Israel Travel Frequently Asked Questions

With such a momentous journey, there are of course many questions. We hope some of these frequently asked questions will assist you, but we are here to answer any additional questions you may have as well! If you need additional assistance, please call +972-8-9405123, or Plan Your Tour Today!

Is Israel safe to visit? 

Immanuel Tours invites you to visit as friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. If it were not safe, we would not invite you to visit us! Israel welcomes 4 million visitors a year with no major incidents. In addition, Immanuel Tours makes every effort to take extra measures in ensuring your safety.

Do I need a VISA?

For most countries, a passport is enough. Please review the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs for complete information, including a list of countries who only require a passport.

Are there any health/vaccination requirements for tours? Is there anything I should prepare for medically?

No vaccinations are required to visit Israel (unless you have recently been in an area where there have been epidemics of yellow fever, cholera or ebola). Before you travel to Israel, ask your doctor to write a prescription for any medications you may be taking with you in the event they are lost. Keep all of your medications in their original bottles or packaging.Israel is known around the world for its medical care, so if any need arises, you will be well cared for.

Is the water safe to drink?

Yes! While there is of course bottled water available as well, the tap water in Israel meets strict safety standards and is consumed by millions. We suggest you drink up, cause it is hot!

What is the weather like?

Israel has several climate zones, including a mediterranean climate in Tel Aviv, a semi-arid climate in Beersheba, and a desert climate in Southern Negev. Overall, you can expect long, hot and dry summers throughout the country, and cooler, rainy winters.

What should I wear?

Israel is a modern, westernized country, and casual, comfortable clothing is appropriate for sightseeing. We recommend good, comfortable shoes for lots of walking, and hats and sunglasses for protection. Pack cool, light clothing for spring through fall, and warmer clothing for winter visits. It is recommended to bring some nicer clothing for dinners. Some sites visited to require more modest dress, so it is advised to bring along a pair some long pants for men, and clothing that covers the knees and shoulders for women. Don’t forget your swim suit!

What are electric outlets like?

Most hotels and locations do use the standard european outlets (three-pronged). It is advised to bring an adapter for usage.

What is the internet and email availability like?

Most hotels will offer access for an additional fee, and there are cafes and businesses that offer complimentary access. Tel Aviv has free wifi throughout the city with 80 hotspots!

Will my cell phone work in Israel?

If you have an international usage plan with your carrier, it will work. Please contact your carrier to set up and ensure you have coverage before your arrival. We do suggest you carry a phone with you in Israel, even if you need to rent one for your stay for added safety and ability to keep in contact if you get separated from your group.

What should I expect with currency and purchasing while in Israel?

Israel’s currency is the Shekel and it’s worth about .30 US Dollars. It is strongly suggested to exchange some money into Shekels upon arrival. You can also withdraw from ATMs with your bank card. Credit cards are widely accepted, with VISA and MasterCard being the most accepted.

Do I need travelers’ insurance?

For a minimal amount of money, travel insurance is a must. Travel insurance can be purchased for a minimal amount of your travel investment, and can cover the following:

  • Hospital and doctor needs. Many seasoned travelers don’t realize that their health insurance may not be valid outside of their home country.
  • Cancelled trip coverage. If you need to cancel your trip due to an unforeseen emergency or serious illness, most of your trip may be non-refundable. This can help you save thousands of dollars.
  • Travel insurance also covers lost baggage, and worldwide emergency assistance coverage.

What should I pack?

Packing is very personal, but there are things you should keep in mind while preparing for your trip.

  • Plan to dress casually, packing clothes which can be layered if the weather changes. Choose comfort over fashion. If you plan on dining in exclusive restaurants, you may want to pack just one dressy outfit.
  • Bring along a light-weight jacket which will not prove to be too cumbersome if you end up carrying it for a few hours.
  • Bring along modest options for visits to certain religious venues.
  • Do not make yourself a target by wearing expensive jewelry.
  • A good way to conceal your valuables is by purchasing an inexpensive but light-weight travel pouch which attaches around your waist and is worn under your clothes.
  • Do not over-pack…leave room in your suitcase for souvenirs.
  • It is highly recommend to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen as protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
  • Women should bring wear a scarf to cover their head and shoulders at certain sites.
  • If you are traveling with a companion, cross-pack. Put half of your items in your companion’s luggage and vice-versa. This will ease the frustration of lost luggage.
  • Don’t forget these travel sized necessities: sewing kit, first aid kit, tissues, travel clock, toiletries, notebook and pen. Put all medication and necessities in your carry-on bag, not your checked bag, along with a few changes of clothes.
  • Bring along your Bible! It could well be your best guidebook for Israel.


Before your Trip…

Leave your Israel travel information with a family member or friend, include a copy of your passport, your flight itinerary, travel itinerary, hotel names and phone numbers.

Most airlines restrict passengers to one piece of carry-on luggage (in addition to your purse, laptop, camera case). Sizes and weight of carry-on luggage are determined by airline, so be sure to check with airline on dimension requirements before you leave.

Keep important items and documents with you at all times. Medicines should be carried in their original packaging (if you have a copy of the prescription, bring it with you). Do not keep travelers checks, money, valuables or travel documents in your luggage.

Make sure your luggage is clearly tagged on the inside as well as the outside.

Check-in time for international flights is normally two hours prior to departure. When checking in at the airport, a US passport (valid for six months after your return date) is needed as proof of identification to enter Israel. No visa is necessary. Non-U.S. citizens are responsible to fulfill appropriate entry requirements of the destination country. Contact your local consulate for information.

Do not leave your luggage unattended for any length of time (no matter how short) or accept packages from strangers to carry on to the plane for them.

Clearing customs in Israel may take a little longer than in most foreign countries. Keep in mind that upon arrival Israel you will need to go through customs and exchange money. Therefore, it is wise to give yourself plenty of time between landing and connecting to another form of transport.

Your Flight to Israel

You’re at the gate, your plane awaits and you feel excitement for the adventure ahead! After take-off and checking out all the neat little amenities and freebies, the novelty will wear off. Depending on where your flight is originating, hours and miles of being confined on airplane are ahead of you. Below are some tips for the making your flight as easy as possible.

Dress comfortably for the flight. Wear comfortable clothes that allow freedom of movement as you will most likely be trying to sleep on the flight. Wear shoes that slip on and off easily and have warm socks for your feet. .

In order to avoid jet-lag, do not drink alcohol, caffeine or carbonated beverages. Choose natural fruit juices and water.

To avoid air sickness and more serious medical issues that can arise from air travel, stay hydrated, chew gum or ginger, and be sure to get up and move to prevent blood clots. Do not wear any type of restrictive clothing, to accommodate for any travel swelling that may occur.

Before you leave, choose a good book, or two, that will keep you occupied for most of the flight. Before your return flight, buy another – not only will it pass the flight time quickly but it will become a souvenir of your trip.

Store your coat and anything you are not going to use in the overhead compartment. You’ll be much more comfortable with a minimum of things to shift around.

Bring along a moisturizer as the air in the cabin is extremely dry.

If you find yourself extremely exhausted upon arrival in Israel, take a brief nap after check-in and plan on beginning your sightseeing in the afternoon after resting. Do not sleep too long, so you can adjust to the time zone.


VAT Refund

Purchases can be made in Israeli Shekels, U.S. dollars or Euros. Tourists who have purchased items with a value exceeding $100 (including VAT) in stores that are registered with the Ministry of Tourism or in stores participating in the VAT-refund plan are entitled to a refund of VAT when they leave the country.

Stores that offer VAT refund service have a special sign.

To receive VAT refund, ensure that you get a receipt with a list of all the items you have purchased and details of the purchaser. The receipt and purchases must be put into a sealed bag.

Tourists must then go to the “Change Place” at Ben Gurion airport or other exit port. If you wish to send the items that you purchased with your luggage, you must declare the purchase at the security check, and present your passport, flight ticket, purchases and receipts at the counter. The attendant will open the bag, examine the contents, sign the receipt, and refund the VAT in any currency minus a commission. The VAT refund can also be sent to your address abroad for an additional charge.

There is no VAT refund for the following items: food, drinks, tobacco products, electrical appliances, cameras, film or other photography equipment.

Additional information about VAT refunds is available here.


In Israel, it is customary to tip hotel personnel, guides and drivers. The following are good guidelines to follow:

  • Give your guide $1.50 per day at the beginning of the tour. The guide will then pay the appropriate tips to the baggage handlers and restaurant staff.
  • Please expect to tip your guide $5.00 – $7.00 per day and your driver $3.00 – $4.00 per day (amounts are per person).
  • A 15% tip is the average in lunch restaurants that are not part of the Israel tour package.
  • While tipping is not mandatory for taxi drivers, some visitors choose to do so anyhow. Remember that a tip or gratuity is earned for services rendered in a courteous and professional manner.

Departing Israel

Israel’s airport security is probably the tightest in the world, so it is vital that you arrive in plenty of time to board your flight. Be aware that you will need at least two hours for pre-departure screening and even more time for check-in.

Do you have questions about planning a tour with Immanuel Tours?

Check out our FAQ page specifically about working with us HERE. 

What Do Our Clients Say About Us?

  • Bob Lutz – San Clemente, CA

    I want to thank you for accommodating our group since we were only 14. And for giving us Yoni as a guide. You are fortunate to have him. He was so knowledgeable and entertaining. We LOVED him. And Dabash as our driver was excellent as well. Thank you for all your efforts. It was a memorable trip.

  • William AttawayWilliam Attaway

    I've taken groups to Israel with Immanuel Tours since 2009, and have been overwhelmed with their impressive operation. They take such great care of the groups that work with them, and I've never thought of talking with anyone else. They are, quite simply, the best! I highly recommend them to you!

  • Stephen GentryStephen Gentry

    We unfortunately did not get to take our tour with Immanuel tours due to the closing of Israel's border due to Coronavirus. However, you need to know that I have NEVER been treated as well by ANY company as we worked through the problem. Outstanding communication, always looking to take care of us and our needs. They legimately could have charged a cancellation fee, because they did all the work, but they waived all fees. Phillip ,Susan, and Carine are a delight and we WILL use them we we are able to reschedule. Thank you Immanuel. Tours, you truly out the hospitable in hospitality.


    Thank you so much for the life changing experience. Our guide Yoni Simmons made all the difference. I believe Yoni is made for this. He made his narration so interesting! He was so knowledgable, patient, humble and caring. We could tell he loves what he is doing. He is a real minister of the word of God. If I have the opportunity I will recommend Immanuel Tours to other people and Yoni as a guide in particular.

  • RonnaRonna

    This was the trip of a lifetime! From start to finish everything ran smoothly and was so well organized. Israel is a beautiful country and I can’t imagine seeing it for the first time with anyone other than Immanuel Tours. Thank you so much for making our pilgrimage to the Holy Land such an incredible experience.

  • Marlene PeachyMarlene Peachy

    I can’t begin to thank you……..I mean that from the bottom of my heart.  I know I already have a larger group of people for next year, but these ones that came are forever changed.  They laughed, they cried (for joy) they were deeply moved and Matti and Abbott were spectacular.  They won’t stop thanking me!!!  They know you are the best!!!!  I was just a ride along and encourager.  Of course, they weren’t just  holiday travelers, they knew their Bible and were sincerely making a pilgrimage.  They just had no idea how wonderful it would be.  Thanks so very much!!!  I don’t know how to write Matti and Abbott to thank them, but please convey that for me.

  • Sandra Luttrell, Zola Tours ManagerSandra Luttrell, Zola Tours Manager

    Zola Tours has been hosting pilgrims in the Holy Land for over 35 years, teaching and revealing the Bible from a Messianic Jewish perspective, and Immanuel Tours has been our land agent for almost 20 of those years. Immanuel Tours staff and services are over-the-top excellent and professional; yet at the same time they treat their clients like family, with a personal touch! They oversee and ensure each part of our tours is handled with perfection and that we and they provide an everlasting, monumental, never-to-be-forgotten Holy Land experience for each of our pilgrims! We cannot sing their praises enough, and we give them the highest and most honored accolades and recommendation possible! If you are in need of the BEST land agent in Israel, PLEASE give them a chance to prove everything we say and believe about them!

    With warmest and sincerest blessings,

    Sandra Luttrell
    Zola Tours Manager

  • Pastor Doug ByrumPastor Doug Byrum

    My wife, Glenna and I have traveled to Israel 13 times, 11 of those with Immanuel Tours. They are simply the best. Reasons, they are family, they care about every aspect of your tour. If someone is hurt they will sit at the hospital. I consider everything they do to be first class. It truly is if you ask and it is possible they will make it happen. It is the only group my tours will travel with, I have used others, none this good. Give them a try, you won't be sorry, I promise...

  • Matt StoneMatt Stone

    Just got back from a Zola Levitt Israel tour and my wife and I couldn't be happier with the experience. Dror was our guide and Charlie was the driver. They both performed above expectations. We couldn't get enough of Dror's observations and knowledge. Charlie made the transportation logistics seem effortless, he was applauded multiple times navigating us around. A++

  • Lina OliverLina Oliver
     Thank you so much for a very well organized tour/pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Our guide, Asher, and our driver, David, were very nice & they were so great. Very knowledgeable too! It was a wonderful experience.  We hope to visit the Holy Land again with Immanuel Tours.
  • Maria SisonMaria Sison

    I was fortunate to join the Holy Land Pilgrimage provided by the Immanuel Tours and sponsored by Father Joel Lopez of Illinois, USA on November 6-14, 2013. I have to say that it is a once in a life time experience that has strengthened my faith and helped me grow spiritually and the memories of which I will treasure for the rest of my life. Father Joel was as good as it gets—so much fun to be with. I think that he will attract many pilgrims in the furure just by his personality.

    But of course the wonderful experience would not have been possible were it not for the presence of our driver David and out guide Asher Vaza. Asher has such love and passion for the history of Israel and the Jewish Faith and it showed whenever he spoke which was so captivating and always transformed us all to that amazing time. He has a vast knowledge of history which was very impressive. I’m old and have worked hard all my life and have gone to so many places and participated in many tours and have not encountered a guide as good and as moving as Asher. He is an asset to your company. Many in the group said that they will only recommend Immanuel tours of the Holy Land if Asher and David are on it. and We loved David and Asher. I do not think Father Joel will like another driver and guide aside from those 2. They work so well with each other and have such respect for each other that the whole group commented on it. Of course, that fact just added to make the experience even more enjoyable. Father Joel, David and Asher is a combination that is hard to replicate.

    On our last evening in Jerusalem I met The CEO of Immanuel Tours and his daughter Susan. It was very nice that they both came to meet us. We all appreciated that very much. The whole company and especially those 2 seem like the people I will want to have travel dealings with even in other places. You have a very respectable/trustworthy company and I will pray for your continued success. I know that you will bring more pilgrims to the Holy Land and beyond.

  • Greg and Katie HollowayGreg and Katie Holloway

    Our first experience with Immanuel Tours was over 10 years ago in 2006.  We have been using them ever since and can say the service level has never wavered.  They offer impeccable customer service, with such personal attention given to every detail.  We consider them not just our tour company but they have become our Israeli family.  We have been so blessed through them and highly recommend them.

  • Linda ArnoldLinda Arnold

    My first pilgrimage to The Promised Land was with Immanuel Tours and the entire trip exceeded my expectations. I liked it so much that my husband and I signed up for another tour the following year and took 5 family members with us! Okay, so if that wasn’t enough we signed up again this year and took 4 more friends! Yes, that is three years in a row!

    When I go back to Israel, I will only travel with Immanuel Tours. Outstanding guides, exceptional drivers, and first rate service. Immanuel Tours is truly excited to be a part of your incredible, experience in the Holy Land and care about every little detail.

  • TeresaTeresa

    We had the trip of a lifetime!!

    Thank you and our wonderful guide, Ilan! He is a fantastic guide. So knowledgeable and hard working. We learned so much from him. We are so very grateful to him!

    We thoroughly enjoyed our trip!! Many thanks to you and Ilan!

    We will continue to lobby for Israel here in the U.S. And will recommend Immanuel Tours to anyone going to Israel!



  • David ChaversDavid Chavers

    Immanuel Tours provided very personalized service to us. Two of our group flew in from Egypt ahead of the others by about 8 hours. The two were settled into the hotel, picked up by car by Susan herself and driven to the airport to meet the rest of the incoming group and ride the bus back to the hotel as a group. No extra charge, ''just part of it'' they told us. There were six employees on hand to meet us at the airport to make sure everything went smoothly.

    I could continue, but this email cannot do justice to the service and accommodations Immanuel Tours provided us. I guess the strongest statement I can make is that we are returning with another group this coming year. The thought of using someone else has not even crossed our minds. These people took care of business, and became our friends in the process.


  • GinaGina


    I must tell you I give both Immanuel Tours and Mordi my highest recommendation – Donna and I had an amazing trip. The personal service, hotels, attention to detail and most of all the flexibility of Mordi (he learned I like frozen coffees – so there was always a stop somewhere) to change up the itinerary when timing/location deemed necessary.

    Now a special word about Mordi – his knowledge and passion for Israel is so evident in his spirit it is a joy to spend time with him. He has a great sense of humor (which I’m sure he needed with us) and loved sharing his Jewish faith and Israeli heritage during our unending questions.

    Yoav – a note of thanks for all your help with our pilgrimage – I know you did all the legwork for the sites, hotels and details. It was flawless and we appreciate all your hard work. You’re the best!

    Again, thank you Immanuel Tours – it was a life changing experience and you made it happen.

    Next year, in Jerusalem!