FAQs

All
Before You Go
When In Israel
COVID-19 and Health

Is there someone who can assist with booking flights?

If you are interested in assistance with flight booking, please refer to our travel partner, Riverdale Travel, for direct bookings. Flights for Experience Israel 2023 will be available to reserve beginning June 1, 2022. If you have any questions or would like to book your flight, please contact Kathy at kathy@riverdaletravel.com.
 
You may also purchase travel insurance by clicking here.

Can MJF help pair up roommates for folks traveling as singletons?

Yes we can! Please fill out this form and you will be contacted in September with potential roommate matches.

What documents do I need to travel to Israel?

US and Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a visa for travel to Israel. Citizens from all other countries will need to check with their respective embassies/consulates or visa agency to determine if a visa is required. You can also check here. Your passport needs to be valid for 6 months from the date you leave Israel after your trip. Other documentation, such as that which relates to COVID-19 (for example) may be required. We will update this section with all relevant information as it becomes available.

What is the local currency? How much cash should I bring with me? How do I change money?

The local currency is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). It’s not advisable to walk around with large amounts of cash anywhere in the world. $50-$100 in local currency is more than enough to cover small purchases and meals. You can always change cash into local currency fairly easily at the airport or at  ‘change points’ located all across the country. Or, with the Via Sabra touch, just tell us how much you need, and our staff will have cash waiting for you when you arrive, to save you valuable time. Just remember to mention it to us before your trip.

What’s the weather like in Israel?

It is always best to check the weather forecast beforehand as the weather during the Spring seasons can be unexpectedly warm or cold. From late March through May, daytime temperatures are generally very pleasant - around 65-70°F, though it can still be hot in some areas (such as the Dead Sea and Eilat). There is a slight chance of rain, but it doesn't happen often. It can be cooler in the evenings in the North and Jerusalem - approximately 45°F.
Weekly weather forecast

What clothes should I bring?

Israel is a very informal country and the most formal you'll have to be is "business casual". Religious sites require long pants for the men and clothing that covers the knees and shoulders for the women. Men and women may be requested to cover their heads at Jewish and Muslim religious sites, while at Christian sites men are usually required to remove their hats. It's important to have comfortable walking shoes for the touring days. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen are highly recommended as well. For warmer days, natural fibered clothes are best. We recommend bringing clothing that can be layered, as the night and day temperatures can vary greatly, regardless of season. Bring long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, a warm jacket/raincoat, as well as T-shirts. TALK TO US TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT OTHERS BY DONATING YOUR COAT AT THE END OF YOUR TRIP.

Can I use my cell phone in Israel?

Yes. You can use your cellphone in Israel if it is unlocked, or if you have roaming services on. Your mobile carrier should be able to unlock your smartphone for you. Alternatively, your carrier may offer international services for a daily or monthly fee. Please make sure to check the rates for international cellular usage before your trip so you don’t incur any unnecessary charges. It is possible to purchase a pre-paid SIM card including data, text message, calls in Israel and a US/Canadian number for people back home to contact you. You can do this on your own, or request that we arrange to have one available for you at check-in. Please make your request, in writing, by sending an email to mpls@viasabra.com no later than March 15, 2023.

Will I need an adapter/converter for my electronics in Israel?

The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz - the same as in Europe. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adapter or converter. Israeli plug sockets are three-pronged, but most accept European two-pronged plugs. We recommend that you bring your own adapter, though most hotels should be able to supply one. For cell phones & tablets you need a plug tip adapter. Smart devices (Android, iPhones, Kindles, iPads) can convert between 110v/220v by themselves and therefore only need the plug-tip adapter. Many hotels have USB sockets and 110V sockets as well, but don't count on it. Also - we supply our guides with adapters/converters for our guests. Should you need it, we've got you covered.

What about COVID-19?

Though we hope this will be a non-issue come April 2023, the situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and changes often, based on what is happening across the globe. We will continue to update you regarding current guidelines. That said, as you prepare for your trip, we suggest the following:

  • Health Insurance It is a condition of your booking through Via Sabra / Israel4All, as well as the State of Israel, that you obtain travel health insurance which includes coverage for COVID-19.
  • Travel Insurance In addition, we strongly recommend that you purchase full travel insurance which includes coverage for ‘cancellation under any circumstances and for any reason’. It is recommended to purchase insurance as soon as the booking is made, as this coverage is often dependent on purchasing as close to the time of booking. You can purchase travel insurance through our partner, Travel Insured, an experienced company and one of the largest in the industry, through this link.
  • Closer to the trip, we will publish details about relevant COVID guidelines and testing requirements for before, during, and after the trip.

Are medical and travel insurance necessary? Where can I purchase it?

Health Insurance It is a condition of your booking through Via Sabra / Israel4All, as well as the State of Israel, that you obtain travel health insurance which includes coverage for COVID-19.

Travel Insurance We strongly recommend that you purchase full travel insurance which includes coverage for ‘cancellation under any circumstances and for any reason’. It is recommended to purchase insurance as soon as the booking is made, as this cover is often dependent on purchasing as close to the time of booking. You can purchase travel insurance with our partner, Travel Insured, an experienced company and one of the largest in the industry through this link.

What are my transportation options from the airport?

Prior to your arrival, we can arrange a door-to-door transfer for you from the airport. There is a train station at the airport that links to the major cities. Check here for the train schedules and fares from Ben Gurion airport. There is also a taxi stand at the airport.

How do I access the internet during my trip?

Most hotels in Israel have free Wi-Fi available for hotel guests and many restaurants offer complimentary Wi-Fi as well. The city of Tel Aviv offers a city-wide free Wi-Fi network, providing 80 free "hotspots" across the city. Other than that - please check your roaming services and international plan before using your cellular data abroad.

What is the country code used to call Israel?

972 (sometimes needs to be dialed +972)

What happens if I need medical attention while I’m in Israel?

The level of medical care provided in Israel, as well as the facilities available, rank up top with the very best in Europe or the United States. There are excellent hospitals in all the major cities and many hotels have a doctor on call. It is required to purchase insurance that includes coverage for medical emergencies (including COVID-19 coverage). For more information about and to purchase travel insurance, please click here.

What taxes can I expect to pay in Israel when I am on my own?

17% Value Added Tax (VAT) is included in the price of most goods and services in Israel. Non-Israeli citizens do not pay VAT at hotels, car rental agencies, and tour companies. When departing the country, it is possible to receive a refund of the VAT paid for goods, under certain conditions. Make sure to save the blue tourist visa slip you receive at the airport once you land in Israel. Please see the full regulations for VAT refunds here.

Can I use my credit/debit cards when I’m in Israel?

Most Israeli shops, restaurants, gas stations, and other providers of services accept major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express (less common). Be sure to check with your credit card company what, if any, international transaction fees will apply. Discover Card (Diner’s Club) is not widely accepted in Israel. Most of your purchases, hotel, and restaurant costs can and should be made with any major credit card.

In addition, most businesses will now accept Apple/Google/Android Pay as another payment method.

Is everything closed on Shabbat in Israel?

Shabbat (the Sabbath), the Jewish holy day of the week, starts at sunset on Friday and ends shortly after sundown on Saturday evening. All public offices, banks and many stores are closed on Shabbat. Museums, national parks and most art galleries are open. Restaurants (not supervised kosher) and entertainment spots are open. On Shabbat, buses and trains do not run in every city, but taxis do. Airports are open as well. Naturally, cities differ from each other. For example, while Tel Aviv is mostly open on Shabbat, Jerusalem will mostly be closed. But there is still lots to do around the country, even on Shabbat. Just ask us for some recommendations!

Is it safe to travel in Israel?

Yes! It is safe for you and your family to travel in Israel. There is a very low rate of street crime in Israel. But your security is of the utmost importance. Via Sabra, our tour operator, receives regular updates from Home Front Command regarding any critical updates, be it security related, or even about the weather. On the off chance there is a need to do so, we will be able to adjust our itinerary based on relevant information and recommendations.

What is the cancellation policy?

Please click here to see our cancellation policy.

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