Nov 9 2009, 08:05 AM) *

I'd like to share some travel tips that I discovered on a recent trip to Israel.

1) If you're coming to Israel for at least a week, you may want to consider renting an apartment rather than staying at a hotel. You may find that weekly rates are better. Some places to look for apartment rentals are at www.craigslist.com or at www.janglo.com

2) In Israel, you need to stand up for yourself and negotiate whenever possible. At almost any privately owned shop/stand/store, you can bargain for a lower price. Don't be afraid to try, that's the culture here.

3) If you're visiting the Holy Land for a limited amount of time, you may want to consider renting a car. Although in a bus, you can get to most places from the north to the south...expect to spend a few hours to almost an entire day getting there. Car rental agencies often have great deals...you just need to be on the lookout, especially at times like this (near tourist season). Some good car rentals deals can be found at www.bestisraelcarrental.com or at www.israeltravelsavings.com

4) Don't forget to enjoy the trip. Dont be so absorbed in your photos that you pass up the opportunity to just "take it all in" Put the camera down for a minute and remember that you're in the HOLY LAND. smell the smells/taste the tastes/see the sights.

5) Enjoy the trip

Happy travels,
CMA

Enjoyed reading your tips for travel in Israel. I made my third trip to Israel in November, 2009 & discover something new each time I go.
I especially agree with tip #4...put down the camera every now and then; take time to talk to the locals; sit down and absorb the culture. Also, if you constantly have a camera to your eye, you might trip and fall like one of my friends did on my second trip!
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kathryn77
post Jan 30 2010, 11:53 AM
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Great tips, thanks! I'm going to Israel for the first time in March, and I can't wait!


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dlynnfontanini
post Feb 2 2010, 10:35 AM
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QUOTE(kathryn77 @ Jan 30 2010, 11:53 AM) *

Great tips, thanks! I'm going to Israel for the first time in March, and I can't wait!


I hope you enjoy your trip; it's a great country to visit. There are many who think that it's unsafe to travel to Israel, but I never experienced any "worrisome" experiences in the 3 times I've been over in the last 4 years. Just use common sense as you would traveling anywhere. Enjoy!!!
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kathryn77
post Feb 2 2010, 07:02 PM
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QUOTE(dlynnfontanini @ Feb 2 2010, 03:35 PM) *

QUOTE(kathryn77 @ Jan 30 2010, 11:53 AM) *

Great tips, thanks! I'm going to Israel for the first time in March, and I can't wait!


I hope you enjoy your trip; it's a great country to visit. There are many who think that it's unsafe to travel to Israel, but I never experienced any "worrisome" experiences in the 3 times I've been over in the last 4 years. Just use common sense as you would traveling anywhere. Enjoy!!!


Thanks, yeah, I'm fine with it - I figure Brazil was more 'dangerous'.

What were your favourite places? I'm planning on seeing Tel Aviv (2 days); up north (Haifa etc in 2 days) and Jerusalem/dead sea etc (6 days, as a lot seems to be doable from there) What do you think? Also, I'm going to check out your car rental link, but have you any info on 'Shabbat shutdown' - I might be up north trying to get down to Jerusalem on Friday/Saturday - would I need a car? Cheers biggrin.gif


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exhibil
post Feb 4 2010, 07:04 AM
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QUOTE(kathryn77 @ Feb 2 2010, 07:02 PM) *

QUOTE(dlynnfontanini @ Feb 2 2010, 03:35 PM) *

QUOTE(kathryn77 @ Jan 30 2010, 11:53 AM) *

Great tips, thanks! I'm going to Israel for the first time in March, and I can't wait!


I hope you enjoy your trip; it's a great country to visit. There are many who think that it's unsafe to travel to Israel, but I never experienced any "worrisome" experiences in the 3 times I've been over in the last 4 years. Just use common sense as you would traveling anywhere. Enjoy!!!


Thanks, yeah, I'm fine with it - I figure Brazil was more 'dangerous'.

What were your favourite places? I'm planning on seeing Tel Aviv (2 days); up north (Haifa etc in 2 days) and Jerusalem/dead sea etc (6 days, as a lot seems to be doable from there) What do you think? Also, I'm going to check out your car rental link, but have you any info on 'Shabbat shutdown' - I might be up north trying to get down to Jerusalem on Friday/Saturday - would I need a car? Cheers biggrin.gif


as long as you will leave the north friday morning or suterday evening there shouldnt be any problem to get a bus.
note that during shabat most places in jerusalem are close while it will be more convenient to be in tel-aviv or haifa during the weekend
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kathryn77
post Feb 4 2010, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE(exhibil @ Feb 4 2010, 12:04 PM) *

as long as you will leave the north friday morning or suterday evening there shouldnt be any problem to get a bus.
note that during shabat most places in jerusalem are close while it will be more convenient to be in tel-aviv or haifa during the weekend


Thank-you smile.gif


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segacs
post Feb 10 2010, 02:06 PM
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Kathryn, I hope you have a great first trip to Eretz Israel.

On the "shabat shutdown" - there won't be any public buses, trains or scheduled sherut lines (e.g. Tel Aviv) but private shared taxis (monit sherut) run during shabat, as do regular taxis. So if you don't have your own wheels, you can still get around. I'd plan to avoid distance travel on shabat, though, as it's just easier that way.

If you're thinking of renting a car in Israel, be aware that the drivers there are CRAZY. (Sorry, no offense, but it's true!) Personally I prefer relying on public transit in Israel, but it's up to you.

Tel Aviv is a cool city and there's tons to do and see, nightlife and shopping and cafes and arts scene and whatnot. It's very much the "modern" face of Israel, though; don't expect a lot of history or religious culture in Tel Aviv. Also, March isn't exactly beach weather, which is normally one of Tel Aviv's biggest attractions. But sure, you'll have plenty to experience over a couple of days there.

Jerusalem is, of course, Jerusalem. No introductions necessary. Try to experience it as a modern city as well as an ancient one.

Once you're going to the Dead Sea, you can climb Masada at sunrise (typical tourist activity) and also visit some of the surrounding areas. Ein Gedi is pretty.

Haifa is very pretty but there's not a whole lot to do there for tourists. If you want to tour the Ba'hai gardens, you need to reserve ahead. Once you're doing the coastal trek, other possible places to visit include the Roman ruins at Caesaria, the artists' colony of Ein Hod, and the ancient city of Akko.

Other suggestions: Tiberias, Galilee area, Safed, Golan Heights. There are several kibbutzim with guesthouses in the area that make good bases for a night or two.

A few other tips:

-The advice to "stand up for yourself" doesn't only apply to bargaining, but to things in general. Israeli culture is very assertive, so don't be afraid to make yourself heard to get what you need. Don't be put off if people are blunt; just be blunt right back.

-The train is a convenient, comfortable and inexpensive way to travel up and down the Mediterranean coast (e.g. Tel Aviv to Haifa).

-Most public places - shopping malls, restaurants, bars, etc. - have security guards and bag checks or scanners out front. They're there for your safety, so don't be put off by it. It's sad that these things are needed, but after a few days you'll probably stop noticing.

-Israel is expensive for a traveler. Expect prices more comparative to Europe or North America than to most other parts of the Middle East.

-Tipping is customary in restaurants but not in taxi cabs.

-You didn't mention when in March you're going. This year, Passover starts on the evening of March 29th, and the whole country will go on holiday for that week. If you're planning to be there at the end of the month, expect big crowds, higher prices, and transportation nightmares. If your trip is earlier in the month (i.e. not the last week), you'll be fine.

Have a great trip!


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kathryn77
post Feb 23 2010, 07:04 PM
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Whoah 'segacs'!!

Thanks so much for all those tips!! That is so helpful - apologies for my late reply, I've not been on in a while as been really busy.

I'm so excited about this trip, and I'm going to take much more time this weekend to read back on your post etc, so might have more questions for you!

Thanks so much flowers.png


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mjohn0111
post Aug 8 2011, 05:26 AM
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Thank u so much for all these tips.
These tips are will be helpful for me, when I made my trip.

Best Hostel Service at Hostels jerusalem
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