February 11-22, 2018
Deadline: The last day to register is November 15, 2017.
Airplane tickets are not included in the tour price.
When to buy tickets?Register now, but don’t buy airplane tickets just yet, OK? Rob Coxon will email us when the minimum number of people (20) have registered. Then we should buy air tickets, but not before.
What kind of tickets?Buy tickets that land you at Ben Gurion Airport on Day 2 with time to spare for boarding our 5pm bus to the hotel.
These items are included in the price of the tour:
- Dinners (except Day 11 at the airport)
- All Sites on the Itinerary
- National Park Pass
- Masada Gondola Ride
- Galilee Boat Ride
- Bus to/from Ben Gurion Airport to the Hotel
Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you enter Israel. Carry your passport at all times.
- Electricty in Israel is 230 volt. Most razors, phones and computers automatically switch.
- But 110 volt blow dryers from the USA do not work.
- Get adapters to fit Israeli electrical outlets before you leave home.
Ask at Walmart or search online for "adapter plugs for Israel."
Pack as little as possible.
- Light, all-weather jacket.
- Comfortable walking shoes!
- Swimsuit & towel for the Dead Sea.
- A blow-up neck pillow is comfy while floating and might help on your long flights.
- Hand-washable comfortable casual wear. Israel does not have laundromats, and the hotel laundry valet is expensive.
- Bible, hand creams, sunglasses, passport, prescription drugs or medicines, suntan lotion and camera.
- Washcloth - Hotels in Israel do not supply them.
- More memory, batteries, video tapes, etc., than you think you will need. These are available in Israel, but more expensive than at home.
- Bring $150-$200 to pay for meals that are not included, snacks, and beverages, (coffee and juice are included only at breakfast).
- Visa and MasterCard are usually accepted.
- Travelers checks are difficult to use.
- ATM machines are all over and give shekels -- the local currency -- from a debit card.
- A Currency Exchange desk and machine are available at Ben Gurion Airport.
On Day 2 at 5 pm, the Blossoming Rose bus leaves Ben Gurion Airport for Jerusalem.
Early arrival? Late arrival?If you arrive or depart too early or too late to board the Blossoming Rose bus at Ben Gurion Airport you are responsible for your own transportation to the Hotel. Take a taxi or Nesher van to the Jerusalem Leonardo Hotel (not the Plaza).
Save money on airplane tickets by registering for the tour now.
- Airplane tickets cost less when buying far in advance of the fly date.
- We all have to wait and buy plane tickets after the minimum of 20 people have registered.
- So the sooner 20 of us register, the less we have to pay for airfare.
I scheduled our tour for temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
- All food at the hotels is kosher.
- Biblical Tamar Park serves mostly American style food, also kosher.
- It is okay to eat the food and drink the water anywhere in Israel -- except in the Old City of Jerusalem. Blossoming Rose advises us "DO NOT eat any salads or raw vegetables in the Old City," and I agree. Back in the 1980s, I got the worst case of dysentery of my life in the Old City. And the farmers who sell vegetables to those markets still use the same kind of fertilizer.
These items are NOT included in the tour price:
- Jericho Excavation
- Airline Ticket
- Flight Insurance
Americans do not need a visa to tour Israel. Chinese do need a visa, and the process takes about one month.
Any medicine you take regularly -- bring enough for all 12 days.
- International airline regulations allow 50 pounds per checked suitcase.
- Bring only ONE (1) large suitcase and ONE (1) carry-on.
- You may also have a purse or a computer bag.
Check with your carrier – some charge for texting out @ 50 cents a text and incoming @ 5 cents a text. Several companies will rent you a cell phone in Israel which you pick up at the airport. To order one ahead, search online for "rent a cell phone in Israel."
- You may extend your stay at the Biblical Tamar Park archeology dig.
- Volunteers pay $30 per day for three meals per day and an air-conditioned room. https://blossomingrose.org/contribute/volunteer/
- For working at the dig, bring jeans, shorts, tennis shoes, gloves, and a hat.
To get affordable rates in extremely good hotels.
- Yes, Israel is safe.
- I have traveled several times from Dan to Beersheba. Not only are security people all over public places, but 50 years of positive national policy have minimized threats.
- Is Chicago safe?
- Stick with my cousin, Donald, who has lived in Chicago since Heck was a pup.
- Is China safe?
- Stick with my friends who grew up in China.
- Is Israel safe?
- Stick with Raed Makhouli — our Christian guide who grew up in Israel and graduated from college in America.
Yes, tap water in Israel is safe. You will also find bottled mineral water everywhere.
The level of medical practice in Israel, as well as the medical facilities, rank with the very best in Europe or the United States.
No vaccinations or shots are required for U.S. or Canadian visitors to Israel. But if -- before arriving in Israel -- you visited a country where cholera, typhoid or yellow fever is endemic, you will need a vaccination certificate.
- The TSA 3-1-1 rule limits Americans to carry on a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes through the checkpoint.
- These are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item.
- TSA 3-1-1-liquids-rule
- Consolidate bottles into one bag and X-ray separately to speed screening.
In our Leonardo hotels, wifi is free. And in Biblical Tamar Park a computer has free Wi-Fi for email or surfing the web. But the limited desert bandwidth does not allow downloading large files or streaming movies.
Each person chooses the best airline from Albuquerque or Guangzhou or Chicago or London.