A trip to Israel is on many bucket lists. The combination of rich history, political and religious significance makes this an especially enriching experience. Here are some things to consider before you embark on this adventure. Bliss Travel Service can help make this the best experience for you!
What do you want to see in Israel? The myriad of sites feels endless and are located all over the country. The two largest cities in Israel are Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Tel Aviv is home to beautiful beaches, a cosmopolitan lifestyle, night life, etc. It also hosts the international airport. Tel Aviv is fairly ‘young’ compared to the rest of the country so you won’t find as much of the rich history here. For that, you will need to spend time in Jerusalem.
What is your religion? If you are Christian, you will want to take a Christian based tour. If you are Jewish, a Jewish based tour. This is important for the sites you will visit. For example, when in Bethlehem if you are on a Christian based tour you would visit where Jesus was born. If you are on a Jewish based tour you would visit Rachel’s tomb instead.
Visiting Israel is best done with a tour group. It’s not a convenient country to drive around, park at sites, or ‘learn as you go’. You want an expert explaining what you are looking at and the significance of it.
Be aware of any holidays (different religions have different holidays) as this can impact your trip. We happened to be traveling in Israel during Passover. I appreciated the extra learning opportunities this brought. However, we did have congestion on the roads and at the sites.
You may be crossing into Palestine territory, particularly if Bethlehem is on your tour. Depending on the nationality of your guide and their license, they may not be able to join you when you cross between the border between Israel/Palestine.
Since you are traveling all the way to this part of the world, do you want to add on Jordan and/or Egypt?
Special tip: If you plan on swimming in the Dead Sea, be sure to bring non slip water shoes as the rocks and mud are very slippery. Also, do not shave at least 24 hours before entering the water as the water burns any open nicks or wounds.
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Dominique Barba, CTIE, ECC, TAE