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Packing Guide for Traveling Abroad: Israel

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You booked your flight and made travel arrangements. You’re excited for your trip and it’s about a week, or 3 days, or 1 day before your trip, and you haven’t packed yet…Here are some things that the agents at Gil Travel recommend you to bring on your trip.

This could be taken as a general guide for any trip, but it’s compiled with Israel in mind. This is not meant to be the definitive guide, everyone’s needs are different; it’s not even meant as a checklist for travel (you’ll notice that obvious items such as clothes, underwear, toiletries, passport are not included). Rather, this is a checklist for miscellaneous items that are often forgotten but would make your trip so much more convenient!

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1. Flip flops/water shoes: for floating on the Dead Sea, getting ready to shower, going to the many beach, relaxing by the pool, hiking water trails

2. Comfortable walking shoes: regardless if you’re going on a tour, backpacking, or visiting family and friends, walking is going to be a big part of your Israel trip. In addition, the terrain in Israel varies a lot by region, and Jerusalem is very hilly, so make sure you have comfy walking shoes that you’ve already broke in!

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3. Sun protection: wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, sunburn treatments. The sun is strong all year round, not just the summer, be prepared!

3a. In the summer, it is advised to cover your skin as much as possible. Ladies, no spaghetti straps, short shorts, halter tops, and gentlemen, don’t go topless. This is not for modesty, the sun BURNS. Opt for some light, cotton clothing that covers skin.

4. Modest clothing: it is best to plan ahead and verify the acceptable clothing at religious sites, but in general, have clothing that covers the shoulders and knees.

5. Light jacket/Sweatshirt: this is important to bring even in the summer time. The temperature significantly drops once the sun sets, especially in the desert areas. It gets chilly, even in the summer when you were burning 3 hours ago.

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6. Adapter for electronics: Israel’s power supply is single phase 220 V at 50 Hz. The power sockets usually have three pin holes, but they will work with double-pin plugs as well.

7. Prescriptions: In addition to bringing a couple extra days worth of medication with you, bring along copies of your prescriptions as well, for medicine or glasses, and keep them in your carry on luggage.

8. Hand sanitizer/Wet towelettes: they’re very handy on travels and helps reduce chances of illnesses

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9. Communication method: Israel is a very connected country, and there is usually free WiFi in most cafes and tourist attractions. You may chose to bring your laptop or tablet to keep in touch with friends and family back home. If you’d prefer not to lug around your laptop during your travels, you can rent a phone or buy a SIM card. Consider Gil Travel Phones for your trip to Israel. (Or read our blog post about the different phone options in Israel.)

10. Camera, memory card(s), charger/batteries: There are many beautiful photo-op locations in Israel. You’d want to take pictures of everything, so make sure you have sufficient battery the night before and enough memory space. For the average Gil Travel tour with a point and shoot camera, 4 GB should provide sufficient storage for some short videos in addition to many photos. However, you may choose to bring a spare memory cards with you, just in case.

11. Extra quart-sized storage bags: you’ll need it for your liquids in your carry on and they are a wonderful (and cheap) way to protect your phone or other items you won’t want to get wet or sandy while at the beach, or if it starts raining.

12. First-aid kit: band-aids, alcohol pads, pain-killers, cough drops, motion-sickness pill, diarrhea medicine; items you think and hope you won’t need, but would be thankful to have brought along if the need arises.

Israel is a very modern and technologically advanced country. There are pharmacies and shops around that carry everything you need and more, so don’t stress too much and have fun!

Hiking The Jesus Trail:
From Nazareth to Mt. Precipice

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From one end of Israel to the other, the Jesus Trail follows the journey of Jesus Christ as He moved through Galilee in ancient times. The 40 mile hiking trail runs from Nazareth to Capernaum and includes many points of interest – both historical and biblical – for visitors to enjoy and explore. The Jesus Trail was founded in 2009, and has quickly become an extremely popular tourist attraction.

The trail starts in Nazareth, where the Annunciation occurred – that is, where Mary learned she would bear the Son of God. This is also the childhood home of Jesus. Although the current Church of the Annunciation was built in 1969, the first shrine is said to have been erected in the fourth century. There are many other churches to see there as well. If you’re interested in learning about what Nazareth was like in the first century, explore Nazareth Village.

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Found in Sepphoris as part of an ancient mosaic floor. It’s often referred to as the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee”
Public Domain via wikimedia

Next, you’ll find yourself traveling through Sepphoris or Zippori, a city that was under construction while Jesus was alive. The trail includes making your way through Zippori National Park to Canna, where you’ll have an opportunity to explore the modern town of Kfar Kana, located on the site of the wedding feast, where Jesus turned water into wine.

Just past Golani Junction, the trail comes to an ancient Roman road that linked Acre and Tiberias. From there, you’ll come to Kibbutz Lavi, the largest manufacturer of synagogue furniture in the world.  Just outside Tiberias, you’ll find the Horns of Hattin, the site of an 1187 battle where Saladin’s army defeated the Crusaders. At the base of the Horns of Hattin, hikers will come to Nebi Shu’eib, where the tomb of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses, is located. (Heads up – if you wish to enter Nebi Shu’eib, you have to wear proper attire, that is modest clothing that covers your knees and shoulders.)

After the Nebi Shu’eib, you’ll come to Migdal, a town located where Mary Magdalene’s home once stood. You will not be able to enter the ruins, but can view the remnants of a synagogue and a Byzantine mosque through the wrought iron gate.

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The Jesus Boat or Sea of Galilee Boat
Public Domain, via wikimedia

Then, you’ll come to the Sea of Galilee, the largest freshwater lake in Israel. If you venture off the trail about two kilometers, you’ll come to the Jesus Boat. The Jesus Boat – remnants of a first century fishing vessel — is on display at the Yigal Allon Center at Kibbutz Ginosar.

Further on down the trail, you’ll come to St. Peter’s Primacy, a church built by the Franciscans in 1933, on the site where Jesus chose Peter to lead his church. Next up is Capernaum, where Jesus lived during his ministry in Galilee.

The trail ends at Mount Precipice, where the Bible says that an angry mob attempted to throw Jesus off of a cliff following his proclamation in the Nazareth Synagogue.

If you’re interested in learning about some other historic churches, such as the Nazareth Synagogue/Synagogue Church, then click below to download our offer “Churches in Israel”!


 

If you’re a hiking enthusiast and want to spend a few days following in the footsteps of Jesus on this trail, the expert travel agents at Gil Travel can help you create the perfect itinerary. Contact Gil Travel today to see how we can help you!

Israel, a Small but Outstanding Country

jerusalem (2)Israel is a small, but magnificent country. It’s full of life, history, energy and spirituality; Israel is the perfect destination for a meaningful once in a lifetime experience. It’s a fun, exciting, constantly changing place with a rich history dating back thousands of years. It is hard not to feel a connection to such a powerful place.

There is no place in the world like Israel. Everything within, the new and the old, the religious and the secular, the traditional and the modern, the city and the desert, are all seamlessly connected, unmatched in the history, culture, and traditions it offers to its people and visitors.

The food is a delectable melange, inspired by cuisine from all around the world. There are numerous of fun activities depending on what kind of adventure you seek in your Israel experience. Why choose between hiking the National Israel Trail, or swimming in the Banias Waterfall? Why debate between a picnic overlooking the Sea of Galilee where many believe that Jesus walked on water or exploring the ruins of the largest Crusader Castle in the Middle East? Why not eat your weight in hummus and freshly baked pitain the walled city of Acre that Napoleon Bonaparte was unable to conquer, follow the path that Jesus walked centuries ago in Jerusalem, play with dolphins in Eilat? You can do all of that and much more in Israel, limited only by the time you have to explore this complex country.

Should you want a fun, party experience; a religious awakening; a step back in time; an adventure; Israel is the location for you to go visit.

From placing prayers and wishes into the Western Wall to visiting the popular outdoor markets and sampling exotic fresh fruits, to climbing to the top of Massada to floating on the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth, to relaxing by the beach and strolling through Bauhaus architecture - Israel is the perfect place to go to feed your heart, mind, body, and soul. Israel has something for everyone and there are thousands of reasons to go visit.

It is our mission at Gil Travel to give you the personalized vacation experience of a lifetime.  We pride ourselves on our ability to customize trips to fit any and all needs, wants, and wishes. We believe that our client’s satisfaction is our personal success. Let Gil Travel take you to IsraelContact our Travel Experts now!