Travel Information for Israel with Unconditional Love Ministries
Your passport must be valid for a minimum of six (6) months after your departure date. When traveling, DO NOT pack your passport. Carry it with you at all times. Never put your passport in your suitcase.
Going through Passport Control in Israel
Show your passport, and if asked why you are visiting Israel, mention that you are joining a Christian Tour called "Heavenly Encounters." Have the tour brochure and airplane ticket near in case they ask for them. Don't be talkative, but just answer questions when asked. More than likely, they will not ask you a lot of questions. Going through passport control is usually a breeze. If you need to contact Pastor Michael, his Israel cell phone number is (058) 407 6584.
Passport Control typically gives a 3-month tourist visa, which will be in the form of a little card that has a copy of your passport information on it. You use the visa to put on an electronic light to pass through the bar to the luggage area. PUT THE VISA IN YOUR BILLFOLD AND DO NOT LOSE IT.
Israel Welcome Hall
After you pick up your luggage, go through the "Nothing to Declare Entrance," and walk through the double doors into the Welcome Hall. After you arrive in the Welcome Hall, look straight ahead at the double doors leading to the outside. Look up, and you will see arrows pointing toward transportation.
Money Exchange at Airport
In the Welcome Hall, you will see an ATM where you can get shekels (Israeli currency) or a money exchange booth, where you can change dollars to shekels. (See pictures on the website.)
We suggest you change only $50.00 USD at the airport. We will take you to money changers in Jerusalem who will give you a better rate when we are out in the city the next day. You can use credit cards almost anywhere, but you will need Shekels for a few places. The ATMs at Israeli banks are secure and safe in Israel.
Airport Transportation from Ben Gurion to YMCA in Jerusalem
Airport Transportation Nesher - Getting to Jerusalem from the airport is not as painful as it seems. There are reasonable alternatives to a private taxi. The most common is called a "shurit" or "sherut" which is essentially a shared taxi (van). The shurit service at Ben Gurion Airport is operated by a company called "Nesher". These taxis are available 24 hours a day to major cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. They can easily be found just outside the main arrival terminal. The cost per person is approximately $15.00 to $20.00 USD per person (72.00 Shekels). Sometimes they charge a little extra for your bags.
Directions to Shared Van (Shurit) to Jerusalem
Go outside and turn to the right where you will look for the van shared ride to Jerusalem. They speak English so you can ask anyone where the Nesher shurit is to Jerusalem. Be sure to take the shared van called "shurit" to Jerusalem, not a regular taxi (taxis are costly), and give the driver the address and name of the YMCA in Jerusalem on King David Street. (Look at the picture on website)
Cash and Credit Cards
We suggest you bring $300.00 to $500.00 dollars or more in cash if you're not planning on using credit cards. You can always pull more money out of the ATM with a debit or credit card if you need more cash. You can bring travelers checks, but the exchange rate will be less than if you pay in dollars. Your change back from dollars will always be given back in shekels (in Israel currency not in American dollars).
Major credit cards are accepted in many stores and shops throughout Israel. The exchange rate changes every day. Therefore, the number of American dollars needed to purchase an item changes daily. This change will be evident when using credit cards. The exchange rate may change (to your advantage OR your disadvantage) before your credit card company bills you.
Be sure to notify your bank or/and credit card companies that you are traveling so your card will not be blocked.
Hotel in Jerusalem
YMCA Jerusalem Hotel - November 14-19, 2019 Address: King David 26, Jerusalem, 91002 Phone: 02-569-2692 (located on the west side of Jerusalem) Look at Pictures on Website
The hotel that we will be using in the north will be either in Galilee. (We will give you the address and phone number of that hotel before you fly to Israel.)
Roommate and room assignments are prearranged for swift and efficient check-in. Occasionally, your rooms may not be ready upon your arrival due to a Jewish Sabbath or some other circumstance. Jo Anna Lea will instruct you on check-in procedures before your arrival.
The rooms are booked as a double, which means you will be sharing a room with one roommate. The hotel's rooms in Israel are small, and you will be sharing a bathroom, so think of your roommate when you are packing and be considerate.
Please inform us of your preference for a roommate. Your choice must be made no later than 20 days prior to departure. We will try to provide a roommate, but if we are unable to do so, you will be required to pay the single supplement fee of $680.00 as listed in the brochure. Our price is based on two in a room. There is no availability for triple accommodations.
Email Jo Anna at firstname.lastname@example.org for your preference, and she will do her best to match you with your choice.
If you desire a single room or if you have a problem with your selected roommate, ULM is not responsible or able to arrange roommate switches. You will need to resolve your issue or pay the $680.00 for nights nights' single supplement. (If you have a snoring problem, please recruit your roommate or decide ahead to pay the single supplement.) The tour host may find it necessary to move those with sleep disorders into a single room, and they will be charged for the single rate.
Breakfast is served at the hotel, and dinner is included in the tour cost. You have already paid for two meals a day (breakfast and dinner) in your tour package.
Lunch and drinks are not included in the tour package, so you will need to pay for them yourself.
Tips are not included in the tour package, so let's be generous to our servers when eating out, to our transportation drivers and to our tour guide, if we have one. The housekeeping staff will be pleasantly surprised if you give them a tip for their hard work and service.
Please bring only one suitcase and only one carry-on due to limited space for luggage with the transportation up north. Take only what you can carry yourself (one carry-on and one checked bag, no more than 50 pounds)
You will need to prepare luggage tags before you leave home. These must be placed on the handle of your
As here in the States, weather in the Holy Land can be unpredictable. You may want to bring a rain poncho and a small umbrella. Summer months are very warm and dry. You may experience cooler temperatures during the mornings and evenings. In June, the average temperature during the day is 80 to 90 ° Fahrenheit.
The temperature in Israel is 80 to 90 F so be sure to dress cool. Cotton is the best material for the weather in Israel.
Packing - Things to Bring
Your passport and a money belt.
Instead of purses, small backpacks are best for carrying around your things and bottled water, due to the crowded streets in the Old City.
Men, you will need to put your wallets in your front pockets. Israel is safe, but you never know who could be a pickpocket.
There should be a safe in the rooms, but it's better not to bring valuables. If you have diamonds rings and gold, please leave them at home. Costume jewelry is the best to bring if you desire to wear jewelry.
Clothes - Women and Men
Dress in Israel is very casual
- Women: No Shorts, tight jeans, or low-cut blouses.
- Women: You will need a shawl or sweater to cover your arms in some religious places and if you get cool at night.
- Women: Skirts, if you like, but they must come below the knees. Sleeveless blouses are ok, but you must cover your arms at Holy sites, so maybe bring blouses with half sleeves, which work well.
- Men - jeans or slacks are okay, but no shorts. Short sleeve shirts and a casual sports jacket if you think you might get cool at night.
- Wash cloths. (Most hotels in Israel don’t provide wash cloths.)
- A hat is nice to shade your face in the day.
- Sunglasses (because of the glare of the sun on the white stone in Jerusalem).
- Money bag - either one that is flat and goes around your neck, or a belly belt.
Take nothing that wrinkles (or simply ignore wrinkles)
- Bring some mosquito spray or lotion!
- Be sure to bring sunscreen.
There will be no time or place to wash clothes or send clothes to the cleaners, so be sure to pack enough clothes for 9 days.
Jordan River Baptism
Men and women - please bring something to wear under the baptism gown if you desire to be baptized in the Jordan River, and be sure to bring rubber flip-flops. You can wear shorts and a top under the baptismal robe, or a bathing suit with a t-shirt. Bring extra clothes to put on after the baptism. There will be showers at the Baptism site, and towels will be provided there.
A pair of very comfortable shoes (we will be doing a lot of walking). Sandals are good, but for long walks, you will need comfortable shoes. We wear SAS, but any comfortable tennis shoes will also work. There are many stone steps in the Old City going up and down, and since there will be no transportation in the Old City, you must be prepared to walk long distances. We will stop and rest as needed.
Due to new security airport regulations, you are not permitted to take in your carry-on luggage any of the following liquids: water, juices, makeup, perfumes, lipstick, toothpaste, or mouthwash. Be sure to check with the airline before you go to see if anything has been added to the list. You can pack all these things in your checked bag. If you have prescription eye drops or liquid medicines, be sure to bring a doctor's note that you will need them while on board.
Place all liquids in plastic bottles and pack inside of ziplock bags.
Please bring all your toiletries due to the limited time to shop for basic needs: shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush, mouthwash, bath soaps, or liquid soaps (they have soap, but like any hotel, their toiletries are cheap), cosmetics, and shaving gear. Medicine - any prescription medicines, Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl, or anti-itch cream -if you think you will need them, buy them in the States because they do not sell these medications in Israel.
Bring some mosquito spray or lotion. Be sure to bring sunscreen!
Bring sunglasses and a hat or at least a sun visor. The sun is bright in Israel and bounces off the white stones.
Converters 110 to 220
Hairdryer - Be sure to bring your hairdryer. (Hotels may not have any in the rooms.) You can buy hairdryers that switch from 110 to 220 at any Walmart store in the States.
Converters and Adapters - You will need a converter from 110 to 220 for your small appliances and an adapter to the Israel electric socket.
Don't forget your smartphone or camera to take pictures, but you will need to bring your battery chargers. You might want to buy a small travel battery charger in the States for when your battery runs low when you're out and about. (Best Buy sells them.)
Telephone Calls or Texts to the USA or Israel
If you want to be in touch with your loved ones while you're in Israel, you could ask your cellphone provider for an international plan for the time you're gone so that you can send and receive texts as well as make calls at a low rate. You can also use Skype on your electronic device to call home.
For emergency use only, your family can call the ULM Israeli cell phone at 054-628-2945, but phone calls to America cannot be made on the Israeli cell phone.
We would recommend that you don't bring a laptop. An iPhone or iPad would be better and easier to carry - and if you have a Bible software, even better!
Bring a notebook, pens and a journal to take notes. You will need a Bible, but if you have it on your electronic device, that's even better. You will need batteries to keep it charged.
Be A Considerate Traveler
Remember, you are traveling as a group and should consider the comfort and well-being of the entire group at all times. If you are late getting on the bus, everyone loses valuable time. You should settle any personal charges you may have (such as laundry, telephone bills, etc.) directly with the hotel the night before you checkout. This way you will not hold up the group at the last moment while you settle your personal bills. If you have to be absent from a day of touring for any reason, please notify Jo Anna Lea as soon as possible. You will be given ample time to photograph scenery and points of interest, so please do not delay the group by continuing to take photos after we call "all aboard." Please be prepared to rotate your seat on the bus daily. No smoking is allowed on the bus or during any group activities.
Wear Your Name Tag At All Times
Due to security, you must wear your name tag at all times. This will give everyone in the group a chance to get acquainted and will help us to keep track of the party and facilitate the group's passage through the
various sightseeing points.
Although this is not a "shopping tour", we fully understand the desire to bring home souvenirs. Time has been allotted for shopping. Some of you will think this time is not enough and some will think too much time is spent on shopping. Please remember, the purpose of our travel program is inspirational, and we try to arrange the program to please the majority of participants. Shopping is done "at your own risk,” “Unconditional Love Ministries” assumes no responsibility for purchases at places not recommended by ULM. Beware of merchants who sell low-cost items only to vastly overcharge expensive items. Avoid street peddlers, especially while touring. They are a hindrance to the group. Do not even say "NO" to them; ignore them completely, and never allow peddlers on the motor coach.
Health Requirements and Preparations
To obtain maximum benefits from the Tour, you should be in good physical and mental health, and able and willing to actively participate in group events, bus trips and boat rides. During your journey, there will be much walking, numerous stairs to climb and many sites to explore. We suggest preparing yourself by beginning a program of walking in your area.
Those who are less active will still find the journey a delightful experience. If you need to rest, there is often a pleasant park, which you can enjoy, or you can simply remain at the hotel. Check with your doctor for medical advice pertinent to the trip and your health.
No shots of any type are required while in Israel.
We highly recommend a comprehensive insurance program which would protect you in the following cases: trip cancellation, illness or death, medical expenses overseas, lost or damaged luggage, and economy airfare if it is necessary to fly home early due to personal illness or death of an immediate family member. Please be aware that all emergency medical and transportation costs must first be paid by the passenger. Trip insurance monies cannot be collected until a passenger returns to the U.S. and files a claim with the insurance company. Unconditional Love Ministries also strongly recommends the purchase of pre-travel insurance, which covers most cancellation fees. Insurance can be purchased through Global Alert Travel at 18004233632 or online at www.tripinsurance.com.
Statement of Responsibility
Unconditional Love Ministries assumes no liability or responsibility for any injuries, inconveniences, illness, irregularity or incidental damages occasioned by circumstances, beyond the control of tour operator, or by any person or reason whatsoever, including, but not limited to events such as strikes, revolts, wars, natural disasters, closures of airports or hotels, default or omission of any common or private carrier or the default, negligence, or omission of and by any third party providing services or facilities related to or included in this tour or any part thereof, or in arranging for the same, or the acts or omissions of the Tour Host.
Enrollment in and payment for the tour, constitutes your acceptance of the Program Conditions and Statement of Responsibility. The program conditions become a binding contract when your enrollment and payment are received and accepted by Unconditional Love Ministries.