Starting to pack for your trip to Israel? Then pack lightly and keep these tips in mind:
We’ll have electronic tickets. You will not have a ticket in your hand unless you arranged for your own flights.
You’ll be allowed one large bag, one carry-on bag and one “personal bag.” But you’ll have to carry everything you take, so pack lightly. Remember, Israel sells stuff you need. There are 9 million people living in Israel, and they all need the same items you need. If you absolutely have to have something you forgot, we’ll point you to the right store as soon as possible.
If you need it, our hotels probably have an iron you can borrow. The rest of us, however, are going for the rumpled look.
Laundry services are available at some of our places of lodging. A better idea is to wash lighter clothes in your room, and hang them to dry on “clothes lines” in the shower. Some of our places of lodging will have a way to dry a few items outside. On hot days, they’ll be dry within a few hours or overnight. Be aware that some hotels have sprinkler systems, so try to hang wet clothes where they’ll dry … and stay dry!
If you live in the Southeastern United States, you’ll adjust nicely to Israel’s weather. Expect temperatures to be about 10 degrees warmer in Israel that it would be in Georgia or Florida, no matter what time of the year. It can get cold in the winter, especially in Jerusalem. We can see 100-plus temperatures in the summer, especially in the desert.
Sooner or later, on every trip, it’ll be hot. Sun screen is very important, and a hat is required in this kind of sunshine. Some travelers cover their necks, too. It will only take one bad sunburn to turn your trip into a very uncomfortable journey.
Sunglasses are critically important.
You can wear shorts and sleeveless outfits in some locations, but not all locations. Capernaum is a “holy place” and doesn’t like to see knees or shoulders. Several similar “holy places” exist in Jerusalem. Either take a wrap to cover those offensive knees and shoulders, or plan on long pants and regular shirts in Jerusalem.
Take the best pair of walking shoes you have. Make sure your socks are new. Do whatever it takes to avoid blisters. If you plan on swimming, being baptized or walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, take some water shoes. All swimming areas will have rocks underneath your feet. Not sand.
You’ll want a camera, whether it’s actually a camera or the camera on your phone.
Backpack. It’s the best way to take the stuff you need (including bottles of water) to all the places we’re going to go.
Emergency clothing: Pack a complete change of clothes in your carry-on bag in case your luggage is delayed. Your backpack makes a great carry-on bag. At least one big piece of luggage is delayed arriving on every other trip we run. Having an extra set of clothes will help you manage a difficult experience if this happens to you. Likewise, pack your daily meds in your carry-on luggage or personal bag.
No perfume. Save your luggage space and help those around you who have allergies. Please don’t use perfume on this trip.
Spending money. Take some cash for the airports, ice cream stands and cheap souvenirs from street vendors. Everyone takes VISA or MasterCard, but you’ll not want to use a credit card in every location. If you feel uneasy, don’t use your credit card. Rocks and pottery shards are free.
Medicines. We’ll have a small first-aid kit on our bus. You’ll need to bring any prescription meds you need. If you have special needs in this area, contact us. We’ll help you make this trip happen.
C-Pac machines. If you sleep with a C-Pac, you’ll need a transformer (see photo above) to make it work. You can use bottled or regular water for short periods of time. We haven’t found distilled water in Israel.
You’re welcome to take some food. It’s good to have your own snacks on board the flight, especially if you sleep through a meal. You can also take your favorite snacks for little breaks during the day. But remember, we’ll provide three incredible meals for you every day, once we arrive in Israel.
Take a Bible, your EIN study guide, your assigned scriptures, a journal, and a couple of pens. And finally …
TAKE YOUR PASSPORT.
Here’s a sample checklist that will help you stay organized. Do everything you can to pack lightly and stay organized while we travel. Packing clothes separately in large, two-gallon freezer bags, for instance, can help you separate socks from shirts and show you at a glance how you’re doing on clean socks.