Packing for a trip to the Middle East presents its own challenges, so we’ve curated a list of 10 things to bring on your Israel tour. Whether it’s a day in Jerusalem or a full tour of the Galilee, you want to prepare. Once you’ve packed all the necessities, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the many adventures ahead of you in this iconic travel destination. Read on to see what we’ve rounded up for your next journey to Israel!
Some of our day tours cross the border into Egypt and Jordan, but even if you’re staying in Israel, it’s best to have your passport. If you’re stopped by the military or police on a routine stop, they’ll often ask for identification. And if you’re out shopping, you’ll be able to prove you’re not an Israeli citizen for a tax refund and better deals on some incredible goods. If you’re taking our tour of the Diamond Exchange, you’ll want to pick up some incredible souvenirs. Your passport is also an absolute necessity for border crossings, though our agents will help you make that process as painless as possible. Be sure to keep it safe at all times.
The sun is powerful across the country, and has caught many an unwary traveler with its unfiltered rays. Unless you’re planning on running for shade at every stop, there’s no way to hide. While the sky may be overcast, you can still get a burn after about 20 minutes outside. Avoid ruining your trip with a painful sunburn and make sure to reapply throughout the day. An SPF of 30 or higher is best under the strong Mediterranean rays, and sport sunscreen that’s also water resistant is best, especially on trips like our Jordan river kayaking tour or a visit to the Dead Sea.
Across the country, you’ll find standard European plugs to charge up all of your electronics. From phones to laptops, we know that sometimes you’ve got to bring your device everywhere you go. Many of our vehicles come with plugs to charge up your phone between stops. And you don’t want to worry about a dead phone or camera when you’re eager to keep snapping photos on your trip! While a simple adapter is a must, bringing a converter is also a good idea so you don’t short the electricity by accident….or blow your motherboard.
Nobody wants to explore a stunning new spot with a hangry companion. Almost every city in Israel boasts a bustling shuk, or central market. Start your trip off with a tasting tour in Shuk HaCarmel in Tel Aviv or Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem, and stock up on tasty treats. Some of our favorites for a tour include salty local nuts, fruit jerky of any kind, and some halva to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you prefer fresh veggies and fruits, you’ll find a ton of delicious choices. Try some local specialties like sabra, the sweet prickly pear fruits where locals get their nickname, some juicy cherry tomatoes, or figs that melt in your mouth.
….or a phone with a full battery. With new technologies making it easier than ever to snap a breathtaking photo, you don’t want to miss a stunning panoramic view or hidden waterfall because of a dead battery. Every tour in Israel will offer you endless opportunities for picture-worthy moments, from a trip to the Bahai Gardens to a walk through the spiritual center of ancient Safed. No matter what you’re using to capture memories, you’ll want to be ready to capture every picture-perfect moment!
A Sense of Adventure
Wherever you travel in the Middle East, expect the unexpected. Israel is no different. From off-road detours to colorful local characters, you never know what’s coming next! You may find yourself in the middle of a spontaneous dance party on an urban Tel Aviv tour, spot an Ibex in Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, or find yourself making homemade delicacies with our cooking class in Jerusalem. Roll with the punches, and know that you’re making memories that will last a lifetime. The stories won’t be half-bad either.
Reusable Water Bottle
Tel Aviv and a number of other communities in Israel are embracing the green movement like never before. Also, Israel is in the heart of one of the hottest parts of the world. That means you’re going to need to keep water on hand at all times. With public water fountains throughout national parks, cities, and museums across Israel, you’ll have plenty of chances to fill it back up. Make sure you’re hydrating along the way and bring a reusable water bottle to keep ahead of the curve.
One of the best things to bring on your Israeli tour is a comfortable pair of shoes. No matter where you go, you’ll want to explore every corner. Make sure the experience is everything it can be by protecting your feet on whichever adventure you choose. While comfy sneakers or a good pair of sandals is fine in the city, sometimes you just need a solid pair of hiking boots to get you through an adventure. We highly recommend making sure to wear your boots on this Masada sunrise tour, our Jerusalem walking tour, or while abseiling at Mitzpe Ramon. And make sure they’re broken in before you give them a road test! Nothing can ruin a good tour faster than a blister or a sore foot.
A Good Book
While your bus ride is usually an informational session and a great chance to catch a glimpse of the country, longer rides can mean more free time on your hands. To get a better sense of any country you visit, diving into its literature can give you a new perspective on things. Amos Oz was one of Israel’s most beloved authors, and still a bestseller. We recommend picking up a copy of “My Michael” or “A Tale of Love and Darkness”. If you prefer non-fiction, Yuval Noah Harari is an international historical literature darling. Try “Sapiens” for a new look at humankind, or “Homo Deus” for a fresh take on humans as a species.
Israelis rarely dress up for day to day events, and keeping it casual is a good way to blend in. Unless you’re going to a formal event, you’ll be safe in T-shirts, sandals, shorts, and cotton skirts. They’ll also help you keep cool in the cities and the desert, no matter which tour you’re heading out on. If you’re going to be visiting a religious site, like the Temple Mount or Church of the Holy Sepulchre, we recommend modest dress for both men and women. This includes covering shoulders and knees and avoiding any sheer clothing.
Packing Things to Bring on Your Israel Tour
We often hear the saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”. With our list of the all the things to bring on your Israel tour, you’re sure to enjoy every moment of your trip with none of the stress. Be sure to review our Israeli tours and hotels to plan every aspect of your once-in-a-lifetime trip. And if you forget anything on this list or need help, contact one of our representatives for 24/7 support!