Dear Travelers, Congratulations! You’re going to Israel. This will be your trip of a lifetime as you prepare to witness the sites and feel the peace in the homeland of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
How is the weather? What do I wear?
Check the weather before you pack and bring appropriate clothing. Some sites we visit are holy sites and modest dress (arms and legs covered, and occasionally, no pants for women. i.e. at the Dome of the Rock) is necessary.
We will attend Church on Saturday and visit sites the same day so dress comfortably. Casual is the rule for everyday sightseeing.
Bring comfortable walking shoes.
You’ll want your swimsuit and some shoes you can wear into the Dead Sea.
Do I need a visa? What documents do I need?
No. The US State Department does not indicate that US citizens traveling to Israel for stays up to 90 days from their date of arrival need a visa but like all visitors, you must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of departure from Israel. Check your expiration date.
What if I want to visit another Arab country?
No problem. Like many other countries, Israel does not stamp your passport, so your passport doesn’t indicate you were in Israel.
Can I visit a Palestinian Authority?
Yes. Bethlehem is simple to visit and thousands of visitors go there every day. We also visit Jericho.
Do I need Israeli Shekels?
I usually take a few with me- most places accept and even prefer U.S. dollars and most places accept Visa and MasterCard. A few even accept American Express. No need to take your Discover Card.
Will I be Safe in Israel?
Israel’s location in the Middle East places it in a culturally fascinating part of the world. However, it is also true that few countries in the region have established diplomatic relations with Israel. Since its independence in 1948, Israel has fought six wars and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved, meaning that regional instability is a fact of life. Travel to the Gaza Strip or West Bank requires prior clearance or required authorization; however, there is unrestricted access to the West Bank towns of Bethlehem and Jericho. The risk of terrorism remains a threat both in America and abroad. However, because Israelis have had the misfortune of experiencing terrorism for a longer time than Americans, they have developed a culture of vigilance in security matters that is more entrenched than our own. You can expect to see full-time police officers and military personnel stationed in many places.
Most hotels have hairdryers. Israel’s electricity is 220V A/C. If you bring your own hairdryer, be sure to have a converter/adapter. Cell phones and most electronics are fine to charger with just an adapter. Spend the money and purchase a good adapter. There may not be much of an opportunity to buy . adapters on the trip until we go to Jerusalem. The two following adapters should work in both Israel and Jordan.
INSIGNIA International Wall Charger NS-MAC3U4NGBL
INSIGNIA Travel Converter and Adapter NS-MTC1875
Will my cellphone work?
Yes. Most of the areas we visit in Israel have great coverage. The populated areas in Jordan have great coverage. Check with your cell phone provider to find out options for international calling. You do not want to pay roaming fees or for calls without a plan.
Most hotels have WIFI. You can enable most phones to make calls using WIFI, but you should get this sorted before you leave the U.S.
Do we walk a lot?
Of course, that question is hard to answer. It is determined by how much you typically walk. The walk to Petra is about a five-mile round trip. There is an option to take a cart ride if you desire. It is a good idea to begin walking now or increase you distance just to make sure.
What do I need to read in preparation for the trip?
Read the four gospels in The New Testament. We will visit many sites in the Capernaum and Jerusalem areas that are discussed in the gospels. I will include the New Testament Times at a Glance pamphlet. This pamphlet is no longer published but is an excellent resource.
Registration and Tour
How do I make a reservation?
Submit a registration form and your 25% deposit per person. The preferred form of payment is a check made payable to Pioneer Tours and Travel. A credit card is an option with a 3.5% charge added to the total price for credit card fees.
How many people per tour?
We will not go over one bus. The preferred number is between 20-35 people.
How do I confirm my reservation?
When the deposit and registration form are received, you will be confirmed if you are among the first to respond. All others will be placed on a waiting list for the next tour or if there is a cancellation.
What is the cost of the tour?
This tour is $2650.00 USD. Double occupancy per room. There is a $750 fee for single occupancy.
Can I room with someone else on this tour if I am traveling by myself?
Yes. If you would like we can get you in touch with someone if there is another traveling alone. You can let me know if you want to room together at that time.
What is included in the tour?
This tour includes everything once you arrive at the destination except flights, lunches, souvenirs, insurance, and a $5.00 for a horse ride out of Petra should you choose to ride.
When do I pay for the tour?
The deposit is due with your registration form to reserve your spot. The balance is due 90 days before the tour. I have to pay the local tour operators as soon as possible to confirm hotel reservations.
If I cancel, can I get a refund? Or, transfer my tour?
There is a $150 minimum cancellation fee once rooms have been confirmed, you will get back what I get back from the local companies. The tours are prepaid so it may be difficult to recover. You can, transfer your tour to another person assuming they have all the necessities, such as a passport and airline ticket, at no charge.
Is my plane ticket included?
The tour price does not include your airfare to Amman Jordan and from Tel-Aviv Israel. I will assist, if needed, for the flights, to help you arrive on time and depart on time. Please do not get your ticket until you receive specific information from me.
What about tipping?
ALL tips ARE included. Should you desire to tip more you are welcome to but there is no obligation.
What about food?
The food is excellent. There is a buffet for breakfast and dinner each day which is included in your tour price. Lunch is not included.
Are there health restrictions?
You should heed the advice of your doctor. There is a lot of walking some of the days. Also, bring any medications with you.
Cell phone and internet service?
Much of Jordan and nearly all of Israel have cell phone service. Check with your local provider to find out about rates.
What about arriving early?
No problem. We can assist in making reservations at the hotel we will be at the first day or the last, if you want us to. There will be a hotel fee and possibly a taxi fee to or from the airport.
Should I buy travel insurance?
Travel insurance is recommended. Check with the company to find out what is covered and what is not. Also, the ease of the claim processes.
What about the weather?
Look up the weather on www.weatherchannel.com prior to the trip before packing. Look up in Jordan- Amman, Aqaba, Petra. In Israel- Capernaum, Jerusalem. The weather in these cities should give you a good idea of what to pack.