The standards of modesty for most of the inhabitants of Israel, who generally belong to the Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths, are very conservative. We recommend that your styles are not immodest to offend them and that you will represent our group well. Some areas require women especially to not have bare arms or legs. We will tell you the night before we visit those sites.
Shorts or dresses are fine, if not too tight or revealing.
We suggest that you bring clothing that can be easily hand-washed if needed. Jeans are fine to wear but take several days to dry on a clothesline. Laundromat facilities are sometimes available at the hotel for a fee.
Refrain from t-shirts with slogans that may not be understood or political.
A shoulder bag is convenient during the day to hold your guidebook, snacks, camera, money, water bottle, personal items, etc.
We use zip-lock plastic bags or packing cubes to pack all groups of things in my suitcase. We may have our bags opened and searched so putting them back together in bags is much easier and less embarrassing.
Another tip that has worked well is to put a smaller suitcase inside a larger one and then pack your things in the small one and around the inside of the larger one. This allows you to bring home more souvenirs in the extra bag, instead of paying high shipping costs.
We like to take a paper list of phone numbers, and credit card numbers for backup.
Make a copy of your passport and pack it in a suitcase as a backup. During the day we may bring our passports with us or they stay in your room hotel safe.
1 sweater or sweatshirt
1 church clothes – after church we will continue to see Christ-centered sites. You could stay in your church clothes or change before getting back on the bus. Men usually bring a white shirt and tie and women a skirt. We can change after Sacrament meeting in the BYU center. We wear our walking shoes to church.
10 undergarments and pairs of socks or 5 to wash halfway through the trip
1 pair of good walking shoes (make sure they are comfortable)
1 pair of water shoes or old tennis shoes (to discard) or waterproof sandals - for Hezekiah’s tunnel and the Dead Sea.
1 modest swimsuit (inexpensive one – the Dead Sea is harsh on fabric)
1 pair of pants - to roll up ( if not wearing shorts) to wade through Hezekiah’s tunnel. The water goes from knee to mid-thigh depth, (We strongly suggest that you don’t miss either Hezekiah’s tunnel or floating in the Dead Sea)
1 pair pajamas, robe, slippers
Miscellaneous: These are suggestions
Toiletries and make-up as needed
Small containers of shampoo and conditioner – if you want different than the hospitality ones
Hair dryers are usually in our hotel rooms
Curling irons – take appropriate adaptors and or converters
Laundry soap to wash out clothing. Usually, a clothesline is in the bathrooms.
Tote or shoulder bag - to take on the bus during the day
Camera- enough memory and batteries for the trip
Laptops, tablets other electrical equipment – backup battery is recommended. Due to the
electrical difference in Israel, these devices will run slower even with a converter.
Sunglasses, Sunscreen and hat
Snacks: granola bars, dried apples, nuts, jerky etc. these are for your comfort if lunchtime is not consistent.
Mini Flashlight or headlamp - for Hezekiah’s tunnel or use phone
Highlighter pen for use on the Guidebook
Small umbrella or poncho - in case of a rain day
FYI - hotels often do not have washcloths, only bath and hand towels.
Make sure you have enough prescription medicine for the 10 day trip.
Over-the-counter medicine as needed: Pain relievers, sore throat lozenges, antacid tablets, anti-diarrhea medications, anti-bacterial gel, stool softeners, etc. Traveling can change your normal digestion.
There are pharmacies for emergencies but the brands and language will not be the same and the price will be much higher. More importantly, taking time from our itinerary to find medication will affect our schedule.
International calling plans are available through your provider
Charging cords work with the plug adaptor. (below)
Cash is preferred – the current rate for a shekel is 0.27, though this changes daily. So, if something is 4 shekels it is $1.06
We like to take some small bills and roll them up separately in our pocket. They are easy to take out one at a time and all the street vendors love dollars.
Credit cards are accepted at most stores but they might want to add 3% unless it is a high priced item.
Many stores, especially because we are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will take a personal check. But please remember the reputation of trust that the church has created in Israel and do not bounce a check. If a BYU Student bounces a check they must pay the vendor double and could be sent home. The church has invested greatly in our public relations.
Lunch – The average lunch is $12.00-20.00. All the food is delicious Mediterranean fare. Falafel and Shawarma are common meals. There are many other options of salads, vegetables, juices, nuts, and fruit available most everywhere. We recommend that you also pack snack food, because our stop time for lunch will vary each day. One day it will be at 11:30am or 1:30pm so having something with you is more comfortable. Some travelers don’t buy a lunch because the breakfasts and dinners are plentiful so snacks are enough.