Your Personal Link With The World
Header

7 Gadgets for Easy Traveling

September 13th, 2014 | Posted by Iris Hami in Israel Travel | World Travel - (0 Comments)

7 Un-Necessities for Traveling

So much to pack, so little space! Here are 7 gadgets for easy traveling to consider for your next international trip.

The necessities of international travel are passport, visa, money, and probably clothes, at least the ones on your back, but who would want to travel like that?

From backpackers to family vacationers, most travelers would prefer to have a stress-free experience and to be prepared for the most part. Our Packing Guide covers this in more details.

There are many tips and tricks on the internet in regards to maximizing luggage space. If you would like to learn some of them, check out our Pinterest Board for Travel Tips!

This post will focus on fun and interesting “un-necessities” to have on a trip, chances are, your trip will not be spoiled in any way without these products; they are luxuries, but why not travel in style and comfort? You’ll feel like a superhero when you can whip any of these 7 gadgets for easy traveling, entertainment, or peace of mind.

Not in any particular order, let’s go!

1. Tablet
tablet-431647_640Depending on the nature and length of your trip, a tablet is much more portable and convenient to bring than a laptop. It functions as an e-reader, a gaming console, a video player, a computer, and in a pinch, a video recorder and camera, but at a fraction of the weight and size of the average laptop!

If you’re in Israel and you have a spare day or two, you can read our blogs for inspiration on activities to do, sites to visit, or even book one of our day or mini tours!

2. Point and Shoot Camera
I love my DSLR and the quality of the photos it produces. However, sometimes I am on a trip where I just want some quick snapshots, or I am hiking/biking on rougher trails, and I don’t want to bring extra weight or risk damaging my DSLR. That’s where a regular ol’ point and shoot comes in handy.

The average point and shoot cameras available on the market today are quite affordable and you do not sacrifice quality with them. Most of them have some sort of recording capability so you can even take home videos. Just don’t forget to pack some extra memory cards and be sure to check the power source. If your camera uses a rechargeable battery pack, don’t forget the charger, they are usually a bit harder to replace abroad, and if it is battery-powered, pack some extra batteries!

3. Smartphone
iphone-106351_640I think everyone who has a smartphone brings it with them on trips, so you may be wondering why it’s listed. It’s kind of an all-in-one. An even more portable tablet, though depending on usage, probably has a shorter battery life and the screen isn’t that comfortable for extended use. You probably already use it as a camera and video recorder, but it can double as an alarm clock, calculator, currency converter, dictionary, gaming console, flashlight, and of course, phone.

You can call from abroad, using your own smart phone, without worrying about international roaming fees if you’re in Israel and you buy a Gil Travel SIM card. You place the order, receive the SIM card, switch it out when you arrive in Israel and you’re good to go! When you return, just switch back to your SIM card, and you’ll have access to your own network again. Easy peasy.

4. Noise-canceling headphones
They are great for flights and a long drive to the next touring destination. It buffers against the loud engine sound and any upset infants around you, so you can get some shut-eye on your flight and be ready to tour when you arrive at your destination.

I haven’t tried it yet, but a number of travelers recommend using ear plugs with the noise-canceling headphones. I will try it on my next trip.

2613787072_5a189bc1c1_z

The Golan Heights Winery is a must-see destination, especially for oenophiles!
By Shoshanah [CC BY 2.0], via flickr

5. Wine Skin
This is good to have in any wine country, such as Israel, but especially if you visit wineries in Golan Heights. It would be hard to resist bringing home that wine you tasted, and you’ll probably want to bring more than the 3oz allowed in your carry on. If you check it, you may be concerned what the high altitude, pressure, and perhaps bumpy ride will do to the bottle, and what the wine will do to the other contents within your luggage.

If you have ever faced this dilemma, let me reassure you, there is a solution, Wine Skin. With its bubble interior and tough vinyl exterior, it’s protected from hard impact. And, if it were to shatter, rest assure that the double seal would prevent leakage and protect the other contents in your luggage. It is not only for wine, you can use it for any other glass, or fragile containers, such as Israel’s lauded olive oil. It is designed for wine, so it would only hold and protect the standard wine bottle and smaller. Note that they are not reusable.

6. Anti-theft compartments
There are many anti-theft products and methods in the market. From hiding and protecting valuables in an empty sunscreen bottle, a moist towelette container, to buying products designed for that purpose, there are numerous ways to protect your valuables while traveling no matter your budget or luggage space.

Some items to consider would be secret pockets for your clothing/bag, an anti-theft belt, or even sandals with hidden compartments. They are not so much as “un-necessities” as they are methods or products to outsmart pickpockets. No matter what you choose, invest in something that makes you feel secure, and do not draw attention to it. One trick that pickpockets like to use is to “test” a potential victim, and when the individual looks to the hiding place to reassure him/herself, the actual theft occurs. 

6133267567_8203608994_z

Recommend a power strip with surge protection and possibly usb ports
By Sh4rp_i [CC BY 2.0], via flickr

7. Surge Protector Power Strip
It never occurred to me to bring a power strip. It is usually big and bulky, who needs it? Everyone. It is an absolute technology saver if you have a long layover, or have multiple people sharing a hotel room. Anyone who has been to an airport recently can attest to the competition involved to getting access to an outlet. Likewise, if you’re sharing a room with multiple people, you’ll quickly realize that the number of outlets available is not sufficient.

With a surge protector, not only are you protected against voltage spikes, but you also have access to many outlets so everyone has charged electronics, and you don’t need to bring as many converters/adapters. It may be helpful to have a surge protector that has USB ports as well, if not, the TV in your hotel room should have USB port available for charging.

What do you think of these 7 travel items? What items do you always bring? Let us know on Facebook or in the comment section below!

 

Brief Introduction to the Christian Quarter

jerusalem

Through its long history, Jerusalem brings together three of the great monotheistic religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Through archaeological discoveries, experts estimate from the first foundations of Jerusalem that the city dates back to the third millennium before Christ, meaning that the ancient city is well over five thousand years old. Jerusalem always impresses visitors with its natural beauty and the well-preserved historic monuments built of white stone.

Jerusalem_Christian_Quarter_Church_St_John_the_Baptist

The Christian Quarter, featuring St. John the Baptist, the oldest church in Jerusalem.
By Djampa [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The city is categorized in two parts – the Old City and the New City. The Old City is further comprised of 4 quarters – the Armenian Quarter, the Muslim Quarter, beyond the Wailing Wall is the Jewish Quarter and to the Northwest, around Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the Christian Quarter which alone as about 40 religious sites. A brief exploration of the Christian Quarter can take at least one full day, so budget your time if you have a time constraint, because you’d want to spend some time and explore each quarter; there is so much history everywhere!

The walls bordering the Christian Quarter are almost entirely built by Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent when the Ottoman Empire was at its military power peak. The streets are narrow and winding, bustling with pilgrims and tourists from all over the world who come to visit these sacred sites and significant monuments of the Old and New Testament, one of these being the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

There are many religious sites to discover in the Christian Quarter, such as the Via Dolorosa, but the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is arguably one of the most important Christian sites in Jerusalem. The Church has a long history and dates back to the days of the Crusaders. Its importance in Christianity is due to its biblical significance. The Rock of Golgotha stands to the west of the Holy Sepulchre and is the site of Jesus’s crucifixion. The Church marks the site where Jesus was buried and resurrected.

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre includes many places of worship that would be very intriguing to pilgrims who seek a rewarding, enlightening, and historical journey in Jerusalem. In addition to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, some other points of interest for pilgrims include stone anointing, the Golgotha place of women, Grave of the Savior, Joseph’s Tomb, Wailing Chapel, Wedding Chapel, Chapel of Adam, among many other historical sites.

If you’re interested in exploring the beautiful city of Jerusalem while also delving into the history of Christianity, check out our guide to a Holy Land trip by clicking the button below or contact Gil Travel to set up the perfect tour for you.


Packing Guide for Traveling Abroad: Israel

travel-164574_1280

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!

Weather_widget

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!

sunscreen copy

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.

640px-Israeli-type-H-plugs-and-socket

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

cell-phone

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!