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. The Following is the direction to the BYU students :
"Although clothing standards vary from region to region in the Middle East, many contemporary clothing styles violate local modesty standards, in particular those of Jerusalem’s orthodox, conservative Christian, Muslim, or Jewish inhabitants. Even commonly accepted clothing styles worn by students at BYU would be considered immodest by many in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the Middle East."
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 clothes line. Laundromat facilities are sometimes available at the hotel for a fee.
Refrain from t-shirts with slogans that may not be understood or political.
Over the shoulder bag is convenient to hold your guide book, camera, money etc. or a jacket with several pockets
I use zip lock plastic bags or packing cubes to pack all groups of things in my suit case. We may have our bags opened and searched so putting it 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, credit card numbers for additional reference.
Make a copy of your passport and pack it in a suitcase as a backup. During the day your passport stays in your room hotel safe.
1 sweater or sweat shirt
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 into 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 half way through the trip
1 pair of good walking shoes (make sure they are comfortable)
1 pair water shoes or old tennis shoes or water proof sandals - for Hezekiah’s tunnel and the Dead Sea.
1 modest swim suit (inexpensive one – the Dead Sea is harsh on fabric)
1 pair pants - to roll up to wade through Hezekiah’s tunnel. The water goes from knee to hip depth,
(We strongly suggest that you don’t miss either Hezekiah’s tunnel or floating in the Dead Sea)
1 pair pajamas, robe, slippers
1 large scarf (pashmina) for women – at some sites you will be asked to cover your head and can be wrapped over regular clothes. Scarves are sold everywhere and make a nice souvenir.
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. Laundry services are usually available at the hotel for a fee.
Camera- enough memory and batteries for the trip
Laptops, tablets other electrical equipment – back up battery is recommended. Due to the
electrical difference in Israel, these devices will run slower even with a converter.
Snacks: granola bars, dried apples, nuts, jerky etc. these are for your comfort if lunch time is not consistent.
mini Flashlight - for Hezekiah’s tunnel. A cell phone also works fine.
Make sure you have enough prescription medicine for the 11 day trip. Bring a copy of your prescription might be helpful, just in case.
Over the counter medicine as needed: Pain relievers, sore throat lozenges, antacid tablets, anti-diarrhea medications, anti-bacterial gel, laxatives to have for your convenience. Sometimes new foods, culture and travel can cause changes in 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.
The United States uses 110 volt alternating current (AC) at 60 cycles, while the majority of the world operates on 220 volt AC at 50 cycles. The unfortunate result is that when you plug an American appliance into a foreign outlet, it draws too much current and is damaged or burned out.
Some appliances have the proper converters on the outlet cord but you still need an adaptor, having two small round-shaped pins that fit into the outlets. We have used converters and had mixed results depending on the device. Our laptop has usually worked because of the converters - that brick looking, black box connecting to the cord. Internet is available in the hotels.
International calling plans are available through your provider. Internet communications like Skype or FaceTime often work pretty well in the hotels.
Cash is preferred – the current rate for a shekel is 0.31. So if something is 4 shekels it is $1.22
We like to take $100.00 in ones 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. You will get change in shekels.
Credit cards are accepted at most stores but they might want to add 3% unless it is a high priced item.
Travelers checks - You do not need to buy them, unless that is your preference.
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 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.