One question we often get regarding touring Israel is “Can Children Tour Israel?” This question is basically yes, but there are some things to consider when deciding if this is right for your child and how to make the most of your trip.
At what Age Should Children Tour Israel?
We think that the ideal age that deciding when children tour Israel depends on a series of questions:
- How mature is the child?
- Will children tour Israel in a group or in a private tour?
Notice we didn’t say “How old is the child?”. Age is truly just number. When children tour Israel, Some seven year olds may do just fine on a tour and another twelve-year-old may not be ready for such a trip at all. It is important to honestly and individually assess before children tour Israel.
The second question plays hand-in-hand with the first. Perhaps you think your child may be fine in a private tour where you can take breaks and set your own pace and be more “kid friendly” as opposed to being in a more organized group tour, or maybe they are more of an “old soul” and would have a fantastic time being with a group of adults! Only you truly know your child, but remember to be realistic and honest or it could lead to a less meaningful and enjoyable time for you, your child and other participants.
How to Prepare for a Children Tour Israel
There are some things you can do, both in a tour group and private tour to help create a meaningful and fun experience that they will remember all their lives! Here are some tips:
- If you have very young children (under 7), we do suggest waiting to join a group tour. Tour days are very long and there isn’t much leeway for a tired child to take breaks. Instead, consider a private tour. The great part of this is you can plan your private family tour of Israel tour. This includes taking a more leisurely pace, teaching them at their level and incorporating fun things like the Biblical Zoo which houses animals spoken of in the Bible and that existed in ancient Israel or a fun camel ride and ancient dinner with a trip to GenesisLand.
- Plan well for jet lag. The flight to get to Israel can be absolutely exhausting. Some of our friends have to travel 24 hours or even more to get to us! Adults are very tired the first day of travel, let alone children. Try to keep the kids sleeping at night and awake during the day, unless naps are a regular thing for the child, in which case keep the naps!
- Take snacks. What kid doesn’t love a good snack? Tour days are long and they may get hungry! Make sure you pack snacks they like for the tour from home. Don’t assume that they will like whatever is local. A hungry child is a grumpy child and you want them to be in a good mood! There are foods you should have your child try though! Dates are a delicious and nutritious snack, as is Bamba, the most popular snack in Israel. It’s also one of the first foods any child in Israel eats, so it really helps them get into Israeli culture.
- Prepare your child. Talk to them about the days to come both in that they may need to be patient and may get tired, but also talk to them about what they will see and experience. Preparation and expectation are important for any children tour Israel.
- Take the time to create a lesson plan for your child to understand what they are seeing in terms they understand. Yes, it will take time, but you came a very long way and likely are hoping that they will remember this trip as a time that truly was monumental in their faith, why not make the most of it! Look at the itinerary you will be following and have the Bible passages ready, some questions to ask and be prepared for some questions in return. If they are old enough, give them a journal and encourage them to write down thoughts after each stop and/or when back at the hotel, or they may enjoy drawing pictures of it. Years later they can look back at their journal and remember their trip and how they felt and share with their own children. That’s a great souvenir.
We at Immanuel Tours are eager to make sure you and your family have an unbelievable experience in any way possible. If you need any assistance or have any questions, one of our friendly tour operators will be very happy to help!
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