Tips for Traveling to Israel
What do I need to know before I travel to Israel? What should I bring?
As many Arab countries could give you a hard time with an Israeli stamp in your passport, if you plan to visit an Arab country in the near future, you can request that the Israeli passport control place the visa on a piece of paper attached to your passport.
You are technically not allowed to take archaeological artifacts or antiques out of Israel without a special certificate. However, most trinkets sold to tourists would not fall into this category.
What Do I Need?
When packing, be sure to put anything of great value in your carry on, as long as it is not on the list of prohibited items which will be listed below. Also, remember to put any prescription medicines in your carry on, in their original containers with a prescription label. In addition to this, it is advisable that all keys, camera, computer and all electronics and chargers be put in your carry on.
Check the weather in various cities in Israel and pack accordingly. Israel’s weather can vary dramatically, even in the same season. Also, remember to pack a few pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicines in case of headache or sore muscles. Sunscreen is another important item to pack, as the sun in Israel can be strong and you do not want to be suffering from a painful sunburn while trying to enjoy your trip.
****Do not pack any form of knife, including pocket knives, as it is illegal to walk around with knives in Israel. This is seen as an unauthorized carrying of weapons and is taken very seriously. We have had past incidents with group members nearly being arrested for carrying pocket knives so please do not bring these items on your trip.
All About Israeli Money
The shekel is comprised of coins called agorot. There are both small 10-agorot coins and larger 50-agorot coins. 1 shekel=100 agorot. Shekels are also in coins with values of 1, 2, 5, and 10 shekels and then bills of 20, 50, 100 and 200 shekels.
Using Automated Teller Machines (ATMs)
Health & Safety
Most physical danger to tourists comes from automobile accidents as Israelis drive aggressively. It is always good to be aware of other cars, whether you are just a pedestrian or another driver.
Also for your safety, as well as to be culturally appropriate, it is advisable that you dress very modestly when in either an ultra-orthodox or an Arab neighborhood or town. This means to wear clothes that at least cover the shoulders and knees. Sometimes, tourists who walk unbeknownst into these neighborhoods are hassled, even if they think they are wearing “normal” clothes.
Amigo can set you up with a phone for use in Israel, which will cost you about $1 a day and then 12 cents a minute to make calls from Israel to the United States. They will ship the phone to your US address before you depart and you must then ship it back to them when you return.
You can also check out a few resources that sign you up for a phone with a US number, even though you are overseas, so that calls to your home region will count as local.
There are many cybercafés in the larger cities, as well, if you do not have your personal computer.
Weather Across Israel