Sand and Sun in Israel

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea at Netanya, Israel

Sunset over the Mediterranean Sea at Netanya, Israel.

Many of our tour participants think only of desert sands when they think of Israel. A trip to Israel shatters so many misconceptions …

Touchpoint Israel has published a nice article highlighting “8 Beautiful Beaches to Visit in Israel this Summer.”

A day at the beach is one of the highlights of summer for children and their parents. With 140 beaches boasting plenty of sand for digging, calm surf, warm water temperatures, and strong breezes for kite-flying, Israel is perfect for a sunny family day at the shore.

Read more … click here.

New: Basic Economy Restrictions

Just when you thought airlines had done everything they could to make flying as torturous as possible, they have thought of something else … Basic Economy. One of the new efforts to “provide more options for passengers” that many airlines have embraced is a new category of economy, which they identify as “Basic Economy.” It has even less flair than Economy. “Is that possible?” you might be wondering. In a word, YES. And, unfortunately, many group contracts are issued for Basic Economy.

Apparently too many passengers have protested that they had no idea of the latest restrictions that are found in Basic Economy, so airlines are requiring travel agents to tell their clients about Basic Economy. (Don’t say, you haven’t been warned.)

United Airlines
1. No seat selection: Seats are assigned by United at check-in and families and groups traveling together are not guaranteed to sit together.

2. No full-sized carry-on bag: A passenger may travel with only one personal item that fits under the seat in front of him or her.

3. No changes and no refunds: Ticket changes and refunds are not allowed except as stated in the United 24-hour flexible booking policy.

4. No upgrades and certain MileagePlus® member benefits are not available: MileagePlus® members, including Premier® members, will not receive Premier qualifying credit or lifetime miles; paid, earned, complimentary or mileage upgrades; or Economy Plus® seating benefits.

Delta Airlines
1. No Seat Assignments until after check in.

2. Passengers traveling together including families may not sit together.

3. No Refunds or Exchanges.

4. Last Zone boarding.

5. No paid or complementary upgrades.

6. No preferred seats including with medallion status

American Airlines
1. Only 1 carry on item that fits under the seat in front of you; you will have no access to overhead bins.

2. Seats assigned at check-in.

3. Fees to choose a specific seat.

4. Not eligible for upgrades.

5. No flight changes or refunds.

6. Board in last group.

 

Electricity Considerations in Israel

A tourist asked, “Do I have to use a transformer or adapter for my electrical devices in Israel?”

plugadapter

Israeli two-pin plug adapter

Electricity in Israel is 22ov (220v-240v) 50hz compared to 110v 60hz in North America. That difference requires certain precautions when using North American appliances and electrical devices, including telephones and computers.

First, let’s clarify the difference between adapters and transformers/converters. Adapters affect the plug; they change the standard American flat posts to Israeli/European round posts. At the right, you can see the standard 2-pin plug used in Israel.Transformers/converters affect the electricity; in this case, they reduce Israel’s 220v down to 110v; transformers/converters do not affect the hz.

Today, many electronic devices (e.g., computers, certain battery chargers, tablets, phones, etc.) have an internal transformer and can operate safely on 110v or 220v. Check the specs label on your device to see if yours does. Click here for an example. If your device is rated to operate on 110v-240v, you should only need an adapter like the one in the photo at the top right. You can easily find a 6-pack available on Amazon for $3 (Caution! There are a number of negative reviews of that product). Here‘s another adapter that has better customer reviews.

If your device does not operate on 220v, you will need a converter. The size depends on the type of device you want to operate. A 50-watt converter is usually sufficient for basic electronic devices like phones and computers. Heating devices (e.g. curling irons and blow dryers) usually require a more robust converter of at least 1600 watts. Many Israeli hotels have hair dryers and 110 electric outlets for shavers in the restrooms, which may be a better option than trying to get a North American hair dryer to work properly. Many travelers end up burning up their hair dryers when trying to use them in Israel. This hair dryer works in Israel (with a plug adapter) and has received good customer reviews. Additionally, this Conair mini-curling iron is dual voltage and will work both in the United States and Israel.

Disclaimer: Please be aware that the links provided in this post serve to illustrate the kinds of devices that are typically used by tourists and should not be construed as endorsement of the quality or dependability of any of the devices. Discipleship Travel LLC assumes no liability for your correct or incorrect use of any items linked or described in this post. The purchase and/or use of any of these or similar items indicates your acceptance of personal responsibility and liability for any damage that may result.

 

Tips: Read a Children’s Bible?

One of the most important recommendations we can make to help you prepare for your trip to Israel is to read a children’s Bible. And then read it again! And again! Read several stories per day for a few months leading up to your trip.

The strategy of this suggestion is to help you get familiar with the stories that your tour guide will be referencing in rapid fire succession. Most tourists find that they are not as familiar or fresh with the Bible stories as they would like to be when the guide/teacher is talking.

While a children’s Bible will not give you depth, it will provide you with a survey familiarity with many stories, enabling you to make quicker mental connections during the teaching times. And this will increase the impact of your Israel study tour.

Below are a few options that we recommend. For more information on any of these books, click on the picture and the item will open in Amazon.com.