Israel Do It Yourself. You decided it’s best for you to plan your own trip to Israel. How can this be done? What are the best tips for you to keep costs down? Here are the tools you need.
When is the best time to travel to Israel?
Here are three great times to come to Israel:
- September: After the summer craze and before the Jewish Holidays.
- January: for the winter break, arriving after Christmas is great. The country has fewer tourists.
- May and early June: great weather, green meadows, before peak season.
Read more about Best and Worst times to come to Israel.
Should you rent a car?
Only when you leave the cities. A car is not recommended while staying in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Parking can be challenging and costly. Taxis are probably less expensive and easier to use. If you plan on traveling to Galilee or the Negev Desert, renting a car can be helpful. In fact, touring those areas is not possible without a car. However, for many of the sites around Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, better to keep it simple. Rent the car when you need to tour somewhere rural on the way up north or south. For example, check out from Jerusalem when you would like to tour Masada. Get the car on that day, then continue to Galilee or Negev desert. Please keep in mind that some people may find driving in Israel challenging.
What is the dress code in Israel?
Casual, athleisure. Pack light. You can wear anything you want anywhere you go. Some religious sites may require long pants and covered shoulders. Otherwise, wear what is most comfortable for you. Comfortable walking shoes are important, especially in archaeological sights and in Jerusalem.
What are the tipping customs in Israel?
We Would recommend bringing multiple bills of 10 and 20 USD or Euros.
It is customary to tip in Israel as follows:
- Restaurants: 15%. You would need to notify the restaurant before they swipe your card or tip cash after.
- Taxis: Usually not necessary on short rides. You can always round up. If there is luggage involved, or if on longer rides of 1 hour, 10-20 USD would be appreciated. Half-day or Full day taxi services should be tipped $35-$70.
- Bell Boys- $10 for a couple, $15 for a family.
- Touring services:
- On a bus: $10-$20 per person per day. Same for walking tours as part of a group.
- Private walking tour- half day: $50-$70
- Guest lecturer\special tour of 1-2 hours- $40-$50
- Private tour- whole day with transportation: $100-$150
Where should you visit?
Here are some great options for self-touring:
- The Old City
- Running tour of Jerusalem through RUNJLM.
- Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial (needs booking here).
- Israel museum- is one of the world’s best museums. It contains some of the most famous findings of all time. For example, the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Tel Dan inscription, and Herod’s grave.
- Machneyuda food market
- Western Wall
- Holy Church of resurrection (Jesus’s tomb).
- Independence trail on Rothschild street.
- Anu museum of the Jewish people.
- Private tour of neighborhoods\foodtour\graffiti tour.
- Tel Aviv beaches
- Park Hayarkon: stroll around the stream, where the locals enjoy life.
- Palmach museum: tells the story of the youth fighting during the war of independence. Requires booking.
- Carmel market, the main food market in Tel Aviv.
Out of the cities, with a car OR private guide:
- Dead Sea
- Caesaria, Herod’s port and capital from the time of Jesus.
- Acre (Akko), the Crusaders’ capital.
- Beth Shean Roman city.
- Sea of Galilee- exploring Jesus’s ministry.
Should you use a Tour Guide?
Yes. It is beneficial to use a tour guide for at least some of your tours. Read more about the best way to tour Israel.
Where should you eat?
Israel’s cost of living has risen considerably in recent years. Food is one of the most expensive necessities while visiting Israel. Having said that, street food in Israel is healthy, easy to find, and inexpensive. Try not to stress over looking for “the best” falafel or shawarma stand. Most places you find on the street are very good. Here are the top Israeli street foods you should check out:
- Falafel: the greatest all-around sandwich in a pita. Fried chickpea balls. And it’s vegan.
- Shawarma: Meat in a sandwich stuffed with salads.
- Sabich: eggplant and hard-boiled egg delicacy.
- Hummus: in a plate. Wipe with pita bread.
- Shakshuka: eggs in a pan with tomato-pepper sauce.
- For dessert: Babka, Halva (made of sesame), Baklawa, and Kenafe.
How else can you save money?
Book hotels on your own. I recommend using Booking.com and reading the ratings. We find them more reliable than some other websites. Booking apartments can save a family a lot of money compared to hotels.
You can use the following link to book.
Feel free to consult with us.