At Mayanot we go out of our way to make sure our free 10-day Birthright Israel adventures are as good as they can be: luxury air conditioned buses, clean comfortable hotels, good food, amazing staff and a mind blowing unforgettable itinerary.
But there are still a few important things that you can do as well to make sure that your trip rocks. Follow these top tips and you’ll get the most from your 10-day travels through the land of Israel.
1. Drink, Drink Some More and …Then Drink More!
Israel is a hot country and whether you’re in the humid center or the dry desert, if you are not drinking plenty of water, you’re going to dehydrate – its that simple! And by the time you realize that you probably haven’t drunk enough, you’ll already feel like you have a hangover (without any of the fun that got you there)! Nothing will spoil your trip more than 2 or 3 days getting over dehydration.
You can buy bottled water just about everywhere and the tap water in Israel is safe to drink if you want to save your Shekels, and this includes the drinking fountains that are often found in public places.
And top tip – drink water not sugary drinks which can make the dehydration worse.
And another top-tip – it’s tempting when on a hike to empty your water bottle over your head to cool off but unless you know you can refill your drinking water in the near future, don’t do it!
2. You can’t use too much sunscreen
There is no escaping the powerful Mediterranean sun so slap that sunscreen on!
Even when the sky is overcast (which isn’t going to happen too much on your trip!) you can still get a sunburn. You can easily buy sunscreen in Israel but it costs more than it does back home.
And what about “SPF Factor”? Experts recommend using a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 to 50 and don’t forget to reapply every couple of hours!
3. You’re Only One Pair of Shoes Away From a Good Mood
Flip flops are fine by the pool but you wouldn’t want to hike up Masada in a pair! So treat your feet right and pack a good pair of hiking shoes or boots. You’ll also want a nice pair of sneakers for general / nightwear and keep those flip flops handy for when you hit the beach. And what about your Louis Vuitton sneakers? They’re best left in your closet at home!
Tip: Wear new shoes for a few hours before you pack them to break them in. Nothing worse than “new shoe blisters” on your feet when you have lots of walking to do!
4. Power Adapters
If we had a falafel ball for every time we’ve been asked this one, we’d never go hungry!
Israel’s electricity runs at 230 volts while in the US it’s 110 volts. Also the sockets are a different shape to the ones you’re used to back home, so you’ll need an adapter to convert your plugs from a type A / B (US) to a type C or Euro plug in Israel. They’re not expensive but they do not convert the voltage. For that you’ll need a step-up converter which is a little more pricey, and heavier but you may be able to manage without.
For devices like phones, tablets and laptops an adapter is usually all you need because these devices are generally dual voltage (check to be certain). Hairdryers and straighteners are often single voltage and you need to make sure that your stuff will work in a 230v outlet, otherwise buy an inverter or leave it at home because the smell of fried electronics in a hotel room isn’t pleasant!
5. Wear a Hat, and Keep it Natural
The sun again! Keep your face and head in the shade with a hat, you won’t regret it!
And our best tip for staying comfortable in hot weather is to wear clothes made from natural fibers because they “breathe” – so pack the cotton tees and linen shirts but leave the nylon and polyester clothes in the drawer at home!
We’ve created a handy packing list to help you pack right for your 10-day Israel adventure and also our comprehensive FAQ page is full of important information that will help you prepare and get the most out of your Birthright Israel adventure.
And if you’ve been on your Birthright trip already, feel free to comment below with any tips you want to share.