July trip to Israel

Jun 18th, 2007, 04:49 PM
  #1  
cbr
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
July trip to Israel

My family and I are planning a last minute trip to Israel to visit family. This is our first trip going there and we are trying to figure out if it would be better to book a tour or plan out the trip ourselves. Tickets seem very expensive so any recommendations would be appreciated. We are travelling with a 10 & 12 year old and would like to make this special for them.
Thank you
cbr is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 02:23 AM
  #2  
eri
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 497
I suggest renting a car and plan your own trip especially since you are traveling with kids. You know how kids are. They have their own interest and enjoy themselves in the most unexpected times and places. This way you could be more flexible with your activities.
Give me a little background of your life style: are you Jewish or Christian? Are you religious? What are your interests? What are the kids' interest? Do they swim? Etc. I'll do my best to help you plan the trip.
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Jun 19th, 2007, 06:01 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 391
I am going in September with my wife and two toddlers (2.5 years and 4 months ... wish me luck).

We are renting a car, it's cheaper to rent one while in the US, but gas is very expensive in Israel, so be ready.

With your two kids I would recommend looking into staying in a kibbutz.
zlaor is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 08:37 AM
  #4  
cbr
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Thank you for your advice. By the way we are Jewish, not religious. We would not want to stay on a kibbutz, since we will visit family while there. I would probably want to hire a driver since it would seem safer. I am most concerned about the airfare which seems very high. We would prefer staying in a nice hotel as well.
cbr is offline  
Jun 19th, 2007, 09:52 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Last minute you're not going to get good rates. We bought our tickets way ahead of time and paid around $1,000 a piece.

If you look at the Friday Israeli papers (Maariv, Yediot) you might see some deals, but plan to spend $4,000 if you are going without a layover (you can get away with around $3,200 with layover if you look hard).

Where to go with kids: Kineret, Jerusalem, the galil, Haifa, Caesaria is fun, depends on your family's history you might want to go to Yad va shem and the beach of course.
zlaor is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 01:29 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 10
cbr - if you haven't yet booked your flights or hotels (or other accommodation), you might find all the prices higher than expected AND full hotels (and flights) - it seems the tourists who stayed away at the end of last summer have returned!

Your idea to hire a car & driver is a good one, only because you say it's your first trip, and while the roads are well marked (in English as well as in Hebrew & Arabic) and there are good road maps available in English, still, it's good to have someone behind the wheel that drives here regularly.

For kids that age - of course, Jerusalem, but it will be HOT, so bring hats, good walking shoes and drink plenty of water all the time... I suggest a walk on the walls of the Old City, a visit to the Time Elevator and/or the Museum of Jerusalem at the Tower of David (at Jaffa Gate), the Burnt House & Southern Wall (Davidson Center) in the Jewish Quarter (and both are air conditioned... a plus in the summer here). They might also enjoy the Biblical Zoo and Ein Yael - a hands-on ancient experience for children!

How are the kids with things like rafting and swimming? On the upper Jordan River (above Lake Kinneret, the Sea of Galilee), Jordan River Park and Kfar Blum Kayak offer rafting and other water sports which can be very refreshing, of course! Also, the cliffs at Manara are a wonderful experience... there are lots of similar activities all over the country.

Don't forget the history and archaeology, though - on another thread, I just gave the link for "Dig for a Day" - http://www.archesem.com/dig.asp - and your kids (and you) might get a real charge out of getting their hands into the soil of Israel and finding some real "treasure" in the process!

Hope that little bit helps! Have a wonderful time.

suzanne pomeranz, jerusalem, israel
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Jun 21st, 2007, 09:33 AM
  #7  
cbr
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 142
Thank you all for the great trip advice. I was looking into tours and was wondering if they would be a good idea or should we plan on our own? We are used to hot summers living in southern Florida so that should be okay. Any suggestions on local tours?
cbr is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 09:55 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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The heat in Israel is "different" then the heat in Florida, you must drink all the time even though you might not be thirsty (it's dry heat).

It seems like you are leaning towards taking a guided tour. There is not "right or wrong", it depends on your style of travel and many other factors. I understand it is daunting to drive in a foreign country ... but sometimes that's half the fun
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