Most North Americans who visit Israel are not lugging anything like a refrigerator with them, but they may have small electrical appliances like shavers and battery chargers for mobile phones, laptops or digital cameras.
While American appliances operate on 110-115V, Israel uses 220-230V (which is standard in Europe). Battery chargers and shavers tend to be dual voltage. This information is usually printed in tiny letters on the appliance. Sometimes there is a switch.
If the appliance is only 110-115V, it CANNOT be used in Israel. I have ruined several gifts from well-meaning relatives this way....If the voltage is suitable, take a look at the shape of the prongs. If they are flat, you will need a plug adapter - a small gadget that slips onto the flat prongs so the plug can be inserted in a wall socket with round prongs.
Any hardware store should have them. If you forget to bring one with you, don?t worry. You can purchase them for a few shekels in any store that sells electrical goods or house-wares.
The temperatures in Israel fluctuate widely from one end of the country to the other, and from day to night. This is true in winter AND summer. How you feel, of course, has a lot to do with where you're coming from and the kind of climate you're used to. Israel can be freezing or sizzling. In the winter, hilly places like Jerusalem and the Golan can be very cold. Even in the desert, temperatures at night drop really low. I have never been so cold in my life as in the Sinai in January.
Miscellaneous: If you are visiting Jerusalem in the summer, bring a sweater or light jacket for the evenings. You probably won't need it in other parts of the country where there isn't such a difference between day and night. In the winter, bring layers. Remember that houses are not heated all day long as they are in other countries (although this won't be a problem if you stay at a hotel). The truth is, other countries may be colder, but even Russians freeze in Israeli winters (I know - my husband has Russian workers). The wind just seems to blow into every crevice...From my experience, the best way to keep out the cold is to wear a clingy undershirt (yes, ladies - you, too) under your clothing.
Luggage and bags:
I recommend to travel easy and small weight.
Be ready to show your luggage at the airports for security requirements (specially in the return flight), so if you carry many bags with you will take you longer and very stressful.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Remember to bring:
swimming gear (swimming wear for summer - raincoat for winter)
long sleeves and long trousers (these are required to entry in religious sites)
sweaters (in winter)
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: There are plenty of pharmacies, so is easy to find normal medicaments.
Photo Equipment: Bring lots of memory in your photo card or some good films, because there are loads of things to photo in Israel, beautiful landscapes and diversities in cities and cultures.
Israel is plenty of colour!!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you are travelling in summer, get swimming gear because there are fantastic beaches and also the Dead Sea to experience.
If you are going to trek, bring also trekking gear. There are good places as Ein Gedi to trek around.
Luggage and bags:
Be prepared to have all your luggage thoroughly examined by hand at the Tel Aviv Airport. You will be asked alot of questions, please answer them without hesitation...it is for your protection.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: It's all about respect....ladies please remember to bring a long skirt, or wrap around skirt to visit the holy sites or synagogues in Israel. Shorts are fine, but please toss on the skirt before entering any holy sites.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: If you float in the Dead Sea, please remember the "don't splash" rule! If you get the water in your eyes, your eyes will close instantly due to the high salt content. A fellow traveler was splashed accidentially, got water in her eyes and had to be helped to a shower provided on the beach front. Her eyes had swollen shut and it took quite a while before she was "back to normal". It is so beautiful and so relaxing...don't miss it due to getting water in your eyes!
In case you're arriving on Summer ( which is about between mid-April to early October ) - do not bring any Winter clothes ! The temperatures there are over 28C . Although you can find use in a not very warm sweater in case you spend a night in a desert - it can be kinda chilly in the night ;-)
On Winter take a couple of sweaters with you , plus a raincoat .
On Summer , have a comfortable pair of sandals with you , although it's a good idea to have a pair of more "practical" shoes in case you would decide to travel to the mountains/wild nature .
On Winter you should have a pair of good , closed shoes with .
During late Autumn/Winter take an umbrella with you , but don't worry if you forgot one home - you can buy umbrellas for reasonable prices pretty much anywhere in the country !
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: On mid-Spring/Summer/early Autumn you should always carry sunscreen with you - the sun is shamelessly agressive there - you wouldn't even notice before you'll become burned out !
Another must-have is good deodorant ;-)
You can buy all this in Israel , but it might be a cheaper solutions to just bring them with you - these things aren't cheap in Israel !
As for medicin - it's always a good idea to not take chances , and , in case you should take some special medicin , bring enough of it from your country !
Photo Equipment: I believe you can buy pretty much everything in IL , but it's much more clever to have all the needed equipment with you !
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Swimming suit/shorts and a pair of open , summer shoes .
What to take to any trip?
First of all don't forget a guidebook (better guidebooks) and a map (better several maps) of a country and cities you are going to visit.
For Russian tourists I suggest to take the “Israel. Vokrug sveta” guidebook. There are a lot of guidebooks now in our shops. Some of them may be better but rather expensive. This guidebook is the best choice in the “price-quality” criteria.
The best map in my opinion is “Karta Izrailja” by “Ideal’ny Mir” Tourist Company. It has maps of Israel, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv – Jaffo, Haifa and Eilat.
What to take to a trip to the Holy Land?
Take the Bible or if it is too big and heavy, take the Gospels! What a pleasure to read them when you have just seen the holy places described there. Better before going to sleep or when you are waiting your flight in an airport or flying back home…
You can see my family Bible (edition of 1912, 100-years soon!). I couldn’t take it with me– too heavy, haha! But I took a small modern edition of the Gospels.
What to take to any trip?
Don’t forget a photo camera (better two cameras)! You will be able to recall all the places you visited many years after the trip. Otherwise you will forget your trip in several months or years.
Last three years I prefer SONY Cyber-shot DSC-W170 with a 8Gb memory card (though I should change it soon I guess).
I’ve taken 1090 pics in this trip around Israel (about 100-150 a day). Better size in my opinion is 16x9. I’m able to watch them on my 42-inch TV-panel with full HD quality and put them on my Webshot and Panoramio pages.
Usually I resume my pics into 10x15 size for printing photos (though I don’t do it last two years), into 3x4 size for watching on PC-monitor and into 420x560 size for putting them on VT.
I can’t imagine my trip without my video camera SONY HDR-HC7E. This is an HDV camera. I’ve taken 5 cassettes (1 -85-min and 4 – 63-min). Now I have a 5,5 hours HDV film (1440x1080) which I can watch on my TV-panel in full HD resolution. I’ve made a lot of clips which I’ve put on my Youtube channel (for everybody) and Yandex-video channel (for Russians).
My video camera is also a photo camera. I’ve taken 360 pictures with its help. In total I’ve got 1450 pictures by means of the SONY Cyber-shot and the SONY HDR-HC7E. Besides that I’ve had 1630 captures out of my video film. In total – more than 3000 pictures, which will remind me my trip to Israel.
What to bring home from a trip to the Holy Land?
Bring Baptismal crosses! Unfortunately I was not baptized yet… But I hope to be baptized sooner or later. You can see my future Baptismal cross which I bought in the Russian Orthodox Church (Mary Magdalene Church) in Jerusalem.
When I was in Yardenit I’ve put it in waters of Jordan. So it’s waiting to be put around my neck…
I’ve also bought several other crosses for my family.
What to bring home from a trip to Jerusalem?
I’ve chosen a set of traditional Holy Land’s gifts in small bottles which you can see on my picture:
Holy Water (Aqua Benedita),
Holy Oil (Assite de Olivo),
Holy Earth (Terra Sagrada),
Holy Insence (Incienso Sagrado) and
Holy Cross with a figure of Jesus Christ.
Actually I’ve bought several such sets to present them to my friends and colleagues. They were very glad...
What to bring home from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher?
For Eastern Christians the best gift is the Holy fire which is described by Christians as a miracle that occurs every year at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem on Holy Saturday, the day preceding Orthodox Easter.
But how can we move the Holy Fire over thousands kilometers? There is a way! We can light candles from the Holy Fire in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and quickly extinguish them. In such a manner we can take the Fire and bring it home!
You can see the Holy Fire at my extinguished candles, which I brought home from the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
What to bring home from a trip to Yardenit (the Holy River of Jordan)?
The New Testament states that John the Baptist baptized unto repentance in the Jordan.
Jesus came to be baptized by him there.
Modern visitors usually dress in white robes to enter into the Jordan River.
You can see how I looked like in White Robe after ablution in Jordan at Yardenit.
You can see my Certificate which proves that I visited Yardenit and made an ablution there. (hidden photo).
If you want to bring any emblem of Israel I suggest to bring a Menora.
The menorah is described in the Bible as the seven-branched candelabrum made of gold and used in the portable sanctuary set up by Moses in the wilderness and later in the Temple in Jerusalem. Fresh olive oil of the purest quality was burned daily to light its lamps. The menorah has been a symbol of Judaism since ancient times and is the emblem on the coat of arms of the modern state of Israel.
You can see my Menora which I brought from Israel (though it wasn't made of gold, haha!).
Luggage and bags:
A fannie pack large enough to carry money, note pad, toothbrush, recorder if your with a tour guide, and WATER.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Nice hiking boots, nothing stiff. LOTS of sand in this area. In the evening a very light sweater or jacket. I was there in Sept. in some place that would started to be cool or cold but here not so much, but do take anyway just in case. Better safe then sorry.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Nightquil or Dayquil in case you come down with a headcold, like I did. I went around looking for medication and when I finely found it it was $10.00 for a box of 12 softgel LiquiCaps, if I bought in the States it would have costed me $3.95.
Photo Equipment: Alway have plenty of film on hand, and if you can buy in the States, a whole lot cheaper on you budget.
Miscellaneous: In hot place such as Israel, you need a HAT! The sun is very hot and drink lots of water. In all my life here on earth I don't think I ever drank so much water in my life. I was cleansed when I left Israel and 15 pounds lighter.
Luggage and bags:
bring books. It's easy to find books in English in Israel, but they cost twice as much, and used books cost as much as new books in the US. Bring some good books with you (if you don't keep shabbat, youre going to have a lot of free time on friday nights), and when you're done, bring them to a used books store or pass them on.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Israeli's don't wear big bulky winter coats like most of America. They tend to wear layers and there's a good reason for it. Israel is a small country, but the weather can change drastically in the course of the day. Add and remove layers until you're comfortable. It can be hot in Tel Aviv when it's cold in Tzfat. In either place, is cold at night.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Cosmetics, shampoo, etc is expensive, but not so much tht it's worth packing a lot and lugging it half across the world, unless you're a total diva that doesn't leave the house without make-up on. If you are, what are you doing in Israel?
Photo Equipment: Israel is just as advanced as the US when it comes to technology. Bring a digital camera, and finding a place to download it onto a CD is very easy to find, especially in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Camping is great in Israel. Everyone does it, there's enough room for everyone, but you'll pass a few groups on your way to your own spot in the North. You don't need to bring anything from home, it's all here and it's cheap enough. Be sure to pack a small pot to make nachleh coffee, some bedding, water, cigarettes. It's so comfortable sleeping outside in Israel, you won't find you need much. Even if you never camp, this is the country to make an exception.
Miscellaneous: Clothes are expensive here. The economy in Israel is a confusing one. Many Israeli's have the same living standards as Americans, but they are a small country in the middle east surrounded by people they don't trade with really. So many things aren't produced there, and so need to be imported. Hence, the price tag. Make-up, clothes, english books, movies, cd's. You will pay a little more here than you would for the same thing in the US.
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