FAQs

Planning for your trip to Israel

How far in advance should I start planning my trip?
The more time you have, the better – especially when dealing with larger groups. We recommend you start planning your Israel tour at least 6-8 months in advance to ensure the best prices and availability. If you're planning a tour for your community 8 -12 months is best so families can plan around their kid’s school schedule. Contact us and we'll talk about it.

What is the best time of year to travel to Israel?
With Israel’s warm climate, almost any time of year is perfect for touring. Every season has its advantages and disadvantages (for example good pricing vs potential rain), call us and we'll discuss options and plan the perfect tour designed for you.

What's the weather like in Israel?
Seasons overlap a little in Israel and so by following this advice you can be sure that you will pack for the "right" weather.

 

Spring
late March – May.
During the day, the temperature is very pleasant - around 65-70°, though it can still be hot in the Dead Sea and Eilat areas. You may experience some rain, though nothing too serious. It can be cooler in the evenings in the north and Jerusalem - approximately 45°.
Summer
June - early September
Temperatures in the high 80s, 90s. Humidity will be highest in Tel Aviv and Tiberias. Other areas such as Jerusalem are drier and cooler, particularly at night. The desert, Masada and Eilat are extremely hot but dry. You will NOT get rain in summer in Israel!
Fall
late September – November
Same as spring but the rain can begin in the late fall.
Winter
December - early March
Winter can be mild and sunny, or severe and overcast. There's often heavy rain and, in January and February, even snow sometimes. Temperatures will be in the 50s, 60s most places, but in the 40s in Jerusalem and the Galilee hills - and very cold at night. Pack layers to cover all weathers!

 

We hope that you have a wonderful vacation experience in Israel.

Respectfully yours,
The Via Sabra Team

  • I am ready to plan my trip. Where do I begin?

    You will need to know the approximate travel dates for your visit to Israel. You will also need to know the approximate number of people you plan to travel with, and the focus of your Israel tour - Family Tour, Bar or Bat Mitzvah in Israel, Culinary, Adventure, VIP tour, etc... Call us and we will plan the ultimate experience.

  • Is it safe to travel in Israel?

    It is safe for you and your family to travel in Israel. The Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have a vested interest in encouraging tourism. We would not encourage tourists to come if we felt they would be in the slightest danger.

  • How much does it cost to tour Israel?

    Custom tours are tailored to your trip dates and interests - Contact us today and we'll quote you!
    Group tours are a very cost effective option and super fun! You can find group tour details here.

  • Do I need a Passport to travel to Israel?

    Absolutely - and you need to have at LEAST 6 months validity left on your passport from your planned date of DEPARTURE from Israel. U.S. and Canadian citizens do not need a visa to visit Israel - just a valid passport. Visitors from most European countries, Mexico, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and many other countries also do not need visas.

  • Is trip/travel insurance necessary? Where do I buy it?

    Trip/travel insurance is critical to protect your investment. For information on trip insurance, or a complete quotation on trip cancellation & medical insurance please contact ….?

  • Do I need any vaccinations?
    No vaccinations or shots are required for U.S. or Canadian visitors to Israel. (If you've visited a country prior to coming to Israel where cholera, typhoid or yellow fever is endemic, you will need a vaccination certificate.) Visitors are urged to bring sufficient quantities of any medications which they take regularly as not all medicines are available. Anyone requiring unexpected medical attention, however, can be assured that the level of medicine practiced in Israel, as well as the facilities available, rank with the very best in Europe or the United States.
  • Can I use my smart phone in Israel?
    A quick call to your phone carrier will help you determine whether your phone is unlocked. If your smartphone is unlocked, then you should have no problem using your smartphone is Israel. All you need is a SIM card rental upon arrival. Please contact us for details on SIM card rentals.
  • Can I rent a cellphone while in Israel?
    Yes. Renting a cell-phone is very useful and very affordable. Please contact us for details on smartphone rentals.
  • What is the country code to dial to Israel?
    + 972
  • How do I access the internet during my trip?
    Most hotels in Israel have Wi-Fi available for hotel guests for free. Many cafes and restaurants offer a complementary Wi-Fi service. Tel Aviv offers a citywide free Wi-Fi network which provides 80 free Internet “hot spots” across the city.
  • What are the transportation options from the airport?
    Prior to arrival, individual travelers can request a door to door transfer from your airport to your hotel. Train: Check this link www.rail.co.il/en regarding train fares and schedules from Terminal 3 which is where most international flights arrive.
  • How much do I tip my driver and tour guide?
    Tipping is not included in the tour cost. For all groups ranging from 2-6 people, it is suggested that you tip the tour guide $40-$80 (from the group) per day. For groups larger than 8, it is recommended to tip $8-$12 per person, per day + 50% for your bus driver.
  • How do I keep my valuables safe?
    All hotel rooms have a safe to store your valuable items during your traveling hours. Passports should be kept with you always, so be sure to have a secure place for them in your travel bag.
  • What's the local currency?
    The New Israeli Shekel (NIS), comprising 100 agorot, is the local currency.
  • How do I change dollars in to New Israeli Shekels?
    Israel’s currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). The exchange rate to the dollar varies and we recommend an exchange rate app on your iPhone/Android, called "Israel Money" which will give you the exact daily exchange rate. Israeli shops, restaurants, gas stations, and other providers of services accept major credit cards such as Visa/MasterCard/American Express. For cash, Israel regulates ‘change points’ and generally tourists get fair exchange rates at money changers through Jerusalem or Tel Aviv. ATMs are almost everywhere and local currency can be obtained from them. We also recommend using bank front ATM’s to withdraw shekels without fee’s (on the Israel side). Your hotel will also exchange money but their rates can be uncompetitive. Israeli currency can be re-converted in airport or border banks at the end of your stay.
  • Can I use my credit cards while in Israel?
    In Israel, you can use your MasterCard, Visa, or American Express cards just like in the U.S. Be sure to check with your credit card company to be aware of any international transaction fee's in advance, which tend to be around 3%. Discover card is not widely accepted in Israel. Most of your purchases, hotel and restaurant costs can and should be made with any major credit card.
  • How much cash should I take with me?
    Walking around with a large amount of cash isn’t advisable anywhere. Fifty to a hundred dollars in local currency is more than enough to cover small purchases and meals. Change your currency in Israel. You can do it almost everywhere, but taking a little time at the airport upon arrival is always a good idea. Please note: It’s not unusual for Israeli ATM’s to run out of cash on Friday and Saturday, the Israeli weekend so be prepared.
  • What taxes can I expect to pay in Israel when I am on my own?
    The Vat (Value Added Tax) in Israel is 17%. It’s already included in most prices in Israel. VAT is waived for tourists at hotels, tour companies and car rental agencies. Tourists can receive a refund of the VAT they paid on purchases when departing the country, the refund program and the purchase amount in one tax invoice including V.A.T. must exceed NIS 400. For more information: http://www.goisrael.com/Tourism_Eng/Tourist%20Information/Planning%20your%20trip/Pages/Money%20and%20Currency.aspx
  • Will I need an adapter for my electronics in Israel?
    The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz, the same as in Europe. Most Israeli sockets are three-pronged but most accept European two-pronged plugs. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adaptor. For cell phones & tablets you need a plug tip adapter. Smart devices (android, iPhones, Kindles, iPads) can convert between 110v/220v by themselves and do not need a full power converter, only the plug-tip adapter. Your hotels should have adapters available. Most hotel bathrooms have hair-dryers as well as low-wattage American-style sockets for electric shavers in which you can usually charge your cell-phone or tablet.
  • How many suitcases are allowed per traveler?
    We recommend 1 suitcase & 1 personal bag per traveler. All hotels have laundry service and you’ll be too busy touring to carry all that luggage around!
  • What clothes should I bring?
    Good walking shoes are a must. Of course, always bring a hat, sun screen and sunglasses. Get used to have a water bottle with you always. Drink often and a lot! From September-April, bring long sleeve shirts, sweaters and a scarf, gloves, a warm coat, and a raincoat and an umbrella. May- September, is summer which can be hot…or hotter. It is best to wear comfortable natural fibered clothing. Regardless of the season, it’s always best to bring “layers” since day and night temperatures can vary greatly even in the same area. The most “formal” you will have to be can be called “business casual”. Israel is a very informal country but religious sites require long pants for men and clothing that covers the shoulders and knees for women. If you are visiting Jewish holy sites, men are recommended to bring a hat or a “kipah” (yarmulke). Christian sites usually require men to remove their hats.
  • Will our tour include free time?
    Tour guides try to balance the tour schedule and free time for shopping in certain areas. Many nights are free and you'll have the opportunity then to explore on your own as you please.
  • Is everything closed on Shabbat in Israel?
    Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the Jewish holy day of the week starts at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday evening. Christian, Moslem and Druze businesses may be closed on their weekly holy days as well (Sunday, Friday and Thursday respectively). As a rule, tourists are only affected by Saturday closures although it’s best to check if you want to visit religious sites. •All public offices are closed on Shabbat, as are banks, most stores and businesses; throughout Israel there is a growing number of shops open on Shabbat. •Museums, national parks and most art galleries are usually open. More and more places of entertainment such as coperate. •Most non-kosher restaurants are open on Shabbat as are “nightspots”. •It is recommended to check in advance if you are planning on visiting a specific location. •Radio and TV broadcasts operate as usual as do the airports.inemas and cultural events are open on Shabbat as well. •In most cities, public transportation (trains and buses) do not operate on Shabbat. Private taxis do
  • If I have a question while in Israel who do I call?
    Via Sabra is on call for clients touring in Israel. We take customer support very seriously and we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions in Israel.
Contact us