Holy Land Travel Orientation
Holy Land Travel Orientation
Understand that half of what there is to see in the Holy Land is hidden from most that walk her paths. They are unseen spiritual truths, only revealed to the sensitive and spiritual of heart.
This page is designed to help you get the most out of your travels in the Holy Land.
Following are nine orientation sections we highly recommend you acquaint yourself with before departing on your Holy Land Trip to Israel:
Section 1: Historical Periods in Israel's History
Section 2: Preparing Yourself to See the Holy Sites in Israel
Section 3: How to Get the Most Out of Your Holy Land Trip
Section 4: Understanding Group Travel Dynamics
Section 5: Travel Tips for Israel
Section 7: Staying Connected While In Israel
Section 8: Getting Around In Israel for Personal Use
Section 9: Orientation Meeting In Israel Topics
Below is a very helpful video showing exactly what to expect and the process you will need to follow after landing at Ben Gurion Airport in Israel. See where to get your tourist visas, go through the Passport Checkpoint area, proceed to the baggage claim area, go through customs, exit the airport, get a taxi, and more.
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 1
Historical Periods in Israel’s History
Why it's important to understand a brief overview of the historical periods of Israel.
The Holy Land is an old place, about the oldest in the world! While in the Holy Land, you’ll be seeing things as old as 6,000 years. That’s old! Different periods of history will be referred to when describing Israel’s holy sites and places. Please realize that at a particular site, there will likely be several key events that have taken place there. Each event will have happened during a specific period in Israel’s history. If you can understand the different periods a little, you’ll get much more out of your experience.
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 2
Preparing Yourself to See the Holy Sites in Israel
The Need to Understand What You’re Going to See
It would be wonderful if the Holy Land was exactly the same as it was 2,000 years ago when Christ walked its paths, or 4,000 years ago when Abraham traversed its hillsides and valleys. However, 4,000 years is a long time, and there have been many changes that have taken place during this time span. It’s hard for us to understand, but 4,000 or even 2,000 years is a long time! Because of its strategic location in the world, no other country has had as many kingdoms occupy it, or as many battles fought on its soil as Israel. This, along with time, has led to much change to Israel and its holy sites.
The good news is that many of the biblical sites are in their natural state and appear much the same as they did when the events that happened there occurred. Other sites have had monuments, churches, or basilicas built near, or on them and are not exactly as they appeared when the events that occurred there happened. Also, many sites have had many events happen in one spot over thousands of years, so it would be impossible to have each event preserved just the way it happened.
Understanding What Some of The Holy Sites Will Be Like
Many of these monuments, churches, or basilicas will have a Catholic, Arabic, or Mid-Eastern style look. They’re very different from what we’re accustomed to seeing, and at first glance, you might find this unattractive. You also might disagree with the religious backgrounds of some of these sites and feel somewhat uncomfortable as well. In addition, you most likely will find other people visiting the Holy Land from other countries who are actually worshipping and kissing some of the adornments on these sites. On a previous trip to Israel, some in our group found all this a little repulsive and chose not to enter some of these holy sites. Because of these possible negative reactions, we would like to provide you with a little background and history about how these holy sites have been preserved so your sightseeing experience can be the best as possible during your time in the Holy Land.
A Little History
Even before the time of Christ and afterward, many of the holy sites were marked out and preserved. Then, about 300 years after the time of Christ, the Roman Empire (world power at that time) embraced Christianity. At that time, the mother of Emperor Constantine (Helena) was one of the first of the royal family to convert to Christianity. Later, Emperor Constantine did as well. Helena came to the Holy Land and wanted to preserve some of the holy sites, so she had churches, monuments, and basilicas built over some of the key holy places. These included the Church of the Holy Sepulture, Church of the Nativity, Basilica in the Garden of Gethsemane, Church of the Annunciation, and others. Helena and others throughout history felt such emotion and awe at these holy sites that they wanted to honor and preserve them for future generations. The Early Church during this period was the first to be in charge of these sites, and then because the Early Church slowly evolved into what we know as the Catholic Church, many of these holy sites came under the care of the Catholic Church. The monuments, churches, and basilicas were not always Catholic in nature, so we shouldn’t assume that they shared the same religious views at their inception.
There were others as well that came to the Holy Land to build churches, monuments, and basilicas on these holy sites (Armenians, Russians, Greeks, etc.). Their hearts felt the same awe and emotion as others who came, so they too built on or by these holy sites to honor and preserve them.
Some of these holy sites are ancient (from as old as 5,000 years), and the churches have a Mid-Eastern style look.
Gratefulness to Those Who Preserved the Holy Sites
If it hadn't been for those who preserved the biblical sites, they would have been lost or had other buildings, roads, and infrastructure built over them. They would have been lost to the world forever. These early pilgrims felt the same awe and emotion you will feel. We certainly can’t fault them for this.
Because of all the adornments and construction over the centuries, it's hard to imagine how some of these sites would have looked in their original setting. However, the years of activity and tradition at these holy sites give greater weight to their authenticity. And while we might disagree with the decorations and atmosphere of these places, we should appreciate and admire all the devotion and sacrifice made to preserve them.
Some Might Find These Churches, Monuments, and Basilicas Repulsive
Part of the reason some might find the places they see in Israel as repulsive will have to do with a difference in religious faith. Another reason is due to a misunderstanding of style. These holy sites have a very different style than what we’re accustomed to in modern churches. Most of the old churches we see are just a few hundred years old and have somewhat the same architecture and style from our modern era.
1. Entering these churches, monuments, and basilicas to see these holy sites doesn’t mean we’re in any way embracing and accepting their religious beliefs.
2. While the style, religious background, and adornments might not be to our taste, the motives of those who preserved these sites seem to be noble and honorable. As you see these sites, you will understand why these early pilgrims wanted to preserve them.
3. It’s important to note that we, from a modern mindset, have different views and tastes regarding building styles. Because to us, something 200-400 years old seems really ancient, we need to realize that seeing something 1,500 years old has an entirely different architectural look and sense to it than what we’re accustomed to seeing.
Hopefully, this info will help you. As mentioned, on a previous trip to Israel, some didn’t really understand these things beforehand, and it took them a bit to get themselves wrapped around some of these concepts. It was kind of a self-discovery process. For this reason, this orientation and background are provided so you can get the most out of your Holy Land Experience Trip and not get bogged down in this area.
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 3
How to Get the Most Out of Your Holy Land Trip
How to See What Many Don’t See in the Holy Land
Understand that half of what there is to see in the Holy Land is hidden from most that walk her paths. They are unseen spiritual truths, only revealed to the sensitive and spiritual of heart. Try to get as close to God as you can prior to and during your time in the Holy Land, so you can see and hear things that many don’t see during their visit there. The Holy Land is not just places and historical artifacts; it’s an experience, an experience that is spiritual in nature and eye-opening for those who can see in this realm.
You Won’t Be Able to See Everything
It would be great to see every detail at every holy site, but that would take months, if not years, to do. It’s important to understand that there is a lot to see and, therefore, just the highlights can be seen. You’ll be eating the frosting off the cake and won’t be able to eat the whole thing. As a result, please don’t be discouraged if you can’t spend as much time in each place as you’d wish. You’ll have to move along to see just the highlights, and if you stay too long at one place, that means you’ll be saying “No” to another.
Your Trip Won’t be Perfect
It would be fantastic if you could be guaranteed a perfect trip with a perfect experience, but that’s just not reality. Going to the Holy Land is undoubtedly the closest you’ll get to the “Trip of a Lifetime,” but please don’t get your hopes up so high that you’re let down and feel discouraged if it doesn’t turn out as you dreamed. Your trip won’t be perfect. Your leader and the rest of your group will probably not live up to your expectations either. The only perfect person on the trip will be you (well, maybe not exactly perfect, but pretty close to it, lol). So just prepare yourself to understand that things just aren’t going to be flawless.
Trust God for Your Experience
It’s also easy to have preconceived ideas of what to expect; the emotions you’re going to feel, the dreams you might have of the Holy Land, and the experience you want to have. Please try to set some of these aside and trust God to give you the experience He has for you. Don’t get everything built up so high that it would be impossible to fulfill them. Trust God to bless you and teach you what He has for you. He’s the One who’s worked everything out for you to go, and I’m certain He has special things to teach you. Trust in Him and be looking for what He has for you. And after everything is said and done, be content with what He gives you. It’s His trip, and you need to be happy with the outcome, whatever it may be.
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 4
Understanding Group Travel Dynamics
Traveling with Others
Part of the joy and richness of your Holy Land Experience will come from sharing it with others. Going somewhere alone is never as much fun as doing it with someone else. The impact and fullness of the experience will come alive as it’s experienced as a group rather than as an individual or couple. For this reason, you’ll want to consider a few things to make your Holy Land Experience the best as possible.
Try to Think as a Group and Not as an Individual
Traveling as a group is very different from traveling as an individual or couple. There will be other team members in your group, and each person needs to realize they’re part of a larger event than just themselves. The whole team will be depending on others to be punctual, courteous, thoughtful, and pleasant. Try to take into consideration that what you do affects everyone else on the team.
Try to Keep Up with the Group
It will be important that you keep up with the group and not linger too long seeing things during your travels. Because you’ll be seeing some really interesting things, it will be easy to get lost in these and forget that there are other things to see as well.
Please Be Punctual
Everything from wake-up times, mealtimes, arrival times, departure times, and the site-seeing schedule for each day needs to be considered. Because you are spending a lot of money and taking precious time out of your busy life to experience the Holy Land, you’ll want to be as punctual as possible so you and your team can see everything as planned. Your group can only be as fast as the slowest person, so try to be punctual and thoughtful of others. If you tend to be a late person, consider getting a head start on things by starting earlier than normal so you can be on time.
Please Be Patient & Courteous
Be aware that sometime during the trip, you’ll likely feel tired, a bit irritated with others, or upset at something that’s happened. Do your best to overlook the faults of others and try to keep yourself in check. Also, realize that we have an enemy who will do his best to take away from our experience by using others or problems. Be alert and prayerful! Keep yourself close to God and do your best to love others, and take everything in stride.
Try to Be Rested Up Before Your Holy Land Trip
Because you’re going to be expending a lot of energy during the trip, try to get as rested as possible before departure. To illustrate this point, we’ll use the term “gauges” to help us out. We all know that most of our vehicles have gauges: gas gauge, temperature gauge, oil gauge, etc. Using this analogy for our bodies, we all have bodily gauges as well. We have physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual gauges.
Before your trip, try to get your bodily gauges as full as possible. By doing so, you’ll get more out of your trip and be more joyful and patient with others.
Here are a few tips for filling up your bodily gauges before trip departure:
Try and scale down on your activities and output before the trip. For example, cut back on meetings, outings, get-togethers, and social events.
Get plenty of sleep.
Get plenty of exercise (you’ll be doing quite a bit of walking, so try to get in walking shape before the trip).
Get as much of your responsibilities and commitments done ahead of time, and don’t wait until the last minute to take care of things. There will be plenty of last-minute things to do, so don’t add to them by procrastinating.
Try to get packed and ready at your earliest convenience. If you need to shop for trip items, try to do so plenty of time in advance.
By doing the following, you’ll start your trip with your bodily gauges full and not empty. And when you think about it, who would start a long journey with their car having an empty gas tank and little or no oil in the engine?
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 5
Travel Tips for Israel
1. Get in shape physically before you go to Israel. You will be doing a lot of walking, so the better shape you’re in, the easier and more pleasant your time will be. Several months prior to your trip, start walking at least 15 minutes a day.
2. Activate your credit/debit cards before departure to Israel.
3. Make sure your Passport is up to date and valid. It must have 6 months of time left before expiration (of your dates in Israel) to be valid.
4. Don’t shave your body before taking a dip in the Dead Sea. The salt and minerals will irritate your skin.
5. Don’t show public display of affection with the opposite sex,
especially on the Temple Mount and Muslim sites.
6. Don’t be afraid to bargain for purchases at marketplaces. It’s expected, so take part in it.
7. Establish meeting places at each site so that if for some reason you get lost or separated, you can find each other.
8. Carry a water bottle and stay hydrated.
9. Pack layered types of clothing instead of heavy clothes.
10. Carry your personal items in a safe place on your person.
11. Take a good camera or video camera.
12. Get used to people smoking as it’s very common in Israel and the Middle East.
13. Many Israelis are not religious, but secular. This might seem weird, but it’s true.
14. Carry a copy of your Passport.
15. Women should dress very modestly, especially when visiting holy sites. Ladies should bring a large scarf or shawl to cover themselves when necessary.
16. Men should wear hats when visiting Jewish holy sites.
17. Men should not wear hats when visiting Christian holy sites.
18. Men should not wear shorts or tank tops when visiting holy sites like churches, Temple Mount, etc.
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 6
Travel Bible or smartphone with Bible app
Journal and pen for taking notes
Plug adapter for plugging devices into the outlets in Israel. Click here for purchase options
Note: The outlets in Israel are different from the States. You’ll need this adapter for plugging things in to be charged, etc.
Also, electricity in Israel is 220 volts. In America, it’s 110 volts. Many electronic devices today can adapt to both voltages, such as smartphones, tablets, etc. If this is all you'll be charging, then a plug-in like this is all you'll need.
Lightweight Portable Chair. Click here for purchase options
Note: A chair like this is optional, but you might find it handy for our Bible teaching times at many of the sites we'll be visiting in Israel.
Charger converter needed for Israel (Needed for charging cameras and etc.). Click here for purchase options
Note: Electricity in Israel is 220 volts. In America, it’s 110 volts. Many electronic devices today can adapt to both voltages. If you plan to take an item that cannot use 220 volts, then the above link is a charger converter you’ll need.
Travel alarm or smartphone that has this capability
Flashlight (mini) or smartphone that has this capability
Camera or smartphone that has this capability
Film or Storage Disks for your camera (bring plenty, because it's much more expensive in Israel)
Many people find it helpful to take Ziplock baggies or small plastic containers to put their lunches in.
Dressing in layers is best when considering your clothes. For the most part, the weather will be warm and sunny during the time we are in Israel. However, there might be some cooler days and evenings.
Note: Special clothing requirements must be considered when visiting sites like the Temple Mount, many churches, and other religious sites.
Ladies: Please bring a large scarf or shawl to cover yourself when visiting these religious sites. You also must dress modestly so your knees and shoulders are covered.
Men: You will not be able to enter many religious sites if you are wearing shorts or tank tops. Therefore, we discourage wearing these items during the day. However, they can generally be worn during your free time in the evenings if you'd like.
Swimsuit, beach shoes, and a plastic bag for the Dead Sea experience if you want to get in the water
Sturdy walking shoes with traction for the many stone paths and roads you’ll traverse. FYI ~ Many of the streets are paved with stone, so it's challenging to wear shoes with awkward heels/soles on uneven pavement.
Hat for sun protection purposes
Day Pack/Back Pack (can be used as a carry-on and for travel in Israel)
Ziplock bags for lunches and items you might find while in Israel.
Umbrella - Small contractible type
In Israel, most of the same products they sell in America are available, although they are at a substantially higher cost. Following are some reminders of items you might want to take:
Eyeglasses/ contact lenses
Anti-bacterial hand lotion
Any prescription medicine
We suggest bringing around $300 USD for emergency use if needed.
A credit card is the best way to pay for things in Israel, as you will get the best exchange rate. However, some local vendors will not accept credit cards, so Shekels are best for that (USD are also accepted by local vendors selling to tourists).
Shekels can be drawn out from most ATMs in Israel. No need to go to your bank to get them ahead of time. At our first hotel in Tel Aviv, there is an ATM close to it.
Food & Lunches
The day of arrival in Israel (unless you arrive earlier) will be a Sabbath evening. This means all Jewish stores, restaurants, and so forth will close early (normally starting around 3:00 pm) This can present challenges for eating and preparing a lunch for the next day. If you will be arriving after 3:00 pm, you can eat dinner at the hotel or buy something ahead of time. Some places will be open, but very few. For the next day's sack lunch, you can buy something ahead of time or take extra items from the breakfasts buffets at the hotels (the hotels seem okay with this).
Breakfast - The hotels will provide breakfast if desired. Some will provide dinners as well. These can be paid for when you book your lodging or at the hotels. It's ideal to eat breakfast at the hotels as it's handy. However, you can eat your breakfast if desired at a local restaurant or made by hand.
Lunch - Because eating out is expensive in Israel, time-consuming with a large group, and we will not always be close to a restaurant, each trip participant will prepare themself a daily sack lunch. Each day around noon, we will take a break to eat, or you can eat and snack as you wish. Lunch items can be purchased at local grocery stores or extra items from the breakfasts buffets at the hotels can be taken (the hotels seem okay with this). The hotels will have refrigerators in the rooms if needed.
Dinner – On your own. Enjoy the local culture as you eat at local restaurants or the hotel if you prefer.
Note: Many people find it helpful to take Ziplock baggies or small plastic containers to put their lunches in.
Luggage Size & Amount
We don't have a size and number allowance per person, but we suggest not exceeding around 40-50 lbs. per piece of luggage as it makes it hard to handle. The lighter, the better.
Documents & Items to Carry with You at all Times
There are several options for carrying your money and important documents with you on your trip. You can use a money belt (waist style or necklace style) or pockets on your pants or shirt that can be buttoned and secure.
Passport ~ Must not expire until 6 months after your trip.
Copy of your Passport
Printed or screenshots of your payment receipts for our trip to Israel in case you are interviewed by Israeli security at the airports (because of security purposes, Israel often interviews travelers at incoming and outgoing airports)
Health Insurance Card or proof of insurance
Credit/Debit Card (make sure to activate your cards for Israel or international travel)
Note: It’s a good idea to have your debit card activated so you can draw out Shekels for spending in Israel.
Travel Visa received in Israel at customs.
Special Note: When arriving in Israel, you’ll go through customs to receive your visa for your stay in Israel. It will be a small piece of paper. Please don’t lose it! You will need it on several occasions while in the country. You can tuck it away in your passport if you’d like.
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 7
Staying Connected While In Israel
Staying connected with loved ones back home and having Internet access is a high priority for many.
Also, being connected to the Internet would be very helpful in accessing our HolyLandSite.com website, where you would be able to see and follow along during our Bible studies and tours of each site we'll be visiting in Israel. Additionally, it would be very helpful to access info during your free time in the evenings if you wanted to investigate sites of interest, dining options, directions, and so forth.
What are the options for staying connected while in Israel? Here are the best solutions:
1. In many cases, you can use your phone in Israel if you add on an international plan with your cell provider. Just check with your provider to learn about the cost and availability of this service.
2. You can purchase an Israeli SIM card. In most cases, these can be mailed to your home before leaving for Israel and then activated upon arrival in Israel (I believe these are only available for those in the United States, but you could call them and see.) A SIM card service we use is TalknSave.
3. You can purchase a SIM card at Ben Gurion Airport upon arrival. Here are some links for this option:
Buying a Sim Card at Tel Aviv Airport in 2023 - Traveltomtom.net
Israeli SIM cards | SimToIsrael | Tour Israel Jerusalem Tel-Aviv
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 8
Getting Around In Israel for Personal Use
Public Bus Company - Egged
Where will you find Egged buses? Almost everywhere. Egged is the biggest bus company in Israel. They usually operate as intercity buses, except for some cases in Northern Israel. Egged is also the main player in most Israeli cities, except for the Tel Aviv area. Their buses are completely green. Lately, they’ve also added a fleet of greyish buses.
Useful Travel Apps
Google Maps - This is our favorite. It has great maps in English, and you can use it to see exactly where you need to go. It also shows the live bus arrival times.
Only use recognized, marked taxis in Israel. Sometimes, private people will act like a taxi service, but they are not. This can be risky. The taxis are easily recognizable with their distinct black and yellow taxi sign on their rooftops. The taxi fare you will pay to whichever city in Israel you are traveling to has a legally fixed price. This will depend on the time of the day that you are traveling (after 9.15 pm, there is a surcharge of +25%). There will also be an extra charge for more than two passengers, and if you have a large amount of luggage, you may have to pay another 5-10 NIS. Taxi drivers also charge an extra 5 NIS when leaving the airport.
Catching a Taxi from the Street
It is still common practice to hail a taxi on the streets in Israel. There are two ways to set the price:
1. Ask the driver to turn on the meter. This is a good way to ensure you do not get overcharged. The meter will begin at a standard minimum charge and then go up from there. Drivers are also required to present you with a receipt at the end of the journey, should you ask for one.
2. Negotiate a fee with the driver before you get into the taxi. Make sure you agree on a fair price for both of you so there are no nasty surprises when you arrive at your destination.
Taxi Apps In Israel
Booking a taxi using an app on your smartphone is increasingly popular now. Following are several options.
Yango Taxi Israel - This is an app where you can set your destination and see the estimated cost of your ride almost immediately. You can also track your ride in the App and see exactly when it will arrive. It’s an easy-to-use service that works both on Android and iOS telephones.
Yango lets you book a ride with multiple destinations and can also suggest alternative pickup points to reach your destination faster and at a cheaper price. Because the price is upfront, it will stay the same, even if you are delayed by traffic.
Gett - About 8,000 of Israel's 25,000 cab drivers now use Gett, an Israeli company once known as Gett Taxi. Gett Taxi app in Israel does not actually own taxis or employ drivers but simply takes a fee for introducing passengers and drivers and acting as a third party for payments. Like Yango, the system is transparent, so passengers can’t be overcharged. Also, it’s easy to pay by credit card.
Uber - Uber is smaller than Yango or Gett, so response times might be a bit longer. Ordering an Uber driver costs 8 NIS from the time you get in the car, then 1 NIS for every minute you spend in it, plus 2 NIS for every kilometer.
The hotels can also order you taxis if needed.
Light Rail System
This is a great way to travel while in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv.
Transportation on the Sabbath
Starting Friday afternoon (around 3:00 pm) all public transportation in Israel will begin shutting down and won't resume until Saturday evening around 7:00 pm. Getting around during this time is limited to walking, or taxis.
Holy Land Travel Orientation Section 9
Orientation Meeting In Israel Topics
Get Acquainted Time
We'll begin our orientation meeting in Israel by getting acquainted. We'll simply go around the circle allowing each person to state their name and where they're from.
Each person will receive their own nametag that can be worn around the neck. Please wear it every day. This way, we can identify those in our group, and you won't get mixed up with other tour groups as well.
Each person will receive their own kit that will contain their audio device, charger, neckstrap, and earpiece. Each person will be responsible for charging their own audio device each evening. Please take care of your devices and keep the plastic bag they came in. These will need to be returned at the end of the trip in their plastic bags. Please top them off when you first get them so they're fully charged.
Because eating out is expensive in Israel and time-consuming, and we won't always be close to a restaurant, each person will need to prepare a daily sack lunch. Each day around noon, we will take a break to eat, or you can eat and snack as you wish. Lunch items can be purchased at local grocery stores or extra items from the breakfasts buffets at the hotels can be taken (the hotels seem okay with this). The hotels will have refrigerators in the rooms if needed.
Water is the best way to stay hydrated. Soda and most other drinks will not hydrate you but instead, cause you to have to go to the bathroom more frequently. Many bathroom stops can slow down our tour schedule considerably. So, it's important to stay hydrated with the best means possible, which is water.
You will have plenty of opportunities to use bathrooms, but we will not be able to stop all the time every time someone needs to use a bathroom. Stopping all the time can slow down our trip considerable and possibly cause us to omit some sites due to time constraints. As mentioned above, stay hydrated, but avoid drinking too many fluids so you don't have to go to the bathroom frequently.
We will be somewhat limited as to how long we can shop for souvenirs. There is always a tension between shopping and seeing sites. If too much time is taken shopping, then we might have to eliminate seeing a site during that day's agenda. During your free time (especially in Jerusalem) you can shop till you drop, so you might want to save your heavy shopping until these times. If you do see something at a site you must have, please make your purchases quickly so we can move along and see all the sites on the agenda for that day.
As most of you know, we have a large YouTube Channel where we publish Bible videos of the Holy Land. In fact, most of you found this Israel tour trip through these videos. We will have our cameras rolling most of the time in order to gather more material to continue making more videos. We are grateful for your understanding and consideration of this ministry to the Lord. We hope you will just go about everything as normal and count it a blessing to be used by the Lord through these videos.
Also, as we tour the sites, please feel free to video, take photos, and so forth of our talks and teachings for your own use as well. We'll try to move slowly through the sites so you'll have plenty of time for capturing your memories.
Understanding Some of the Sites
Some of you might not agree with the religious background of some of the churches we enter. Please understand that just because we enter a church doesn't mean we are endorsing or agreeing with it. These churches have preserved these sites over the years so that they can be seen today.
We Won't Be Able to Wait in Long Lines at Some Sites
There are two main sites where we will not be able to wait in long lines. The Church of the Nativity (to enter the grotto area) and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (to enter the tomb) are the two main ones. To enter these sites can take many hours so if they are really important to you, then you will need to make arrangements on your own time to see them. We would need to eliminate other sites on the agenda in order to wait in the long lines.
Pass Along Directions
While in crowded areas, please pass along turn directions and so forth so those behind you know where to go.
Front Seats on the Tour Bus
Please save the first two rows of seats on the bus for Holy Land Site staff. We'll have camera equipment and other items for which we'll need the space. Thank you for your understanding.
Tour Bus Departure Times
From the Hotels
We will depart the lobby of the main hotel each day promptly at 7:45 am to board the tour bus. Please be on time and ready to depart. It would be great to set a goal of being in the hotel lobby by around 7:30 am. Unfortunately, we will not be able to search for late people, so it will be each person's responsibility to be on time.
From Each Tour Site
After we have toured a site, you will have 20 minutes to go to the bathroom and bye any souvenirs or items you want to purchase. We will tell you what time the bus will be departing so you can be sure to leave with the group. Again, we will not be able to search for late people, so it will be each person's responsibility to be on the bus when it departs.
If You Miss the Tour Bus
If, for some reason, you miss the tour bus, you will need to get a taxi to the next place on the tour where we will be. Our itinerary can be found on our website.
Tour Trip Itinerary
If you don't have Internet service when you're away from your hotel, it would be wise to download the tour trip webpage so you can see the itinerary in case you are late and miss the tour bus.
Digital Maps of Daily Trip Itinerary
On the website trip itinerary, you will see at the bottom of each day's itinerary a link to see a Google Map Directory of the route and sites we'll be seeing each day.
Internet Service While In Israel
If you don't have Internet via your phone service, at each hotel where we will be staying, free Internet service is provided. Also, the tour bus has free Internet service as well.
Please Be Punctual
Your experience, along with everyone else in the group, will be so much better if each person is punctual. Our group can only be as fast as the slowest person, so try to be punctual and thoughtful of others. If you tend to be a late person, consider getting a head start on things by starting earlier than normal so you can be on time.
Touring In Jerusalem
This will be a little different than most places as we'll be on foot a lot. Be certain to stay with the group. We will use bathrooms along the way as needed. Please don't wander off, or you might get separated from the group.
Volunteers to Carry Our Tour Group Flag
In many cases, it's nice to have our group's small flag so everyone can see where the beginning of the group is. If you would like to help out, just let us know. We would be grateful for the help.
Stay Together As We Tour
It will be important to stay together as a group as we tour the sites. This way, you'll stay within range of the audio devices, which will allow you to hear the talks and not get lost. Please don't be a straggler or lag behind.
Hotel Transfer Days
Take into account on the days we change hotels that you will need to get all your luggage ready for transport. Please give yourself extra time in the morning to have your luggage with you when we depart the hotel lobby at 7:45 am.
Also, check your rooms carefully when transferring hotels. If you leave something behind, it will be very difficult to return and get it. Also, it might not be there even if you return.
The Use of My Bible
Over the years, I have moved over to using my cell phone for the Bible teachings due to the wind and ease of use. However, because I'm now known in all our videos with my Bible in hand, I now put my cell phone in my Bible when teaching.
When to Ask Questions
During the beginning of the sites of interest and historical background of each site, and during the Bible teaching times, please hold your questions. Anytime during these times, please ask all the questions you would like.
Shekels for Using Some of the Bathrooms
At some bathrooms, a few Shekels will be needed to use some of the bathrooms. If possible, have a few Shekels for this (you can draw them out in Israel at an ATM). If you don't have any Shekels, we will cover this for you.
Take Photos on Your Phone & Make Copies of Your Passports & Identification
In case you might lose any of your identity documents, it's a good idea to take photos of them on your cell phone and make copies of them to carry with you.
Transportation on the Sabbath
Starting Friday afternoon (around 3:00 pm) all public transportation in Israel will begin shutting down and won't resume until Saturday evening around 7:00 pm. Getting around during this time is limited to walking, or taxis.
Just Call Me Todd
While the Lord has blessed me with a PhD. in theology, you are welcome to just call me Todd. I am your humble servant and nothing more. All that I am is due to God's grace and work in my life. Without Him, I am nothing.
During Tour Hours
Joel Fink: firstname.lastname@example.org 1-541-603-4770 USA
After Tour Hours
Todd Fink: email@example.com 1-541-603-0881 USA
Travel Guide Book
Bible Companion Book
Israel Overview Tour of All Biblical Sites
Chapel of the Ascension: Ascension & Return of Christ
Death, Burial, Resurrection of Christ
Dominus Flevit Church: Triumphal Entry
Garden of Gethsemane: Church of All Nations
House of Caiaphas: Peter's Denial of Christ
Kidron Valley: Judgment of God
Pater Noster Church: Lord's Prayer, Olivet Discourse
Pilate's Palace: Trial of Jesus
Prophecy, Proof the Bible Is True: Mount of Olives
The Old Testament Feasts & Jesus
History Of Jerusalem's Walls and Gates
Sea of Galilee Sites
Capernaum: Jesus' Ministry Base
Jesus Walks on Water, Calms the Sea
Mount Arbel: The Great Commission
Sower's Cove: Parables of the Kingdom
Other Sites Around the Sea of Galilee
Northern Israel Sites
Caesarea Maritima: Holy Spirit Given to the Gentiles
Mount Tabor: Transfiguration of Christ
Nazareth: Church of Annunciation
Other Sites In Northern Israel
Central Israel Sites
Gezer: On Crossroads of the World
Jordan River: Crossing into the Promised Land
Jordan River Baptismal Site of Jesus (Qsar al-Yahud)
Judean Wilderness: Testing of Jesus
Philistine Cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Gaza, Ekron, Gath
St. George's Monastery (Wadi Qelt)
Valley of Elah: David & Goliath
Southern Israel Sites
Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai
The Philistines & Their City Strongholds
Other Sites In Southern Israel
Other Biblical Sites
Exodus, Red Sea Crossing, Mt. Sinai