Specializing in group tours and missions trips

to the Christian community

Travel Is it safe to travel to Israel? What will airport security be like? Are any shots or vaccinations required for travel to Israel? Can I make my own travel arrangements and join the tour in Israel? Can I upgrade to business class? Can I extend my stay in Israel? Do you offer airfare from my home city? Will I get motion sickness on the tour bus? Are there restrooms on the bus? Documentation What travel documents do I need? How do I apply for a passport? Do I need a visa to travel to Israel? Do I need a visa to travel to Turkey, Jordan and Egypt? Food If lunches are not included, where will I be eating? Will I be able to find American-style food? How do I pay for my drinks at dinner? Do I need to have Israeli money for the food expenses, or do they take US dollars? Can you accommodate special food requests for those with special needs? Can we drink the water? Luggage How much luggage can I bring? What does it mean by "porterage" of only one piece of luggage? What should I pack? Dress & Airplane Questions What types of clothing should I wear? How should I dress for the airplane? What if I have difficulty sleeping on the airplane? What am I allowed to bring in my carry-on luggage? Can I request a special seat on the airplane? Money How much spending money do you recommend per day? Can I use credit cards? How should I keep my cash and credit cards safe? How is tipping handled on this trip? I heard about a Love offering. What is that? Accommodations and Facilities How hard is it to find bathroom facilities? Will I have a chance to do laundry? Will my electrical appliances work in Israel? If I do not have a roommate, will you help me find one? Communication Can I receive messages from home while on the trip? Can I access my e-mail from the hotels? Can I use my own cell phone in Israel? Can I use the phone in my hotel room to make calls? How can I call home from Israel? How about US phone cards? Can I rent an Israel cell phone? General Does Mauro Travel offer travel insurance? What is the time difference? Will there be opportunities for shopping? What is the weather like? How much walking will we do?

Biblical Study Tours to the Holy Land Paul Journeys to Greece & Turkey Oberammergau Tours Cruises Custom Tours to any destination Israel Royal Seminar for Senior Pastors Often called pilgrimages, church group travel goes far beyond sight-seeing.

The long term impact of Spiritual pilgrimages on congregational life can be startling. Small groups of people within the same congregation share a common experience that binds them together for life.

Leading a tour connects you pastorially with people you might not work with directly.

Traveling together helps forge new relationships creating trust and appreciation between you and the congregants.
Negotiates airline contracts, hotels & ground transportation Provides flyers or brochures Confirms all hotels, sights, etc. Coordinates between all suppliers Collection of monies Final payments to suppliers Ongoing consultation Create a travel plan for the future Personalizes service with staff

TRAVEL

Is it safe to travel to Israel? For anyone who watches the news, Israel appears to be an extremely dangerous place. And, in some parts of the country that might be true, in places like Gaza, where tourists do not travel. However, the reports on television and in the newspapers, focus so intensely on these isolated events that they make the problem seem more widespread than it really is. The vast majority of Israel is, statistically, safer than major urban areas in the United States. The violence and terrorism that has occurred in Israel has been centered in very specific areas and at very specific times. Our tourists do not travel to the following areas. These include: The public transportation system, especially the Egged bus line, bus stops, and some commuter trains. Discotheques, nightclubs, schools, malls, and other locations where Israeli teenagers and young adults congregate. Jewish residential areas located on the coast near the West Bank.
The Gaza Strip and some parts of the West Bank, especially where Jewish settlements are in close proximity to Arab population centers (such as Nablus, Jenin, Tulkarm, and Ramallah). Most but not all Jewish markets just prior to the beginning of the Sabbath (Friday afternoon), Jewish night spots and pedestrian malls after the end of the Sabbath (Saturday night), and during Jewish religious holidays (Passover, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, etc.).
The following steps have been taken to avoid places and times where violence has occurred: We will use a private motor coach and not public transportation, for the entire trip. We will not travel to the Gaza Strip, nor will we visit any areas in the West Bank where there is any potential for violence. (We will not visit Shechem/Nablus because they are located in the West Bank.) When in Jerusalem, we will avoid malls, schools, and other modern sites. We will remain in constant contact with the land operator throughout the trip. Should any potential problem arise, we will immediately change our itinerary to remain clear of any trouble spot. We take the safety of the group very seriously, and we expect all tour participants to follow these precautions. What will airport security be like? Airport security for flights to Israel is among the most thorough in the world. Expect a complete check of your suitcase and hand luggage. This is often accompanied by a set of specific questions asked by a highly trained Israeli security specialist. Although you might feel intimidated, remain calm. The entire procedure is designed with your personal safety in mind. We can be thankful that Israel is so security conscious! Typical questions you might be asked are as follows: Is this your first visit to Israel? Is this your own luggage? Did you pack your luggage yourself? Has your luggage been with you at all times? Have you ever left your luggage unattended? How did you find out about this tour? Do you know any people on the tour and how do you know them? Kindly answer all questions honestly and to the best of your own knowledge. These questions are for your own protection and security. Are any shots or vaccinations required for travel to Israel? You do not need shots or vaccinations to visit Israel. Can I make my own travel arrangements and join the tour in Israel? Individuals can make their own travel arrangements. This option could be an attractive option for those wishing to redeem frequent flyer miles or for individuals who want to schedule an extension to Europe or to some other destination. Mauro Travel & Tours will provide an airfare credit to those making their own flight arrangements. However, those taking this option must assume responsibility for matching their travel schedule with that of the rest of the group or else assume responsibility for the cost of arranging ground transportation from the airport to the hotel. Please contact Mauro Travel at 1-800-33-MAURO (1-800-336-2876) if you decide to make your own air arrangements. Can I upgrade to business class? Group fares DO NOT allow for upgrades; however, if you wish, you can redeem your frequent flyer miles to pay for Business or First class. Mauro Travel will then credit you for the unused airfare portion. For more information call, Mauro Travel & Tours 1-800-33-MAURO (1-800-336-2876). Can I extend my stay in Israel? The answer is a qualified yes. Group tickets require a group to travel together on the date of departure, but you may return later, apart from the group, providing airline seats are available.

Regarding Airfare. If interested in extending your stay you would need to notify Mauro Travel & Tours and advise them in writing of your date of return. The airlines usually charge an additional small fee to extend your stay.

Regarding Pre and Post Hotel Accommodations; Mauro Travel can also help make the necessary hotel arrangements, for your pre tour or post tour hotel accommodations, as long as it is the SAME hotel as the group is using for your tour. If you wish to stay at a different hotel, you are welcome to make those arrangements on your own.

Regarding Transfers: If you arrive early before the group arrival on the same day- of course, you can meet the group at the airport and ride with the group to the hotel. If you arrive a few days early, transportation to and from the airport to the hotel would be at your own expense.
Will I get motion sickness on the tour bus? The tour bus is very large and most people have no problems. If you get motion sickness easily you may want to bring along some Bonine or Dramamine, or wear a patch. Are there restrooms on the bus? There are no restrooms on the bus; however, since Israel is a small country about the size of New Jersey or Vermont, we will be making many stops during the course of the day. There are restroom facilities at just about all the places along the way. TRIP COSTWhat is included in the cost of the trip? Some trips advertise a low basic price only to surprise participants later with a list of additional charges. This is not the philosophy behind our tours. Our tours are study tours or mission tours, not shopping tours. Our cost includes airfare, hotel accommodations, (based on two people per room), all breakfasts and dinners, ground transportation while on tour, group transfers between airports and hotels, guide, driver, admission to all sites, as well as airline taxes and gratuities. The published brochure fare generally does not include the cost to obtain a passport, the cost of transportation to the nearest gateway city, lunches, or other incidental travel expenses (drinks, snacks, souvenirs, etc.). While every effort is made to make the price as all-inclusive as possible, the cost is based on current schedules and tariff rates and, as a result, are subject to change. Additional fuel sur charges MAY apply prior to ticketing. Will there be additional fuel sur charges after we register for the tour? Mauro Travel & Tours reserves airline seats 11 months before departure. Since we book seats so far in advance although the base price of the ticket will remain the same additional fuel sur charges MAY apply closer to departure. Like we see the cost of gasoline increase for our cars, so the same goes with the airline fuel surcharges. What about the love offering for our guides and drivers? Your gratuities have been pre-collected, and will be given to your pastor or tour host who will in turn distribute these gratuities. An additional free-will love offering will be taken for the driver and the guide. As in your congregation, some people can give more, others less. A recommended offering is $60-$80 per person which will be split between the tour guide and driver. Your driver and guide will have been away from their families during your entire tour, because they have a passion to share their land and country with you. You will have a wonderful opportunity to bless Israel, and for those who bless Israel, you will be blessed. Give as the Lord directs your heart. DOCUMENTIATION What travel documents do I need? If you are a US Citizen, you must have a valid passport with an expiration date not less than 6 months after your return date.If you are not a US Citizen, you must check with the Israeli consulate nearest you for proper documentation.     How do I apply for a passport?To obtain a U.S. passport for the first time, you need to go in person to one of 6,000 passport acceptance facilities located throughout the United States with two photographs of yourself, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a valid form of photo identification such as a driver license. For detailed information on applying for a passport, plus a downloadable application, go to the U.S. Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/apply.html

To renew a U.S. passport, go to the U.S. Department of State website at http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/renew.html Do I need a visa to travel to Israel?No. U.S. and Canadian citizens as well as citizens from most European countries, Mexico, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa do not need a visa to visit Israel. They do, however, need a valid passport that will not expire until at least 6 months after the tour. You can check the requirements for other nationalities at http://www.worldtravelguide.net/data/isr/isr040.aspDo I need a visa to travel to Turkey, Jordan and Egypt? Yes. US and Canadian citizens do need a visa to Turkey, Jordan and Egypt. For group travel, Mauro Travel generally includes the visa charge in the cost of the tour. For individuals traveling alone or traveling prior to a group tour, please contact the individual embassies to obtain your visa. FOOD If lunches are not included, where will I be eating? Israel has a number of restaurants that cater to tourists. Whenever possible, we will seek to stop at restaurants that offer a variety of items that can be purchased a la carte. Lunches in Israel range from $10 for soup and salad to $25 for a 3 course lunch per day, depending on what you chose to eat. Occasionally, however, we may need to stop for lunch at restaurants that only offer complete meals at a fixed price. Will I be able to find American-style food? Quite often restaurants have "American" food options. Fresh fruits and vegetables, along with breads and soups are quite common. At the hotels, it's often best to begin with foods that are familiar, but then to take small portions of dishes that might be less familiar. Very often you will discover new foods that will become your "Middle East favorites", such has hummus (chick peas), Tabouleh (a grain), falafel (fried ball of chick peas), and shwarma (shaved lamb, chicken or beef-similar to a Greek gyro). There is a sufficient variety at every meal so that individuals can find foods they will enjoy. Will, I be able to eat Gluten free foods? Since both breakfast and dinner are both plentiful buffets with large selections, you will have plenty to choose from and enjoy.

How do I pay for my drinks at dinner? Beverage charges and any other miscellaneous charges (laundry services, spa/exercise facility entrance fees, etc.) will be charged to participants rooms. Payment will take place at the time of hotel check-out, usually the night before your departure. Payment can be made by cash (U.S. dollars) or through the use of a credit card. It is recommended to bring two types of credit cards as not all cards are accepted. (MasterCard or Visa are preferred; Discover Card and American Express are accepted but not in all locations.)

If you are seated at your table for dinner and there is a liter sized bottle of water on your table, this bottle is for you to purchase (if you like) and will be charged to your room. If you do not wish to pay for the bottled water, the waiters will serve you water from a pitcher that is complimentary. All Israel drinking water is safe to drink. Do I need to have Israeli money for these food expenses, or do they take US dollars? Virtually every store will accept U.S. dollars, though sometimes they will give you back your change in Israeli shekels. It may be a good idea to exchange $25-$50 dollars at the airport into Israeli shekels. Can you accommodate special food requests for those with special needs? Because of the large number of tourists served each day, it is difficult for hotels and restaurants to accommodate special food requests. However, the wide variety of food choices, makes it relatively easy for most individuals to find the foods they can eat. Those with very special needs might want to bring along some snack items to supplement their diet. Can we drink the water? Yes, the water in Israel is safe to drink especially at the hotels. For the most part, you don't need to worry about water or food. For those people who KNOW they are very sensitive, purchase bottled water during your meals. You can buy bottled water which will be available on your bus. LUGGAGE How much luggage can I bring? You are limited to one piece of checked luggage whose total dimensions are not to exceed 62 inches (height plus width plus depth) and a maximum weight of 50 pounds, plus one piece of carry-on luggage to fit under the seat or in the overhead bin.

We also suggest you pack one small duffle bag or smaller piece of luggage on the bottom of your checked luggage and you can use this for your gifts purchases on your return. Check airline website for additional fees for second piece of checked luggage.

The 2nd checked bag usually costs from $75 to $100 additional, providing it is no more than 50 pounds.
What does it mean by porterage of only one piece of luggage? The price of the trip includes the tip for one piece of luggage for the hotel porters who deliver your large suitcase to your hotel room at the time of check-in, and who will bring your suitcase down from your room at the time of departure from each hotel. You will need to transport any personal and valuable items with you to the bus each day. i.e. bible, notebook, camera, money, etc. DRESS What should I wear? Most churches and Orthodox holy sites require respectful dress. This generally means shoulders and knees must be covered for both men and women, and men must cover their heads (a baseball cap is adequate). On days that we visit these sites, we will warn you to dress accordingly. Nylon pants or pants with zip-on/off legs provide an easy, quick cover-up. Women could also put on a light skirt over shorts and use a scarf to cover the shoulders. Otherwise, casual, comfortable clothes for touring are appropriate. Remember, the travel motto You are traveling to SEE--- not BE SEEN". It is important you dress comfortable. Most people never wear everything they pack in their suitcase. Bring half the amount of clothes and twice the amount of money.

From April until October, the temperature is similar to springtime in the southeast with temperatures ranging from fifty to eighty degrees Fahrenheit. In the summer months of June, July and August temperatures can be low nineties to high nineties with temperatures at the Dead Sea even hotter, and then in Jerusalem it becomes a bit cooler. Lightweight pants for men and women work best. Women can wear either capris or a skirt. For touring, loose, comfortable cottons or other lightweight clothing that can be layered works best. Shorts can be worn on certain days at the Dead Sea and in the Galilee, and your guide will advise you on what to wear the following day.

From November through March it is considered Israel winter season. Temperatures range from high forties to high sixties. Rainy season means it MIGHT rain on occasion, as opposed to April through October where it never or rarely rains. It is best to pack a rain poncho or a lined rain jacket with a hood or some hat to protect against the sun or rain. Pack an umbrella, as it will be insurance that it might not rain. (Murphy's law) It is best to dress in layers as the mornings and evenings may be cool, while the mid-day and afternoon may be warmer.

If you travel in the winter December, January and February, we also suggest gloves, and a scarf, and all-weather jacket. In general, the weather is clear and crisp although on occasion it could snow. So be like a boy scout and be prepared.
AIRPLANE How should I dress for the airplane? Please dress comfortably. It is a long flight. From the Northeast, the flight is 10.5 hours non-stop, and from other cities with connections, it is much longer. Loose fitting clothing works best, and a jacket or sweater for the plane. What if I have difficulty sleeping on the airplane? It is best to get as much sleep as you possibly can on the airplane, which we realize can be difficult. Ear plugs, eye mask, and blow up neck pillows are always helpful. Some people also take some kind of sleeping aid which may also help. What am I allowed to bring in my carry-on luggage? The TSA has the most recent information on their website. In a nutshell, you can pack as many 3 oz bottles of liquid or shell in a Quart size bag.

The TSA has an excellent website which gives the latest on what you can take in your carry-on luggage. See: http://www.tsa.gov/311/ or you can download this brochure and print http://www.tsa.gov/assets/pdf/311_brochure.pdf.
Can I request a specific seat on the airplane? Group seats are blocked by the airline. Specific seats can be requested but are not guaranteed. If you have a medical request for a specific seat, it is suggested to bring a letter from your doctor with your specific needs and this can be given to the airline ticketing agent upon airport check-in.

MONEY How much spending money do you recommend per day? While many people spend very little during the course of the tour and still have a great time, be prepared with reliable access to funds for your daily needs. These include lunches, additional beverages at meal times, snacks, and souvenirs. You can plan to spend between $10-$25 per person per day for lunch depending on what you chose to eat. Any gifts purchases would be extra, and we suggest you bring $400- $600 in cash with $75 to $100 in single dollar bills (This would include the cost of your lunches). The single dollars will go to purchasing water every day and can be used for small purchases. Can I use credit cards? It's important to have an alternative in case one money method doesn't work. We recommend bringing two different credit cards (Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted), as well as cash.

Be sure you notify your credit card company, the country you will be visiting, as well as your length of stay.

IT IS BEST to use or obtain a credit card that does NOT CHARGE A FOREIGN TRANSCATION FEES. Otherwise, if your credit card charges a foreign transaction fees, you will be billed an extra 1 to 2 % of every item(s) you charge. This can add up quickly.

A Visa or MasterCard offers excellent exchange rates, as well as important fraud protection. Use your credit card for hotel charges, meals, souvenirs, and other major expenses. While many credit cards can also be used for "cash advances" at ATMs, steep interest rates and fees make this an option for emergencies only. (Before you leave, get a 4-digit PIN code for your card just in case, and find out about fees and interest charges.) Save all receipts until you can verify your statement. Although credit cards are widely used throughout Israel, there are stores (especially in The Old City of Jerusalem) that only accept cash. Therefore, we recommend that you also bring cash (in U.S. dollars) for those times when credit cards are not accepted.

Before departing the U.S., it is important you notify your credit card company that you will be out of the country during your tour dates. Many credit card company charge fees for out of country purchases. It is important to check with your credit card company regarding the percentage charges. Some credit card companies do not charge for out of country purchases like some Capitol One cards and American Express Platinum cards. You may wish to apply for a new credit card so you are not charged any out of country fees.
How should I keep my cash and credit cards safe?We strongly recommend using an undergarment money belt. It's essential for the peace of mind it brings. You could lose everything except your money belt, and the trip could still go on. How is tipping handled on this trip?Your gratuities have been pre-collected by Mauro Travel & Tours for the driver, guide, maître de, maids, receptions and porters. Your gratuities will be distributed to all of the above people by your tour host or pastor. There is no need to tip beyond this. It is not necessary to tip the restaurant staff when group meals are provided, nor is it necessary to tip the hotel staff. If you do however, order room service or anything else, then you can tip the hotel staff accordingly.

At the end of the tour, an additional 'love offering' will be collected by the tour host or pastor for the driver and the guide. A suggested love offering of $60 to $80 per person which would be split between the driver or the guide. Some can give more or less, but give as the Lord leads.

ACCOMMODATIONS AND FACILITIES How hard is it to find bathroom facilities? Your tour involves several stops a day, and generally there are rest facilities at most sites. The guides are sensitive to your needs, and they will do everything possible to make sure that there are regular stops at available bathroom facilities. If you have an emergency, speak to the tour guide immediately so he can be thinking where to stop next. The buses do not have any restroom facilities. Will I have a chance to do laundry? We will be keeping you busy every day and you will not have time to do your own laundry except in your room. Laundry service is available at hotels, but you must make sure there is enough time to get it back before we pack up and leave. Bring clothing that can be washed in your hotel room and that will dry quickly. You can bring small packets of Woolite and/or laundry detergent for this purpose. Will my electrical appliances work in Israel? The electric current in Israel is 220-volt A.C., single phase, 50 cycles which requires special adapter plugs with round prongs. If you take appliances (hair dryer, electric razor, camera, phone, etc.) that are suitable for both 110 and 220 volts, you will need a set of adapter plugs. If your appliance is for 110 volts only, you will also need a converter. Please check your appliance before going to verify its voltage. Don't assume that it will work unless it clearly indicates that it will run on 220 volts. Most of the hotels DO have hair dryers, however, not every hotel FLOOR has been equipped with hair dryers yet. To be safe, it is best to bring a hair dryer, as well as an adaptor and convertor, which can be purchased at any WalMart, Target or luggage store. If I do not have a roommate, will you help me find one? Mauro Travel & Tours assigns roommates, in fairness, on a first come first serve basis. The earlier a single person signs up for a tour, the more likely you can be assigned a roommate. If you wait until the last moment to sign up, it is less likely for you to be assigned a roommate. Mauro Travel cannot guarantee that we can find a roommate for you, but we will do everything possible to pair together individuals who wish to have a roommate. In the end, if no roommate can be assigned then an additional single supplement will apply as stated in your tour brochure and will be invoiced by time of final payment. COMMUNICATION Can I receive messages from home while on the trip? You will receive a blue brochure called Last Minute Reminders with a complete hotel list with phone numbers and fax numbers for your tour prior to departure. Leave a copy with family and friends so they can contact you if necessary. Be aware that Israel or Europe is six to seven hours ahead of the US from the east coast and ten hours from the west coast. Can I access my e-mail from the hotels? Most hotels have Wi-Fi available in the lobby and it's free. If you need a computer most hotels have computers in the lobby, available to be used to access your e-mail, but may charge a fee. If you wish to use your computer or tablet in your room, the hotel generally charges a fee per day. If you have a smartphone, you can activate it for international use, and this works out fantastic. Check with your local provider for the details and cost of this plan. Can I use my own cell phone to receive calls from my family? You will need to check with your cell phone provider, and check if your cell phone is an international cell phone, and you will also need to activate the phone for international use. You will need to check with your provider for details and cost of the plan. Can I use the room phone in the hotel room to call home? Yes you can, but as in the US and all hotels, the phone charges are quite high and be quite expensive, so be aware of this. How can I call home from Israel? To call the U.S. from Israel, dial 00 + 1 (US country code) + area code + local number.

To call ISRAEL from the U.S., dial 011 + 972 (Israel country code) + local area code number (single digit number-delete 0 if it appears before a number such as 02 for Jerusalem would be just 2) + local number.

To call ISRAEL CELL PHONES from the U.S., dial 011 + 972 (Israel country code) + cell area code number (2-digit number-delete 0 if it appears before a number such as 051 would be just 51) + local number.
How about US phone cards? On a tour, we have found this to be a bit cumbersome, as you would need to look for a phone while on the tour, as opposed to having your own phone for you or your family to use at any time. However, if you wish to bring an international calling card from your long-distance provider (Sprint, AT&T, etc), be sure to ask for their best price option for calling from Israel to multiple U.S. numbers. If you choose this option, be sure to get their international access numbers and double-check for any hotel connection charges. It may be cheaper to call from a pay phone rather than from your hotel room.

What is the best way to communicate with family and friend back home? If you have a SMART phone, iPhone, or an Android phone, the best way is to download WHATSAPP, VIBER or SKYPE. Your family or work colleagues need to do the same. In this way as long as you are connected to Wi-Fi, you will have free and unlimited phone calls and text messages. You will need to check with your provider regarding your data usage allowance.
GENERAL Does Mauro Travel offer travel insurance? Yes, Mauro Travel does offer travel insurance information to everyone. Upon receipt of your tour deposit we will send you travel insurance information, and you can either mail this to the insurance or register by calling Mauro Travel.

In order to protect your sacrificial financial investment with this tour, we encourage you to purchase travel insurance. In light of the interruption of air travel because of the Iceland volcano a few years ago, and the uncertainty of the status of the Middle East, we believe insurance would be a prudent investment. Travel Guard is a leader in the industry and is prompt to pay claims, should claims need to be made. We recommend this company, but more importantly, travel insurance itself. Insurance will cover you against trip interruption, baggage loss or damage, medical and hospital expenses. If you sign up within 14 days after from your invoice and statement date, all pre-existing medical conditions will be covered, which is extremely important for those who have had health problems. IN ADDITION, If any NON TRAVELING FAMILY MEMBER also has any pre- existing medical conditions, which would prevent YOU from traveling, you would also be fully reimbursed provided you have a doctors note regarding the medical condition. Again, the above only applies if you purchase the insurance within 14 days of your invoice and statement date. Therefore, it is best to call Mauro Travel or the insurance company upon receipt. You may call Mauro Travel and one of our agents will be happy to register you online. If you have any questions, you may call Mauro Travel. If you have very specific questions you may call the company direct line at 1-800-826-1300.

If Mauro Travel is not available- and time is of the essence, simply call the 1 800-826-1300, and sign up directly with the insurance company.

You may choose any insurance company you like, just be sure you are properly covered.
What is the time difference? The time change from Eastern Standard Time to Israel is 7 hours ahead unless it is daylight savings which would only be 6 hours ahead. Example: when it is 10:00 PM here in the US, it is 5:00 AM in Israel. Will there be opportunities for shopping? This tour is not primarily designed to be a shopping tour. However, there will be opportunities to shop while in Israel. Many of the sites we visit have gift shops where you can shop for small souvenirs. There are also a limited number of special vendors who specialize in items like necklaces, DVDs, and books, and you will have an opportunity to purchase them. Places like Qumran, the Garden Tomb, Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial all have an excellent selection of books and small gifts. At the Dead Sea, you will have plenty of time to purchase your Dead Sea creams and lotions, but if you miss out there, you can always purchase these items at the duty-free stores in the Tel Aviv airport time permitting.

The rule of thumb is when you see something you really like and cannot live without, buy it because you may not see it again at the next place you visit.
What is the weather like? In general temperatures from April to October range from the 70’s to 90’s and in November to March temperatures can range from the 40’s to 60’s. It is best to check out the most recent weather forecast closer to your departure date. It is best to GOOGLE the weather before you depart.

How much walking will we do? Israel is a land of beautiful hills and valleys, and we will be walking on several of them. The walks are not extremely strenuous, but be prepared to do some walking over uneven terrain. The best way to prepare is to begin walking on a daily basis for about an hour a day in the shoes you will be wearing while in Israel.