Whether you are planning on traveling on your own or with a tour group to Israel, you need to make sure you bring these 10 items!
Sun in the fun! This means there is a lot of sun while having a lot of fun in Israel! It's big bold and bright! And if you are not careful, even if you feel that gorgeous Mediterranean breeze, you could be burning! I've learnt my lesson and thus wish to spare you the pain! Bring some good quality sunblock that you can carry with you in your purse or backpack so you can apply as needed.
Another good tip, is that while it is warm and cozy standing in direct sunlight, if you can find a shady place, you will feel a significant temperature drop.
This kinda goes without saying, but you will not want to forget the incredible memories that will be created while you are in Israel. There are endless opportunities to capture those instagram shots! So make sure you have a lot of memory available on your smartphone, and if you have a regular camera make you have you have some extra memory chips so you will not miss that gorgeous sunset or that fuzzy camel kiss! Also if you want to take pictures of Israelis, such as some of the soldiers, usually they really like to feel the camera love. However for some of the religious folks, you might need to ask them if you can take their picture.
And for the last piece of advice, if you are in a religious area on shabbat (Saturday) you might have an elderly lady poking you in the ribs for taking pictures on the "shabbos". Just FYI. Its happened to me before. LoL.
3. Good walking shoes
These shoes are meant for walking! And I must warn you, because although Israel is pretty accessible and it is generally pretty easy to walk around; there are sidewalks that have been around for yyyeeaaarrrssss, thus they are a bit cobbly and a bit wobbly. So make sure you wear good comfortable shoes during your tour in Israel, it will make for a more enjoyable experience if you have happy feet.
Also necessary to bring is a good pair of sandals. You will need them for going swimming in the Mediterranean (if it is the right season), floating in the Dead Sea, getting baptized in the Jordan River, swimming in the Galilee and for swimming in the pool of your hotel if you have one. Nothing worse then going swimming then having to put on socks and shoes! Or maybe its just me that doesn't like this?
Like I mentioned above, it is sunny in Israel pretty much all year round. Even in the winter during the rainy season, when it is not raining the sun is usually smiling bright above. So to save you from having to squint through the duration of your tour in Israel, a handy pair of sunglasses will prove very useful!
6. Modest clothing
At some of the religious sites such as Capernaum, some of the churches in Jerusalem, the Western Wall, require shoulders and knees to be covered. This is not an issue usually in the colder months, but in the hotter time of year this can be a bit exhausting. For the ladies I recommend carrying a scarf in your purse, one that is big enough that you can wrap around your shoulders and wearing a skirt or sundress. For the guys, I recommend wearing longer shorts that cover the knees or light weight trousers.
7. Bathing suit
There are many opportunities to swim in Israel! April - October is prime swimming time. The whole coast of Israel boasts of amazing beautiful beaches along the Mediterranean. Then up north you can swim in the fresh water of the Galilee. And when you head south there is the salty Dead Sea that you can float in (don't try to swim in! you do not want salty water in your eyes!). I haven't even mentioned the spas or swimming pools that some of the hotels might have to offer. But I want to give you one FYI, do not wear your favorite bathing suit in the Dead Sea! It is very salty and it can maybe cause the elasticity to never be the same. Just a heads up on that one.
8. Your smart phone
Def bring your smart phone! There is free wifi in the airport, at cafes, in the hotels, on most of the tour buses, on some of the public buses, on the train, and many other places. It is very useful to have your smartphone so you can research things and stay in touch with family and friends back home.
9. Water bottle
I highly recommend bringing a water bottle and using it a lot, because you do not want to get dehydrated and a headache while you are on vacation! And if you are with a tour group, most times the bus driver will sell plastic water bottles to the group during the duration of their trip, so that is handy to have the access there. And drinking tap water is ok in Israel. Though sometimes the different mineral content in the water which you might not be used to, can make some feel uneasy in their tummy.
Israel is the land of the Bible, and most of the places you will be visiting are mentioned in the Bible! So bring a Bible a long and uncover the ancient paths of old.