Need help plan 9 day trip to Israel

Feb 12th, 2010, 05:01 PM
  #1  
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Need help plan 9 day trip to Israel

My husband and I plan to take our daughter and 2 yr old grandson to Israel and plan to have 3 base cities: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Tiberias. In which order should we do them? Suggestions on reasonably priced hotels in Jerusalem and Tiberias. (using Marriott points in Tel Aviv). Should we rent a car or hire a driver? are drivers expensive
coopersr is offline  
Feb 13th, 2010, 09:51 AM
  #2  
 
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Driving is really easy in Israel - I can recommend Eldan car rental - if you start either in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv you don't need a car until you head to Tiberias and you can pick up your car and drop off at either city.

Order for cities is personal - if you feel that you'd like to relax after the long flight then you could do Tel Aviv first -a bit of beach, sites, and great food first. On the other hand it's a nice way to wind down the trip before heading home.

I have used a travel agent in Israel to help with reservations (I don't work for them) and found it helpful to give them specifically what I am looking for in terms of price (pool, restaurant, location, etc). It's regent travel and you can reach them at [email protected].

In Jerusalem I have only stayed at the Dan Panorama and I have really liked it. This time I am trying the Harmony but it is smaller, less expensive, and no pool.

Tiberias has quite a few hotels and one or two kibbutz hotels on the Kinneret that have good reviews. I have stayed at the Scot Hotel - a bit pricey but lovely rooms, great breakfast, common areas and gardens are immaculate and the pool is lovely facing the Kinneret. We really like it and it was a good location for touring the north.

You may want to find a hotel that has a child's playground - to accomodate the little one, too. Good luck.
risab is offline  
Feb 13th, 2010, 06:34 PM
  #3  
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thanks for the good information. I'm thinking if we arrive in Tel Aviv and stay a few nights,we won't need a car until we leave and head toward Tiberias. I suppose we would need it to then drive to Jerusalem but not sure if we need it in Jerusalem. Is it best to have your own car to drive to Dead Sea and Mesaada or take a tour somehow? Do you have a rough idea of the price of a rental for 7 days including full insurance coverage? I will check out Eldan. Thank you.
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Feb 14th, 2010, 05:13 AM
  #4  
 
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If renting car or arranging car/driver, do inquire about a child safety seat for the 2/yr old.
sandi is offline  
Feb 14th, 2010, 06:06 AM
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You definitely do not need a car in either city. There is an Eldan in both cities and locations are easy to find -in Jerusalem it's right across the street from the Kind David Hotel. You can book a bus tour through Egged or United to the Dead Sea and Masada. We did that a few years ago and it was good - they pick you up early and you go to Masada (with a stop at the on-site store where they do try to push buying stuff - but it does help the economy so it's all good in the end). You tour Masada then go to the Dead Sea and can use the spa facilities - soak in the Sea, put on some mud (lots of fun) and then use the pool facilities. It makes for a nice day. I have no idea about the rental fees go to the Eldan website - if you book on-line they give you a discount. We're going in August so I need to do the same thing soon!

If I recall- when we booked our hotel with regent we also booked our tour...so check with them. I also wanted to let you know that the agent I worked with recently at regent is Chantal. She was very helpful. Check about the tour info. with her.
risab is offline  
Feb 15th, 2010, 07:01 PM
  #6  
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I will contact the travel agent. It looks like our trip will end up with us being in Jerusalem on Friday and Saturday. I understand everything is closed on Shabat. We'll be 3 nights in Tel Aviv, 3 nights in Tiberias and then we have 5 nights left which we planned in Jerusalem or surrounding areas. Our flight out of Israel is on Sunday. Tel Aviv is a must for the first 3 nights. Any suggestions for the 5 days at the end so we don't have days in jerusalem with nothing open? Also, are the tours to the Dead Sea and Massada ok for a 2 year old? That's why we thought it best to take our own car. Thanks for any information.
coopersr is offline  
Feb 16th, 2010, 05:54 PM
  #7  
 
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Just so you know with the exception of most stores and restaurants there are still things to do on Saturday.You can book a walking tour (I believe Sandemans's do tours on Saturday), the Israel Museum is open, the zoo may be open for your grandson, and there are parks in Jerusalem where you can hang out and take a picnic or use the pool at your hotel and just relax on Saturday. You can also rent your car for Saturday and do Masada and Dead Sea- then you will have a special day out on Saturday. Just remember to buy your provisions (water, snacks, etc before Shabbat) - for the ride down to Masada. Since you have a little child a car is probably best rather than a bus tour. There is so much to do in Jerusalem. Does your flight leave during the day Sunday or Sunday after midnight?
risab is offline  
Feb 17th, 2010, 05:57 PM
  #8  
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our flight is at 5 pm on Sunday. It's good to hear that somethings are open on Saturday in Jerusalem. We were thinking to do Masada and Dead Sea on one trip. Bad idea? I hear it's very crowded at the Dead Sea on Saturday. Is it possible to stay in the Dead Sea area at a hotel or spa (might be expensive) and drive to Tel Aviv Sunday to make the flight. Not sure of the driving time. Have you done the tour under the wall in Jerusalem? Not sure if a 2 year old could handle it. I assume the cable car operates on Saturday at Masada? Lots of unknown. 2 months to go.
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Feb 17th, 2010, 09:22 PM
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If your flight is at 5PM you should be at the airport by 2PM. The driving time from the Ein Bokek hotels to the airport is about 2.5 hrs and from Ein Gedi - about 2 hrs (via Jerusalem, but not through the center). You should have no problem making the flight.

Massada : you can get all of the details at
http://www.parks.org.il/BuildaGate5/...?mc=391~Card12
mbgg is offline  
Feb 18th, 2010, 04:29 PM
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I am not sure of the schedule at Masada. You should post these specific types of questions on Trip Advisors Israel Forum where there a lot of Israeli's who respond and you'll get good advise regarding hours and crowds. Staying over night at Dead Sea sounds like a good option.

I have done the kotel tunnel tour and I would not take a two year old - you may not even be allowed to. It is narrow space but not claustrophibic - but it is a holy site and their is time spent discussing the history and there are people praying.
risab is offline  
Feb 18th, 2010, 05:30 PM
  #11  
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any suggestions on hotels in Ein Bokek?
coopersr is offline  
Feb 18th, 2010, 09:59 PM
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Hotels in Ein Bokek: sites like TripAdvisor, etc, have extensive reviews.
mbgg is offline  
Feb 26th, 2010, 07:31 PM
  #13  
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risab
do you have a website or phone# for regent?
coopersr is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 06:52 AM
  #14  
 
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Ein Bokek has several hotels which may be suitable, however if you are short on time you may want to stay at the Kibbutz Hotel at Ein Gedi. This kibbutz is closer to the north of the Dead Sea (closer to Jerusalem) and less than half an hours drive to Masada. There is the added attraction of playgrounds for your child, an exotic plant garden, beach just across the road and much more. The hotel is 4 stars and comfortable.
Chako is offline  
Feb 28th, 2010, 04:51 PM
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If the Ein Gedi kibbutz hotel is not available, or expensive, there is also a very new Youth Hostel right at the bottom of Masada that I can highly recommend. It is not expensive, very modern, has a beautiful swimming pool, an on site cafeteria and you can do b&b and dinner also is very reasonable. It's very easy to get to the Dead Sea from there also. And the underground parking for Masada is just up the hill

If you wanted to be out of Jerusalem on Shabbat, you could get your car Friday afternoon, drive down to Masada, a relaxing evening. Do Masada in the morning when it is cool, then the Dead Sea. Relax at the pool at the hostel. Next morning you can drive either way to Tel Aviv, there is a long way and a shorter way and be at the airport in time. Keep in mind that it can be a little bit confusing driving to the airport, finding the petrol station before dropping off the car, so allow extra time for that so you don't stress out. Ben Gurion is a beautiful airport, so getting there early allows you time to relax and shop or have a snack in a lovely area.
tinydancer is offline  
Mar 1st, 2010, 05:26 PM
  #16  
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thank you for the good suggestions. I hadn't thought to stay in Ein Gedi. Looks like there is availablity at Kibbutz Ein Gedi. What's the difference staying in Ein Gedi over Ein Bokek? Does Kibbutz Ein Gedi have access to the Dead Sea. Are all meals to be eaten there or are there surrounding restaurants? Good tips on getting an early start back to the airport. Wouldn't want to miss our flight out. Why confusing? Airport not marked well?
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