Israel Travel Questions

Old Nov 9th, 2022, 08:37 AM
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Israel Travel Questions

Hello
mid 60s US couple, have been to Europe multiple times, plus traveled to China and Hong Kong (all pre covid). Have always researched and gone on our own and used day trip tour guides and made out fine.
Trying to get advice on Israel for Mar/Apr 2023 - is it safe to stay in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem area and just use day trips or is it advisable to use a tour package (i have read both good and bad reviews of Israel tour packages, bait and switch, logistical & security delays, etc)
How many days in Israel would be the minimum? 7? should we try to also spend a couple days in Egypt or is the logistics and security not really worth it?
All recommendations/advice greatly appreciated!
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Old Nov 12th, 2022, 06:58 AM
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jp4120,

We are just a little older than you and have also travelled extensively. We just returned from a 16-day trip to Israel, Jordan and Istanbul. We spent 7 days in Israel. We're pretty fiercely independent travelers, but with the little time we had in Israel, we hired a private guide who was worth his weight in gold. Having said that, I think that day trips would also be fine from either Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. We didn't stay in Tel Aviv, but we felt perfectly safe in Jerusalem. We were in an apartment in the Mamilla area with a view of the Old City. There was a beautiful, upscale mall within walking distance of the apartment with lots of good stores and restaurants.

To answer your question, it depends on what you want to see in Israel, but I'd say that 7 days is the absolute minimum. We were busy every minute of every day and there were so many things that we didn't see (we spent 5 nights in Jerusalem and 2 in Galilee). One of the advantages of a private guide in my opinion is that you can tailor the trip to just what you want to see. We met David every morning and we were able to make a few last-minute changes along the way as the days unfolded. If you're interested, his name is David Wexler and his website is https://www.davidsland.com/.

I write a travel blog (for fun - no revenue), www.twoboomersabroad.com and I'm just starting to post articles about the trip. I'm also going to try to do a modified trip report here on Fodors if I have time.

You could combine Egypt with Israel, but if possible, I'd make them two separate trips. We spent over two weeks in Egypt in early 2020, returning just before the world shut down. It was absolutely amazing and while you'd get a small taste of it, two days wouldn't be worth it unless you know that this is the only time you'd ever be able to get there.

I hope that helps; let us know what you decide!
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Old Nov 12th, 2022, 11:54 PM
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We, too, are usually independent travelers but took a Road Scholar trip to the Middle East and Egypt that we loved and can recommend: https://www.roadscholar.org/find-an-...rdan-and-Egypt.

In addition to the tour, we decided to land a few days early. We toured Tel Aviv (took 2 walking tours), Jaffa (on our own) and also took a day trip to parts of Northern Israel and another day trip into the Palestinian Territories (where my husband's father was born.) We then spent an extra day in Jerusalem before the Road Scholar tour began. We felt very safe everywhere we traveled. We did end our trip into the Palestinian Territory a few hours early as our guide heard of rumors of a possible protest occurring later in the day (we saw no evidence of any trouble.)

I encourage you to visit this fascinating area.



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Old Nov 14th, 2022, 06:37 AM
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thanks for the recommendations, we are also looking at packages from Gate 1 and Trafalgar based on word of mouth from social media in case you have any info on those companies pro or con...thx

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Old Nov 14th, 2022, 07:12 AM
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We traveled to Israel and Jordan with Tauck Tours and loved every minute. Great tour director and the local guides were fantastic.
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Old Nov 15th, 2022, 04:35 PM
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These were my exact questions! I am considering Road Scholar, but will check the other reccommendations.
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Old Dec 13th, 2022, 06:08 AM
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thanks for the recommendations
we did decide to purchase a 'best of Israel' 8 days with Trafalgar leaving in march/april 23
staying in Tel Aviv an extra day (arriving 1 day early) so will explore on our own or do a walking tour.
we will have some free time but not much but will submit a trip report when we get back.
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Old Dec 13th, 2022, 06:35 AM
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Enjoy!!
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