|Frequently Asked Questions
- Do I have to pay the full amount of the trip at the time I register?
- No. To reserve a seat on the trip, you will need to pay a $500, non-refundable deposit at the time you submit your trip registration form. Payment for the trip will need to be paid in full by July 31, 2013. Exceptions to this will be at the discretion of Indus Travels.
- If I don’t have a roommate, will you help me find one?
- We can't guarantee that we can find a roommate for you, but the tour operator will do everything possible to pair together individuals who wish to have a roommate. Ultimately, each participant is responsible for finding his/her own roommate, and single rooms must be paid for if a roommate is not secured.
- What travel documents do I need?
- You must have a valid passport with expiration date not less than six months after your return date. No visas are necessary for individuals with U.S. or Canadian passports. Keep your passport with you at all times.
- Do I need a visa to travel to Israel?
- 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 to obtain a visa prior to arrival in Israel. Israel will issue a visa at Passport Control on entry. Travelers do, however, need a valid passport that will not expire until at least six months after the tour. You can check the requirements for other nationalities in the World Travel Guide - Israel.
- Do I need to have Israeli money or can I use US or Canadian dollars?
- Virtually every store will accept U.S. dollars, though sometimes they will give you back your change in Israeli shekels. Unfortunately, the Canadian dollar is not accepted in most cases. Though U.S. dollars are easy to use, it’s often good to have some Israeli shekels for making small purchases since the price in shekels is often rounded up to the next highest dollar.
- Can you accommodate special food requests for those with special needs?
- For the flights, you can make a request through Tordes and Indus Travels for special food accommodations. It is also wise to call the airline yourself a few days before the flight to confirm they have received and processed your request. At the hotels, 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. Also, on our last trip, each hotel made a special effort to accommodate the special dietary needs of some of our travelers.
- What can I expect food-wise while in Israel?
- Israeli eating has distinctive characteristics, especially the fondness for fresh, finely chopped salads, eaten at every meal including breakfast. In general the cuisine is a fusion of East and West, plus many dishes and flavors brought by Jewish immigrants from all over the world. Most restaurants are moderately priced. Restaurants, bars and cafes catering for tourists usually have menus in both Hebrew and English. The Hebrew word kosher means conforming to Jewish religious laws. Milk, cream or cheese may not be served in the same meal as meat. Pork and shellfish are not kosher, and rarely seen, although imitation seafood is common and may be indistinguishable from the real thing.
- What can I expect cost wise for meals, like lunches, that I will need to pay for?
- It will be your choice on days where lunch is not included in the trip cost whether or not to purchase lunch. Some travelers opt to bring along snack or pack a lunch from the breakfast buffet. Others find the opportunity to eat like the locals exciting. Approximate costs for meals and snacks not included are shown below:
- Simple snack: $5 US
- Light meal: $10-$18 US
- Fancy Restaurant: $25-40
- Can I drink the water?
- Yes, the water in Israel is OK, especially at the hotels. For the most part you don't have to worry about water or food. If you're not sure or want to be extra cautious, you can buy bottled water. Bottled water will be available on your bus for a charge of $1 per bottle. Bottled water, carbonated soft drinks and fruit juices are widely available throughout the country.
- What’s the time difference?
- The time change from Bellingham/Vancouver to Israel is ten hours. When it is 6:00am in Seattle, it is 4:00pm in Tel Aviv.
- What will the weather be like?
- While Israel’s climate varies from region to region, the rule of thumb is that Israel is temperate and has two main seasons – cool and rainy between October-March and warm/hot and dry, which is roughly April-September. Israel’s climate is not extreme, so you can actually travel at any time of the year. The start and end of summer are particularly nice.
- Do you have any packing tips?
- As a general guideline, clothing should be lightweight, loose fitting, hard-wearing and easily washed. In Israel's hot summer months, cotton clothing is much more comfortable than man-made materials like nylon. You should bear in mind that Israel has conservative attitudes towards dress, particularly in remote and religious areas. Clothes should be casual and practical: convention demands arms and knees of both men and women be covered when visiting Jewish and Christian holy places. Our guide will inform you of when we will visit locations that require modesty.
- Will my electric 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, 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 volt.
- Will there be plenty of shopping opportunities?
- Each day will be packed with activities and we will be on a schedule. Our guide will plan stops for shopping, but we won’t always be able to stop at every gift shop or store out of courtesy to our schedule and others in the group. You will be able to, if you choose, wander into the shopping district from our hotel in Tiberias in the evenings (a five minute walk). Also, if you want more shopping opportunities, you’ll have free evening sin Jerusalem to explore as you choose.