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Travel Note Israel Travel Basics


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Pauline submitted a new resource:

Israel Travel Basics - My notes about booking a trip to Israel

Israel is a popular tourist destination. People travel to Israel for many reasons. For people from a Jewish background it can be a trip to their biblical homeland. For other religious people it can be a trip to see the places in their religious texts. Tourists interested in archaeology are drawn to Israel where many ancient sites are well preserved. People seeking outdoor adventures go there for hiking.

While many people go on organized tours, it is easy to create an independent trip. For...

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Pauline, this is great! Makes me wish I were booking another trip to Israel now; maybe next fall...

Just a few comments in the line of correction:

"For people from a Jewish background it can be a trip to their biblical homeland. " Actually, I think that for most Jewish visitors it's a chance to visit the modern Jewish state built on our biblical homeland. Most Jewish travelers to Israel spend at least as much time visiting contemporary Israeli sites as visiting sites related to the Hebrew Bible (aka Old Testament). The Palmach Museum and the Rabin Institute in Tel Aviv, the Israel Museum, other sites related to the creation of the State of Israel such as Ben Gurion's house, in the south the kibbutz he retired to, Independence Hall in Tel Aviv where the state officially came into being, Hadassah Hospital I'm an archaeology enthusiast so I've visited many of the archaeological sites (National Parks) but for most Jewish visitors the Western Wall is the only biblical site visited, and that's the wall of the post-biblical Second Temple.

One of the Trip Advisor regulars who is a guide, and often works with Christian tours and individuals, noted what should have been obvious to me..... religious Catholic visitors tend to be interested in churches, and religious Protestant visitors (especially the evangelicals who come in such huge numbers) tend to be interested in the sites of Jesus' ministry.

As for guidebooks..... I haven't used one at all in my recent trips so I can't speak from personal experience. But I think your preference for the Lonely Planet Guide may reflect your strong interest in hiking: Many of the regulars on the Trip Advisor Israel Forum, Christian as well as Jewish, note that the LP guide you mention has a pronounced anti-Israel bias when it comes to contemporary issues related to Israel/Palestinian topics.

I hope you encourage more people to take independent trips to Israel: When Frank and I first did so in 1969 it was very unusual to travel without a group; now it's becoming more popular.

Interesting your point about the countertop stove: Of course, you are right!

Enjoy your next trip!


Forums Admin
Thanks for your comments @ItalophileNJ ! I updated the reason why people from a Jewish background go to Israel.

I forgot to mention Douglas D's free e-book on Israel and added that in the What to See and Do section with a link to a recent TA thread where he tells you how to email him.

I do like the Lonely Planet Guide for its details but you are probably right about it.

I also forgot to link to my thread about books to read about Israel - and added that.

I made some other changes based on advice I got in a PM.
  • I spelled Shabbot wrong - fixed.
  • I described kibbutz/moshav as small towns when they are really communities, not towns. Fixed.
  • Gas stations usually have self service and assisted service pumps, so you don't have to figure out the self service. Although we did end up in one in the Negev that was self service only.


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