Planning a group trip to Israel? Israel is a great destination for group travel. Whether you are a religious group or a group of family or friends, it’s an excellent opportunity to bond over shared experiences and make memories together. But as wonderful as a group trip is, planning a group trip to Israel for a large number of people can often go awry. It’s hard planning even a trip for one! When you’re dealing with transportation, designing an itinerary, and booking hotels, things can get tricky and stressful. Sometimes it can even take some of the fun out of traveling! We want you to have the best group trip ever in Israel. So, we’ve put together a list of 5 ways to plan a group trip to Israel, so that you can fully enjoy the amazing things that Israel has to offer and leave the hassle at home.
1. Book a Private Transfer
Save your energy and book private transfers. You aren’t going to want to spend precious time navigating the transportation system in Israel. While cities generally have a comfortable public transportation system, destinations outside of cities aren’t always easy to get to, and definitely not easy to navigate around. This is especially the case with more remote destinations like Masada, the Dead Sea, and Mitzpe Ramon. Plus, it’s not comfortable to travel by public transportation with groups of people. Private transfers can allow you to get around Israel easily while seeing all of the hidden gems on the way. They collect you from where you want, drop you off exactly where you want, and run on your time. That means no waiting around and wasting valuable time of your trip.
2. VIP Airport Assistance
Skip the lines at the airport and start your trip off on the right foot with the VIP airport assistance service. Traveling through the Ben Gurion Airport has a reputation for taking a long time thanks to tight security in Israel. Skip the delays and take the fast track! The VIP service allows travelers to breeze through passport control, baggage claim, and customs. The service is available for both departing and arriving flights. What’s even better is how affordable prices are for groups. For groups of up to 6 people, the cost is $180. For each additional person, the cost is $23. Trust us – the time that the service will save you at the airport makes every penny well worth your money.
3. Join a Tour
If you are traveling with a group, it’s a great idea to join a tour. For any traveler, being in a foreign country can come with complications. You’re dealing with an unfamiliar land, often with people who speak a foreign language. Traveling in the big cities in Israel is very comfortable, as there is a good public transportation network and many people speak English. But, the problems arise when you’re trying to get out of the city to travel around the country and explore more remote locations where public transportation doesn’t reach easily. While it can technically be possible to arrive by bus to some of these far off locations, it is going to take a lot of your time. Traveling with a group via this method is not ideal and not advisable.
Tour groups can take you to all of the locations that are difficult (or even impossible) to get to with public transportation. You can go on a 1 day Petra Tour from Jerusalem or a day trip to Masada, Ein Gedi, and the Dead Sea.
There are all kinds of tours available to fit whatever your travel needs are. You can join half-day, day trips, or even put your entire trip into the hands of a reliable tour group and arrange a package tour, which covers your accommodation, transportation, and touring. Tours also provide you with a guide, which is invaluable when you’re traveling somewhere as historic as Israel and have an interest in getting to know the history of the sites you visit.
4. Book Ahead
If you’re traveling as a group, you’re going to need to book everything ahead of time. Depending on the size of your travel group, this can even mean making reservations a year before your trip. Winging it with a group of nine other people isn’t going to go over so well.
This is especially the case if you are traveling during high season. Keep in mind that during high season, airfare and hotel prices significantly increase. Even if you aren’t traveling during peak season, you’ll still want to make sure that you book hotels, tours, and even restaurants ahead of time. Restaurants in Tel Aviv, especially the best ones, often require reservations a few weeks in advance. Keep in mind that if you’re with a larger group, you should make reservations even earlier.
5. Group Rates
If you’re traveling with a larger group, you can score some group rates on hotels, flights, and on admission to top attractions. Many hotels consider you a group if you book 10 or more rooms and airlines consider a group to be 20 or more travelers on the same flight.
Take advantage of this. They will be able to give you special group discounts, anywhere between 10-70%. Call places ahead of time and see where you can get the best discounts for your group.
Most importantly, have fun! Organize a group meeting before the trip, go over the itinerary, and look at pictures of the Holy Land together. This is a great opportunity to start bonding with one another and to get excited about the upcoming trip you will be going on together.