How to Prepare for your Trip
For many people, their Christian Holy Land tour is the first or farthest they have traveled of their home country. There are man questions about what their trip will be like, but also what they should be doing to prepare for their pilgrimage. Here is a list of things to do to prepare in order to make your journey as smooth, enjoyable and meaningful as possible.
Get Your Travel Documents
If you are coming from outside of Israel, you will need a passport at the very least. This should be done as soon as possible to make sure you don’t run out of time if there is a hold up in processing times. There are apps that can help with the process, such as epassportphoto.com which allows you to take your photo at home with your phone and get a picture you like. It works for a variety of countries and also allows for green card and visa photos.
Some counties have visa-free access to Israel, such as Most of North America and Europe, but there are many countries who do require a tourist visa to be obtained. Furthermore, some of these countries require Israel Foreign Ministry approval before the visa can be issued.
Please refer to this chart to find out about the requirements for your particular country.
While we make every effort to accommodate every physical ability, most people find that there is a certain amount of physical assertion that does take place. Depending on the itinerary, there is a considerable amount of walking throughout the tour. We greatly encourage you to prepare for your tour by making sure you are walking increasing distances leading up to your tour. As your tour gets closer, it is important that you walk in the shoes you plan to use on your trip. Breaking in the shoes to ensure comfort. It’s never fun to find on a day of heavy walking that your new shoes cause blisters! For a more advice about footwear on your tour, click here.
Get Travel Insurance
Many people book their tours a considerable amount a time before their departure, and as we all know, unexpected thing can happen. We highly recommend securing trip cancellation insurance as soon as you book your tour. These companies all have different policies, terms and conditions, but the goal is the same, to make sure that if a worst-case scenario occurred, your expenses would be covered. There are several companies who provide coverage, and you can visit a site such as travelinsurance.com to see several options in one place.
Whether or not you get cancellation coverage or not, medial/evacuation coverage is a must! Sometimes things happen on tour that you can not anticipate while on tour that may require you to have medical attention, or even a medical evacuation to get home. This could cost thousands and thousands of dollars if you don’t have insurance.
Read Your Itinerary… and Then Your Bible
With so many sites to visit and experience in Israel, many people are surprised how quickly it all goes by. One way to make the most of your time is to take the time at home to read through your itinerary that is provided before leaving for your trip and research each spot you are going to visit, including reading the Bible passages that are relevant to the site. Take notes and write down questions you have from your research to ask your guide and tour leader. You will be ready to dive in deeper at every spot if you have the basics already in your brain and ready to ask questions you want the answers to.
Tell Everyone Who Needs To Know You’re Traveling (Not Who You’d Think!)
If you aren’t the type who travels often, a sudden charge in a foreign country may raise red flag with your financial institution. Make sure you alert them to you travel plans so they will know it’s you purchasing those mementos and meals in the Holy Land. Here is a video about paying for things in Israel including using cash.
Also let your doctor know so if there are any concerns for you traveling, it can be addressed in plenty of time.
Let your cell phone company know too so you can discuss your options for international coverage. It is important to know the costs so you don’t have a surprise bill when you get home! There are other options for staying connected with home, as wifi is very available in Israel. Whatsapp and Skype are both great options to avoid big cell bills.
As an extra tip, it is highly advisable to set up autopay on all of your bills or make sure they have been paid before you depart. You will be busy on your tour and time differences can be difficult and confusing so you may not get payments done on time if you try to do it on your tour. Also, returning home can be a bit disorienting, so best to allow yourself a little extra grace and make sure you have nothing to worry about for a few days returning home.
We hope these tips will help you feel more prepared for your Christian Holy Land Tour! We also have a wide range of helpful videos on our Youtube Channel, so be sure to subscribe. We are always available to give more information or assist you.