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Weather
With an average of only forty rainy days a year, Israel is ideal to visit year round. During the Summer the height of heat and humidity is usually July-August.
Although Israel is a small country, climatic conditions vary considerably. You can expect the sun throughout the year, with most areas experiencing summer temperatures of up to 30-35°C and winters of 15-22°C. Spring (April and May) and autumn (September and October) have pleasant, mild temperatures. The coastal plains are hot and humid during the summer and experience mild, wet winters; while in the hill regions including Jerusalem have dry summers and colder winters. A desert climate dominates in the east and south with hot, dry summers with daytime temperatures up to the 40s°C and cool winters.
Passport and Visa Requirements
You need a valid Canadian or American passport with at least four consecutive sides by blank side pages. Your passport should expire six months after your intended departure date from Israel; Even a day difference will deny you boarding.
Canadian and American passport holders do not require a visa to travel to Israel, if a Tourist Visa is required will be issued upon arrival free of charge.
Other passport holders, please consult your local Consulate before traveling.
If your itinerary includes crossing the border by road from Jordan, you will need to pay border fees between Jordan-Israel approximately USD 90 per person paid locally. Please note fees/regulations are subject to change without prior notice.
Canadian and American passport holders do not require to undergo any vaccinations before their arrival.
However, it is advisable to visit your Family Doctor to check your personal medical needs.
Itinerary
Please ensure that the name on your airline ticket matches the information in your passport exactly.
Please review your dates of travel and your flight itinerary as soon as it is provided to you.
Please read the invoice confirmation that was provided at the time of booking very carefully.
You are required to return this document to us with your signature of approval.
Vouchers are not required for any services before departure. All you need to travel is your confirmation invoice.
Please note: The check-in time for most hotels is 3:00 pm and check-out time can be as early as 11:00 am, regardless of your arrival or departure times. Check-in/check-out policies differ by the hotel and will, therefore, vary depending on circumstances. Passengers wishing to make arrangements for a late check-out/check-in and baggage storage must negotiate this service directly with the hotel. Our local representative will do his/her best to assist you in this matter.Early check-in or late check-out can be guaranteed by booking/paying the applicable fees before departure.
Airline Fees
Airline seat assignment. Advance seat selection is subject to airline fees, paid directly to the airline at the time you select your seats.
Please note that airlines reserve the right to change/cancel the pre-selected seats due to schedule changes or Flight equipment change.
Note that there also some airlines that they do not allow advance seat selection.
Checked Baggage Fees. Many airlines have checked baggage fees; once you receive your tickets contact the airline with your airline reservation code for specific charges + terms and conditions.
You can also visit the airline's website, for more details: Click Here >>
Airline tickets are 100% non-refundable/unchangeable. If the airline allows a change, the change is always subject to change fees that vary from USD 250 and up + the difference in fare; charges are per ticket, and every airline has specific policies and fees.
Airline flight schedules are always subject to change, we will always try our best to accommodate to these changes, but we are not responsible for any losses incurred due to missed-connections, flight cancellations or flight schedule changes. Is strongly recommended you purchase Travel insurance to cover these circumstances.
Guaranteed Departures
All our departures are guaranteed. Upon booking, we guarantee the departure and price.
This guarantee is subject to circumstances beyond our control such as airline flight cancellations.
Currency, Money Exchange, ATM, Credit Cards
The national currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS), referred to simply as a shekel. A shekel is divided into 100 Agorot.
Please check with your bank for up to date exchange rate.
ATMs are commonplace and major currencies can be exchanged for shekels at banks, post offices, and many hotels.
Banks are open during weekdays 08:30 to 13:00.
Credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops, and restaurants. We recommend you obtain some small change for tips when exchanging money.
VAT Refund
When shopping, Tourists who have purchased items with a value exceeding $400 NIS (Including VAT) in Stores that are registered with the Ministry of Tourism, are entitled to a refund of the VAT when leaving the Country.
Please note the value amount may be subject to change.
Tipping
It is customary to tip 12% on top of restaurant bills if service is not already included.
For hotel bellboys NIS 1 or 2 is usual. In taxis, tipping is not expected, but it's usual to round up to the next appropriate round figure.
You may feel you want to tip your driver/guide at the end of their services. We recommend an amount of USD 7-10 per person per day depending on your satisfaction with their services
Time
Israel is 2 hours ahead of GMT. During the months of April to September (daylight saving), this becomes 3 hours.
Seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
The Israeli work week is Sunday through Thursday, and the weekend is Friday and Saturday.
Electricity
The electrical current is 220V and sockets take uniquely Israeli three pin plugs. However, most will accept European rounded two pin plug. We recommend that you take a universal plug adaptor.
Language
Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel, but English is widely spoken, and most restaurants will have English menus.
Clothing
In summer, loose cotton clothes, long sleeves, and a hat are best as the heat can be severe. In winter, take warm clothing including a coat. Israel is a relaxed country with a western-orientated outlook; however cultural considerations regarding dress should be taken into account when visiting holy sites and in Jerusalem and the West Bank area. Here, conservative clothing should be worn, and shoulders and legs should be covered. Men must cover their heads in synagogues and shoes should be removed when entering mosques.
Suggested Travel Essentials
Valid Passport for six months past your return date with at least four blank pages (blank on two sides).
Travel Insurance/numbers who to call for emergency assistance.
Flight Tickets.
Trip invoice confirmation.
Photocopy of passport.
Money (cash / debit / credit cards).
Money belt or pouch.
Pens.
Suggested Packing:
Lightweight T-shirts.
Sleeveless blouses.
Shorts.
Scarf, gloves and a raincoat if traveling in the winter.
Underwear and socks.
Comfortable walking shoes (the ground at some sightseeing sites may be rocky and uneven).
Sandals.
Lightweight jacket.
Warm sweater or jacket for early mornings or evenings.
Hat/wind proof, and brimmed hat (Head Covering to visit Holy places).
Swimsuit/cover up.
Sunscreen.
Toiletries including moisturizer.
Good Quality Sunglasses.
Sleepwear.
Personal medication/prescriptions copy in case of need to refill.
First aid kit / over-counter essentials.
Extra Eye glasses/contact lenses.
Antibacterial gels/wipes.
Batteries / Charger / USB chord.
Small Binoculars.
Universal electrical adapter.
Please note Some religious sites require long pants for men and clothing that covers the shoulders and knees for women.
Luggage Notes
Airlines revise luggage policies frequently and often without notice; therefore we urge you to check with your airline before traveling to determine current weight and size restrictions.
If your luggage does not arrive with you upon landing make sure you get a case report with time/date before leaving the airport since you will need that for any insurance claim. Make sure you purchase travel insurance that includes Baggage delay/loss protection; airlines generally do not cover expenses due to delayed or lost luggage, but most insurance policies do cover expenses of that nature.
Delayed or missed Flights
Should this event occur let us know as soon as possible 1-800-842-6943 only from USA and Canada.
Or e-mail us at savemore@traveldiscounters.us
To call long distance dial 416-481-6701.
Travel Insurance
It is very highly recommended that you get travel insurance before you travel. Once purchased our packages are 100% not refundable, no one expects to have a medical emergency away from home, or to have to cancel a trip due to an emergency. But these events happen, and they can be disruptive and expensive. Medical emergencies while on vacation can be very costly. Travel Insurance is also very useful to cover any expenses you may incur due to missed connections or flight delays. Please note airline tickets are not refundable and unchangeable; travel insurance is strongly recommended to protect you in the event you may need to interrupt your trip while on destination.
Food & Drink
A wide range of cuisines are available throughout the country, often cooked with locally sourced vegetables, fruits, bread, fish, meat and dairy produce. Middle Eastern snacks such as hummus and falafel are found everywhere, often served with tahini (a thick sauce made from sesame seeds) and pitta bread, while shawarma (doner kebab) are also popular. Salads are served with most meals, including breakfast. Restaurants and hotels will often serve kosher food, although this varies by region; for example, in Tel Aviv, it is more difficult to find kosher food than in Jerusalem. Under Jewish kosher laws, certain foods such as pork and shellfish are forbidden, and other foods can only be eaten with restrictions. Most importantly, meat and dairy products are not to be cooked together or eaten at the same meal. Therefore, breakfast is dairy based, and lunch and dinner will not include milk or butter (although a soy substitute is often available).
Coffee, both European style, and Arabic are popular, and in summer juice bars are abundant. Most alcoholic drinks are available, including locally brewed beer and the local aniseed based fire-water, Arak. Tap water is safe to drink, and sealed bottled water and carbonated soft drinks are widely available.
Etiquette Notes
It is greatly appreciated when visitors make an effort to observe local customs. Shaking hands when meeting someone is customary, but practicing Jewish men are not permitted to touch women. Shalom is the usual greeting. In secular communities, both men and women have equal rights, but public displays of affection are frowned upon in more religious communities (both Jewish and Muslim), although not considered unusual between platonic friends of the same gender. Within the Muslim culture, it is offensive to show the sole of your foot, and you should use only your right hand to eat or shake hands, as the left is considered unclean. You should dress appropriately in all religious neighborhoods or sites.
Security Notes
When traveling to West Bank areas such as Bethlehem or Jericho, all travelers will need to pass through at least one Israeli military checkpoint. In the West Bank, you should exercise a high level of caution and follow the advice of local authorities and your guide. Identification should be carried at all times.
Please note It is forbidden to take photographs in military zones and 'strategic areas' like bridges and public buildings.
When flying in or out of Israel, you will be questioned intently by security staff and your luggage will be thoroughly checked, which may include an intensive search of the contents. We suggest you allow plenty of time for this and arrive at the airport a minimum of 3 hours before departure.
Emergency Phone Numbers
Police: 100
Fire Department: 102
Emergency Medical: 101
Telephone and the Internet
Long distance charges can be expensive at most hotels, calling cards are widely available, and you should try those instead. The Internet is usually reliable, and WI-FI is available, usually at an extra cost. Internet Cafes are found in most major Cities and Towns.
Taxis
By law, all taxis in Israel are equipped with a meter. Please note there is a surcharge for ordering a taxi by telephone; and a fare surcharge for travel at night (21:00-0530am) and on Saturdays.
Israel's major Religious Celebrations
Shabbat
Shabbat is the Jewish holy day and lasts from sunset on Friday to one hour past sunset on Saturday. Public transport does not operate, many shops are closed, and you should not travel into ultra-orthodox neighborhoods. In religious areas such as Jerusalem, the majority of restaurants and bars will also close, however, many hotels will provide dining options on this day. Some hotels will not operate their lifts on Shabbat. In more secular cities such as Tel Aviv many restaurants, cafés, and bars remain open as normal.
Yom Kippur
Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement) is a day of fasting and prayer. It is the Jewish holiest day of the year, and the vast majority of public services and infrastructure closes or stops including borders, public transport (including taxis), many hotels and restaurants. Although not prohibited most people also do not drive. These restrictions are felt nationwide, even in more secular cities such as Tel Aviv. Please note that your driver and guide will not be working during Yom Kippur.
Ramadan
Ramadan is the Muslim holy month of fasting, the date of which varies according to the Islamic lunar calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims are not permitted to smoke, eat or drink during the hours of daylight, and as a sign of respect, visitors may wish to do likewise in public places. Alcohol will only be available in some hotels.
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