Trip Prep

Preparing for your Trip

Please follow carefully the checklist provided below. The trip is very casual so expect to wear shorts and a t-shirt daily except in a few religious sites where a “modesty kit” is required (meaning long pants/skirt (to ankles) and covered shoulders). Zip-off pants work well and many women find a long loose skirt useful over shorts. No matter what our day’s activities we will be representing our Messiah in a land of both Jews and Muslims who will judge Him based on our appearance (so no tank tops, short shorts or skimpy bathing suits please).

Heat

The heat is a very real concern – Israel is hot. Bottled water will be provided for you daily and it is very important that you drink a LOT of water each day. Electrolyte replenishment through items like Gatorade or Gu is essential, as is sufficient salt in your diet. A full-brimmed hat is required in addition to a good pair of sunglasses and sunscreen.

Heart

In addition to the heat, there are very few places of level ground in Israel and will be participating in several intense hikes. We will often walk in rugged, hilly, rocky terrain, frequently uphill (and back down). Physical training before the trip that includes both cardio and strength training is required. Climbing stairs (6-8 flights without stopping), riding a bike, long walks or hikes (in your Israel shoes) will serve you well. The more you prepare your body, the more you will be able to enjoy the trip and increase your learning and retention.

Feet

We cannot overemphasize the need for good hiking boots/shoes that are broken in and provide good support. Sandals or tennis shoes simply will not be sufficient for the daily hiking. We will be “learning with our feet” much of the time, and so unprepared shoes and feet could cause a loss in learning. Hiking socks, insoles, and blister care kits are highly recommended.

Gadgets and Gear

Cameras are highly encouraged and your photos will be fantastic tools to share your experience back home. Make sure you pack your camera in your carry-on bag, Once our trip has begun, you will not have the opportunity to replenish supplies so please make sure you have all of your accessories prior to your departure. The bus will be a safe and secure place to keep your bag with any valuables. Bring the appropriate electric adapters and converters as needed. You will not need any specialized gear for the trip apart from what has been mentioned.

Geography

During the course of the our trip, we will introduce you to the basics of historical geography in the Bible. However, you will find it very helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the basic maps and information provided in your Study Guide. Those “cold facts” will be very helpful on location, providing you with a consistent geographical frame of reference.

Shema

The Shema is the central prayer of Judaism beginning in Deuteronomy 6:4 and was used as a confession of faith of dedication. Since the time of the Second Temple Period, observant Jews have prayed the Shema both morning and night. We know Jesus himself prayed this prayer and offered it up as the most important commandment (Mark 12:29-30).

Shema Israel, Adonai elohenu, Adonai echad, Ve’ahavta et Adonai eloeikah, b’khol levavkah, uve’khol naphshekah, uve’khol m’odekah.

Hear O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. Love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might!

Please begin to hide this prayer away in your heart in both Hebrew and English that we might be able to echo this prayer central to Jesus’ life and teachings. We will learn it well together in Israel. Once aware of the significant role this prayer has played throughout our history, you will begin to notice it reflected over and again in the Hebrew Scriptures, the Gospels and the Epistles.

What to Pack!

Israel Study Tour Check List

Below is a suggested checklist for packing and preparing for your upcoming tour! Luggage is restricted to one suitcase (50lbs), one carry-on and a personal bag (backpack, purse, etc.).

Currency

Dollars are accepted at nearly every establishment in Israel. You will almost always receive change in Shekels (NIS). Water, coffee, tea and often juice will be provided at meals for free. If you plan to purchase soft-drinks or additional drinks, bring along some single dollar bills for small purchases. Major credit cards are accepted for purchases at most establishments; notify your credit card company the dates you’ll be abroad to avoid security red flags for unusual activity, and ask them about any additional surcharges for international purchases. ATM’s are available for a fee in the city centers and will dispense shekels. Click here for more information.

Passport and Identification

You will be carrying your passport with you at all times. There are many different ways to carry your passport and whatever you feel most comfortable with is recommended. We suggest you make a photocopy of your passport and give it to someone else also traveling with you on the tour. It is also recommended that you bring one additional form of identification, like a driver’s license. You may also want to leave a photocopy of any documents or credit cards with someone back home so that in case of loss, the details can be reported quickly an easily.  Please check that your passport is valid and remains valid at least 6 months beyond the date of your return.

Laptops, Cameras, Electronics

Many prefer to bring their laptops along to Israel. Internet access is available at most hotels but it depends on the hotel as to how reliable it may be and whether or not it is provided free of charge; it is often expensive to purchase. Your valuable, like a laptop, will be very safe in your carry-on on the bus during our day excursions. If you plan to store valuables in your hotel room, bring a small lock to put on your luggage and lock it prior to departing for the day. Theft is not more common in Israel, but valuable left out are subject to crimes of opportunity, just like in the U.S.

Electronic Accessories (220 volts). Israel uses a certain two-round-pronged outlet so you will need the correct adapter for your U.S. plug to be plugged into an outlet. There are at least two, two-round-pronged outlets internationally, so double-check yours is intended for Israel.

Camera, plus accessories (batteries, cords, memory cards, etc.)

Along with your Airline Ticket Confirmation, the following items will be provided for you prior to departure (by mail). Please bring them along with you on the Tour:

  • Small Bible
  • Study Guide
  • Name Tag & Lanyard (to be worn when traveling for group identification)
  • 2 Luggage Tags (attach to checked luggage and carry-on)
  • Camel Back backpack and waterskin
  • Carry-on Bag
  • Passport, ticket, wallet

Prescription and over-the-counter medications (In case of lost luggage please make sure necessary items are packed in your carry-on). It is not uncommon when traveling internationally that our bodies need some time to adjust to dietary changes, so anti-diarrheal and other digestive medications are recommended just in case.

Be prepared to hike upon landing, which means be wearing your hiking shoes and gear (or have them easily accessible in your carry-on) as we may not have time to access our checked luggage.

Additional Packing List Items:

  • Swimsuit (modest)
  • Wide/Full-brimmed hat
  • Small flashlight
  • Sunscreen (please no aerosol sunscreen)
  • Snacks (granola bars, trail mix or other salty snacks, etc. Please note that chocolate does not fare well in the heat. We will enjoy three delicious meals a day but you may want to snack in between when we are out in the field)
  • Powdered Gatorade, Gu or other sports drink to mix in your waterskin/bottles (avoid anything with sugar)
  • Electrolyte replacement product
  • Sunglasses (bring an extra or old pair if you have one)
  • Persona First Aid Kit (band-aids, moleskin, ibuprofen, etc.)
  • Cosmetic Kit (shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush/paste, etc.)

Hiking Shoes/Boots:

We cannot overemphasize the need for good hiking boots/shoes that are broken in and provide good support. Sandals or tennis shoes simply will not be sufficient for the daily hiking. We will be “learning with our feet” much of the time, and so unprepared shoes and feet could cause a loss in learning. Hiking socks, insoles, and blister care kits are highly recommended.

  • Hiking socks
  • Walking stick (optional)
  • Water shoes (anything you don’t mind getting wet and can walk in a bit)

Clothing:

The trip is very casual so expect to wear shorts and a t-shirt daily except in a few religious sites where a “modesty kit” is required (meaning long pants/skirt (to ankles) and covered shoulders). Zip-off pants work well and many women find a long loose skirt useful over shorts. No matter what our day’s activities we will be representing our Messiah in a land of both Jews and Muslims who will judge Him based on our appearance (so no tank tops, short shorts or skimpy bathing suits please).

Ziploc Bags and a Sharpie Marker to keep track of any keepsakes along the way (rocks, pottery sherds, etc. – it is easy to forget where you picked them up once you get home)