Saturday, December 01, 2012

Tips and Advices to an Exhilarating Vacation in Israel

Finally, your dream of seeing the Holy Land will turn into a reality. You have booked yourself to a flight to israel and in a few weeks‘ time, you will board that plane and travel half way around the world to see all the wonders that this uniquely beautiful and vibrant Middle Eastern Country has to offer.

Here are first few tips to follow so that you will have a truly enjoyable and exhilarating Tel Aviv vacation:

1. Got your passport ready?

You won’t be able to go through Ben Gurion International Airport if you don’t have a passport.

Make sure that you have an appropriate visa to present as you arrive at the airport.

There are countries that do not require tourist visas if the visitor’s stay is a short one, like 30 days or less.

It’s best that you inquire at the Israeli Embassy of your country to find out if you still need to have a tourist visa stamped on your passport.

2. Print your e-ticket

Make sure that you buy your round-trip tickets to Israel on a single airline. And if you are given an electronic ticket, it is a must that you print a copy of your itinerary as this might be required by customs personal upon your arrival. .

3. Make a tour plan

Before you even fly to Tel Aviv, Israel, you must be able to draw out a specific tour plan or itinerary.

Try to be specific by assigning every day of your entire stay to specific places; this way, everything becomes convenient and easy as you visit and enjoy top sites in TA, the Old City, and other Israeli cities.




4. Know how you can go around the city or country

It’s good if you already have been booked to city tours ( day or night tours, via walking, bus, or even Segway) that abound in the city. Some are free while others require you to pay a minimal fee. It’s advisable that you join few of them since tours come with professional guides that are great sources of information about the place that you visit.

With city tours, you maximize your knowledge and enjoyment of various sites and places such as Tel Aviv-Yafo, the Old Jafa Port, Jerusalem, Old Acre, Haifa, and many other historic and Biblical sites in israel.

However, if you want to go around Tel Aviv by commuting, taxis are cheap and aplenty. On the other hand, two of most common modes of public transportation in Israel are the auto bus and sherut. Both are identified via number, although auto bus strictly picks off and lets off passengers in designated bus stops while sherut can practically stop on any point. You must have more or less 6 shekels as fare for sherut and auto bus.

5. Bring the appropriate clothes

Summer

If you will visit during summertime, then you must pack your luggage with boardshorts, cotton shirts, and sneakers. The mighty Tel Avivi sun can do serious some beating as far as damage to the skin is concerned, and so the best accessories are those that can protection from UV rays such as sunglasses, visors, towels, and a bottle of sun block.

If you happen to lack in summer wear, you may stop by and purchase good-quality summer apparel at Castro, a premium israeli-owned clothing brand, or even Fox.

Winter

You are truly fortunate if you are able to experience snow in Jerusalem, since this is a rarity in the city as well as the rest of the country, except for Mount Hermon and other surrounding places in Golan Heights.

Despite the absence of snow during a normal winter season, it is very cold. This is which is why you mustn’t forget to bring along one or two scarves, gloves, jackets, winter caps, and ear warmers – great protection against the extreme weather.

6. Be ready with your currency

You can call Tel Aviv a shopper’s paradise as the city has its share of great shopping centers and streets where you can satisfy your shopping needs. Some of the most popular shopping spots in Tel Aviv are Dizengoff Mall, Ramat Aviv Mall, and Shefayim Center.

Affordable wear can also be found at the shops along Allenby Streets, where shirts can be had for 25 to 50 shekkels, while sneakers are available at 100 NIS. Judaica shops are also found at Allenby and Ben Yehuda Streets.

Be ready with your shopping money, which must ideally be in Shekkels. You can convert your US$ dollars to the Israeli currency at numerous money changers that are found in strategic places throughout the city. Have your International Master or Visa Card available as well. They are widely accepted in major stores, hotels, and establishments within the country.

7. Know some Hebrew

While you are still a few weeks or days aways from your flight to Tel Aviv, why don’t you use your spare time becoming familiar with the language – which is Hebrew?

Some of the most common Hebrew Words that you must be familiar with are Kama (How much), Toda Rada (Thank You very much), Beseder (Fine), Bevakasha (Please), and Boker Tov (Good morning).

You don’t have to go through formal courses just to be able to learn much about Hebrew/. Many basic courses on the Internet are free and more than enough to help you to obtain a good grasp of the language.

Be familiar with usual Hebrew lines for everyday greetings; or when talking to the taxi driver, or you’re in the market, restaurant, or Tel Aviv hotel where you stay.

A Hebrew-English dictionary – not the bulky, comprehensive one but just pocket-sized, is handy as you can use it as a reference when conversing with a local.

8. Be familiar with the local custom

While you’re getting familar with Hebrew, why don’t you go further by learning about various customs and ways of the Israelis. Be particularly aware of things that are offensive to locals.

Even if you are a guest, and might reason out that you are not in the know when it comes to israel’s customs and social habits, this is a flimsy excuse. You don’t want to insult your host because of your ignorance, do you?

9. Aware about Shabbat?

Don’t be surprised when everything comes to a stand still (well, sort of) as soon as dusk of Friday sets in. Shuk HaCarmel is closed, as well as most other markets. This is the same with shopping centers, restaurants, bars and clubs. Auto buses are nowhere in sight.

This is in observance of the Shabbat, wherein everyone refrains from any work activity starting Friday sunset up to Saturday evening the next day, when the three stars begin to appear in the night skies.Although there are some stores who are open for business on this day, albeit illegally.

Best activity to do during shabbat? You can enjoy some promenade along Tel Aviv beach or enjoy picnics at Hayarkon Park. I don’t know if it’s traditionally allowed to play Matkot during Shabbat; but beach paddle, which is the unofficial Israeli pasttime, is a game that’s just perfect to while the time away.

Perhaps you are bound for a well-deserved holiday in Israel – whether to explore its city‘s beaches, nightlife, and shopping; or become immersed spiritually during an enlightening stay in Holy jerusalem. Either way, you only need to become aware of these simple tips and advices and you will immensely enjoy your stay in this Jewish state.

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