tips for your travels from
Discovery Cruises and Tours:
are allowed to take one piece of checked luggage plus a carry-on bag. Your
carry-on must not exceed 55cmX40cmX20cm, weight limit 17 pounds, and must
fit under the seat or overhead in the storage space. The checked bag cannot
weigh more than 50 pounds. Your luggage should be marked with a Discovery
Cruises and Tours luggage tag with your name, address and phone number
printed on it.
The weather is very unpredictable just like the U.S. and the
rule is: Be Prepared! You can do something about being hot, but you can't do
much about being cold if you aren't prepared. We suggest ski silks (long,
thermal underwear) as well as a warm coat, gloves and hat November-April. In
addition you may want to have a raincoat or pancho and an umbrella,
especially January-March. Summers get very hot!
The electrical current in Israel is 220 volts. This means you
must have an electrical converter and adapter plugs if you intend to use any
type of electrical appliance such as razor, hair dryer, etc. There is an
electrical outlet in the bathrooms marked for RAZORS only. Use this
outlet at YOUR OWN RISK! It will generally burn up American-made razors
because it operates on a different cycle. When you plug your hair dryer or
curling iron into the adapter please operate your appliance on low as they
tend to overheat if you use them on normal settings. Please be careful with
these items as they are difficult (and expensive) to replace in Israel.
Carrying your passport:
not necessary to carry your passport except at the airports. Keep it in a
safe place where you always know where it is.
Checking into your hotel:
Hotel check-in is simple and will be done in the same manner at
each hotel. Upon arrival you will proceed into the lobby and will be given
an envelope. The envelope will contain your room key plus two stick-on tags
with your room number on them. You will proceed outside by the bus and affix
a tag to your luggage which will then be delivered to your room. Once this
is done you may go to your room to freshen up. You will also be informed as
to what time dinner will be served.
Checking out of your hotel:
The morning of departure you will place your luggage (with
identification tag) outside your door at a specified time (usually 7 a.m.)
to be collected by the porters. The porters will collect the luggage and
arrange it outside by the bus. We ask that you visually identify your
luggage before getting on the bus and it will then be loaded. It is very
important you identify your suitcase because once you depart it is very
difficult to get luggage that is left behind! IF YOU MADE CHARGES TO
YOUR ROOM, be sure to go to the desk the evening before check-out or fairly
early in the morning to pay these charges.
Most travelers are pretty tired after a full day of touring,
however if you want to do something in the evening please be advised of the
following possibilities. Generally, all the shops close downtown at 6 p.m.
In addition, the YMCA in Jerusalem offers an Israeli Folklore Evening of
music, dances etc. This begins at 9 p.m. and is about two hours long. The
cost is $15 per person. This is not available in English every night so
check with your guide to obtain a schedule.
Video Cameras, iPads, Smart Phones, Etc.:
Video Cameras are OK; policy dictates a security deposit at the
airport, but this is rarely enforced with group travel. You many bring
iPads, Smart Phones, etc. for taking pictures and videos. Be sure to use a
converter to charge up any items.
You may call to the states with your long distance company's direct number.
For AT&T, get a local line and dial 177-100-2727. You may then use a credit
card or calling card to place your call. You may also contact your cell
phone provider for International calling plans
Dollars are generally accepted in Israel so it is not necessary
for you to change them into local currency. When you make a purchase,
however, you will usually be given change in shekels. Your guide will
explain how to easily use this currency. We recommend that you take $50 in
one dollar bills for small souvenirs. For larger purchases, most vendors
will accept Visa, MasterCard and/or personal checks.
Several opportunities will be provided for souvenir shopping.
If possible, you will visit an Olive Wood factory and gift shop in
Bethlehem. You will also have opportunities to browse local shops in
Jerusalem. WARNING!! Do not go with any vendor who approaches you
and offers to take you to his/her shop for really good deals! More than one
tourist has been taken and was disappointed in the quality of
merchandise. We highly recommend you shop at stores your guide recommends
or shops in the Jewish areas. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true,
it probably is!
Items Left On Bus During Touring:
It is safest to leave handbags, purses, etc. on the bus as it
will be locked while you are out touring. Please be very careful in crowded
areas with purses and wallets. Like every place in the world, pickpockets
do prey on tourists.
Israel is the safest country in the world with less crime per
capita than any place. However, it is not recommended that you leave your
valuables in a hotel room. Take them with you or use a safety box in the
hotel. You are perfectly safe to walk in any of the Jewish areas day or
night; however, we do not recommend you visit or walk in the Old City or
other Moslem areas after dark or alone. While Americans are liked in
Israel, we would prefer you not take any chances.
You can drink the water! If your lunches are not provided, you
should plan to spend $10-17 per day for a lunch; i.e., sandwich, soup or
salad. Be careful; you can spend more than you plan! Ask your guide if you
have a question. Ask a waiter if unsure which beverages are included with
You should expect a wake-up call about 6:30 a.m. and plan to be
on your bus by 8:15 - 8:30 a.m. You will be advised daily by your guide as
to scheduled departure times and any dress limitations for the next day.
One or two locations may not allow shorts to be worn inside and ladies may
want to bring a wrap-around skirt. Dress is very casual so pack light!
The day of departure your group will arrive at the Tel Aviv
airport about three hours prior to departure. Your luggage will be set off
the bus by the driver. At this point you will take a rolling cart and place
your luggage on it. You will proceed inside the airport and get in line at
the direction of your guide, tour leader etc. DO NOT GET IN A HURRY!!! This
process is slow and the plane will not depart without you.
The only customs you will have to clear will be upon arrival back in the
United States. Regardless of what city your luggage is checked to, you will
have to claim it and clear customs at the first point of entry into the U.S.
You will receive a U.S. Customs Declaration Form aboard your flight home.
You are allowed $400 per person or $800 per couple duty free. In addition,
the U.S. has a trade agreement with Israel regarding diamonds, jewelry and
precious stones. You do not have to list these items. When completing the
form you will want to write in "Misc. souvenirs" and place the amount you
think you spent. You do not need to get receipts for small items but
receipts are recommended if you purchase major items.
Still have questions? Call Discovery Cruises and Tours at